It's finally here! After years of saying "We are going to go " , after 2 years of moving to Utah, building a house and putting a yard in, after a few weeks of worrying over mission papers, going to the doctor, having tests done, going to the dentist, and then actually getting our call, after shots,many of them, packing, unpacking, more packing, trips to Vegas to say "good-bye" , after all our planning and good-bye saying, WE ARE MISSIONARIES! The time is here and we LOVE IT!
FRIENDS AT THE M.T.C.
The MTC is an amazing place! We have worked hard this first week. Most nights not getting out of our language training class until 8:00 P.M. We have meant so many wonderful people. Senior couples, like us that are going all over the world. Some going on medical missions, some going as employment specialists, some proselyting, one couple is going to help run a cattle ranch in Nevada, one couple is going to S.L. to be on the security detail at temple square. What ever assignment we might all have. We all have one thing in common. We all leave behind the things of the world,to dedicate our lives to our Heavenly Father and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ! What an amazing, wonderful and exciting time in our lives!
FOOD AT THE M.T.C.
I have sent three boys to the MTC, but never realized what a place of miracles it is! Just the fact that they feed almost 2,700 Elders, Sisters and Senior Couples is an extraordinary accomplishment. I feed my family of 32 or 33 and feel exhausted. Can you imagine? The cafeteria is spotless. I see the workers cleaning after every meal. Vacuuming, cleaning tables and serving areas....I don't even pretend to know what goes on in the kitchen between each meal! It must just be a flurry of activity! The amazing thing is that they serve 3 or 4 entree choices, salads deserts, just about any thing you can think of, all of it is really good! It's like living at a Golden Coral, but better. One huge difference...to see these handsome, clean cut young missionaries bow their heads individually and pray before they dive in is just truly a sight all in itself! Their mothers would be so proud of them! I'm so proud of them!
LANGUAGE AT THE M.T.C.
Our language is proving to be hard. Jim is catching on much faster that I am. We aren't getting an awful lot of time to spend with the tutors, it might take us a while, but with the Lords help we will prevail! After all the good food I've been eating here I have decided to go on the "Croatian Starvation Diet" . Once I'm in the country, I'm not eating anything I can't pronounce. What do you think? We'll see how that works out for me!
SABBATH AT THE M.T.C.
Today is the Sabbath. I could tell the minute I opened the door to our apt. and stepped out onto the side walk. It was just REVERENT! So quiet, still and the spirit just clothed us as we walked to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. I could see the young missionaries, sisters in their Sunday best, elders in their suit coats, walking among us on all sides...but could not hear them. Not even the sound of their shoes on the cement. No happy banter, no running, It was if they were angels with feet not even on the ground. The cafeteria was much the same. No clanking of silver ware or dishes..Just reverence.
After breakfast of cold cereal, (not the usual array of breakfast delights) we attended Sacrament Meeting in one of the 52 branches. It was a wonderful spiritual feast! The group of departing missionaries going to Indonesia sang "Come, thy font of every blessing" The song that Summer, Charity and Charity's mother in-law did last week at our farewell, It was beautiful and made me cry. Here's my heart. Oh take and seal it! Seal it for thy courts above!
After Sacrament Meeting we went to Relief Society and heard one of the General Relief Society Board members speak. It was Sister Ubank. She talked about the six ways that women make a contribution and a difference in this world. I can't possibly relate all that she said, but will share just a few points that she made.
1. Women have the ability to give freely. They give all that they have, Jacob 2:17 Think of your brethren, "Sisters" like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich linke unto you.
2. Women know that small and every day things are not done in vain. Making peanut and butter sandwiches, listening to a child cry about hurt feelings, doing dishes, fixing meals ..all consumable tasks that need to be done again tomorrow. They are of great value to our Heavenly Father. We relieve the suffering of children and make society a better place.
3.Women of Faith keep the commandments of God and they teach their children. We know that families are the most important things in the world. The distance between women of faith and women of the world is growing in distance every day. "We are important because we Create, Support and Love our families" Julie Beck
4. We prepare women to make and keep sacred covenants in the temple. The Relief Society organization, some 6 million strong,,,is not just a charitable work, it is a faith based work to prepare all women to return to our Heavenly Father.
5. Women keep a record of all the work that we see that God has a hand in. We recognize God's hand in our every day lives, record it in our hearts and write it down.
6. Women pray for each other. Angels will be our companions. We are a mighty force when we pray for each other. Women's work is the highest form of missionary work.Follow the Savior. He went about his work in quiet ways..so that He could have the Holy Ghost with Him. We must follow suit is our everyday lives. Living so that the Spirit might be present.