Mid-December is creeping up on us, bringing with it finals and the end of another semester. This year, as a result in the change in missionary ages, mid-December may also herald a tidal wave of new missionaries.
Growing up, I heard not-infrequent stories about missions. But I remember only the rarest stories of the MTC. So, To better prepare you for the MTC,1 here’s an MTC story. Merry Christmas!
When I was in the MTC, we had three classes a day, for three to three-and-a-half hours per class. To break up the monotony and make sure missionaries had some minimal daily physical activity, we took a walk every day in our afternoon class.
My district considered itself musically talented–when we sang hymns in class, we sang them in 3-part harmony. At some point during our two months in the MTC, we decided to take our act on the road. As we walked, we sang, Portuguese hymn books in hand. We practiced our language, our singing, and made the people we passed smile.
Until one day, our afternoon teacher came in without his customary smile. He told us that someone had told him that singing during our walks was inappropriate (it disturbed others, maybe? or made them feel bad about themselves because they weren’t as talented as we were?) and to knock it off.
That day on our walk, we hummed hymns in 3-part harmony.2