Thursday, December 4, 2014

MTC Day 4 - High Tech Grannies

One of the training sessions today was  how to use the LDS library app.  This nifty little tool allows us to carry the scriptures, church magazines, song books, artwork, videos, instruction manuals and so much more on whatever mobile devise we may be using.  We learned how to use tags and bookmarks as well as exploring where to find various resources within the Gospel Library.

Who says they can't teach an old dog new tricks?   They divided people in the training room up into groups according to what sort of device they were using.   Android folks were in one area,  Apple uses at another,  Nook users over at another corner, etc.   We had a whole room of folks in their 60's and 70's clicking away figuring out how to use their tools.   It was great!

The real take away from today's training for me, however, will be the practice teaching role plays we did in the TRC.  Up until now most of our role plays have been instructive, but they have felt like play acting.  Today's session felt completely authentic and we both felt a real bond with the gentleman we were teaching.  It was a very special experience.  

We taught an older gentleman named Mikael who was accompanied by a neighbor who is a member of the church.  Mikael's wife is also a member, but he has never had much interest in the religion.   However, his friend, Rod, had invited Mikael to come with him on Thursdays to help out the MTC by giving the newbie missionaries someone to practice on.  Being a good sport, Mikael agreed, so now the two of them have a standing appointment on Thursdays to come talk to missionaries in training.

Now, there is no way for us to know for sure whether Mikael really is a non member or if he may be a long-time member of the church who was role playing, as most of the folks are.   It doesn't really matter.   What matters is the way we connected during our teaching session with him. 

The whole focus of our conversation was on developing a relationship with Heavenly Father through prayer and how we can get confirmation of truth and guidance in the decisions we make through the influence of the Holy Ghost.  We taught principles that we have both had direct experiences with in our own lives and know to be true.  We taught them with conviction.   In doing so, we felt confirmation of those principles and had a connection with the two men we were speaking with that felt very special.

The other high point of this whole week at the MTC has been the bonds we have made with other senior missionaries.  We have visited with different couples at meal times and during our breaks.  Today we had breakfast with the Hammers who will be joining us in Salt Lake next week for the second part of our training, focusing specifically on the Family History aspect of our callings.  They are going to Malaysia. We look forward to getting to know them better during those classes.

And now it's time to wind things down as tomorrow is our last day here in Provo.  Today we got our passports, visas and e-tickets.   We knew that we were limited to two 50 lb suitcases each, but had not realized there was also a weight limit on our carry-on items.  Now we know that those carry on bags can weigh no more than 15 lbs.   Also, since I can take a carry on bag AND a purse, we figured Larry could take a carry on bag AND a small back pack.  Not so.  Apparently any back packs are considered carry on items.  So that means some of what we had planned to take with us will have to stay behind.   Fortunately, I do not have to make a final decision of what to cut and what to keep until next week.   Tonight I just need to get everything packed well enough to carry it away when we check out tomorrow.  In Salt Lake, we'll figure the rest out.

MTC has been an amazing experience.  We have learned a lot.  We have strengthened our own testimonies of the gospel and we are eager to share that with others.  I'm still in awe that we are really doing this.

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