Schedule adjustment at 5 MTCs means 1 week of online training
For most new full-time missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the online, at-home portion of training will be reduced to just a single week of online training, following recent notice on adjustments to missionary training center schedules .
Currently, most new missionaries training in their native languages are online for the first week of three weeks, with the two subsequent weeks at an assigned MTC. Those learning foreign languages spend two weeks online in at-home MTC before completing their training at an assigned MTC.
Beginning May 1, the at-home portion of training will be just one week for missionaries beginning language training at the following missionary training centers:
- Brazil MTC
- England MTC
- Mexico MTC
- Peru MTC
- Provo MTC
According to the Jan. 9 notice from the Missionary Department sent to stake, mission and district presidencies and bishoprics and branch presidencies, all missionaries assigned to these five MTCs — whether learning a new language or not — will compete one week of at-home training and then with proper visa and other travel documents, if required, report for on-site training.
The change in decreasing the time spent in online, at-home training for missionaries learning a new language results in a reduction in overall training. The full six- or nine-week training for language-learning missionaries remains intact, with the balance after the first week completed at the assigned MTC.
“We are confident that this change will bless missionaries in their continued preparation to share the gospel of Jesus Christ,” the notice states. “We are deeply grateful for the inspired efforts of all who lead and support missionaries in this great work.”
How online training at home began
When the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the Church closing on-site operations at its 10 MTCs worldwide, the training of new missionaries went virtual through online efforts.
Elder Clint Allen Jr. does missionary training over video chat at home in Chandler, Ariz., on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Instead of being gathered in the 10 Church-sponsored facilities, new missionaries were found in literally thousands of “MTCs” across the globe, as training went online — one of a number of missionary adjustments due to the coronavirus pandemic. Companion study and classes were done through video conferencing, and a new missionary’s own residence became his or her “virtual MTC.”
When the Provo Missionary Training Center welcomed back its first group of new missionaries in June 2021 after a 15-month absence from in-person operations, training took a combined online/on-site approach.
Leaders and staff of the Provo MTC welcomed the arrival of 248 elders and sisters assigned to English-language missions, who supplemented their initial week of online training with two weeks of onsite classes, meetings, devotionals and other traditional MTC-hosted activities.
As additional missionary training centers later reopened, the new, phased approach of training expanded for new missionaries in areas where online training could be effectively supported. For most new missionaries, the new pattern became one week at home and two at an MTC for missionaries not learning a new language and two weeks at home and 4 or 7 from home for those assigned to learn a new language.