Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wonderful England MTC experience

Elder McCook safely made it to the England Mission Training Center
on August 26, 2011! Due to the generosity of the staff,
we had lots of photos taken by them during his training.

Aug 26, 2011

Hey Family!

I just want to apologize in advance if this email sounds loopy. I had less than 30 mins of sleep on the plane ride over. Anyway, this email is mostly just to tell you guys that I arrived save and sound, and that the MTC here is great, from what I know. Anyway, time is limited and I have to do more registration stuff. I will be more detailed later.


Elder McCook

P.S. The sign on the bathroom door in the airport said "gents toilets and cleansing ritual room" hahaha! Oh, and signs say "way out" instead of "exit." Also, I can't understand the people in Manchester, so I hope the London area is better. Also, all of the cars here are mercedes-benz and bmw and the only American cars are Fords.

A tired Elder McCook - as this picture was taken directly upon arrival at the MTC.

Couldn't resist a picture of an English car!

The MTC held a patriotic day and each missionary got to
sing his national anthem in his native tongue. The US group was the largest.

The "Moroni" district got their haircut!

Classroom teaching - E McCook taking notes in back

E McCook sharing his "profile" to fellow missionaries

Missionary companion to the right - Elder Destribois from Normandy, France

Singing at a fireside

Buddies from E McCook's district - about half of them

Dining room - check out the view!

President Walker took the missionaries on a Church History tour!
They were able to see where the earlier pioneer missionaries taught and baptized.
This is at the River Ribble where the first baptisms in England took place.

River Ribble

Chatburn Baptismal Site

Downham Village - Heber Kimball found many who accepted the gospel here.

Testimony meeting - E McCook shared of C.J. Thomas (ancestor he was named after)
being one of the early saints to convert in England, leave his successful musical career, push a handcart across the US and under Brigham Young, establish beautiful music in the Salt Lake Valley

17 Wadham Road - Sister Walker (President Hinckley's daughter)
tells of her father's experience at this apartment when he received
a letter from his father saying "Forget yourself and go to work"

Me and my companion Elder Destribois (pronounced Deh-stri-bwa) talked to maybe some 40 people on the streets of Manchester. 38 of them weren't too interested. I learned much about myself. The day before I thought it would be super easy, but when I first stepped on the train to Manchester, I couldn't peep a word to anyone. But as we went out and about we found two people that were willing to hear what we had to share. We gave them a Book of Mormon with a pass along card, and told them to call the number. Since I was still more of a newbie back then I only realized after the fact that getting a name and number would have been more useful. Oh well, I'm sure there was a difference made in someone's life.

Ready to street contact!
Standing in front of the Oblisk in Preston Town Square.

Returning back to the MTC!

Waiting for the Return and Report meeting.

Well, it sure rains here ALL the time. Or at least it's cloudy. So far only one day with six or so full hours of sun shine. Chorley (where I am) is the rainiest part of England. Go figure. I'm pretty sure I was called here for more than one reason, including the weather. The rain even cancelled our planned epic football (soccer) battle between the western and eastern hemisphere. I think I like football, even though it's never played in the states. It brings me back to the good old days of soccer when I was a kid.

A panoramic shot outside Elder McCook's MTC room - WOW!

An English sunset - rare to see some blue sky

The England Missionary Training Center
In the gardens of the MTC

I'm learning loads of stuff here, everything from Scottish slang, to interpersonal relationship struggles, to fundamental gospel topics that I've forgotten over the months of deep doctrine study, to unique personal revelation. I've also learned (or learnt as they say here) that sleep has never been more precious. Although I'm really not as tired as the first few days here, sometimes while sitting I just want to shut my eyes. I've never slept better in my life.

You guys already know this and know that I know this, but I know this Church is true because of revelation that comes through reading the Book of Mormon with prayer, church attendance, and temple attendance. We had a chance to go to the Preston temple for the second time today, and that was a very meaningful experience as I prepared myself and really paid attention. If I didn't already mention it, a useful technique to use in the temple is 1. Identify a principle 2. How does it relate to the Savior? 3. How does it relate to me? Anyway, that's a great thing to use to learn a lot there.

Leaving the Preston Temple

Sept 13th - I leave tomorrow by the way! I'm super stoked, but I don't really know what it will be like. I'm sure it will be fun though. Fun + Obedience = Success is an algorithm of success for missionaries. Today they're doing tons of workshops and classroom things that are making me pretty sleepy, but I'll endure to the end. I can't wait to start arousing my faculties more. The MTC is pretty sedentary, even though they try to keep us moving somewhat.

Some fun and last instructions

Group Shot of Elder McCook's batch outside the MTC

President Hinckley's daughter and husband -
President and Sis Walker preside over the MTC
(Bottom right)

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