The week before leaving for Busan Korea!

Wednesday, June 25

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The journey to serve missionaries and the people of Korea begins!!

We have had quite a busy week!

Ken and I checked into the MTC. We turned into the front entranced and were met with the MTC employees calling us by name, impressive, making us think we need to try hard to learn our missionaries names as well as these guys (they said they studied flashcards to learn all 130 new mission presidents and their wives in attendance by sight). Ben came with us which I’m glad because so many people along the way asked him his name/asking about him moving over to Korea with us…but the whole check in process took longer than I thought it would. We walked in and saw L. Jones-she called us by name-gave us hugs (she has been helpful in our preparations), then we went to another station to take our picture again, then to the financial stop for our cards, insurance cards information…my goodness there is so much organization/behind the scenes stuff that goes into missionary work! We left the MTC to pick up Alex and then check Dad and I into the Marriott Hotel. Stopped by Sammy’s for lunch/milkshakes before we had to get back for our first Seminar class on Member Districts. Everything is so well done to make us all comfortable…beautiful huge flower arrangements of yellow roses up front, water bottles and snacks available. After that class we had an early dinner..great food, sitting with your choice of any of the other presidents-getting to know so many of the 130 new mission presidents. After dinner we all boarded about eight buses to drive out to Thanksgiving Point to attend a premier showing of the new movie made by the Church called Meet The Mormons. Imagine seeing a group(eight bus loads full) of people dressed in church clothes entering the theater(other patrons must have wondered what was going on). They gave us boxes of popcorn with bottled drinks like lemonade. Six people from around the world were filmed/highlighted in something like a 9-16 minute segment. One of the people featured is the head football coach for the Navy. Another person featured is the Candy Bomber. The idea for this movie came thinking that enough time has passed since Legacy or The Testaments was made and shown at the Joseph Smith Building. A new/fresh story line was talked about to make a movie that would help debunk myths and misconceptions, teach a little of our doctrine/principles of faith, and introduce people to the Church…all for a viewing audience of people not of our faith. Elder Bednar introduced the film project before we viewed it. There were viewer surveys before watching the film asking people in selected cities how they were affected after watching this film and how they would treat Mormon missionaries. Fascinating, interesting, well made, real life, GOOD! I can hardly wait for it to come out for the public…probably in the Spring sometime…interesting different marketing information.

This morning Dad and I went to breakfast early and were able to spend a little one on one time with Elder Evans and Elder Don Clarke and his wife(that was so worth it just for the advice and conversation). The early bird gets the worm! We thought we were getting to the MTC early enough to sit up front…but we discovered we will need to up our game. We saw many people who have had an impact on our lives to greet, hugs, and visit with before Sacrament Meeting began. I was excited to see Sister Shirley Gibson, married to Elder Gibson of the General Young Men’s presidency, along with Sister Robyn Beck married to Elder David Beck, General Young Men’s president…I met them at Philmont a few years ago. We saw the Nash’s and the Nielsen’s, Elder Sitati(who called Dad to be the stake president four years ago), and other visiting authorities. Sitting on the stand were Elders: L. Tom Perry, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, M. Russell Ballard, Richard G. Scott, Robert D. Hales, Jeffrey R. Holland, David A. Bednar, Quentin L. Cook, D. Todd Christofferson, Neil L. Andersen when President Thomas S. Monson walked in with President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. President Monson was the only speaker. The Presiding Bishopric and many of the Seventy were on the stand as well with General Auxiliary Officers in the room, too. There was beautiful music presented by a missionary choir and missionaries are the ones who officiated with the Sacrament. What a marvelous treat to have Sacrament Meeting with the prophet! There were other seminar classes and then speakers by general authorities. The whole day was great!!! And then after all that was offered to the new mission presidents Dad and I heard the ending of the devotional that was for all the missionaries in the MTC…Sister Ardeth Kapp Perry spoke(she has written many church songs-the EFY Medley) and as a finish she had all the missionaries sing that song with the new words for the women’s part sung by the sister missionaries. It was powerful to watch/listen to these missionaries…and then to see them spontaneously stand to finish singing. Wow! And afterward we were able to meet our three sister missionaries who fly out tomorrow for Korea(one has visa problems so she will be at Temple Square) and give them hugs. This is real!

We are having a great experience. Ben has been staying with Alex this weekend before going to BYU for EFY on Monday. Alex will pick up Ben early from EFY Wednesday night, bring him over to our hotel and say goodbye before we fly out Thursday morning. We fly form SLC to Seattle to Tokyo to Busan arriving Friday night. The Gilberts leave Saturday morning…short time to talk before they’re gone and we’re off and running!

We love you all! More to follow.

Diane Barrow