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Friday, August 12, 2016

August 8, 2016 Here We Go...

August 8, 2016
                              Provo Missionary Training Center Provo, Utah

We entered the MTC on Monday, August 8th and immediately could feel the wonderful spirit of this place - this sacred place. We were overwhelmed by the kindness, love, and amazing organization of all who serve here.  Aside from a little noise from exuberant young elders and sisters, it felt a bit like being in the temple. 

The traditional picture pointing to our area of labor
on the map of the world. 
We received our name badges and welcome packet and were then graciously guided around to take care of all the check in details. We met so many wonderful people as we went to the travel office to pick up our itinerary, to the cashier's office to pay for our meal tickets, to the health clinic to verify our immunizations, and to the MTC Bookstore to get our study materials. The whole process was extraordinarily stress free. 

We ate our first lunch at the famous MTC cafeteria, and the food was very good.

We then had our first orientation meeting with the MTC Presidency, Presidents and Sisters Burgess, Bertissimo, and Snow. It was an emotional meeting as we sang or tried to sing without crying, "Called to Serve" and heard inspirational words from the MTC Presidency members. After this meeting, we received a general overview of the training schedule and activities for the week by Senior Missionary Coordinators, Elder and Sister Braithwaite. 

There were 57 senior missionaries who arrived today - 27 couples and 3 single sisters.  We were asked to introduce ourselves and to tell where we were going and what our assignments would be.  Elder Braithwaite said this was one of the most diverse representations of missions he had worked with. Mission calls in the United States include California, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Calls throughout the world are to Dominican Republic, Guyana, Fiji, France, Singapore, Japan, Bosnia, Albania, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Vanuatu, Bulgaria, Guatemala, and ours to Jamaica. The specific assignments are Welfare Services, Self Reliance, Member Leadership Support, Office, and CES (Church Educational System). We immediately recognized the love and dedication of these fine people. Elder Braithwaite helped us feel at ease with his appropriate wit and humor.  

Our first LGM (Large Group Meeting) focused on the Missionary Purpose which is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." We were like sponges soaking up every piece of information.

District Leaders were called including Buddy. (I was not surprised at all that the Lord would put him right to work in a leadership position.) We were organized into eight Districts and had a chance to meet the other members of our District. Elder and Sister Heggie from Raymond, Alberta, Canada, are going to serve in the California Santa Rosa Mission office. This is their 3rd mission - fourth for him. He served in Tahiti as a young man. As a couple they served in Tahiti as the office couple and in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library. Elder and Sister Soakai from Lehi, Utah, are going to serve in the Papua New Guinea Port Moresby Mission as Member Leadership Missionaries.  They are both originally from Tonga where they also both served missions in their youth. We loved hearing them pray in their native language of Tongan throughout the week. 

It had been a long day, but before going to get settled into our room, we had dinner and watched an inspiring video of one of Elder David A. Bednar's devotional addresses here at the MTC entitled, "The Character of Christ."  This was an amazing way to end our first day. 


  1. It was our pleasure to meet you two at the MTC and we look forward to following your adventure via this blog...