1st week at the MTC

It is hard to write about our MTC experience because unless you have gone through it, I do not think you can understand how powerful and wonderful it is. This is our third time through the MTC and each time was a little different. The first time there is quite a bit of anxiety because everything is so new. It was a little easier for us because we had spent two years as full time service missionaries at the MTC so we knew our way around.

The second time we went through we were veterans and other than being a little anxious when it came time to teach, we could pretty much just enjoy the experience.

This time we were true veterans and we had just finished spending a year serving as part time service missionaries. We knew what to expect, we knew the great spiritual feeling that is there, and we knew that we could teach the gospel fairly well.

However the experience was still powerful. Even today as we finished up by role playing as less-actives and missionaries working with less-actives there was much to learn. We found that our training better prepared us to teach people and not lessons. We have learned to listen better – both to the people and to the spirit.

At the end of the last meeting of the day/week they showed clips of Elder Holland talking to mission presidents and senior missionaries. In both clips the spirit flowed to a point where I had tears in my eyes.

One of the most rewarding experiences at the MTC is getting to know those couples who came in on the same day. There were 22 couples this time…the smallest group we have been part. But we were told that the number of couples coming in the MTC is up 20% for the year so I guess President Monson’s April talk touched some lives and hopefully Elder Holland’s October conference talk will touch more.

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All 22 couples meet for what is called Large Group Meetings but a small group – in our case 4 couples – meet together for most instructions. It is these three other couples that we got to know best and feel very close to. The Miles are going to Kirtland to work with physical facilities, the Lookharts (not Lockharts) are going to Zambia to be Leadership and Member Support missionaries. The Bradshaws will be doing the same thing in Bolivia. Elder Bradshaw served in the same area 40 years ago and are looking forward to revisiting some of the places where he served. Sister Bradshaw and Mary learned Spanish together this week. These three couples and ourselves are all eager to get to their missions so they can start serving. However we have another four days at the MTC to learn how to be office specialists.

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