Let me preface this post with a bit of a disclaimer, the biggest reason I started this blog was for me to have a place to document my own thoughts, impressions and memories. I realize that posts about my mission 10-years ago will probably be interesting to very few visitors, but this is as good of place as any for me to document my favorite stories and experiences. Now on with the show:
Just a hair over 10 years ago (September 13, 2000) I entered the MTC to begin training to be a missionary in the Russia Moscow South Mission. I've been reading my missionary journals and the letters that I sent home from my early days in the MTC and thought it might be fun to share a few things.
The first day of the MTC you meet your companion, branch president, district and have a little time to get acclimated to the new environment. I also had to have a couple of vaccinations. No offense to the family, but as I've always been one up for an adventure, it wasn't too hard to walk through that door and leave them behind to start my life as a missionary.
The second day in the MTC found us in a full day of classes learning Russian and studying the gospel. We spent a large part of the day learning the Cyrillic alphabet. By the next day, we had moved on to reading Russian and other topics, what amazed me was that if you didn't grasp the full 32 letter alphabet in the first day, then you were already behind by the second. The whole time in the MTC was spent studying and learning at the same pace. The gift of tongues is real, but don't ever doubt the hard work that is put into learning the languages at the MTC.
Each day in the MTC my district was allowed a bit of time in the gym. One funny comment I made in a letter home was that the gym had "more rules than missionaries in Michigan." If only I was still such a clever lad...
Lastly, I loved reading my testimony in the letters that I sent home to my family during the first 3-4 weeks of the MTC. I don't remember sharing it as much as I should have with my family while I was on my mission, so I was glad that I tried to share the powerful spirit of the MTC with my family at home.