We arrived at the MTC on Sunday evening checked in, got our room, unpacked and got ready for the day to start on Monday. The first couple meetings were primarily orientation and meeting the other senior couples. What a great senior missionary force here! Couples going off to serve in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica (office help), London (YSA’s), Germany (military relations and legal aid), Uganda, South Africa, Portugal, Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, the Navajo Reservation (member and leadership support), and even Iraq (“Branch Building” – which is as yet undefined!). There’s also several going to various assignments in the US. There are two other Humanitarian Missionary couples – one going to Timor Leste, a neighbor of Indonesia and the other to Armenia.
The MTC complex is huge and houses up to 2,700 missionaries. Imagine the effort needed to feed that many HUNGRY missionaries every day – so the cafeteria is of course massive!
There is a special Spirit here – even with that many people roaming the halls, it is quiet, peaceful and the grounds are beautiful. It is wonderful to see all of the young Elders and Sisters – so happy and cheerful and so willing to talk and share their excitement of where they are going to serve!
After a general meeting with everyone, we broke up into smaller ‘districts’ of 4 couples each and had classes taught by young, recently returned missionaries. Our morning teacher (Sister Rawle) served in Italy and our afternoon teacher (Brother Hollingshead) served in Salt Lake City – both were exceptional!
At noon, we had to visit the MTC Health Clinic where we found out we needed a Hepatitis A booster shot. So, $168 later (no, they are not free, and yes, we had to pay for them) we are (hopefully) done with immunizations. They told us we did not need Yellow Fever or Meningitis, but we DO have to take Doxycycline every day for Malaria.
This evening there was a devotional with D. Todd Christofferson, one of the 12 Apostles. The MTC choir was several hundred strong and it was amazing what they put together with one hour practice!
More classes tomorrow….