This week, my young son gets on a plane to Taiwan, where he'll spend the next 22 months of so sharing the Gospel with the people of that great nation. I'm very pleased with the experience he has had at the Missionary Training Center in Provo. Such wonderful, caring people.

A couple weeks ago he played the piano to accompany a female vocalist (another missionary) for a large devotional at the MTC. How delighted I was to receive a DVD in the mail with a professional-quality recording of the performance, including 3 different camera angles with smooth transitions. Sadly, I threw away the cover envelope before I realized what a personal, thoughtful gift had been sent - I somehow thought it was a standard CD or something that all parents got. No, someone went to the trouble of recording the performance, editing, and sending us a DVD of a performance by Elder Benjamin Lindsay and a sister. That's all that was on the DVD. Very thoughtful. Anyone know who I can thank? Yes, I'll call the MTC myself and ask.

I was also pleased with the whole structure of the program and the care that the Church shows for its missionaries. Thank you! We had one issue where we needed some personal help and were really happy with the caring attitude we encountered. I felt like neither my son nor us were just a number, in spite of the large numbers of missionaries that pass through the Center.

One tip for parents with missionaries in the MTC: is a marvelous way to get physical letters into the hands of missionaries quickly - for free (but please donate). My son told me that they have little time for email and that he really prefers physical letters since he can keep them around to read at leisure versus having to rush through an email during limited computer access times. combines the convenience of sending email with the tangible delight of physical letters: they print your letter in Provo and deliver it to the MTC. Nice! They can also send letters (for a slight fee) to other missions for you. They really made life a little nicer for both us and our son these past few weeks.

Now just 22 months to go! Meanwhile, I'm brushing up on my Mandarin in hopes of keeping up with my son - an optimistic goal.
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