What I liked about the MTC

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This fall will be 17 years since I entered the MTC in Provo. While pondering that today, I came up with a list of things I enjoyed the three weeks I was there.

  1. Ice cream at every meal
  2. Unlimited salad at dinner and supper
  3. Unlimited cereal at breakfast
  4. Farting
  5. Singing in the MTC choir
  6. The bookstore
  7. Sister missionaries winking at me
  8. Farting
  9. Pranks
  10. Time capsules
  11. Going to the mall
  12. Farting
  13. Going to the temple weekly
  14. Being on my own

What did you like about the MTC?

27 thoughts on “What I liked about the MTC

    1. Singing in the choir
    2. The black cat that lived in the sisters’ dorm contrary to all rules
    3. Weekly meetings with Mary Ellen Edmunds
    4. A terrific district leader (Derek Streeter)
    5. A terrific language teacher (Gary Bergera)
    6. Everything I owned was brand new
    7. Lots of mail from home
    8. My mother sending a birthday box early (my birthday came a week after we went to the field, and there wouldn’t have been time to send word of my new address and have a box shipped)
    9. The fact that the box was filled with enough home-baked goodies to share with my whole district
    10. Adding a new orange dot to my nametag every week to mark length of time at the MTC
    11. The fact that my two companions didn’t fart noticeably
  1. 1) It made my parents so proud that I was there. I was never more aware of their pride in me trying to do right as during my 2 months there.
    2) I shared gift package of good European breads and cheeses (Brie/Camembert/etc) with French missionary couple on on Christmas Eve. They were so delighted!
    3) A temple worker told us of being visited by the Savior during a near death experience when he was a teenager and told us the Lord would reward us all the rest of our lives for being willing to serve a mission. Will never forget that moment.
    4) Had the best comp of my mission.

  2. 17 years this fall for me as well.

    • after lengthy and frequent issues with gas during our classes, our district leader (feigning sternness) called a meeting and said he had a scripture to read to us. He read, “And it came to pass…” Then he just smiled. All you do is eat and sit. Something has to give, and it frequently does.

    • Singing with the Spanish elders in the stairwell at night.

    • Contraband Mountain Dew

    • Elder Simmons making us sing “In Our Lovely Deseret” at the beginning of EACH of his classes. He bounced during “hark, hark, hark”.

    • A whole group of guys who had never heard each others’ stories.

  3. It’s been almost 6 years for me. I’ll admit that it was a blessing that I got called on an English speaking mission and only had to spend 3 weeks in the MTC, as it was not something I enjoyed. That said, I did like singing in the choir.

  4. Love your list. It’s 20 years for me this year!! Unbelievable. It seems like yesterday sometimes.

    One thing that took a little while was giving up the idea that I’d be different (or that Elders wouldn’t fart) when I became a missionary. I was still very much me (and Elders were still very much 19 year old boys)…but miracles still happened.

    I’m kind of weird – but I liked the intensity of it. I liked being shot into the system and studying and reading and focusing on something all day long. I also loved being able to go to the temple every week. I look forward to doing that when we get a temple where I live now.

    …but I didn’t like wearing nylong every day. BLECH. Had to wear them every day on my mission too. BLECH

  5. Wait a minute! It’s 20 years since I got home…not 20 years since I left.

    …I guess I’m truly getting old. I can’t keep track of time anymore. :0)

  6. David, I never got into sports while I was there. On P-Days, my companion and I would go back to sleep after study. When we served again together in the mission, we regularly took naps after eating midday.

    Plvmetz, I think my parents were probably proud of me as well. I was the only one of five children to go on a mission; although they did inherit a son-in-law who had.

    jjackson, having a new group of persons to whom I could tell my stories was pretty cool. I think I heard more Mormon urban legends in the MTC than at any other time.

    Keri, in our mission (Provo), we called the MTC “Disneyland” because of how unlike mission life it really was; it was a fairytale place.

    Dawn, our sisters were just as much to blame for the farting in our class. In a lot of ways, some of our sisters were like elders in dresses.

    I wish we could to to the temple weekly. Maybe one day, it will be more feasible, but right now four hours is hard to give up every week given our schedule. Especially if Mary’s not there with me.

  7. Gas and intestinal distress was common when I was there 25 years ago too. I wonder if it was due to high fiber naturally in the food, or if the cafeteria actually put some substance in the food that caused loose stools and gas, like added Metamucil.

  8. I collected the vitamins from elders who didn’t want them. Good ol’ “Stuart Formula”. They made excellent ammunition for our slingshot ward.

  9. Our district leader was friends with a guy in Security or something like that. Anyway, on P-Day we would “borrow” and MTC van and ride around Provo, good times.

    Oh yeah, passing gas in class at night was pretty sweet also.

  10. I went to the London MTC 21 years ago. It was nice as we were right on the London temple grounds, we had class in a beautiful old home, there were only 30 of us all together at the MTC so we met in the same class together everyday, the MTC President was our instructor for the most part, all the European missionaries from the continent were great, it was only a 90 minute bus ride to my mission, and we were only there 18 days.

  11. My last area was only 35 minutes from my parents house. My favorite story about that closeness was about 6 weeks left to go. My comp was driving the car and we stop at a light. I was reading something and just glanced up. Returning to my reading material I casually mentioned to my comp. “Hey, that is my parents in the car in front of us.” If it had just been my Dad I would have ulled him over and scored a free meal and goodies out of him, but since my Mom was there and I knew she didn’t want to see me until she could see me, I just let them go (but I did give them a quick call that night).

  12. My mom wouldn’t even do that when I lived at home.

    I remember the lesson at 11yo, “here is the washer, this is how it works, etc.”

  13. My mom liked me more – 3 years more :-)

    Actually there were only two of us and my sister is 6 years older. My mom had just been through the complete teenage years with her when I turned 11. She decided that she was going to put up with “Where is that shirt I wanted you to wash” nonsense for another six. So when I started sixth grade I got the lesson and my Mom went back to work.

  14. What I liked most about the MTC? Not going there.

    In fall 1973, the Asian and Pacific language missionaries went to the Language Training Mission in Laie, Hawaii, on the campus of Church College of Hawaii.

    So, what did I like most about the LTM in Hawaii?

    1. It was Hawaii. Duh! What more need I say?
    2. Lizards. Provided diversion during class.
    3. The Tongans/Samoans (don’t remember which) climbing coconut trees.
    4. Hawaiian sunrises.
    5. Not being in Provo, my hometown.
    6. No cold weather.
    7. Eating at the CCH cafeteria: jello with chopsticks–an adventure!
    8. Spiro Agnew resigned from office while I was there! Good riddance!
    9. Did I mention that we were in a tropical paradise?
  15. I was there in 1984. We were not issued any vitamins, unless they were hidden in the food.

    I thought the non-ecclesiastical employees at the MTC were nice, the clerical staff, bookstore employees, etc. But the branch presidents and the MTC president were totally unlike the leadership in the wards and stakes I was in back in Ohio and Kentucky. It was a pretty jarring difference. I did not have a favorable opinion of them at the time.

  16. I’m pretty sure they don’t issue the vitamins anymore.

    I really liked my branch president in the MTC. He was a likable kind of guy; although, I didn’t care for the Sacrament talk assignment. ;-)

  17. Watching The Ten Commandments in the gym on Christmas day. The crowd hissed when Charlton Heston (as Moses) spoke a line of false doctrine about God being only a spirit. Where else would that happen?

    Watching President Kimball’s funeral and hearing the announcement of the new First Presidency.

    Knowing my teachers genuinely cared about me.

    Hearing Elder Streeter (me too, Ardis Parshall) quote passages from The Chronicles of Narnia.

    Taking gorgeous pictures of the Provo Temple in the thick fog (back when the true, golden spire was still on it).

    Meeting my newborn nephew when my sister from Provo came by for a short, authorized visit.

    Learning to chill when I was thinking those elders outside really shouldn’t be snowballs because it was against the rules, and another elder in my district (on his way to Haiti) asked, “Don’t you think Joseph Smith would have done it?” He was right, of course.

    Waking up with the sound of Handel’s Messiah playing loudly in my brain that I couldn’t concentrate on my studying, even though there was no actual source of sound at all.

    Talking to missionaries who had joined the Church as adults and admiring their courage, conviction and determination.

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