Saturday, August 8, 2015

Missionary Training Center Experience

This blog has been established to document the mission of Larry and Bev Elkington.  They were called to serve in the Utah St George Mission assigned to the Santa Clara Utah Stake. Bev and Larry were set apart as missionaries on July 28, 2015 by President Daniel Frei of the Santa Clara Stake.  He pointed out to Larry that for the duration of his mission he would carry the title of "Elder".  This title is the same as that used by General Authorities of the Church.  They use that title for their life time, whereas I will use it only during my missionary service.  He said the title should be respected and honored.  He then told Bev she would carry the title of "Sister", which is a title indicating love and respect.  He suggested we use these titles even in our home calling each other Elder and Sister respectively.  We'll see how that goes - it doesn't sound too romantic to say "I love you Sister Elkington".  But more important than titles, he showed us in the Doctrine and Covenants that the Lord promised those called to serve missions that their families would be blessed because of their service.  Then when he set us apart and blessed us, he said our family would receive blessings they would not have received if we did not serve.  We believe this and that is part of our motivation to serve.  Nothing means more to us than our family.  We pray for them by name each day.

Larry and Bev entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah on August 3, 2015.  This post is by Larry Elkington.
We were housed in room 316 in Building 2M at the MTC.  The room was small but nice.  We had a queen sized bed, two chairs and a table plus a chest.  We were pleased with the accommodations.  We were part of about 135 Senior missionaries who entered the MTC on Aug 3rd.  This was more than they normally have in a group.  They said the last few groups have contained about 40-60 senior missionaries. It was exciting to hear other senior missionaries talk about where they are going.  We couldn't help but wonder what adventure we would have if we were going to some foreign country.  But then we thought how blessed we are to be able to serve the Lord while living in beautiful Santa Clara Utah in our lovely home in Kayenta.  Our family is within driving distance and our healthcare support system is nearby.  We said we would serve where needed and we feel our call was directed by the Lord.
The experience at the MTC was delightful.  Besides the senior missionaries, there were about 2200 young missionaries.  These young missionaries were very respectful and friendly.  They exuded the spirit of the Lord and enthusiasm.

The cafeteria offered several choices for each meal and you could take as much as you wanted.  The classes were taught in small groups and provided instruction on how to represent the Lord effectively.  The spirit was manifest regularly and confirmed to us the significance to the Lord  of Missionary work. 

We had originally thought we would return from the MTC to our Kaysville home and then drive to our home in Kayenta on Saturday.  But we received a phone call informing us to return to St George immediately after we left the MTC on Friday because there was a scheduled Mission Conference on Saturday morning with Elder Bednar of the Council of Twelve Apostles.

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