LDS missionaries-in-training stay at home as MTC goes virtual

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Missionaries-in-training are discovering the at-home MTC experience to be fulfilling after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints switched to online missionary training due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

When the Church took its missionary training program online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, future missionaries were not sure how to feel.

Amber Murdock, a missionary headed to Rome, Italy said, “I was pretty sad. I was scared too because I’m learning a second language.”

But some missionaries in training like Sister Murdock are finding that it’s not too different. At-home missionaries have the same rules and schedule as any other missionary.

“You do have a companion, they’re just online so you can either choose to Facetime or Zoom call them,” said Murdock.

Murdock said her feelings toward at-home missionary training have changed. “Over time my feelings definitely grew to love it and to be excited for it. I’ve learned a lot about faith and just trusting the Lord and His plan. There’s still a lot of unknown with my mission, but I just take it one day at a time.”

Group classes, companion study, one-on-one teaching and practice teaching are all done through Zoom video calling. 

Some MTC teachers like Josh Pinnock think it has been a positive change.

“I was excited but I was also shocked. I thought it was going to change everything,” said Pinnock. “The missionaries are so much more willing to take risks and share their testimonies. They’re much more willing to be themselves.”

Pinnock said the spirit is the exact same as it is in the MTC. “The missionaries are thriving. The gift of tongues is real; its active. It’s in no way a regression from how things were before.” 

Family members can also support their missionary right at home. 

“She has the comfort and support of her home in this transition which is a hard transition to leave your family,” said Marianne Murdock, Sister Murdock’s mother. “The Lord’s work will go on no matter where you’re at.”

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