I know you are officially a missionary when you are set apart. We had a very memorable experience when we were set apart by President H. on the evening of July 7th. The Settle family and Pat were there. President H. was inspired by the things he said. All the stake presidency had good advice for us and Bishop S. always knows just the right things to say. We told the grandsons they would need to call us Elder and Sister Ware. Jonah announced he was going to call us Elder Papa and Sister Nana.
It’s official when you are set apart, but you know you are missionaries when you step through the front door of the MTC and they slap a name tag on you.
We spent the week in a chapel just north of the MTC in “Preach My Gospel” training. It was very good. Most days we were involved in role-playing. It didn’t take me long to realize my companion was the best in the building. I decided I won’t serve without her.
We are not alone. There are 3,400 regular missionaries and this week 87 new senior missionaries were added. The senior missionaries are composed of 40 couples and seven single sisters. There are people with name tags everywhere. They are all smiling and steadily moving to their next assigned location. It’s like a huge colony of happy ants.
Perhaps the most inspiring moment for us was when we left a devotional held at the Marriott Center on Tuesday evening. We watched a solid line of missionaries, six or eight missionaries wide, stretch from the northeast door of the Marriott Center to the MTC – Behold a Royal Army.
We attended church at the MTC on Sunday. Sacrament Meeting started at 7:30 am. We were visitors at Branch 14. This branch is made from missionaries who come from foreign countries and are here to learn English. Their English for the most part was remarkable. A quartet of Elders who were about to leave the MTC sang “God Be With You Till We Meet Again”. With a little emotion it struck me the words certainly apply to us as we leave home this coming week. I remember sending my sons on missions and all of us trying to be brave. The time to be brave is here again.