Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Family History Mission: Our First Week in the MTC

The Provo, Utah MTC showing one of the new high-rise classroom buildings. 
No. 6

My wife and I have finished the first of our two weeks in the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center or MTC. It would be an understatement to say that the week passed quickly. Since we live close to the MTC, we stayed at home all week rather than staying at the MTC, but we were there all day, Monday through Friday, and in the evenings on Monday and Tuesday. Overall, we felt that the MTC experience was wonderful and rewarding. We met some wonderful people and had an exceptionally good time.

Quoting from the website:
The roots of the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) go back to the earliest years of this dispensation. Starting in 1832, the School of the Prophets was organized so elders could 'teach one another' the gospel and other subjects and 'be prepared in all things' in their missionary callings (D&C 88:77–80, 118). 
Since that time, the Church has trained missionaries in several different locations, including
  • The Brigham Young Academy (1894)
  • The Ricks Academy (early 1900s)
  • The Latter-Day Saint University (1902)
  • The Salt Lake Mission Home (1924)
  • The Missionary Language Institute (1961)
  • The Language Training Mission (1962; located in Utah, Idaho, and Hawaii)
  • And finally, the Provo Missionary Training Center, which began serving missionaries in 1978.
The MTC’s campus has 19 buildings on a 39-acre site, with a capacity of housing and training 3,700 missionaries. Over 600,000 missionaries from nearly every country in the world have come to the MTC for training. The MTC trains missionaries for all of the Church’s missions and gives instruction in 55 languages.
On my earlier mission to Argentina in 1964, I was sent to the Language Training Mission or LTM at Brigham Young University. I was in the LTM for about twelve weeks to learn Spanish and wait for an entry visa into Argentina. Today's missionaries stay variable time periods for language training, but not 12 weeks.

Our days passed quickly and we had a wonderful time. Highlights of our time at the MTC were the young BYU instructors and the opportunity to associate with and talk to missionaries going to all parts of the world. We had classes primarily focused on our Savior Jesus Christ based on the contents of the Preach My Gospel handbook for missionaries. Although we did not see the visits by General Authorities that were the rule when I entered the Mission Home in Salt Lake City back in 1964, we had wonderful classes and testimonies. Some of the practical experiences we had turned out to be extraordinary opportunities to meet and talk to special people.

The food at the MTC was generally good and it was an experience to see hundreds of young adults consume mountains of food. We ate only lunch at the MTC and ate dinner at home in the evenings. The facilities are spotlessly clean and modern and the entire physical facility is beautifully maintained and accommodating. 

We have really enjoyed our total experience so far. 


  1. James; It was a great surprise to meet you in the MTC. Your right the time flew by and what a great experience with so many special people. December is a slow month with 1400 of us there last week but I don’t see how they could pack in any more spirit.
    Bill & Kathy opps, I mean Elder & Sister Whittington

    1. Very nice to see you both. What a surprise. That was very special to meet up with both of you. Best wishes on your trip and your service. As usual, let me know if there is anything I can do for you.