Saturday, February 18, 2012

Leaving the MTC

We leave the MTC with mixed emotions.  This has been the closest thing to Heaven we have ever known, but we are ready to get to the DR Congo and actually begin to serve our mission.  This is a view of the MTC auditorium where we have the Sunday Firesides and the Tuesday Devotionals.  Church priesthood and auxiliary leaders are the primary speakers, but very wonderful talks are also given by the young Sister Missionaries and Elders. These meetings are extremely powerful, most especially when we are singing.  The Senior Missionaries sit toward the front and it is impossible to describe what it is like to join with over 2,000 voices (mostly strong-voiced young Elders) as we all sing "Called to Serve".  

We woke up for our last full day at the MTC to find three inches of snow covering the ground and our little 3rd floor interior courtyard.  Without telling me in advance, George made a snowman on one of the tables.  I had him go to take a picture of it and watched through the window.  A few minutes later, another Senior Couple, sharing the elevator to go down to breakfast, had their camera in hand & told us they'd just taken a picture of a snowman in the courtyard.  We got a big kick out of that.

Saturday we were able to be with portions of both George's family and mine.  First we took part in sealing sessions at the Provo temple with Chris Smith, his wife Becky and her parents Dan & Pat Knudsen.  Later we welcomed three of my son, Jim Hudgins with his wife Wendy and their son, Tyler; Jennifer England with her husband Nate and their children, Hunter, Jackson, McKay and Jordyn; and my daughter, Joanne Hudgins.  We went out to dinner at Olive Garden and then said tearful goodbyes.
One of the paintings hanging in our MTC living quarters...the young boy, Joseph Smith, receiving an answer to his sincere prayer based on the promise in James 1:5,6.
A beautiful, rainbow-colored hot air balloon which we saw on Saturday morning.  It was a happy omen!

A close up map of our "home" for the next two years...The Democratic Republic of the Congo with just a bit of Rwanda, Uganda & Tanzania showing on the eastern border and Angola to the south.  Our mission boundaries include Republic of the Congo and Cameroon to the north.
The MTC is filled with uplifting and inspiring messages, whether through soft instrumental hymns as you enter the main building, pieces of framed art taken from scenes in the scriptures, photos of missionary activities all over the world, or sculptures like this, depicting two missionaries on their bikes.

Here is Elder Smith diligently studying. Oh, wait... that's a John Grisham novel.
Our last class with Brother Blake Mason.  After I met with him three times a week for the past four months and George and I with him for two hour sessions, four nights a week @ the MTC, our French is sufficient to say a prayer in Church, bear our testimony and ask a variety of "coping" or "becoming acquainted" phrases.  The only problem with the latter is that we may or may not understand the answers!


  1. You guys know enough french to say a prayer? That's impressive! We miss you both already.

  2. Yes, we can do it, but George said to tell you he plans to use "crib notes"! (sent from O'Hare Int'l Airport)