Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Missão Brasil Fortaleza: MTC Memories

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. -Doug Larson

I haven't posted about my mission in a few weeks. I'll bet you all thought you were safe from my long-winded reminiscences about that. But I have a lot of pictures I haven't shown you yet and I love a captive audience. As a matter of fact, I just got two really old rolls of film developed a couple of weeks ago and I know there's another one somewhere :mischief:.

Every missionary spends at least two weeks at the MTC {Missionary Torture Training Center}. You brush up on the things you'll be teaching and learn what's most effective {working with current members} and what's not {knocking on doors}. If you need to learn a language, then you spend about eight weeks at the MTC, adding a crash course in whatever foreign language you'll need. You have morning, afternoon and evening classes with meals and breaks in between and a few workout/gym hours and laundry and letter writing days mixed in between. After a few weeks of staring at the same 10 or 12 people, it can get pretty boring.
{l to r: Sister {Tina} Jordan, Sister {Cassy} Moulton, Elder {Justin} Wilde, Elder {Ben} Blackson, Elder {Ryan} Hammerschmidt, Elder {Jarom} Eberhard}

It was hard to be cooped up indoors most of the day trying to put into practice the language you were supposed to be learning while surrounded by people who were as clueless about conjugations and tenses and pronunciation as you. I think the Elders had a harder time containing their restlessness than the Sisters did. These guys shaved their legs one night just because there was nothing better to do.
{l to r: Elder {Justin} Andrews and Elder {Jarom} Eberhard}

And here they are during a break pitching pennies against the wall to see who could land theirs the closest.
{l to r: Elder {Ben} Blackson, Elder {Clint} Barton, Elder {Justin} Andrews, Elder {Mason} Jacobs, Elder {Jarom} Eberhard and our teacher, Brother {Lúis} Belo}

Judging by the number of pictures I have at the MTC of a whole lot of nothing going on, I was pretty restless too. Don't get me wrong. There were some pretty awesome moments and some really great learning experiences there. But I was really anxious to get to Brasil where I knew there were some pretty fluent speakers of Português who could help me with my language questions, and to get busy with what I was there to do.

One of the best parts of the MTC was the friendship I formed with my companion. She was amazing; patient, kind, thoughtful, strong, determined. Towards the end of our time at the MTC, I was feeling a little down. She received a new dress in the mail. Her mom had made it for her and it was so beautiful. I admired it and she gave it to me straight from the mail to wear that afternoon, before she even had a chance to wear it. That really gave me a lift and I'll never forget how that truly unselfish act made me feel.
{l to r: dorm mate Sister {Cassy} Moulton {my companion is taking the picture}, Sister Me}

Here is my companion, Sister {Natalie} Davey, with the dress she shared with me packed at the top of her suitcase and ready to go to Brasil.

And this is our little group, or district, close to the end of our eight weeks at the MTC.
{l to r: Backish - Elder {Justin} Wilde, Elder {Ben} Blackson, Elder {Jarom} Eberhard, Elder {Mason} Jacobs
Middleish - Elder {Ryan} Hammerschmidt, Elder {Justin} Andrews, our teacher Brother {Kyle} Kraudy, Elder {Clint} Barton
Frontish - Sister {Natalie} Davey, Sister Me, Sister {Tina} Jordan, Sister {Cassy} Moulton}

This is me on the day that I flew out of the Salt Lake Airport headed for Brasil. The quality is horrible, but I suppose it is better than nothing, considering it was sitting around waiting to be developed for 16 years. I'd been at the MTC for a while and my family and some friends came to see me off. It is fun to look back at this picture because some of these people are no longer with us. My mom's mom and both of my dad's parents {who have since passed on} are there. My grandma {second from the right in the blue striped shirt} handed me a $20 bill inside a shoe polishing mitt from a motel and told me to pin in my bra. And besides family, my friends, Michelle and Robert {far left} came to see me off as well. They even brought gifts. Do you see that little guy in the center front? The one with the white arrow pointing at him? That is my youngest brother. He was 2½. He'll be 19 in a couple of weeks and today my parents took him to the MTC so he could start his mission.
{l to r: backish - Michelle, Dad, Dad's Dad, Mom's Mom, Linda, Mom, Mom's Dad, Sister Me, Cindy, Kathryn, Barbara, Dad's Mom, Cheryl
frontish - Robert, Andrew, Jill, Robin, Julie, Mark}

Here's to you Andrew! I hope the MTC is as wonderful for you as it was for me.
{l to r: LadyBug, Andrew, Grasshopper
Lunch just before going to the MTC.}


Just JaiCi's Crafts said...

how fun to remember fun things about your mission!! And you're right, poor quality is better than nothing when it comes to pictures!

SewSara said...

woah - weird! i know natalie (winder)!
small world.

i went on a mission too ... good times. i taught at the mtc for a couple years also and loved it. :)