Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014 was a special day.  We got up early and Melanie wanted our picture in front of the Provo Temple.  It was a beautiful day, then we officially entered the Missionary Training Center. Lots of emotions were flooding over us but after three months of preparing, we are ready to go!

We just had to stop in front of the big world map at the MTC to really find out just where we are going.  Zambia here we come!!

This is a picture of our district at the MTC and the young Sister on the right was one of our teachers.

This week has truly been an amazing experience.  During the week we participated in a lot of role playing in pretend situations of teaching or being taught.  I have never been comfortable in those situations, but as we "jumped" completely into our roles, the spirit was there and we have had so many awesome experiences of the spirit bearing witness of what we were doing.  We are learning to open our mouths and share our testimonies with each other and with others.  We are learning to totally love those we come in contact with each day.
It is wonderful to come together as a District, from all walks of life and income and become one in purpose.  Our group leader is the tall man and he is an obstetrician.  At first I was a little intimidated by him but he and his wife showed such love and concern for us that we were totally drawn in.  He and his wife are going to Russia and are trying to learn the Russian language.  Fifteen years ago they both had  an impression that they needed to learn the Russian language and they worked on it for about two years then stopped.  Now they are working again.  The Hunts previously served in Mongolia.  There have been 48 couples training this week for missions all over the world.  62% are called to serve full time missions in their own stakes in Salt Lake, Orem, Logan, and Provo.  This is a pilot program that the church is working on that will probably spread throughout the church.
My heart has been touched as I have become acquainted with two young elders at the MTC.  I have seen them, one in a wheelchair and the other with legs so crippled that he struggles to walk with crutches.  One is from Pittsburg and the one with the crippled legs is from the Czech Republic.  They both wanted to serve missions so badly and they are.  They are serving right here in the MTC teaching lessons online and by Skype.  There is a way to serve no matter what our physical condition is.  It is truly inspirational to me to watch these sweet elders fulfill their desire to serve in spite of their physical limitations.

The three couples who have been called to serve missions involving the Perpetual Education and Self-Reliance made a trip to Salt Lake to the Church Office Building where we met with several leaders who directly work with this program.  Elder Sitati is on the right and visited with us.  He is from Kenya and has been called to come to Salt Lake to work with this program.  He is highly educated and successful in business but is such a humble, kind man.  He tells his story of growing up in Kenya and sleeping on a cowhide on the floor of his family's mud hut.  He can relate to growing up in poverty and gave us much encouragement. He and his wife joined the church when he was 33 and has become a strength for the church wherever he serves.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Church Office Building in Salt Lake and received instruction and encouragement for our callings.  The other two couples are going to Capetown, South Africa and Bangkok, Thailand.