“Family Home Evening Helps: Family Night—MTC Style,” Ensign, June 2007, 71
“I want to be a missionary now. I don’t want to wait until I’m grown” (Children’s Songbook, 168). With a house full of six boys, from teenage to Primary age, several missions are on the horizon for our family. So we decided to create a home evening mini-MTC experience to help jump-start their preparations.
To begin, I typed an “official” letter for each boy, mentioning him by name and the prospective years he would be called to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ. The letters informed them that their missionary training experience would begin that very evening at the Early Missionary Training Center (EMTC), located in our basement. At the appointed time our youngest son, acting as courier, rang our doorbell and presented a “special delivery.”
With calls in hand, our boys lined up near the basement steps while their dad and I gave them name tags, notepaper, and pencils. We began with a spiritual devotional. Then, working in stations, the boys learned how to sew buttons onto scraps of fabric, how to properly tie a tie, and how to do a short door approach. We even practiced this last part in a few languages and emphasized the importance of maintaining good eye contact, speaking clearly, and having a firm handshake. We also asked each of the older boys to share an impromptu sacrament meeting talk with us. They used available resources such as their scriptures and Church magazine articles, and they shared their testimonies.
Since there’s much to teach our missionary trainees, our family will continue to host EMTC family nights. We encourage everyone to get an early start—right in your own home.
Heather Lee Lyman, Colorado