|Thom Rothey and his cute wife! Thom was in my home ward, and Dad was his scout master. :o)|
When we arrived at the front doors of the MTC Monday morning, we were greeted by a service missionary we knew well...Elder Thom Rothey! After we checked in and got our name tags, we parked and were ushered to our room in Senior Missionary housing...a building just behind the main building. There were probably 20-30 young missionaries with HOST badges clipped on their name tags who carried our luggage and showed us where to go. Such handsome and courteous young men! Their mothers would be proud! We went to an orientation meeting at the chapel right next to the MTC. That's where all our classes are held. In that first meeting, we had introductions. There were 127 senior missionaries who arrived on September 2nd. The record for arriving seniors is 128. Most are senior couples, but there are a few single sisters too. Most of us are housed in the dorms, but since there are so many here right now, the overflow are being housed at a Marriott Hotel in Provo.
We meet every morning at the chapel for a hymn and prayer, then we're in class till noon, when we go to the cafeteria for lunch. The MTC cafeteria is a wondrous place! They feed about 3,500 missionaries within a span of 2 1/2 to 3 hours! There are basically four food lines - a salad/wrap line, a burger line and two different main entree lines. There are at least three drink lines, where you can get sodas, milk, juices or the favorite of most missionaries...chocolate milk. There's always fresh fruit and all kinds of desserts. Missionaries can eat all they want of everything they want. Tyler said today that he and his companion have both gained 10 pounds over the past 5 weeks! The cafeteria is a fun place to go to watch all these beautiful young people. They are so kind and courteous! Every one of them seems so dedicated, and happy to be here. We hear a lot of them chatting in the languages of the countries they're going to. Not sure, but I think there are about 28 different languages taught here. Oops! I stand corrected! 50 languages are taught here! http://www.mtc.byu.edu/themtc.htm
After lunch we have 3 more hours of class and we are done for the day. On Tuesday night, however, we attended a devotional at the Marriott Center. There were over 3,000 missionaries there that night! Quite a sight to see! As we exited the building, an extraordinarily TALL Elder passed us in the hallway! He was 7'6" tall! I thought sure he was being sent to Japan on his mission, but nope! He's going to Ventura, CA. :o)
It has been great fun to be here with Tyler this week. He and quite a few Elders and Sisters in his zone are leaving early Monday morning for the airport. They will fly from SLC to Portland, to Tokyo and then to Manila. Then they will be bused to their destinations. Ty only has a 2 1/2 hour bus ride. Some of the others will be riding up to 11 or 12! I can't even imagine!