After a rather rocky night of excitement and a struggle with a lingering sinus infection resulting in just 3 hours of sleep, Kevan and I headed out at 9:15 this morning for the Missionary Training Center (MTC). We arrived and stopped at a sign that stated clearly, “Stop Here!” Not knowing what was to happen next, Kevan opened the door to the car while a wonderfully helpful senior MTC volunteer came out to greet us. He showed us where to park and asked to come inside 1M, the main missionary building. Inside, we were greeted by two sisters with wonderfully warm smiles. My coveted missionary pin was placed “high on the left side so that people see your smile first and then look to see whom you represent.” Kevan was pleased to see that he was provided with a pocket pin as he constantly loses the magnetic pins. We were then handed a packet of information and the next steps were explained.
We headed back to our car, parked in the appropriate spot and were greeted enthusiastically by two more senior gentlemen and three young missionaries standing in the cold whose sole job was to escort us to our next check points. The young man who walked us in was wonderfully curious about where we are going on our mission and was totally enveloped in the experiences leading to this day. Then there were more lovely people at each corner with great smiles, kind words, and helping hands. Our immunizations were all signed off. Our passports were finally returned and our travel itinerary confirmed. We were given our schedules and instruction sheets and then escorted to our final stop – the north chapel.
Three more small group meetings that lasted for about 10 meetings each and then lunch. We sat with couples going to Germany, Siberia, Chicago, and Portugal. The excitement, spirituality, and commitment was palpable. It’s hard to put into words the strength of spirit and experience in that room. I was thrilled to be among these righteous senior saints.
The afternoon was filled with welcomes from the MTC Presidency, introductions of all of us, and orientation to the week to come. Brother Peterson, our training supervisor is hilarious!!! You had to be there, but I was totally rolling on the floor. Over the heads of the entire group, he asked Kevan and I what people had told us about the Congo. I told him that we had spoken to a few but had gotten few really concrete descriptions of the place . . . (I totally set it up for him – unwittingly of course) . . . He went on to say there was a reason for that – many are called and freely enter the Congo but few escape! Oh well, you had to be there.
We ate dinner and then went back this evening for our final tutoring session with Sœur Mackenzie Wood, our fabulous, fabulous, fabulous French tutor. She was the one responsible for setting up our immersion sessions, making certain we progressed in our curriculum, and generally loved us through the process of learning French. This is a young woman filled with the Spirit and love who prayed us to where we are. She even cried with me when I thought I would never make it through. She will forever be my sister. Kevan and I had this tutoring session with Elder and Sister who are going to the France Lyon Mission. It was also the first time I have had a class with Kevan and I have to say, I WAS REALLY IMPRESSED! I can’t believe how far he has come and how strong the gift of tongues is in him. It was wonderful.
Kevan, Mackenzie, and Terri
Elder and Sister Miller with Mackenzie
We’ve decided to stay in Provo tonight because it’s supposed to snow overnight, so we’re in a hotel studying for our classes tomorrow. Well, it’s getting late, so I’m going to say goodnight. We’re thrilled to be here and thrilled that we’ve been invited to the party!