Wednesday, February 20, 2013

MTC TIPS and TRICKS

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

MTC.BYU.EDU Article
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
http://www.mormoncartoonist.com

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. 

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