Monday, March 21, 2016 – Day 1 at the Mission Training Center
The big day has arrived. With a lot of anticipation and a little nervousness we arrived at the MTC, Provo Utah at the appointed time, 10:20am.
Our nervousness was not justified as all went smoothly from our unpacking, hauling to our room, lunch, meetings, training, dinner and more training. We’ve been assigned to a district and we’ve already made lots of new friends. In this 10 day training session there are 7 senior couples and 4 single sister missionaries that are all going to Nauvoo, Illinois just like Sister Johnson and I.
At dinner we happened to be seated by a young Elder from Cuba. That’s right, CUBA. Since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the Communist island nation, a young missionary has been called from Cuba to serve in Salt Lake City for two years. He speaks very little English, so I asked him how many missionaries there are from Cuba, he held up one finger and said, uno!
Miracles do happen in our day! Wow, I thought I would never see the day when young Elders would be allowed to leave Cuba on a proselyting visa to the USA. I recall 6 years ago while serving in the Dominican Republic the church offices in Santo Domingo were sending emissaries to Cuba to conduct negotiations to give the church “Official Standing” in Cuba. I have not heard much on the subject since but it appears that the Lord has softened the hearts of the leaders of both nations. Maybe someday soon we will be allowed to send missionaries to Cuba for the first time in over 60 years. Won’t that be a miracle!
This evening we had a very special spiritual feast. All of the senior missionaries (there are over 50 couple that arrived with us today) watched a talk given by Elder David A Bednar on Christmas Day 2011 right here in the MTC. His subject was on how each of us must have more than a testimony, we must be converted, then we must be more than converted, we must have the countenance of the Savior within us. His talk was sooo powerful, the stories he told were sooo moving and the special witness of Jesus Christ he bore was sooo profound, it was an amazing talk. I love the MTC!