Kathy Terry, another of Anne's sisters, met us at the rental car agency on Monday morning, and drove us to the MTC, arriving a little after 10 am. We were oriented and split into districts of four couples. Rick was chosen as district leader for our district.
Here is a picture of our district. Notice where each couple was going on their mission: the Reeves, Seoul, Korea; the Mairs, Jacksonville, Mississippi; the Mejias, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and us to Moscow.
Here we are in front of a world map pointing to Yaroslavl. (This picture was at the head of our blog for the first months of our mission.)
There are from 1600 - 2600 missionaries in the MTC each week, yielding about 20,000 per year. While we were there, there were approximately 2100. Missionaries are in the MTC for anywhere from 1 to 12 weeks. The ones in the longest are learning a language.
The statue to the left is of Samuel Smith, the prophet Joseph Smith's brother, who was the first missionary for our church in 1830.
The statue to the right represents the common mode of transportation for many missionaries.
Here is a picture of all the 30 or so senior missionary couples plus 6 senior sisters that we spent the week with. We are in the top right corner of the group. This group will disperse to more than 12 countries throughout the world.
It was a wonderful experience sitting through all the training. The Spirit was very strong, moving many of us to tears more than once.
On the last day there, the President of the MTC was giving a talk and mentioned that he went to see the mission president he had when he was a young man, a President Greene. Rick went up to him afterward and asked if it was Alva Greene and he said it was. That was Rick's mission president also when he went on his first mission to the North British mission, now called England Manchester mission. We got the contact info for President Greene and spent a lovely hour with he and his wife visiting. He is 92 and in really great shape.
Oops, got caught with my eyes closed.
Monday morning at 5 am we began our trip to Moscow.