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.