Monday, December 31, 2012

Dec. 4th, 2012

We were up by 6:00 and off to the races. We ate a big breakfast, there are too many choices! We won’t do that again, you just sit on it and it makes you sooooo tired! We had a couple of good group classes this morning. Brother Peterson, who is the trainer for the Senior Missionaries, is a wonderful teacher. He has so much personality and he really makes it fun. Then he can turn it into a spiritual experience without missing a beat. The time really flies when he is teaching.
We divided into districts today and we are in a really great district. The Browns are going to Arkansas, the Mabees are going to Canada and the Johnsons are going to Texas. They are all really wonderful people and we enjoy working with them. Our teacher is Brother Lee. He is a returned missionary and very knowledgeable. He served his mission in Japan. He has a cute personality and makes the classes fun. He just got married 4 weeks ago, so we have a lot of fun teasing him.
We ate too much at dinner tonight too and that made us miserable as we sat through the devotional. We have got to learn to pace ourselves and not overeat! The devotional was really good. Elder Evans and his wife came to speak to us. He is a Seventy and he is over the missionary department of the church. His wife gave a wonderful talk and his was good too, although he went a little too long. As Ken used to say, the mind can only absorb what the seat can endure. He talked about his missionary experiences, both as a young missionary and as a mission president. The devotional was supposed to be 1 hour but he talked until 8:30, so by the time we got back to the motel and into bed, we were SO DONE!!! We just aren’t used to these LONG days.
Dec. 3rd, 2012

Our first day as full time missionaries started out early. We were up, packed and on our way to the MTC by 7:30 am. It was a great day to travel, cloudy as we started but no rain. By the time we got to Brigham City the sun was out and the sky was blue. We arrived at 10:00, right on time and got started with orientation. We finished up just in time to eat with 3,000 amazing young missionaries. We are so grateful that we are here now. Starting in January that number will skyrocket. Everything is going to change here come the first of the year. In fact, we are the last group of senior missionaries that will be attending the MTC training center. From now on they will hold all of their meetings at a chapel nearby. That will actually start as soon as next week because all of our humanitarian training will take place there. It’s kind of historic for us, to be the last in the center and the first in the chapel.
We are part of a small group of seniors, only 64 of us. Last week they had twice that many. There is still a desperate need for senior couples! There are only two couples going on humanitarian missions, so next week we will really get individualized training! We have already met some wonderful people. This place is great! So many new friends in one short week.
President Brown, the MTC Mission President talked to us today. He gave a wonderful talk about the importance of the work we will do, the blessings that will come into our lives and the blessings that our families will receive because we chose to serve a mission.
We met with the language training coordinator and set up a schedule for language training. We don’t start those sessions until Wednesday and they run from 6 to 8 at night. I really hate that, you are so tired by that time and that is the hardest thing we do. But there really isn’t any other time to do it. I liked this guy though. He told us to tell our tutors what we wanted to do. If we just want to learn phrases then that is fine, we don’t have to learn all of the grammar here. WHEW!! I feel so much better. I can do that.
After dinner we drove downtown to find the Marriott Hotel. That is where we will be staying for the next 10 days. It is quite a drive from the MTC but it is really lovely. We have a nice, LARGE room with a king size bed and plenty of space for all of our luggage. We were thinking that we would be staying at the MTC this time because they built a new building just for seniors, but they are only letting the seniors that don’t have cars stay there. They are already moving bunk beds in and making them ready for the tsunami of new missionaries. From now on the seniors will stay at motels.
We were able to hook onto the internet in the lobby of the hotel and send some emails. My son’s won’t believe it, but a man actually came and asked me for help because he couldn’t get hooked onto the internet. Miracles are happening already!! Then we found the exercise room and spent some time of the bikes, trying to work off some of the food we ate today!
It’s not even 9:00 but we are both exhausted, so we are calling it a day!