The MTC Experience
June 2000

“The MTC Experience,” New Era, June 2000, 28–45

Special Issue: Your Mission

The MTC Experience

Join us on a tour of the MTC. Catch a glimpse of the love, support, and success that await you.

“There are no words to describe the spirit of the Missionary Training Center. I think if anybody could just get five minutes of it, they’d be so inspired to serve. It’s just amazing.” Sister Kathryn Sevy relates her feelings after her first few days in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. Like Sister Sevy, anyone who has ever been to the MTC knows there’s a feeling there like nowhere else.

Perhaps it’s the sacrifice evidenced in tear-stained faces as mothers and fathers give up the very best they have to offer—their sons and daughters. Maybe it’s the enthusiastic sounds of hola, bon jour, and konnichiwa that constantly fill the air as missionaries greet each other in their mission languages. Or perhaps it’s the chords of “Called to Serve” reverberating off the walls as thousands of missionaries sing together in preparation to hear a living prophet.

Whatever it may be that makes this place so extraordinary, here’s an unprecedented look at the MTC, from the thousands of people there working together for a common purpose, to its astonishing learning environment, to the great spiritual power that is present there.

MTC Statement of Purpose

In an atmosphere of love, trust, confidence, and respect, we will help missionaries draw nearer to God and develop greater converting power so that more of Heavenly Father’s children will accept the gospel, receive saving ordinances, and come unto Him. (See D&C 11:21; D&C 50:13–22.)

Photography by John Luke, Laury Livsey, Barbara Jean Jones, and Janet Thomas

Will you fit in at the MTC? • Can you really learn a new language? • Is somebody going to help you when you need it? • Will you like it there? The answer to all of those questions is a smiling thumbs-up.

Wednesdays are always busy at the Missionary Training Center, with hundreds of missionaries arriving to begin their service. For those like Elder Dallin Ashley (right, with mom) whose families come with them, it’s a time to say good-bye and to look forward to a great adventure.

On that first day (left) you stay busy settling in, making sure everything is in order, getting your schedule, and meeting the others in your district. (Above) The MTC is all about learning, and missionaries are provided with the very best learning tools available.

A lot of time is spent in the classroom (above) with returned-missionary instructors who teach the culture as well as the language. Then there’s TALL, the Technology-Assisted Language Learning (insets, right), that helps you learn at your own pace. And (right) there are the rooms where you can practice actual teaching situations to build your skills and confidence.

Welfare service missionaries (far left) learn gardening techniques they will teach to others. (Left) The Spirit is the most powerful teacher of all, and weekly temple trips add greatly to spirituality. (Above) The word “city” is no exaggeration. The barbershop is just one of the many necessities provided.

The post office (far left) is probably the most popular spot. The gym may be a close second. Beneath the indoor track seen here is a huge court where just about any hour of the day you’ll see pick-up games of basketball or volleyball as various districts have their exercise hour. (Above) The best thing about the MTC is the people and the lift they give each other.

Teachers, support staff, and volunteers (above and right) are always ready to give needed help. (Opposite page) Three sister missionaries sit for a few quiet moments at the end of their exercise hour. This is a place that fosters friendship and mutual support. Singing together (inset, right) in your mission language also builds spirit and unity.

New MTCs in places like São Paulo, Brazil, (far left) provide excellent opportunities to learn both local language and culture. Missionaries get acquainted with native foods at the local market (above) and practice language skills with local people (left), and native-speaking missionaries.

British returned missionaries (right) teach at the MTC next to the Preston England Temple. (Above) At the São Paulo MTC there’s a tradition of exchanging ties.