Sunday, April 24, 2016

First Week at The Missionary Training Center

We sent our mission application papers to Salt Lake City on November 1, 2015.  We had spent several months getting our dental work done, putting our farming business in order, and nervously filling out the myriad application forms.  Senior missionary applications are screened by medical missionaries before they are given to the General Authorities (members of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles) who will be prayerfully making the call.  Sometime during November we received a phone call from Salt Lake City asking about my diabetes situation and how things would be if we were to serve overseas.  Since I take no medication for diabetes at this point and only take a pill for cholesterol control, I assured them that we could go with a year and a half's supply of the pills.  Our nervousness increased.  Would we be called to Canada, to the US, to Europe, or to some crazy place?

On December 1, 2015, we received the big white envelope in the mail.  That night, about 10 p.m. when we could gather some of our children together (Michael, Craig, Eric & Jocelyn), with Eric recording, we opened our call.

Kenya Nairobi Mission!!!  Never in our wildest dreams did we ever think we would go to Africa!  (That's not entirely true.  I had had this sneaking suspicion that we would go to Africa, but since I didn't really want to go to Africa, I kept burying it in my heart).  But it felt right almost immediately.  We were to report to the MTC (the Missionary Training Center) in Provo, Utah on April 18, 2016.  We had four months to get ready!!  Wow.  Kenya!  Here we come!!!  We were scared, excited, happy, nervous.  But we knew that it was a call from the Lord and we would do our best.

Now on to the report of our mission:

Our first week at the Missionary Training Center here in Provo Utah has been intense.  Our young returned missionary instructors were excellent and enthusiastic teachers.  Our poor old brains had information overload.  By the end of the eight hours a day we were ready for bed!!  But we are more prepared to go out into the world to witness of the reality of our Savior Jesus Christ and the good news of the gospel.
Here's Elder Torrie in our room at the MTC.  The senior missionaries all live on one floor of a secured building that is like a hotel except it's much brighter and lighter with lots of overhead lights.  Very pleasant to study in as well as to live in.  The MTC is secured with fences and 24 hr/day security guards.  Each building is also secure and you have to swipe your card to enter.  So glad that the hundreds of young men and young women who are here are perfectly safe.  It's a good feeling. 
Please don't get the idea that we are all worried for our safety. It's just nice to know that no harm can come to the sweet young sister missionaries who come from all over the world to learn languages, teaching techniques and gospel principles.


Elder Torrie looking great among the beautiful flowers at the MTC.  You can tell that it's me, Sister Torrie, writing this blog since all of the pictures are of my sweet companion, Elder Torrie.  We call each other Elder and Sister.  In the church, we call each other brother and sister since we are all children of God.
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Gorgeous tulips with the sunlight shining through. 

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Ta Da!  Here are Elder and Sister Torrie.  Happy to be companions 24 hrs/day seven days a week.  We'll be leaving next week for training in Johannesburg, South Africa and then we will head to Nairobi, Kenya.  Looking forward to it and excited to serve the Lord in Kenya.