We’re finishing up our training here at the MTC and it’s been a great experience. Yesterday was a busy day with additional welfare / humanitarian training, then a special treat: my sister Carol is in the midst of a fairly long RV trip through the west and was in Provo so we were able to have dinner with her and my brother-in-law Robert. Showed them around Provo a bit, then they dropped us off just in time for the Tuesday devotional with Elder Gene R. Cook, one of the 12 Apostles. He discussed Four Loves:
- Love your Companion (I do…)
- Love the People (I sure we will….)
- Love Your Mission President (I’m sure we will…)
- Love the Lord (we do…)
He also gave us an Apostolic Blessing that we will be blessed to be able to rise to the challenges that we surely will have and that we will be blessed to be able to do hard things. We need this blessing as we will surely have BOTH situations!
Today was a very interesting day as part of our training today involved LDS Family Services – with a professional counselor discussing our being together 24/7 – a situation most of us have not been in! True enough, and he discussed various ways to deal with the stress. I’m not sure what stress he meant – other than PERHAPS that we will be in a new situation (being together all the time), involved in new, unfamiliar activities (being on a mission and carrying out humanitarian projects), living in a foreign country, surrounded by people who speak a different language, living in a new apartment, eating strange food, leaving our family and friends behind, leaving familiar surroundings behind, etc. If he meant that, then MAYBE there will be a little stress. But we CAN do it and we are both excited to give it a go!
Also a little training on filtering our water – we can’t drink the water, so we have to be VERY careful – always drink sealed, bottled or filtered water, even to brush teeth, wash fruits and vegetables, etc. The experienced missionaries (those on their 2nd and 3rd missions) told a few stories about prevention….
Then another treat tonight – we had dinner tonight with Glen Jones and his wife. Glen was and I served as missionary companions in 1976 in Bessemer, Alabama. Great fun to catch up and reminisce about the old days and speculate about the new days coming up.
Wednesdays are a big day here at the MTC – it’s the day when the young missionaries arrive! Today there were about 500, last week was near 700. Certainly, many of them have the “deer-in-the-headlight” look, but an exciting adventure awaits them too! We were hoping to run into Malachi Lassiter, one of our YSA’s from the Carthage YSA Branch, but no such luck. Perhaps tomorrow….
Tomorrow is our last day. Training in the morning on CHaS – the Church Humanitarian System computer program that tracks the various projects we’ll be involved in. You can see a sample of the the projects the Church is involved at this link: http//www.ldscharities.org.
Then we’re off at noon and the van comes to pick us up at 3:00 pm for a 7:05 flight to Los Angeles. Then an 11:00 pm flight to Hong Kong (about 12 hours), a 5 hour layover, then a 3 hour flight to Jakarta and arrive at 1:00 pm Saturday afternoon. Finally….the day has arrived. My next post will be from the mission field in Jakarta….