Friday, February 26, 2010


We had P-day on Mondays. We actually called it P-3 hours because we still had class in the afternoon. In the morning after breakfast we would go to the temple, which was always really nice.

After class that afternoon we had dinner and then free time for the rest of the night to do laundry, write letters, etc. There wasn't really a whole lot to do since we couldn't really leave the MTC, so a lot of people would just hang out in the laundry room or their dorm rooms.

One P-day we found The Pillow Room. It was just down the hall from our dorm room and we think it was usually locked, but this time it wasn't. This room was full of pillows; we couldn't even reach the floor when we jumped into the pile. I think we played in there for a good 20 minutes. It was a great stress reliever.

A Typical Day

A typical day in the MTC went like this:

6:30 am - wake up (we would get up a little earlier so we would actually have time to get ready)
7:00 am - breakfast (there is a huge cafeteria where everyone eats)
7:45 am - class
12:00 pm - lunch
12:45 pm - class
5:00 pm - dinner
5:45 pm - class
9:30 pm - back to the dorms, read scriptures, write in journals
10:30 pm - lights out

Lots of class time. The hardest times were after lunch when I always felt a little sleepy.

Of course there were other things that we did. Once a week we did service (which mostly consisted of cleaning the dorm bathrooms or vacuuming), we had gym time a couple times a week, firesides on Sunday nights (we didn't have class on Sundays either), and devotionals on Tuesday nights.

During class time, sometimes our teachers would take us to the RC (referral center), or the TRC (Teaching [something] Center). The RC is where people who get a pass along card call and speak to somebody to get their free video or Book of Mormon or whatever. We also did a lot of outbound calling to people that had called in before but didn't want the missionaries to come by. I admit, I hated the RC. It was just like a call center, except we were supposed to use the Spirit, and I hated call centers. I had worked at Convergys just before I left, and I only lasted a week doing inbound calls for DirecTV. So that wasn't really my favorite place to go.

The TRC was a place where we could practice teaching people (volunteers). I liked that better because they were always members, and I was with my companion. None of that one-on-one phone stuff.

I also mentioned the TEC in my previous entry. I think it stood for Teaching Education Center. We could go there during our personal study time and meet with an MTC teacher and teach them a lesson and they would provide feedback. Sometimes we even asked them to teach us so we could hear how other people taught. It was a great resource.

Our Teachers

We had two teachers, Hermano Byers and Hermana Tefteller. They were both awesome teachers. We had class three times a day, morning, afternoon, and evening. They each taught during one of those periods and the third was our personal study time. We could study the lessons, the scriptures, Spanish, go to the TEC to practice teaching, etc.

Hermana Tefteller was from Mexico so we had a chance to hear a real Spanish accent. Hermano Byers was a really good teacher and knew how to bring the Spirit into our classroom. He also did a lot of games to help learn grammar.

Our District

We had a really fun district. There were four sisters and eight elders and I think we had a pretty good combination. Good thing, because you're with them pretty much all day. The elders did get a little rowdy sometimes, but what else can you expect from a bunch of 19-year-old boys? It was nice to watch them grow up a little over the next 18 months.


Hermana Christensen & Hermana Anderson
Hermana McKeeth & me
Elder Marsh & Elder Leavitt
Elder Spencer & Elder Lewis
Elder Perez & Elder O'Donahue
Elder Lee & Elder Weight

We all went to New York except Christensen & Anderson (Spain), McKeeth (Philly), and Spencer & Lewis (Montreal).

Preach My Gospel came out when we were in the MTC and everyone was really excited about it. Our teachers had already prepped us before we got it so that instead of memorizing the previous discussions, we would write outlines of them and then try to teach from that so we were (hopefully) teaching more by the Spirit.

Entering the MTC

I entered the MTC on September 15, 2004. When we got there, I can admit I was super nervous. My whole family came to drop me off and this was before the new rule of just dropping the missionary off at the curb, so they were able to come in with me. My mom put my nametag on (complete with dork dot) and then we waited in a line (there were a lot of lines that day).

Finally we got into a room where they show a video to all the missionaries and their families. It was all too short, because after it was over we had to say goodbye. It was rough. I'm not much of a crier, but I had a hard time keeping the tears back. Actually I cried through pretty much every line I had to go through until I got to my dorm.

It was all pretty overwhelming, but it helped that I saw a few people that I knew along the way, who had already been there for a few weeks.

My companion was Hermana McKeeth and she was the best! She was from Boise and was so fun and such a hard worker. She was a great example of a good missionary. She served in Philadelphia.

The other sisters in our dorm and district were Hermana Christensen and Hermana Anderson. They were both really cute and fun. They served in Spain, and left for the Madrid MTC after 3 weeks with us.