“More and More Full-time Missionaries Attending International Training Centers,” Ensign, Oct. 2004, 76
As Missionary Training Centers (MTCs) have been built around the world, more and more missionaries from the United States and Canada are being sent directly to the MTC in the country where they have been called, or splitting their time between the Provo MTC and one of the 16 international MTCs.
Because of the increasing number of missionaries being sent to international MTCs, there is now space available for the senior missionaries at the Provo MTC. In May 2004, the Senior Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, was torn down, and the land was returned to Brigham Young University for future development.
The first MTC outside of Utah was built in 1977 in São Paulo, Brazil, and it remains the largest international MTC. Today missionaries from the United States and Canada receive training in the Brazil MTC if they are going to serve in Brazil, in the England MTC if they are going to serve their mission in the United Kingdom, and in the Ghana MTC if they are going to serve in Ghana.
Other missionaries receive their first three weeks of training in the Provo MTC, then spend the remaining five and a half weeks in the Dominican Republic MTC if they are going to serve in the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico, the Peru MTC if they are going to serve in Peru or Bolivia, or the Spain MTC if they are going to serve in Spain or the Canary Islands.
The remaining 10 MTCs principally train missionaries who live in the area around them. These MTCs are located in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, and South Africa. Almost all missionaries now attend at least one of the MTCs for training prior to serving their missions. All of the MTCs also serve missionaries from their areas—for example, missionaries from South America may attend the Brazil MTC if there is not an MTC in the area where they will be serving.
No matter which MTC a missionary attends, all will have the opportunity to reach goals of learning and cherishing the doctrines of the gospel and developing Christlike attributes; learning to teach with power to help others have faith in Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end; and seeking the gift of tongues and becoming functional in the mission language, according to Guidelines for MTC Presidents.
As of 31 December 2003, 56,237 full-time missionaries were serving around the world.