Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo
We are staying with Nelson and Hilary during our MTC training. They live about 1 mile from the MTC making it very convenient. On a good day, we'll walk to MTC, but not today. It's snowing a little and cold.
Today's schedule was packed with workshops. Our young return missionaries came to teach us and we did some micro-teaching. The topic was on "restoration" with 8 subtopics. Volunteers were brought in to act as investigators. They follow the same teaching methodology we do as educators, 1. what do they know (prior knowledge), 2. what do they want to know? 3. teach them what they need to know to answer the questions they have on what they want to know. It was very interesting!
Mealtime was a fun time. The cafeteria is huge with various stations of smorgasbord. There were so many choices. We heard some young missionaries gained as much as 20 pounds while at MTC. We could see why. Wednesday is a special day as new young missionaries come in. So, one of the stations is an ice-cream bar. They dished out at least 10 different flavors of ice-cream. You pick the flavor you want and move down the bar to add toppings, fruits, whip cream and hot fudge sauce or others (in giant pans). They sure know what young people like. Today's lunch choices were: Texas Chili, bratwurst, deli sandwiches, wraps, fish and chips, pizzas, salad bars, fruit bars, and more. Everyone is dressed in their suits to come to the cafeteria. It's quite a sight.
We had small groups with the young return missionaries to teach us again this afternoon. We finished our classes at 4:30 which gave us a little time to start our assignments for tomorrow. For dinner, we had cordon bleu and spinach salad. We skipped desserts. It's so easy to gain weight. There is a gym, but who has time for the gym? The auditorium converts into a gym, much like a transformer turns into tens of other possibilities. It was interesting!
After dinner, we had language tutoring from 6-8. We were happy to meet Brian, our tutor, in person. He has been teaching us using skype. We were asked to bear our testimonies in Cantonese on Friday night during the fireside. We worked on that tonight. We first wrote it out in English and I translated mine late last night (pulled another late nighter). This certainly is one of the hardest thing I have to do for this mission - learning a different language. It's been rewarding as BYU probably has one of the most advanced language programs in the world. As an educator, I'm impressed with how they are teaching foreign languages here.
We got home in time to say good-night to our 3 grandchildren. It's been a long day!