Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Right after my brother got into the MTC a few weeks ago we got one of our first emails from him and my favorite part was this:

Elder C: "Isn't it weird, we've been waiting our whole lives for this and now that clock is ticking down." 
Elder Z: "Don't you just stop and think about it Elder, we're missionaries... isn't that awesome we're missionaries it's crazy."

Makes me almost tear up, to hear sweet things like this. To hear the excitement and love for the work they do.

MTC Info Articles:
Huffington Post Article
Mormon Missionary Training Center: An Elite Boot Camp

Mormon Mission Prep Article

LDS Media Talk Article

Here are a few articles on MTC tips and tricks:

About.Com LDS Article
What to Expect at the Missionary Training Center
Everything You Need To Know About Your Stay at the MTC

Deseret News Article
McKay Coppins: Tips for surviving the MTC: language, district, rules

Missionaries: What to Know? 

Our Favorite MTC tips and tricks:

1. Slow down and be happy
Take one step at a time. I have heard many a tale of missionaries that are bossy, overwhelming and arrogant. I think every missionary has a had a companion that is all three. The most important thing you can do is to not overestimate yourself. You are there to learn. Take advantage of the opportunity that is given to you and don't make others feel below you as you do it. The Lord is teaching at the MTC and it would be good if every missionary could remember that. Sometimes it is hard to hear the same thing over and over, but taking the time to listen and learn from what you know, maybe prevously gained knowledge will give you the opportunity to ponder and pray on simple lessons that require much more thought then we give them. It is essential as missionaries to not think that you are above the teachings or those that surround you. Some, true as it may be, may be hearing this for the first time as new converts and missionaries now, but your attitude is a defining factor not only in your success but in the success of others as well. Taking each step seriously and with optimism is the best way to stay close to the spirit and to guide others around you to the work of the Lord. 
2. Make Friends
Nothing makes someone more miserable then being alone. So let the small stuff go and try your best to find friends in your district. Out of everyone on my brother's mission to Brazil the friends from the MTC district are the ones he keeps in the most contact with. Ironically they weren't that close in the MTC but it is smart anywhere you are to be careful to not burn bridges and make the best of those that surround you. 
3. Make good use of your time
You are not in the MTC for long (especially with the recent changes) so absorb as much as you can while you are there, surrounded by everyone in the same stage as you. A funny but effective spot to practice is in line for the cafeteria although the food may be good the line is long. "One common practice among MTC missionaries while waiting in line is to practice being a missionary, such as inviting people to hear your message, as well as practicing your new language, if you're learning one."
4. Keep a journal
It is best to start right away when trying to work on the habit of journal keeping. Since missionary journals are so stressed and one of the most treasured keepsakes to any missionary it is important to start early. If your already in the habit great! But if not start by recording quick aspects of a day only a line or two. Or start by recording inspirational thoughts that came to mind. Stories from that day, funny or spiritual will be important memories you wont want getting lost in the jumble of memorization and hard work you will be doing. My brother said missionary journal keeping was hard for him and since he didn't have a habit of it before it was hard to latch on to, but if he had an especially good day he would always remember to record that is nothing else. Just remember that overtime these images and people and experiences will fade and in no time your children will be asking you to recollect them. And what a fantastic treasure it is to be able to do so in vividness from actual journal record. 
5. Speak the language

It is not easy and everyone struggles at one point or another with language some saying they never really got a hang of it till they left or till the year mark or on. But the MTC is for practice and the more time you spend using that language whether you're down right bad or a prodigy you're going to get better, and that's that. My brother went through the Provo MTC when he was meant to be in the Brazil MTC which meant they had no Brazilian Portuguese teachers for them. They had Romanian Portuguese speaking teachers instead. It was quite the set back and later he ended up in Alabama speaking Spanish for three months before his VISA was finally processed. All in all it is better to start and practice while you can focus and have one to speak to. Where your going the natives might not be as thrilled to hear your bad accent as you practice. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tips for Sisters

BY Melissa Dymock, For the Deseret News
{Melissa Dymock is the author of "Sisters: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Serving a Mission".}

The time between when a young woman decides to go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the day she enters the Missionary Training Center is filled with much to do. It can be difficult to determine what is necessary versus what can slide. Here are some things prospective sister missionaries should consider doing (as many wish they’d done) before entering the MTC.
1. It’s time to go shopping. If you’re leaving for a mission in the summer or spring, you might have a difficult time finding proper clothing for the full 18 months. A salesperson laughed at one sister when she asked the clerk where the long skirts were in June. You need to purchase a basic year-round wardrobe since you might not have access to clothing stores once out on the mission.
Pay attention to materials sent from the LDS Church's Missionary Department or mission president and his wife (or contact your mission president’s wife, if possible) about what to wear, as some standards can change from mission to mission. For instance, in one mission the sisters wore skirts just below the knee, but in another most of the sisters were on bikes and ankle-length skirts were easier to wrap around a bike bar.
Weather can also factor into what you need. Those nice business jackets and fitted skirts don’t come out often if you’re in the jungles of South America, but will be necessary if you’re at a visitor's center. For wherever you go, make sure you get a decent pair of comfortable dress walking shoes.
2. Buy church-approved music you like. Those two Especially for Youth CDs you got for your 14th birthday are going to grind on you after 18 months of nothing but. Do pay attention to music that has been approved for missionaries in your mission.
3. Research your mission. Talk to those who have gone there, read the information sent to you about your mission, contact your mission president (if possible) and learn about the local customs. A mission experience varies drastically from one mission to another and even from mission president to president.
4. Start an exercise routine. A Mormon mission is physically taxing and the more fit you are now, the easier the transition will be. Many sisters (and elders) spend the first few months of their mission in pain because they’re sore from going from Internet surfer to constant biker or walker.
5. Step up studying of your scriptures and other doctrine. A mission can be very spiritually fulfilling, but there needs to a very strong foundation for it. Every day people are going to be challenging your beliefs. You need to be strengthening your testimony because in the mission field it’s going to get torn down. Many skip this important step because they think that in a few months they will be studying nonstop so it doesn’t matter. But your testimony will come under fire, and if you’re not prepared it will be much like not exercising, you will be spiritually sore for a while.
6. Develop an after-your-mission plan so you don’t wallow when you come home. If you’re in school, talk to your professors and administrators to determine what you’ll need to do to get re-enrolled. (While on their missions, some sisters received special permission to go online and register for the semester after they came home.) Talk to your employer about your work options. Will you have a job when you get home?
If you’re going to be seeking employment or enrollment in different place, get the necessary recommendations and references in order before you leave, since a year and a half can make it more difficult for people to remember you.
7. Before you leave, do some of the things you love that you won’t be able to for the next 18 months. Maybe you love to travel, so take a weekend getaway before your mission. Or maybe you'd rather spend an evening reading your favorite book one last time before you leave. I went white-water rafting the weekend before I went into the MTC. My only warning is to keep it within reason, so it's not too difficult to walk away from and not something that will bring about unneccesary injuries.

Friday, February 1, 2013

When should I serve?

Excerpt from Missionary Preparation Article, "When Should I Serve?" :

"When changes to the missionary age eligibility were announced, it is possible your “life plan” was altered and you’re no longer sure when you should go. When to serve a mission is an important decision.

How Will I Know When I'm Ready for a Mission?

Meeting with your bishop will help you know when you are ready to serve.Elder Nelson explained, “These age adjustments are new options now available to bishops in evaluating what is best for each of his youth. Young men or women should not begin their service before they are ready spiritually and temporally.” Many factors, such as school, health, worthiness, finances, and preparation, affect when you should serve. Prayerfully consider all of your options. Consistent prayer and regular meetings with your local priesthood leaders will help you know when you are sufficiently prepared."
Full Article HERE.