Friday, April 6, 2012

In Field Training

We are reminded every week that Drew's mission experience is very different from ours, and not just because he is serving in the States.  For example, we spent most of our time in the MTC focusing on the language and then spent the first three months once we got in country memorizing the discussions word-for-word to further improve our Portuguese.  In contrast, Elder Tonini spent his time in the MTC learning how to effectively teach.  And just because he has left the Missionary Training Center doesn't mean that this training has ended.  Beginning August 2011, a new effort was started Church-wide to bring an additional 12 weeks of training to missionaries who have just arrived in the mission field.  The materials for the in-field training of new missionaries includes three training documents (one for the mission president, one for the trainer, and one for the new missionary) and new companion study video segments.

The four-page Instructions for Trainers begins with this admonition: “The responsibility to train a new missionary is a sacred trust from your mission president and from the Lord. A missionary’s first companion has a profound, lasting influence on the development of the missionary’s attitudes, habits, and ability to fulfill his or her purpose.”
Each new missionary’s trainer will receive a copy of the booklet, which gives tips on being a positive example and guidelines on studying and proselyting together, training a new missionary, the additional 60 minutes of companion study required in the first 12 weeks, and personal study. New missionaries and their trainers are expected to train together daily, explaining, demonstrating, practicing, evaluating, and repracticing principles from Preach My Gospel.
The First 12 Weeks for New Missionaries and Trainers is the third booklet in the new program and the one that is supplied to each new missionary and his or her trainer.
It opens with a call to the new missionary. “You will continue to build on the foundation established at the MTC by understanding and living all of the principles of missionary work found in Preach My Gospel,” it reads. “Strive to become the kind of missionary who could, if called upon, train a new missionary by the end of your first 12 weeks in the mission field.”
For the first 12 weeks, new missionaries and their trainers follow a suggested schedule of study from the manual, which lists what sections and topics to study in Preach My Gospel. It also provides suggestions on how new missionaries can apply what they are learning in their proselyting.

More information can be found here.

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