Tuesday, March 22, 2016 – Our 2nd Day in the MTC
Today we woke up to an overcast sky with occasional showers that turned to snow flurries once and a while. It was very cold, I loved it.
Today, as yesterday, we spent our time in class being taught more “Preach My Gospel” skills. Our class is made up of only four couples. They are: Elder & Sis. Schkrohowski from Boisie Idaho. They will be serving in Kirtland Ohio at the church history site there. Elder & Sis. Thurston are from Tooele, (Pronounced, Tuilla), Utah. They will be serving as the directors of the Welfare Services for the church in Cambodia. Elder & Sis. Jones are from Henderson, NV. They have been called to be Humanitarian Missionaries in Beirut Lebanon.
A funny part of our training was a short video clip of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland teaching us how to stay focused and brief without droning on and on to the point of being boring. He said, “Don’t get carried away in your teaching and start talking about the body temperature of translated beings!” I thought it was very funny.
Every week there is a Tuesday night devotional for all of the missionaries. No one knows who the guest speaker is in advance. In fact the speaker is never announced until the devotional starts. However, Brother Taylor, the MTC Senior Missionary Coordinator, told us yesterday, “I know who the speaker is!” . . . . He paused for several seconds to let us all build up our anticipation. . . . Then he said, “The speaker will be a member of the Quorum of the 12 or a member of the 70! Ya, he got us.
Tonight’s Devotional speaker was Elder Gerritt W. Gong and his wife Susan. He has been a member of Seventy since 2010. In October 2015 he was called to be in the Presidency of the Seventy. His talk was very appropriate for the missionaries in the MTC, he spoke on how to teach repentance from the “Preach My Gospel” manual. He did a very good job.
Elder Gong’s wife Susan also gave a very good talk. She told the story of a branch in the capital of Laos, Luang Prabang. She said that the branch president loads all of the members into a van, 15 to 20 people and drives from the outskirts of the town to their rented building for Sunday services. Government officials became suspicious of this happening every Sunday and on one particular morning, pulled them over, separated all of the passengers, roughed them up and interrogated them all. They asked the branch president, where are you going? To church. Is it a Christian church? Yes. Are there foreigners there? Yes. What do you get from them? Nothing. Do they give you money? No. Do they give you rice? No. Why do you go? Because we love the Lord and we want to keep his commandments.
They interrogated every passenger separately; when they got to the Branch President’s wife they asked her the same question. She (as well as all of the members of the branch) gave the same answers to all of the questions. That is until the question: what do you get from them? The branch president’s wife answered, I got a good man for a husband! He doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t drink, he loves me, and he loves his children. He comes straight home from work every day to be with his family. That’s what I get from going to church every Sunday! Yes, good answer.