Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Devotional Night + picture

More office training today.  We are learning how to use IMOS (Internet Missionary Office System).
It will be very helpful to know what some of our tasks will be and how to navigate these different programs.  (See Picture Below)

We had an inspiring devotional tonight by Elder and Sister Nielson of the Seventy.  Elder Nielson knew how to say Good Evening in about  20 different languages.  He had missionaries raise their hands if they were going to the language he spoke in.  It was fun to see the young missionaries get excited when their soon to be new home was spoken.  For example we had 2 sisters going to Poland, a few to Finland and a few to Samoa.  A huge amount going to Spanish speaking countries. An even larger group to English speaking.  Funny, he didn't speak any Aussie language.  Did you know that they recently opened the first mission in Turkey which is 98% Muslim country?  Wow, how exciting.

Elder Nielson then posed this question.  "Are you sleeping through the restoration?"  D&C 109: 73-74  We are living in an amazing time.  Are you missing your opportunity to participate in this great work?  So exciting being here at the MTC and observing this Army of Junior and Senior Missionaries.  We have attend 4 Devotionals.  Each time they tell the Junior Missionaries to look over at the Senior missionaries and tell them "We hope to see all of you here in 35-40 years."  A Great Work is taking place...what roll do you want to take part in?

Yesterday's comic relief for Mission Office workers?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Video Day

Today was our first day of Office Training.  Long day, but more comfortable for me.  We all learned some helpful tips.  Some we already knew.  Once again amazing instructors, and oh so young.  They all had cleaver learning techniques, and some comedic relief.  One of our instructor's wanted to impress upon us the benefits of computers...or not.  See video below.  Today was a good day.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Elder Holland

Today is Friday.  Our last meeting for the week included a Devotional from Elder Holland.  Everything he said was meaningful.  He ended with a translated French Poem.  It went like this.

"Come to the edge" he said.
"No we will fall off".

"COME to the Edge" he said.
"NO we will fall off".

So we went to the edge.... he pushed us off!

And we flew!

I love the image this paints.  I am like this person  at the edge.  I am afraid, but willing.  I hope I fly.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Brain Hurts

Where to start?  My brain hurts!  I think the MTC ranks among the top 10 hardest things I have done in my life.  I don't know what I thought the MTC would be like but I sure wasn't expecting this.  When I told our son how challenging this was he said "Just be grateful you don't have to learn another language on top of it all".  I am Grateful!

We are being well educated in teaching skills, technology use, people skills, and more teaching/preaching skills.  I was so intimidated when we were first taught how to teach, then 30 minutes later (at least it felt that soon) to prepare our first lesson.  I would much rather work with the technology end of our training.

Here is an example.  The first day the Branch President called out 2 Senior couple missionary names at a time.  You were told to look at the other couple, find them later on in the day and start getting to know all about them.  Okay, I like that kind of thing, I can be friendly.  Fortunately Elder and Sister Boulter were thinking the same thing and were friendly and easy to get to know.  He had sold his Independent Insurance Agency of 36 years, in Heber Ut the previous Thursday, and she was a  recently retired school teacher.  Two days later we were given our scenario.  Build a lesson on something that could help the Boulter's, and visa versa, with a problem in their life. ?????

What!  Monty and I sweated over, worked at, and scrambled to build a lesson in the short 20 minutes alloted.  When the time came we went to another room where the Boulter's were waiting for us.  I told Elder and Sister Boulter  that I was sure this was much easier for them than for us.  Elder Boulter immediately and firmly stated that he and his wife had two different styles of teaching and that was challenging! I told him he should listen to his wife as Sister Boulter was already a school teacher. He quickly came back with "And I am a Professor!" He had 2 careers, selling insurance and teaching Biology on the University level in the evenings.  Oh great!  The Ellison's are teaching to a teacher AND a Professor.

The lesson went well, but I was shaking in my boots.  Have no fear we have been given multiple times each day to hone our teaching skills. We go from 8 - 5 with an hour break for lunch each day.  We are nearing the end of our first week and Monty and I are exhausted.  Personally I feel like brain overload.  It is 6 p.m. and all I want to do is go to sleep, but then I would be waking up at 3 a.m.

I want to say something about our instructors.  In the morning our instructor is Brother Mostert (sp).  He is from South Carolina and served in Arcadia Calif.,  he is 23-24 year old,  newly married, graduating in April, and starting medical school in the fall.  Such a charming young man with amazing teaching skills.  How is that possible at such a young age.  I think it is called, "Served a Mission".  I so appreciate all he has taught us and with such a kind way about his teaching. I would like to take him with us to Australia so he can keep encouraging us whenever I fill inadequate.

Our afternoon instructor is Sister Luke, 22 from the Middlelton Idaho area and served in Las Vegas.  Monty and I were immediately drawn to her as she reminded us of our daughter in law, Sharlyn.  She is tall, lean, with long dark hair, and a sweetness that added to her beauty.  You would think someone that gentle, young and innocent would not have the teaching skills to be an effective teacher?  But she did.  She could break down a story and come back with multiple ways of working out the problem given.  She then would come up with half a dozen different  ways to ask a question, so you could get someone to respond.  Such an amazing young lady.  She will make an amazing wife for some lucky young man some day.

Next week we start our Mission Office Training.  I think and hope it will be a little easier or a little more familiar than this first week.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Everything good you have heard about the MTC is true.  Speaking as a Senior missionary it has been an absolute amazing experience.  We have had wonderful speakers, teachers and leaders.  Other Senior missionary couples seem willing to open up, introduce themselves, share stories, and are warm and friendly.  While meeting all these wonderful people we realized how small the world is.

We met our past Bishop Egan's sister and her husband, Elder and sister Halley from Ohio (see picture below).   They are going to South America on an Audit mission.  We met another couple going to the Sidney North mission, the sweet and kind Elder and Sister Jenkins from Blaine Washington.  They are delightful.  A  young (50 something) friendly couple from Pocatello going to Indonesia, the Jensens.  Another interesting couple from Eden, Ut are going to Nauvoo.  He is a horse trainer and sounds a lot like the "Horse Whisper".  Today we were assigned a couple from Heber Utah Elder and Sister Boulter. He knows my brother John. Our District President is Elder and Sister Herway.  They have lived in Belguim for the past 28 years working for NATO.  They are going to serve in Italy developing a program to interface with NGO's and the LDS church, Italian government and all the Refugee's in Italy.  That sounds like a great opportunity.  Finally I reacquainted with Marilyn Lloyd and her husband from Fruit Heights Ut.  Marilyn and I served on the Davis H.S. PTA and organized several activities together. They are going to Nauvoo working in the Visitors Center and Church Historical Sites.

There is something very special spending time with people of one mind and one heart.
Time is short on these breaks, we are off to our evening Devotional..  Love to all our family and friends.

Monday, February 20, 2017

First day at the MTC. February 20th, 2017.


We arrived at the MTC in Provo, Utah about 10 minutes ahead of schedule, 9:50 am. We were glad we got there early. They had many volunteers that helped us. They even had younger missionaries carry our bags to our room. We are on the third floor. We had three sisters helping bring up our luggage. They had a bag cart. They had a great spirit, with no experience. 😀

The checkin process took about 1 hour. We then had lunch. A lot of variety of food. After a week we will determine how good it is.

After lunch we had the MTC mission presidency welcome us, then orientation, and then training about our purpose as missionaries.

After training we divided up in districts. Our district leader, Elder Herway, is from Brussels, Belgian. He was originally from New York. For the last 20 years he has worked with NATO.

Our District

Jenkins also to Sydney North, Us, Lloyd to Nauvoo, Herway to Rome, Italy

Pointing to where we are all headed.
The Lloyds use to live in Kaysville. Linda knows Sister Lloyd from working with her in the PTA.

We have met many of the other couples and have found many connections to them.

There are about 80 to 100 senior missionaries. There are 4 senior sister missionaries. The rest are couples. 

The highlight for me today was a video of a talk that Elder Bednar gave to missionaries at the MTC. He talked about Christ's character. He talked about us as individuals turn away from our natural man and turning outward to help others and becoming more like Christ. It was very good and thought provoking.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Challenges Preparing For Mission

February 18 2017

We are 3 days away from entering the MTC 20 February.  We will fly to AU Monday 6 Mar 2017.

I  wanted  to enter a few events leading up to going on a mission.   Monty and I  started the paperwork process for a mission after he retired from Delta February 2016.  It felt like great efforts were being made to keep us from going once we decided to go.

I will list the 2016 events as best I can remember them.

Jan 2016 -       Linda diagnosed with a mass in her stomach.  Doctors not sure what it is.
Jan 21             Ellison family went on Family cruise celebrating Monty's upcoming retirement.
Feb 04            Linda diagnosed with GIST  (malignant tumor)
Feb 12            Linda's mother passes away
Feb 12            Monty's retirement flight. Seth accompanies Dad to Africa for an amazing adventure.
Feb 20            Mothers funeral
Feb 22            Linda's surgery
Feb.                Monty works on his missionary paperwork and completes them before leaving for Appalachian Trail and  Linda's recovery.
Mar 07           Monty starts hiking Appalachian Trail (AT)
Mar .              Linda works on her missionary work with several due overs.
Apr 17           Monty returns from AT for golf trip with Linda
Apr 26           Linda's Father passes away.
May 02          Linda's Father funeral.
May               Delay of 6 weeks for reading of Linda's TB test.
May 16          Monty leaves 2nd time for AT
Jun.                Work on Dad & Moms house clean out and get ready for sale.
Jul.                 Monty returns. Finishes 800 miles about 1/3 of AT. He has severe foot damage, but
                       loved the whole experience.  He wants to go back and finish after mission.
Aug.               Submit completed missionary paperwork. Wait.
Oct 11            Calling comes in mail.  Wait one week so we can SKYPE with all family.

Looking back it was an eventful year.  I felt supported from my husband, family, extended family, friends, and ward family.  The understanding of the Gospel Plan made loosing both parents in such a short period of time a lot easier than if I didn't have faith and a testimony.  I know where my parents are and what the purpose of life is for.
As Elder Tom Parry says, my parents have "Graduated from life".

Now Monty and I will enter this new adventure together, hoping that we will accomplish good serving in the Sidney Australia  Mission.  More to come.

Our desire to serve a mission together.

I feel that our mission effort started many years ago when Linda said that as soon as I retired we were going on our mission. I have been glad over the years that she has had that attitude.

It has always been my dream and goal to serve a mission with Linda. I guess it goes way back with the desire coming from my serving my first mission at age 19.