Friday, September 2, 2011

Final Days at the MTC

Just wanted to get some thoughts down before our final hours in the MTC.  This has been such a wonderful experience for us--to be here with these young elders and sisters, and to feel of their spirit and youth and vitality has been something we will never forget.  This is an extraordinary place, just another testament to us of the truthfulness of the gospel.  This church is an organized well-run church, and the MTC is a mini-version of that.  Missionaries coming and going all the time, the older ones taking care of the new ones who come in, and fond farewells happening all the time as part of a district leaves for their missions.  Groups of elders singing "God Be With You til We Meet Again", as their former companions leave the grounds, testimony meetings in districts as we meet together for the last time with our office couples, and a final testimony in our mission language tonight after we have our last language lesson with our dear Sister Cropper who has been our tutor for four months now.  Oh, how we love her and will miss her.  She encourages us, is patient with us, and has confidence in us that we will be able to speak the language!!  Tuesday night's devotional was the highlight of our time here, when Elder Holland came as the speaker.  Rumors had been flying all day that an apostle might be the speaker, and we were so thrilled as he walked in.  Senior couples get to sit right up front, so we felt as we were literally sitting at the feet of an apostle.  He spoke powerfully of the position a missionary has as an example and a light to others, and that we should never let anyone down, and hold that light of a missionary with respect.  We felt the spirit strongly as he spoke and of his strong feelings about the subject.  We know he is an apostle of the Lord, and a great servant.  What a wonderful, spiritual evening that was for us.  As we exited the building, we saw rows and rows of elders lined up shoulder to shoulder on the walkways, waiting for Elder Holland to come by.  What an impressive sight they were!!.  We are just filled to the brim with the spirit of this MTC.  This week we had office classes and were taught how to use the church's computer system.  It, too, is a remarkable program, and such a great tool for the mission offices.  We have been taught by great young BYU students, they are very choice young people who are also patient and so knowledgeable in their assignments.  So today, we have no classes until tonight--we are catching up on packing, financial things, and preparing for our language class tonight.  We are going to the Provo Temple this afternoon--when we get to Novo we will be far from a temple, but every three months will have the opportunity of attending the temple in Helsinki.  We are getting so excited to be there, and will fly out Monday at 8:00 am.  We are about the last of our group to depart.  Most have left or are leaving today.  So we are getting a little impatient!!  We have loved being here with our kids too, if just for an hour or two at the end of each day--this has been a special time for us, and we feel so blessed to have this opportunity to serve a mission now, and to have experience this beautiful place.

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