We have decided to term our missionary experience an adventure as we have no idea what the Lord expects of us or how things are going to unfold. From my perspective that makes it exciting … For Jan not so much, rather anxiety.
FIRST WEEK July 9, 2013
We decided to take advantage of the offer to spend our week at the MTC sleeping in our own beds rather than the MTC. We learned later only the senior sisters stayed at the MTC, the couples were housed in the Marriott Hotel downtown in Provo, taking shuttles back and forth. Thus we arrived at the MTC not encumbered with any luggage and only trying to find a place to park. We walked a bit to get there only to learn we could have driven onto the MTC grounds as they had a place for us “older missionaries” to park.
We first were given a packet with four check point to get to that morning in succession, at which things were reviewed or we were given additional information of packages, finally finishing at the chapel behind the MTC where we learned we would be meeting for the rest of our week, never to darken the doors of the MTC again.
While waiting for other groups to arrive I walked back to get our car and bought it back to the chapel. We had a general orientation meeting and then broke for lunch which we had at home. That first afternoon we were separated into districts, ours from left to right, Elder and Sister Evans, from Spanish Fork, Utah; Elder and Sister Doll, from Concord, California, former MP in West Chicago; Elder and Sister Smith, from Randolph, Utah; and us.
As for Senior couples being able to opt for particular missions, the Evans asked for any place foreign and were called to North Dakota; the Smiths asked for anything but foreign and are going to Budapest, Hungary.
The week flew by with lessons every morning and afternoon under the direction of young returned missionaries and a large group meeting each day. We had 85 in attendance, 40 couples and 5 senior sisters.
On the first day I let them know that we had heard nothing from our mission and asked if someone could follow up on that. The second day we received a telephone number to call and had a brief conversation with an Elder Gil Litchfield who was from Payson and had been there about two weeks and was handling finance in the office. He apologized for no one contacting us explaining as a new mission they were under the gun and we were just forgotten about.
We spent Friday and Saturday loading our Hyundai to the gills, attended Church with our grandchildren on Sunday and departing on Monday morning for Irvine, California and week two of our adventure.