On March 1, good friends Larry and Heather Long brought us to the airport in a snowstorm bright and early! After some luggage issues, our flight was uneventful . Thank you Larry and Heather!
After spending a few days with Shauna, Jeff and grandson Kyler (at the home of Val and Marcia Swenson), Jeff's dad and step-mom, Shauna and Jeff drove us to Provo UT. We walked around and took some pictures (to be posted soon) and then they dropped us off at the MTC.
shauna kyler dave and barb
Our dream of serving a mission together has begun! We pulled up and many young missionaries (Elders) came out and whisked our luggage away and up to our room. We gave one last hug to our daughter and her family and entered into the MTC.
What a privilege it was for us to have Shauna Jeff and Kyler bring us to the MTC. We are hoping that our serving a mission will be a blessing for our children, grandchildren, mothers and siblings and friends.
ready to enter the MTC!
This past week has been a spiritual feast for us. How proud we were when we received our missionary badges with our names on it. Tomorrow we receive badges in the Russian language.
We have worked hard this past week. We have had classes every day Monday through Friday preparing us to be missionaries. We have drawn close to our little district of 3 other couples. We have attended a fireside in which a General Authority, Elder David L. Evans of the Quorum of the Seventy, came and spoke to us (2200 strong) and encouraged us and shared insights with us that will help us in the mission field.
A highlight was when all of the missionaries sang Called To Serve and Onward Christian Soldiers! I can't describe the feelings of knowing that WE are missionaries and are called to serve in the great land of Russia. It is humbling.
We were involved in some role playing which was hard but worth it in helping us in our role as missionaries. We have met some amazing people. One couple in their 80's is about to serve their fourth mission. Two other couples are returning to the lands (Japan and Korea) where the Elder served his mission as a young man. How wonderful!
There are different kinds of missions to which the Seniors have been called. Humanitarian, temple, mission office (such as us), historical sites (such as Nauvoo, Ill,) and Visitors Centers to name a few.
This morning in Church service (Sacrament meeting) there was a group of 12 young missionaries who sang a hymn in English which was quite a feat because they were from 9 different countries w/ different languages.
We are learning that the MTC is a place of miracles as young and older are preparing to go and share the gospel and serve (building wells, placing wheelchairs, etc, strengthen the membership or teach hygeine) in whatever capacity is needed.
We feel blessed to be a small part of this.
Friday night there were ten couples who are going to different parts of the world who had a chance to bear their testimony (feelings about Jesus Christ) in the language they will be speaking. Wow. To hear seniors in their 60's and 70's speak in Japanese, Spanish, Russian, Tagalog, Mandarin, French (in the Congo) and German, is very inspirational.
What a miracle for us to be able to study (with wonderful tutors) and learn and retain the languages we will need in our area of the world. Our tutor Carson Monson IS THE BEST. We feel so blessed to have him as our tutor (6 hours each of the two weeks we are in the MTC. Lessons began last December on Skype.
Every missionary has a P-day or preparation day in which to do laundry, grocery shop, exercise, and rest one day a week. Our P-day was Saturday and we enjoyed being out in the sunshine and walking around the temple grounds and relaxing a bit! David went with another Elder to the temple. Barb enjoyed sitting in the sun and studying Russian and together they walked around the temple grounds later in the day.
This coming week brings training in our office responsibilities and we will be able to attend a second devotional as well continue on in our language training. Until we meet again, dos vidonya and boods da rove!