I may choose to ignore anonymous comments. I consider this type of anonymity dishonest. Also, I don't post regularly. I post when I have something worth writing and something worth reading. I explain all this in: Don't Let Telling Tales Trip Up Your Truthfulness.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Missionaries: Where they Get Their Training and More

People are used to seeing Mormon missionaries anywhere in the world. What you may NOT know is that they actually get training before you see them riding around on their bikes in the suits and ties.

The training is quite rigorous. Mormon Times recently began a 3-day series on how and where the Church trains missionaries. The links are below. I'll include some interesting quotes from the articles as well.

Day 1

Mormon church's Provo MTC: Exclusive look at the largest missionary training facility in the world

With a current missionary force of 53,660 volunteering 18 months to two years of their lives to spread the good word worldwide, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in its ninth decade of formal missionary training and celebrating its golden anniversary of centralized language instruction.
English-speakers train for three weeks before departing for their assigned areas. Those learning a language remain for eight weeks — 12 weeks for more difficult languages such as Russian, Finnish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese.
A look at Mormon missionary training process

This is a disciplined approach to teaching them that missionary life is work and that it's disciplined work — and for some of them who perhaps come from a rather undisciplined background, it may be a bit of a shock at first. But generally speaking, they come to love and appreciate the experience there.

Missions are a place where rejection happens every day, and it's healthy — it's a healthy thing for a young person to face rejection and to develop the faith and the tenacity and the perseverance to deal with it and to overcome it and to get up in the morning, to get dressed and go out and face it again. It builds strength — it builds spiritual strength, it builds emotional strength and it builds character.
The Missionary Training Center: a timeline

Day 2

Inside the Missionary Training Center: Arrival day for missionaries means quick goodbyes, and hello to brand new world

On a bright but chilly Wednesday last month, 361 new missionaries were scheduled to arrive at the Provo MTC. . . . .That left some 325 missionaries to arrive by car, with missionaries scheduled alphabetically by last name. Vehicles lined up 25 at a time in two queues from the 900 East entrance . . . .Each carload is given several minutes to unload the missionary, snap a photo and say a last goodbye. The MTC accommodates 100 cars every 15 minutes — but could handle as many as 600 on a single Wednesday.
New arrivals receive a red-dot sticker on their name tags, so faculty, staff or tenured missionaries can offer to help if they spot a bewildered "red-dotted" missionary.
Inside the Missionary Training Center: It takes a village to run what amounts to a small city
The Provo MTC is a little city of its own, considering the average of 2,000 missionaries who live there, and the nearly 150 full-time staffers, as many as 1,200 part-time employees and some 1,500 volunteers who provide support services.
In the kitchen, pantry and cafeteria, workers cook, serve and clean up for three meals daily for the missionaries. That means as many as 9,000 meals a day, with missionaries entering the cafeteria in 15-minute shifts and food preparation practically spanning the full 24 hours.
Day 3 

Mormon church operates 14 missionary training centers around the world
International MTCs fall into one of three categories — those that focus solely on training missionaries without a new-language emphasis, those that provide "full training" and those that offer "phased training" (all missionaries assigned to North American missions go to the Provo MTC for training).
The LDS Church had previously established MTCs in Tokyo and Seoul, Korea. However, it found it was more cost-efficient to bring those missionaries to the Provo MTC for training and subsequently shuttered operations there.
While nearly all of the missionaries arriving at the Provo MTC stay there for three to 12 weeks for training purposes before being sent across the globe, a handful of missionaries are assigned there full time for the entirety of their missions to help staff the chat services on mormon.org for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Studies show the typical person going to the mormon.org chat site is 15 to 20 years old, a high school or college student with some questions or uncertainties. Missionaries obtain parental permission before continuing with those under the age of 18.
"We've taught people where there are no missionaries nearby or if they're in countries where there are no missionaries present," said Elder Albright, adding "we joke around here that we do everything but baptize them."
 The 14 international MIssionary Training Centers (MTCs) (Slide Show)


  1. I always offer to buy them lunch or a sandwich as you know they are hot and tired so a bit of food can not hurt. I am not of the faith but its obvious they are out doing good deeds.

  2. A former work colleague of mine once met a Mormon missionary who according to his black enamel nametag with white lettering, was named Elder Fudd.