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  • Writer's pictureSean Foley

Missionary Training Center

After an amazing weekend with all five of our children, all five of our grandchildren, our three parents, and two sisters and their husbands, suddenly it was just the two of us again. We finished getting the house ready and Friday morning we turned it over to the property management company. Then we headed west toward Provo, Utah and the missionary training center (MTC). We took a couple days along the way, stopping at two church temples and having a nice dinner with Sean's parents, brother, sister-in-law, and nephew.

And now we're back at the MTC! We were here previously in 1985 and 1988 before our earlier missions to France and Ecuador. Both the similarities and differences are striking.

Similar: The excitement and power of thousands of missionaries, the excitement of dozens of languages being taught, inspirational classes and devotionals, beautiful grounds and the older buildings, the temple next door.

Different: New modern and beautiful buildings, use of technology in everything, larger population, seeing things from a "senior missionary" perspective. (And admittedly seniors get a lot of special privileges like reserved seating in devotionals, skipping the cafeteria lines, more free time in schedules, etc.)

The most striking thing is the great spirit of service and love that we feel. There are thousands of missionaries here all the time. This leads to some crazy cafeteria lines, but there is so much positive energy! There are dozens of languages taught, and missionaries go to every corner of the world and serve in countless ways. Most remarkably each pays their expenses to go rather than being paid to go. It is an amazing show of faith, love, and sacrifice that just keeps repeating itself. Today 100 senior missionaries arrived for their 1-2 week stay. Wednesday there will be 630 new younger missionaries arriving for 3-9 weeks.

Last note for today: We have had many wonderful miracles in running across people: some from Missouri, some good friends of my sister, some from Blackfoot, Idaho. The church can be both a very big and very small world.

Pictures (l-r)

1 and 2: This has to be one of the most photographed maps in the world. Almost every missionary gets their picture taken here.

3: Vivian holding up a copy of the Swahili Book of Mormon from a shelf containing over 100 languages.

4: After months of weekly online Malay tutoring I finally got to meet my tutor in person! Vivian and I met those leaving for Singapore this week and sat in a session with some of the younger missionaries. I was pleased that I could pray in Malay and hold my own in the discussion!

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Oct 31, 2023

Love it! Glad I got to be a part of your send off crew. I was talking to a friend at work yesterday about what I did on my time off and I was talking about you and Vivian and he was so shocked that you pay for everything yourself. It‘s an amazing act of sacrifice and love!

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