Today’s Travelogue is about the MTC! 🎉
On January 23rd, 2019 I entered one of the many MTC’s located in Provo, UT. Other MTC’s are located in England, Brazil, South Africa, and the Philippines. There are 10 active MTC’s in total.
For those of you who don’t know, MTC is short for Missionary Training Center. This is where missionaries go to train and learn how to be ministers of Jesus Christ. We learn how to teach for those three weeks as we learn the Gospel of Jesus Christ on deeper levels. And for those of us learning a language, we learn a new language as well.
Each class focuses on the core necessities of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
- The Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ
- The Gospel of Jesus Christ
- The Commandments of God as taught in the scriptures and through modern prophets and apostles, and
- The Laws and Ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
It sounds like a lot- and it is- but we managed to learn enough to be ready for the the mission field when our time was up!
On the day I entered the MTC and said goodbye to family and friends for 18th months, I was feeling scared, uncertain, and nervous. My stomach was doing backflips and my mind was almost numb with worry.
To be honest, the training itself was not so concerning to me- preparing to be in an even more unfamiliar place was. After my three weeks of studying, I would be flying out to Florida and starting missionary work that day. It was nerve-racking. Plus, I had never been to Provo, UT before and yet here I would be living, eating, and learning for the next 3 weeks.
When we drove into the parking garage, my fears heightened. It almost felt like I was about to drop from the climax of a rollercoaster.
While I said goodbye to my family- crying my eyes out the whole time-another sister missionary waited nearby. After my final ‘goodbye’ she helped me take my luggage up to my room.
No one else was in the dorm when I entered the room, but I could see that there would be at least six girls in there since there three bunk beds. Four beds had already been claimed except for the top bunk by the door and the top bunk closest to the window. I decided on the one by the door since it would be warmer and I was so happy to get a top bunk! Call me weird, but I actually really like the top bunk. I just think it’s more fun!
Before leaving for my classroom I looked at myself in the mirror hanging above the doorknob and left. While walking through the frigid cold wind I told myself it would be great and we would all get along.
I was also concerned about not having a companion who I didn’t get along with. When you’re a missionary, you don’t choose your companion. Each one is assigned to you through inspiration.
And luckily, my fears were in vain because my companion and I got along very well! She was my choir buddy and my voice of reason. We ended up serving in the same mission field, as well! The Florida Orlando Mission.
If you’ve ever seen missionaries on the street, you’ll have seen that there were at least two together at all times. This is because the scriptures state:
We take this seriously as missionaries- for safety reasons and so that there would be more than one witness testifying of the gospel topics being discussed in a lesson. Jesus Christ Himself even had another witness of His divinity and that was His Father. So, as missionaries of the Lord we follow His example and share another witness along with the Holy Ghost as a companionship.
Soon after I fixed up my hair and outfit, I made my way to the T4 building where I would meet my new family for the next 3 weeks.
I was not expecting, however, that I would soon be meeting some of my best friends.
The MTC puts the missionaries in groups in order to make sure everyone’s needs are met and classes are organized. Our ‘class’ was called Branch 31 and was seriously the BEST.
Shown in this photo was another branch that we called Oregon since nearly all of them were going to the Portland Oregon Mission. In response, Oregon called us Orlando since all 11 of us were going to the Florida Orlando Mission.
The gospel doctrine lessons, artwork, and excitement of the MTC were all amazing- but I have to say, the people really were the best part of it!
When we weren’t running up the stairs to wake up at 7 am or have fun role plays together, we were studying in class and learning how to become servants of the Lord. And we had a lot of fun together, too! I remember socializing together as a Branch or with Oregon in between classes, sharing what we were learned in class or talking about our hobbies or families.
After long days of studying the scriptures and playing a hardcore game of volleyball during our exercise time, we’d often have girls nights in the dorms.
These girl nights were the times we had heart-to-heart conversations, do face masks, eat vending machine snacks, and bond.
We were all on the same boat and it felt really good to have a community of people who we could relate to!
I remember how sweet the “older” Sisters were (those who had been in the MTC longer). They brought a lot of comfort to the other Sister missionaries and I through their examples and kind words. Because of their help, I felt much more excited and prepared to serve the good people of Florida!
To this day, I still have the name tag I received on my first day at the MTC. I managed to salvage it for as long as I could until I sprayed DEET on it one day before tracting 😥 DEET is a really strong bug spray needed in Florida.
It was a sad day, but I promised myself I would always keep this anyway. It means too much to me!
This name tag represents the hard work I put in, the love I felt and gave, and the miracles I experienced.
My name tag’s home was my dresser no matter what city I lived in. It was the last thing I put on in the morning and the first thing I took off at night. It represented me as a representative of Jesus Christ.
I learned about who my Savior Jesus Christ really was while serving in Florida; from the boondocks to the city to the beach, I learned a very consistent lesson and that was that Heavenly Father truly loves His children.
It was an amazing slice of my life and it all started with the MTC. I’ll never forget my time there and how it affected my mission so positively!
I hope you all enjoyed this post!
Comment below your experience at the MTC or if you know anyone who’s been to the MTC! What are some things you’re curious about missionaries or missions? Message me and we can talk about!
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