Home MTC information and tips

Learn about Missionary Training at home, or Home MTC from an Elder and his family that have experienced it.  

Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home with information and tips

Today my son, Elder Schenk, finishes his 6 weeks of Home MTC training to become a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  During his time at home, he has learned the Gospel discussions, scriptures and prayers in Portuguese.  Let me repeat that ... in 6 weeks he has become bilingual in Portuguese.  Isn't that crazy!!

Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home  -  Elder with Portuguese Book of Mormon

In March, Elder Schenk received his mission call to serve in the Brazil, Curitiba South, Portuguese speaking mission.  We were so excited for this experience for him!  He is the first person on either side of our families to serve a mission.  

And then the 'Rona hit and everything changed.  He had the choice to postpone his mission for 12-18 months, or serve - starting on his original date, with some restrictions.  He chose to serve and complete his MTC experience at home.

Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home  -  Elder set apart as Missionary

2 days before starting the Home MTC, Elder Schenk was set apart as a Full Time Missionary by our Stake President.  Since all churches in TN were closed at the time, we went to our Stake President's house.  Mason was set apart outside with our Stake President wearing gloves and we all wore masks.  Elder Schenk was given a beautiful blessing with many great things promised to him because of his obedience.

Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home  -   D&C 4

Elder Schenk officially started Home MTC on June 10.  Home MTC is all done online at home (obviously).  He studied through the Brazil Missionary Training Center, who set the schedule and provided instructors.  He was given a companion and a district of 4 sisters and 3 other Elders to study with.  Each day he would study on his own, study with his companion, and study with his district.  He had about 6 hours a day of classes with his instructors.

Sample Schedule for Home MTC 

  • 6am   wake up, eat, exercise and groom
  • 8am   individual study
  • 9am   companionship study
  • 11:30-2:00 classes with district and instructors
  • 2-3:30pm  break for lunch
  • 3:30-7:00pm classes with district and instructors
  • 7:00pm  dinner with family
  • 8:00pm   planning and companionship study
  • 10:00pm  prayer with our family, bedtime

Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home  -   leave home dressed in missionary attire

During his breaks from class and on his Preparation Day or P - Day, he was allowed to leave the house.  But he always had to be accompanied by his dad or me, as we are his companions.  He also need to always be dressed in missionary attire during his classes and if he left the house.

Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home  -  Elder called to serve in West Virginia mission

Since the virus has affected travel, Mason's Brazil mission was put on hold and he received his mission reassignment, from our Stake President, about 3 weeks into Home MTC.  He will be serving in the West Virginia, Charleston Mission.  

Mason was contacted by the Mission President in his new mission assignment.  At first he wasn't super excited to go to an English speaking mission, just a state away from TN.  But after sleeping on it and being contacted by his new mission, he was excited.  He said he's always had an affinity for "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver and now he knows why!  

Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home  -  Elder studying in home MTC

How Elders Receive Information

Mason received scriptures, ear buds, Portuguese learning guides and other missionary learning materials in the mail about 1 week before starting MTC.  He received his name tags in a different shipment that arrived at our house on his 2nd day of MTC.  He received all information regarding Home MTC in his missionary email.  He received his reassignment via a phone call from our Stake President.  He received information about his new mission in his email and texts from the West Virginia mission president and mission leaders.   Mason received his flight information for his trip to West Virginia, in his email, from the church travel department.  

  • Home MTC learning materials and name tag- received by mail in 2 different shipments
  • Info about Home MTC - via email
  • Reassignment information - phone call from our Stake President
  • Info about West Virginia - via email and text from West Virginia Mission President and mission leaders
  • Flight Information - via email from Church travel department

Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home  -  blessings given during set apart

Tips and Information

  • Set the elder/sister up in a room where they won't be disturbed.  Mason moved his bed into our home office.  He also had his own desk and laptop with a really good internet connection.  The home office already had a chalkboard wall so I wrote some of the blessing he was promised in his setting apart.  I also printed pictures of our family and hung them on the wall.  
  • The missionary's schedule takes precedence.  We tried to make things as easy as possible for Mason in our family.  We let him dictate his own schedule and how he spent his very little downtime.  We also made it a point to not consume any media around him.  We kept all video games, tv watching and music listening upstairs, while he studied and lived downstairs. 
  • Don't shut off their cell phones until after they leave.  Mason has used his cell phone to study his scriptures, watch Book of Mormon videos, study Come Follow Me with our family, and receive texts and calls from our Stake President and his new mission assignment.  He has also been able to communicate with his companion.  Our Stake President counseled him to be very careful with media at this time and to only use it in the public places in our home.  Side Note- Mason had to have a new cell phone to take with him, with specific requirements, that we purchased from the online store suggested by the church.
  • The Missionaries are able to go into the field without being endowed.  Mason did not have the opportunity to go through the temple before his mission, as they were all closed.  We were instructed to send his undergarments with him on his mission so that he may be able to go through when the temples open.  They need to have their live ordinance temple recommend signed by both the Bishop and the Stake President.
  • Order supplies online.  I am thankful that we waited to purchase items until he had his reassignment because supplies for West Virginia are very different from supplies for Brazil. While most stores in our area are open, trying to find a time when both I and Mason were able to go was very difficult.  I ordered almost all of his supplies from Amazon, Walmart and the LDS store.  Order them early enough that you can return them if they don't fit.  

Resources for Mission Supplies for Elders

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Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home  -  Elder

Q & A with an Elder in Home MTC

I asked Mason a few questions about his Home MTC experience and these are his answers.

me:  "What is the best part of your mission so far? "  
Elder Schenk:  "I love my companion, our teachers and our district.  I have also loved having the extra time with our family."

me:  "What is the hardest part of your mission?"
Elder Schenk:  "Learning a new language so quickly has been very challenging.  It's also been hard getting used to a rigorous schedule and being disciplined enough to stick to it."

me:  "What made you decide to go on a mission?"
Elder Schenk:  "When I was at BYU-I, my roommates and I went to a devotional with Elder Bednar and the spirit testified to me that I needed to serve a mission.  When the virus happened and I had to decide whether to go or to postpone, I remembered how I felt during the devotional and knew I still needed to go, even if it didn't look like I thought it would."  

me:  "What advice do you have for someone contemplating serving a mission?"  
Elder Schenk:  "You need to decide for yourself, if it's for you.  Take the positive peer pressure from your Seminary Teachers, church leaders and parents into consideration, but do it for yourself."  

me:  "What is your favorite scripture?"  
Elder Schenk:  Jacob 4:10  "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works."

Home MTC  -  Missionary Training at Home  -  Elder

I am so so so proud of this kid!  He has made major sacrifices during this time of his life to go out and serve the Lord!  In the last 6 weeks, his testimony has grown by leaps and bounds!  Even though the thought of him leaving FOR 2 YEARS makes me want to curl up in the fetal position with him tucked underneath my arms,  I am so excited to see what he does out in the field!  I know the experience he has had in the Home MTC and those that he'll having in the mission field will stay with him for his lifetime!