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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Creating Our Own MTC

We had stake conference over this past weekend, as I mentioned in the previous post. One of the things that stuck with me from what was said was the fact that now that the mission age is younger, we have more need to better and earlier prepare our kids for missions and for life. In other words, we need to make our homes into missionary training centers.

Monday night, at Family Home Evening, we discussed this idea and worked on formulating a plan for our home. We went around the circle and each person gave one idea of what needs to exist here in order for each of them to be a bit better prepared for someday when they each become missionaries.

Here's what we came up with (I wonder if you can tell whose idea each was):
image: lifethroughthelensblog

•  Be nice to each other.
  If people aren't nice, they have to sit together until they can come up with ten nice things they can say about each other.

•  Read the scriptures.
  Read daily individually and as a family.
  Have a chart.
  Read the entire Book of Mormon this summer. Those who do will get to go to dinner together.

•  No contention.
  Share freely.
  Serve others.

**As a side note: Lately, I've been very verbal as I've shared things with my kids. I've given them the best part of whatever it was and then said, "I'm giving you the best trusting the Heavenly Father will give me His best." I truly believe this. I think many people call this "karma."

At the Children's Museum in Portland
•  Have fun.
  We agreed that being a missionary needed to be fun at times. There needs to be balance in life.
  Have a weekly family activity.
  I need to buy a new container to hold our activity ideas.
  I need to update the activity ideas for the container.

•  Personal prayer.
  Morning and evening.
  #1 has been given the assignment to talk to a friend who makes words with vinyl. We'll put these right above every bedroom light switch in the house.

•  Obey.
  Do things the first time you're asked.
  Strive to be 100% obedient.

•  Education.
  Everyone will graduate from high school (Umm...yah, that's kind of a given), but it is a mission requirement, so we thought we'd include it.
  Learn a language. We decided on Spanish even though I spent some time with the Rosetta Stone Tagalog version. On Sunday, I heard a woman behind us at church say "lalaki," and I knew she was speaking Tagalog. That was pretty cool. We figure Spanish is very usable and close enough to English that none of us will be blown out of the water by it, and it's extremely useable. Bummer for the Warden who already knows Spanish, but I guess he can tutor us, right?

•  Skills.
  Okay, this one was mine. I challenged the kids to take on new skills with the thought of the impact it could have as they serve as missionaries.
  Each took the challenge to learn at least three hymns on the piano. I'm a lousy piano player, but I was called upon over and over again to play at various meetings.

•  Service.
  Do more as a family and as individuals.
  Jump at every chance that comes your way whether planned or spontaneous.
  Have service activities in the family activity jar.

This seems like as good a place as any to start. We're already doing some of these things, but it will be good to put forth more effort because we're not perfect at any of this yet.

#1 has 49 days left in our home. It's strange to think that it won't be long until #2 leaves and then #3 and so on and so on and so on. So grateful for this experience for our kids. It will definitely be life changing. What an opportunity to step beyond yourself and care for others' needs.

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