March 28, 2018

A Tour Of Where Service Begins

This week our work department toured the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, UT. This is one of 15 MTCs worldwide designed to train Missionaries from all over the world for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It also happens to be a large campus--both in buildings and in amounts of missionaries that are housed there while they train to go serve for 18 months or 2 years. T

The MTCs around the world are the beginning for the iconic LDS missionaries as they go serve in the areas they have been called. Each missionary was issued a call from a living prophet, today that prophet is President Russell M. Nelson. Missionaries join over 70,000 of their fellow missionaries to serve in 421 missions around the world.

In the MTC they learn new languages, learn how to share their testimonies of the Savior Jesus Christ and ways to help families to be together in this life and the life after.

Walking onto the MTC campus you can feel the difference. These young missionaries are full of life and love for their Savior. It brings a level of spirituality that is unmatched. What a treasured experience it was to see how they are taking time out of their lives when others their ages are starting school or careers, they were here gearing up to serve people they have never met.

We were given an introduction to what the missionaries experience while at an MTC. At the Provo MTC there are over 58 languages taught to missionaries before they depart. Other languages are taught in MTCs near their missions.

Then in a tour of the building we could see where the missionaries learn, including the large colorful classrooms complete with picturesque views of the nearby mountains from floor to ceiling windows. The art and architecture all is inspired by the theme of "light." Study areas are designed to be comfortable and welcoming.
Sample questions from the classroom that a missionary could ask to introduce the gospel to someone

What I was most impressed by was the art in the building. Stunningly each art piece (which stand about 10 feet tall and 25-30 feet long) displays a scriptural story of someone that shared the light they had and how, because of their sharing, they blessed the lives of those around them.
The Prophet Mosiah from the Book of Mormon

Nephi a prophet from the Book of Mormon

Queen Esther, one of my favorite people from the Bible

The Brother of Jared, a faithful man from the Book of Mormon

The Crossing of the Red Sea 


One photo of a dramatized version of the Savior was special because it is said one of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said upon viewing the photo, "That is the Savior I know." As I stood there and saw the Savior depicted with tears in His eyes hugging someone, I agree. This is the Savior of love that I, too, know.

It was a special experience capped off with a chance to stand in as a person wanting to be taught the gospel by a pair of missionaries. They were so nervous. I felt myself silently cheering for them to do well as they taught me about the Savior. I am glad I had the opportunity to go.

March 11, 2018

Spending Time In A Place We Love

One of the benefits of taking the family back to Washington, D.C. lately was seeing a beautiful area that we love and reuniting with friends whom we love even more.

We tried to get out and see something each day. This was in between family gatherings and experiences, but we wanted to make sure that Koala Bear and Lucky Dragon saw as much as possible over the time we were there.

We made it to several of the Smithsonian Museums. At the Natural History Museum we walked through the hundreds of animals and thousands of rocks on display--totally down Lucky Dragon's alley of interest. We went to the Holocaust Museum and that always brings a profound respect for humanity and the importance of helping others.

The HOPE Diamond


We even did two things we have never done in all our years in DC--we went on a tour through the United States Treasury and watched them make money! That was a cool experience. Sadly, but understandably, you cannot take more photos than these we took in the lobby.

We also were able to get tickets to the Museum of African American History and Culture. This was no easy feat. I had to wake up at 0600H and reserve tickets the day we wanted to go. I was stoked on the third try I was able to get some! They did so well with this museum, guiding guests through the sordid history of race in the United States. Again, I was left with a resolve to respect and love humanity--for who and what we all are. I found a renewed respect for one of my heroes--Harriet Tubman. I have loved all that she did since I did a History Day Project on her when I was in 6th Grade.
The African American History and Culture Museum

Harriet Tubman...a Hero in my eyes

We visited monuments and walked the National Mall. Lady Hiva was, still, overly excited about squirrels. When she spotted an albino squirrel we could have stopped the trip right there as her life's dreams seemed to be fulfilled! haha. We even made a stop at Arlington Cemetery. That is always one of my very favorite places in the entire country.


His Souvenirs

At each of these stops we were able to talk with Lucky Dragon about their importance. For a little guy he is quite perceptive and would ask some meaningful questions. I hope that it helps him grow to love learning and most of all to celebrate diversity, sacrifice and love.

Lady Hiva's favorite spot in D.C. is the National Botanical Gardens. As always, it was an amazing trip. The flowers were exquisite. Lucky Dragon loved exploring, finding the dinosaurs that were hidden and pretending we were going on adventures to different worlds as we walked through the different areas.