Saturday, September 29, 2012

Provo MTC 

McKinney family - American Fork East Stake Center for setting apart

Grandma Littleford welcomes us!
Septemeber 16, 2012 we were set apart as missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by President Mark Ivins in the Relief Society Room of the American Fork East Stake Center. Monday, September 17, 2012 we entered the MTC in Provo.  Among the first cheerful faces we saw was Grandpa and Grandma Littleford (Mike Sermon’s grandparents) who greeted us and helped us become oriented for the day.  In our first group, Janet Holley (? married name) said “Do you remember me?” When I looked close I could see the strong resemblance to Steven and other family members.
These were the first of many cheerful instructors—both adult and youth.  We were processed, our pictures taken, and we were given orientation materials, then the 70 new Senior Missionaries were sent to lunch.  It should be noted that there were 5 single sister missionaries in our group.  What an experience it was eating among the 1000s of young missionaries. We were able to see both Elder Johnson and Elder Brown from our ward over the course of the week.

The Jones, The Carlsons, The Peterson, & The McKinneys
In the afternoon session we were divided into districts. Ours included 3 other couples. The Petersons were going to work in the church office building with the assignment of finding translators for all the conference center activities.  The Jones were driving to Maryland, Baltimore to work in the office and The Carlsons were assigned to work in the Washington D.C. Temple. We spent the week learning from Preach My Gospel, participating in simulated teaching settings where we both gave and received lessons. We were told, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not break.” Also: “There are three in your companionship—you, your spouse, and the Holy Ghost.” “KISS means: Keep IT Simple Seniors.” “You teach people not lessons.” “Ask questions; you may not know their heart but God does.”

We were also taught to take care of ourselves, eat right, keep hydrated, get rest and exercise, and forcefully told to communicate with our families.  How to Use Your Time Wisely was purported to be the best lesson in Preach My Gospel.  Tuesday evening we were able to attend a fireside given by Elder Koelicker. The tear producing part of the fireside was the choir of young missionaries.  What a powerful experience. I can now see why Phillip so enjoyed participating while he was at the MTC. 

McKinneys on the way to Brasil

As we began to teach lessons---the first clear point made was that no matter what you prepare---the spirit teaches us what is really needed by the investigator and both of them help you to know what you are to teach.  Be prepared to adjust---and we did---every time we taught. The power of getting the investigator to pray and read from the scriptures themselves was amazing.

Wilkins, Talita, Andersons, McKinneys

Wednesday evening the element of language training was thrown in.  John and I were grouped with President and Sister Wilkins from American Fork and with Brother and Sister Anderson [a couple going to work in the temple in Recife.] Both couples had lived for some time in Brasil.  I felt like a fish out of water as they all glibly spoke in fluent Portuguese.  I offered to give the closing prayer because I knew I could do that even if not much else that evening. I was lucky to be in a group I could learn so much from.
After 5 days of Senior missionary training at the Provo MTC we were released, given a P-day, and a free Sunday to attended the Brigham City temple dedication.  

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