Friday, July 29, 2011

Missionary Training Center (MTC)

"Here We Are in the Missionary Training Center (MTC)"
Darrel L. Hammon

Monday, July 25, 2011—We are here!
Here means the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah. We had been staying at Anna Rose’s. Before we entered the MTC, we had some errands to complete: bank and a longer slip for Joanne. Once completed, we drove over to Joe and Hailey’s home to pick up Joe. Since we have so much luggage—two per each of us, plus a couple of carry on things—we needed two cars. Anna Rose had two suitcases in her car; we had two plus all of the other things. We picked up Joe and headed to the MTC.      

We pulled into the MTC parking lot. These days, there is a guard at the gate who allows you to enter. Since our names were on the list, we got to enter. We told her about Anna Rose who was just coming down University. She told us she would let her enter. We stopped in front of the Admin Building where several volunteers gave us directions as to where we needed to go. We turned around and headed around the loop. We waited for Anna Rose to arrive. She came within a couple of minutes. We drove around the loop and didn’t find where we were supposed to go. As we entered a huge parking lot, we saw two missionaries running after us. We had passed our spot where they had been waiting to help us unload our things. We turned around and drove to where they directed us. These young men hefted our luggage and toted it to our room, which is on the second floor. Nice young men!
We said good bye to Anna Rose, shed a few tears, and away she went. We walked into the main area and checked in. We received our packets, talked to various people about the things that were going to happen, and visited with the immunization people. Lo and behold, Joanne needs another shot—a third Hepatitis A. They will be charging her about $71 for the shot. Wow! Just think….we could have received one in Cheyenne at the Wellness Clinic for a ton less. Our final stop was getting our picture taken, which was then placed on a card. The card would be our identification and our get-in-the-door card for our meals. Once we were done, we headed to lunch!
 Wow! Wow! Wow! A ton of missionaries milled around in the cafeteria. Four or five areas were available to obtain more food than one could eat. Just as you walk in, a huge menu was on the wall and detailed all of the stations. We walked in, swiped our cards, and went to one of the stations. The food was definitely plentiful—all you can, all you can drink, and lots of it. I figured we wouldn’t be starving any day soon. In fact, we probably will gain a bit of weight. We both have lost weight, and we don’t want to gain any other.
 After lunch, we went in to the main room in the Admin Building where we were welcomed by the MTC presidency. It was a wonderful time. They had all of the missionaries stand and tell who they were and where they were going. It was incredible! People are going to Chile, Argentina, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Russia, Germany, Mongolia, Cambodia, Laos, Dominican Republic, Central America, Mexico, South Africa, and many, many other places in the world, including the U.S Yes, the stone cut out of the mountain without hands is definitely rolling forth. 

We were then broken up into districts. Brother Blue is our new district leader.  This is the group we will be studying with for the rest of the time. Once this was finished, we went to a short tutoring information session about our Spanish classes. Both Joanne and I received our schedules for the next two weeks. Joanne is in the beginning class; I will be in the intermediate class.
 By this time, dinner was up again. We ate our fill and headed back to the dorm where we will be staying until August 5, 2011. We opened our door and carried our things into the room. I rushed down to one of the rooms where the irons and ironing boards were and carried them back to the room. We unloaded our things and began ironing. Our room didn’t smell that good. In fact, it smelled like a bunch of football players didn’t wear shoes after several long practices. Terrible! We’ll have to purchase some room freshener.
 Day 1 is over. And more to come!


Colleen/Grandma/Mom said...

I love that I finally get to know more details than our kids ever shared with us about the MTC. My favorite paragraph is the one that ends with the stone rolling comment! Lots of brave and generous people you're hanging out with these days!

Darrel and Joanne Hammon said...

Thanks for the note. I will have more to say over the next couple of days. We leave for the DR early Friday morning. The people we "are hanging out with" are incredible people. Some of them have already been on two or three missions. Age-wise, we and one other couple are the kids on the block. What a wonderful experience! I hope you have he opportunity to go. You really don't have to be brave or generous. You just have to go. I will be writing a column for Deseret News/Mormon Times twice a month while I am out Watch for it.

Grandma Turtle said...

I'm so excited to go on a 'practice mission' by reading all the things you tell us about. Then when it's my turn to really go, I'll know just what to expect. Thanks! :) Will you be posting your Deseret News articles on here? Safe traveling next week. We'll keep on praying for You.

Darrel and Joanne Hammon said...

As to the Deseret articles, yes, I will post them here, once they have been published.

I am glad you are "practicing." We have discovered so many stories about couples and singles who decide to serve missions through very inspirational events and prayers. It is incredible!