Tuesday, August 30, 2016

15-19 Aug 2016

Provo, Utah
Missionary Training Center (MTC) for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints

We arrived at the MTC on Monday, 15 Aug 2016.  It was quite an experience.  The reception and registration was quite organized and we had LOTS of young Elders & Sisters to help us unload and take our bags to our room.
We were impressed with all the returned Missionaries that seemed to run the MTC - from our classes, to administration, to travel, to our meals.  The only old fogies were the 100 Senior Missionaries in our group, the MTC Presidency and some administrative staff that were hidden in offices.  Almost all of our day to day interaction was with young returned missionaries.  It was really quite an experience to see the younger generation running and operating the MTC.

We were assigned a room similar to a hotel room - the same was assigned to all the senior missionaries.

The view out our window was of the mountains on the east side of Provo, Utah Valley.

Like most missionaries we had our picture taken in front of the world map in the MTC main building.  As can be seen, we are pointing to our destination - Sydney Australia

What a good looking couple that is   !!!

The week was crammed full of learning from the book - Preach My Gospel.   We learned and then we practiced what we learned - with each other and with other couples.  We also were able to practice talking with other people not of our faith (actually they were LDS, but played the part) - learning about them and what was important to them.  This was a bit intimidating, but was really a great experience and rewarding spiritually to us.

The MTC is basically across the street from the Provo Temple.  Sister Haley and I were able to walk around the temple on Monday, arrival day, before we had to start our classes.  The flowers were beautiful and we enjoyed walking and sitting on the temple grounds.  The temple is open on Mondays which is not true for most of the temples around the world.

The MTC main building has a number of original paintings that have had copies distributed through out the Church.  Above is a painting of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and his disciples.  Below that is "Hurrah for Israel" given by Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball as they left on a mission while both of them were very sick & bed ridden, yet they found the strength to stand up and give a cheer to their families as they left them for their mission.  And so it is with the missionaries today - we all leave family for a short time, so we can serve the Lord,

Saturday, 27 Aug 2016

We ran errands and bought things for the flat and fridge in the morning.

We are still a bit jetlagged, but being thrown into the thick of things.  The "younger" Elders & Sisters are quite busy here in the Harbour YSA ward.  We have 14 young missionaries assigned to our YSA ward - 10 Elders & 4 Sisters.
Today at 3:45 we all met at the ward bldg and then took a train to the Greenwich ward bldg for baptisms.  It is about a 30 minute train ride and a 15 minute walk to the Greenwich ward bldg.  Baptisms for our ward are held EVERY 2nd and 4th Saturdays.  We had 5 baptisms today which is more than normal.  Usually there are "only" 2 or 3 baptisms each time.  It was quite a spiritual experience to travel with these young folks and to see all the fun they have together.
Pictures of the baptismal trek -

Wednesday, 31 Aug 2016 -  We have finally gotten over our jet lag and seem to be "normal" now.  There is a lot of information that needs to be posted and we will try to get that all taken care of over the next few days.
We have an office - see attached picture, but we will try to stay out of it as much as we can.
That is the back of Sister Haley in the picture.
The office is in the YSA ward building which also functions as the evening Institute bldg and English teaching rooms.
We will be teaching English to members of the Harbour YSA ward,  teaching a preparatory IELTS (English qualification test) on Tuesday & Thursday class, and whatever Bishop Akroyd assigns to us.
We are beginning to feel at home here.