Sunday, February 26, 2017

The MTC

Despite Greg's sciatica, the MTC was a wonderful place to be.

When we got to the MTC, a brother greeted us outside and sent us inside to check in. We were given keys to our bedroom, and a key card to use to get in the other buildings.  You could not get into any building without one. When we left they deactivated it. We were given our nametags, which we wore at all times, and an envelope of instructions. Then we went to the back of the building where we were staying, unloaded our luggage, parked the car, and went upstairs to our bedroom. There is an MTC bookstore in the building where we picked up a packet of pamphlets, and a  missionary handbook. Then we went to the travel department, also in the same building where we slept, and picked up a check to cover the costs of traveling from Troy to Washington DC. We  figured out how much the drive east cost and we feel the church was generous.  We also got ministerial cards that say we are authorized by the church to preach the gospel. 

Our room was in the main campus. Our bedroom was nice, the bed queen size, a big dresser, and a nice bathroom.  The laundry, cafeteria, classrooms, and everything we needed was just a short walk away.

Seniors come on Monday, young missionaries come on Wednesday. The young elders and sisters were so kind and respectful. Two young elders carried my dirty laundry for me all the way to the laundry room one night. They waited for us to open doors. They are probably told to watch out for the senior folks. We were encouraged to sit with them at meals and talk and listen to them.

There were ninety couples in our group. We were divided into districts, each with a district leader. Greg was our district leader. We grew very quickly to love the other couples in our district.  Nobody cared where anyone was going. Several of the couples were going for a year, most for eighteen months. Most of the couples in our group were driving somewhere in the United States.  About half or our group went to the new SLC Headquarters Mission. They had no idea what they were going to be doing, but hoped it would be Family History. Everyone stayed one week unless you were called as office support. Six couples stayed for four more days the second week to receive office  training on the church's mission software.

The food was okay, and I am sure the young missionaries loved it, but two weeks of cafeteria food..... They feed so many people there. The cafeteria  employs 300 part time students. The dining room is open for an hour for breakfast, and an hour and a half for lunch and dinner. So the room fills up and empties quickly. They have what the missionaries call the Wall of Lettuce, which is a salad/wrap bar open for all three meals. Then there is the main meal, which is new everyday. And then there is a left over kind of place where they take the leftovers and make them into something else and serve also. There is cereal, fruit, green salad bars, and some kind of dessert every day. One day Greg said, "I had to take a zantac today." And I laughed and said that's because you are eating four cookies a day.  On Wednesdays when the new missionaries came the place was packed. 

Every wall, every space, has a picture, either Olsen, Swindle, Bloch, Teichart, and I don't know who else. Our bedroom has two pictures. There are many photographs of missionaries from around the world too. 

There is a devotional every Tuesday evening. Most of the missionaries are in the missionary choir. So when they sing at the devotional the stands are packed with the choir and it is like they sing to the General Authority speaking that night. Elder Meur and Elder Gong were the speakers when we were there. 

Our first week we studied  Preach My Gospel. We had wonderful young return missionaries teach us. It was wonderful experience. I learned a lot and felt more equipped to invite people to hear the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The second week we were taught the church's mission software. It was not as exciting, but necessary.

Laundry room-only one row!

The weekend between the two weeks we went back up to Betsy and Dustin's and had one last dinner with them, said good-bye, and then went to Annette and Mike's. On Sunday we went to church with them and  Dayne and Warren and Polly came to dinner and to visit. It was very relaxing and so enjoyable to be with some of my siblings. Slowly, Greg's leg was starting to feel better.

Waiting for Polly

And then we both got bad colds, felt miserable, but got over them during the drive east.