By Derek Hansen
When I was at the MTC, one of my teachers said the MTC stands for “My Time for Christ” because this is one great opportunity to study and get to know the Savior without a lot of worldly distractions. The MTC actually stands for the Missionary Training Center, a school where missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints go to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in some cases begin learning another language before they serve in their area of assignment.
Before the 1970s, the Missionary Training Center was located in Salt Lake City, Utah and consisted of one small building. Missionaries would stay there about a week before they left to their area of assignment. Today there are several MTCs around the world. One of the largest is the MTC in Provo, Utah, where thousands of missionaries “eat, drink, and sleep” missionary work every day. Missionaries stay anywhere from three weeks to three months (or more, in some cases).
Your experience at the MTC will depend, at least in part, on your preparation before you arrive. The MTC has long daily schedules of class work, physical education, dining, and preparation days (and short breaks in between). Firesides, devotionals, and group meetings occur periodically and chances to meet great people abound. Prepare to be in class for up to 12 hours a day studying gospel topics and/or a language.
Since the MTC is the beginning of your mission, be prepared to follow all the missionary rules, including some extra ones specifically for the MTC.
New missionaries arrive at the MTC, normally on Wednesdays, and begin with a quick check-in. After setting your luggage aside, youíll get your room key and small packet containing information about your MTC companion, district and branch number, mailbox address, and your daily schedule. You’ll move to a brief orientation after which you say goodbye to your family.
After the orientation meeting and family farewell you will move to another room and have a brief medical review to make sure you have all your forms and are current with your shots. In addition, you’ll have your first “hair-cut inspection” and get your books and manuals. Afterwards (assuming you don’t need a haircut) you’ll get your luggage again, put it away in your dorm, and meet your companion.
Depending on what time you check in, you may have some time to unpack and get acquainted with your companion. After dinner that night, you’ll meet with the assistants to your MTC branch president. You’ll fill out more forms (medical forms, mainly) and take a walking tour of the MTC campus. Afterwards you meet with your teachers (you’ll have three: morning, afternoon, and evening) and maybe have a testimony meeting.
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As mentioned previously, the MTC daily schedule is long, especially for those who have kept a fairly active schedule. The daily schedule is changed, slightly, for preparation days (P-days) and Sunday worship. You will still have classes on these days, but you may have the morning or afternoons change.
While your individual schedule may differ, you can expect much of the following:
|2:30–3:30||Large Group Meeting|
|9:30–10:30||Personal Time/Prepare for Bed|
|10:30 PM||Lights Out|
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