Here are several important parts to the "MTC Experience" which all missionaries, young and senior, experience when they accept a call from the Lord:
1. Associating with several thousand young men and women, each called by the Lord to leave home and friends to serve, and the experience of building relationships with the 35-40 couples called each week to go through the similar training experience. Building a relationship with the couples is an experience we've sought, simply because there is so much depth and experience wandering around the stake center in which we are all trained. Our lives have been doubly blessed because we have a couple, Elder and Sister Crisp, who have been called to our same mission and who will share that lengthy flight with us to Guam. So, the first part of the experience deals with relationships; and
2. Going through the training of Preach My Gospel, administered to us by mission leaders and by young returned missionaries. We had read through the manual and thought we knew much of the material contained therein; however, the Spirit of the teaching was absent in our home teaching and training, and that Spirit was most evident as we separated into districts and began the long process of being taught throughout the week. It was a privilege to share faith and testimonies with volunteers and senior missionaries. We learned so much in the instructional part of the experience.
|Our MTC district|
These experiences dealing with fellowship/relationships and with instruction with live with us always. We have been warmed by other senior missionaries as we've listened to their tales of conversion, the challenges of being called and serving, and the hopes each couple has for their children and grandchildren. Truly, the work of the Lord is moving forward in an extraordinary way.
There was a "first" at the MTC this week: It is the first week ever in which there were more sisters (259) checking in than elders (253).
It has been extraordinary to feel the promptings of the Spirit as we've contemplated the next stage of our service. We have felt those promptings as we've spent some time with family. Our hearts are full as we close out this week. The trappings of our former life have vanished in our minds and hearts and we are not anxious to return to them at this stage of our experience. We have also been blessed with people this week who have been tossed in our path and to whom we've given advice and counsel. As we have looked into the eyes of those the Lord has entrusted to our care we have been reminded that this is not OUR work, but it is HIS work. We are but simple instruments in this work.