Wow, we are finally here at the MTC after much preparation and a crazy whirlwind of events. We arrived here on Monday April 23, 2012 at 10:00 am. It feels good to be here after all the anticipation and excitement of our new adventure. We had a great first week here with all the classes and training for Preach My Gospel. This place is so amazing! It is overwhelming to see all the missionaries here they are everywhere and you can feel of their enthusiasm .They are amazing and full of the spirit. After sending all three of our sons here it is nice to finally be on this side of the fence to see the places and experience the things they experienced. This place is so unbelievably organized and the teachers are the best! They really pamper the “senior missionaries” here. When we go into the chapel and sit down they come and bring you seat cushions and foot stools. Seniors are allowed to have cell phones and when we are using them and the young missionaries walk by they just smile at you and think, “man you seniors really have it tough”. They are funny with all their expressions. We are in class all day long but every hour or so they give us a 15 minute break to walk around and stretch. We start our day at 7:00 am eating breakfast first and then begin our classes at 8:00. We are in classes until 12:00 then released for lunch until 1:30 then back to class for more training. We usually finish up with classes around 4:30 or 5:00. Some days we also have devotionals and firesides in the evenings. This Tuesday the 24th we had a fireside at 7:00 pm and Elder Russell M. Nelson came and talked to us. It is always a great day when one of the 12 Apostles come and talk to you. The spirit there when he walked in was so strong. The gym was packed full of all the missionaries currently in the MTC and that was quite a sight to behold!!!
We have had some great experiences here. One of the things you get to do here is to teach a “mock” family. They have volunteers come and pretend to be investigators or part member families that are wanting to know more about Christ. At first we were a little nervous to do this exercise but it really was a great experience. The funny thing is that they are so good at acting you forget that they are actors and start thinking they are for real. They totally stay in character and I am sure they want to just start laughing at us but they are so kind and just let us do our thing .We actually go into a room that is all decorated just like a real living room. They have cameras that record you and your trainers watch and then give you advice and compliment you on the good things that you do as well. We had to do this exercise on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We got better as the days went on and got a little more confidence in our approach. This place really is so amazing and the organization is like nothing we have ever experienced before. The way this place is ran and organized is another testimony to us of the truthfulness of this gospel. You cannot be here and experience the things we have experienced and not KNOW that this is the LORDS work. This has really been a great week and we have learned so much and we are so grateful to be able to be here at this time in our lives.
Over the week end all of our children and grandchildren came down to see us and spend this last week end together before we fly out. It was so good to see them and be able to spend time just enjoying their company. We think that our first week went so well because we knew that we would see them this week end and the home sickness was not an issue. I am not too sure how well this coming week will be because we know we will not be able to see them for 2 years. We are sure that they will be taken care of and know that God will watch over them and protect them until we return. Our family is one of our greatest blessings and they mean the world to us. WE LOVE YOU ALL AND WE WILL MISS YOU DEARLY
We are looking forward to another great week at the MTC. This week we will be training on how to use the church office computers and programs that we will be using during our service in the mission office in South Africa.