The long awaited MTC (Missionary Training Center) training started. The rain and the sleet didn't dampen our spirit. The orientation was well organized. We were first introduced to the MTC presidencies after which most spoke to us. We were informed that our days will be full from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, but we have time at lunch and dinner times for naps if we get too tired. It's good to know that our leaders understand the stress that can be created by the long days. Indeed, they told us to watchful of our health, not only while in training, but also while we are in our assigned fields of labor.
There were about 100 senior missionaries attending the training this week. We were divided into 2 groups, then into 6 or 7 districts for special instructions. The young missionaries were everywhere. It was a sight to hold at the cafeteria. They are looked so happy and YOUNG. Several came to our meeting and sang for us. In all, there were around 2700 missionaries at the MTC this time. We met some young missionaries from Eagle Pass, San Antonio, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Utah; and several other places. The senior missionaries from our group came from Montana, Utah, Washington, Kansas, Canada, and other places. We were happily surprised to meet the Baines from Canada who were China Teachers while we were there 2008-2009.
We met the Foreign Language Director, Maria Johnson in the afternoon. She is a linguist, and met with 8 of us (among 50+) who will be serving in the foreign speaking countries. She was very encouraging and told us that the age didn't make much difference in learning a foreign language. From her research with the missionaries, young and old, she found those who were willing to learn and put forth time to study, progressed and advanced quicker. We will have tutoring sessions on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 6 - 8 PM. We are looking forward to meet our Cantonese tutor, Brian, who has been teaching us through Skype the last few weeks.
After the meetings, Ling, our dear sister, took us to Four Season's Hot Pot Restaurant to have dinner. It was so wonderful that she came down from Spokane and met us here this past weekend. She was also here to be with her daughter, her 2 small children, and also Dennis. It was perfect timing as we love to be together. the hot pot was delicious. We met 2 young ladies from Shanghai who are attending BYU.
It was a great day. It was especially wonderful for us to see and to experience what our four children went through at MTC when they served their missions. Our children set great examples for us. We love them and will miss them a lot.