Here I am as we enter the MTC. It was a week of intensive teacher training. We were told when we pulled in that we had been assigned to the Marriott Hotel downtown. Others commented "Oh, you have soft beds". We registered and then were given an introduction and tour of the MTC. Missionaries are known for gaining weight at the MTC cafeteria. Paul was told to see the dietician about gluten-free meals, but she had the week off. He was given a menu for the week with all of the foods containing gluten crossed off. He will probably be the only missionary to loose weight at the MTC.
Tuesday we were divided into districts. Ours consisted of three couples. Our morning teacher was Brother Harmer. Our afternoon teacher was Sister Rodrigues. We decided to sing in the MTC choir for the Tuesday devotional. The guest speaker was Elder Richard G. Hinckley. His father (Pres. Hinckley) told him about Adam taking two of his sons to the wall surrounding the Garden of Eden and saying, "This is where your mother ate us out of house and home"
|Sister and Elder Rydalch|
Our district leader was Elder Rydalch. Elder and Sister Rydalch are from Idaho Falls and are going to the Kenya Nairobi mission, but will be serving in a small branch in Tanzania. Talking to them and their new adventure reminded me of my brother Richard and our trip through Kenya and Tanzania.
|Elder and Sister Rowland|
|Elder and Sister Wheeler|
Our teachers made it fun to go through Preach My Gospel and role-play teaching techniques.
Wednesday Diane played the piano for the general meetings. We had our first teaching experience by giving the first lesson (The Restoration of the Gospel) to a widowed investigator who moved to Utah from California (at least that was her role). Her name was Catharine Judd from the Saratoga Stake in California. She asked if Paul were from San Jose. He said no, but he had a brother Richard from San Jose. Another mistaken identity. Her husband was a distant cousin of Diane's. We ended the day with Portuguese tutoring. Paul met with Marcel Souza from Curitiba and Diane met with Talita Bejarano from Brasilia.
|Talita with Sister Wheeler|
We had two nights of tutoring in Portuguese. Talita set up a learning plan with Sister Wheeler, whereas, Marcel talked to Elder Wheeler in various role play scenarios (in Portuguese, of course).
Thursday we had another teaching experience. This time we taught a second lesson (The Plan of Salvation) to Joy Lundberg. On the way to the MTC we stopped at the Sister's Missionary Mall and purchased a small wooden puzzle on the Plan of Salvation (the Portuguese version). We used it in the lesson and it worked very well. We often took short breaks to walk around the MTC (in spite of the rain all week). Since we were staying in the Marriott we would leave by about 7am and not return until after 8pm.
|Sister and Elder Wheeler tracting with Samuel Smith|
Friday was our last day at the MTC. We had role-plays activating members of the church. We also took some farewell pictures of some of the missionaries. Diane especially liked meeting with so many people and feeling the missionary spirit. She could see the gospel spreading throughout the world as she found out where the senior missionaries were going. Paul enjoyed interacting with the younger missionaries. He only used Portuguese, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Mandarin, Thai, and Russian with other missionaries. Two sister missionaries going to the Philippines wanted to give a street contact in Cebuano (they had to do 15 of them to practice). Paul surprised them (as well as himself) when he interpreted what was being said before the companion could translate.
|Group picture of those who hadn't left yet|
|District map picture|
Paul and Diane [Elder and Sister Wheeler]