Topic

Missionary Training Centers

Each week, hundreds of families across the globe say farewell to their sons and daughters as they embark on an 18- to 24-month journey as Latter-day Saint missionaries. Because it’s a very demanding lifestyle — one devoted entirely to teaching others about Jesus Christ and helping the needy — each missionary’s first stop is one of the Church’s 12 missionary training centers (sometimes called MTCs), where they spend three to nine weeks in training (those not learning a foreign language stay at an MTC for up to three weeks) before departing for one of the Church’s 400-plus missions.

Missionaries generally arrive at an MTC with a foundation of religious knowledge gained from years of instruction at home and church. Many Latter-day Saint families study the Bible and other books of scripture together daily. Many youth also attend weekly high school and college religion courses the Church offers. And on top of this are weekly Latter-day Saint worship services, held on Sundays for two consecutive hours.

But it should be noted that MTCs provide a decidedly more rigorous curriculum rooted in gospel fundamentals. The meat and drink of MTC life is daily practice teaching situations, intense gospel classroom instruction from teachers who are former missionaries, weekly devotional addresses from Church leaders and MTC staff, and weekly service opportunities.

The Provo MTC teaches more than 50 languages. (See the list below for languages taught at the 11 international MTCs.) Each instructor who teaches a language is either a native speaker or is fluent thanks to his or her own missionary service. In addition to language instruction, teachers provide cultural training to help missionaries make a smoother transition into their assigned foreign country.

Missionaries in the MTC also learn how to live on their own. For many of these 18- and 19-year-old men and women, the MTC is their first experience living away from home.

Missionaries (frequently with the help of family and friends) fund their own missions — an approximate cost of $10,000 to $12,000 per missionary. They also do their own laundry, exercise daily, eat nutritious meals provided by each MTC cafeteria and stay in touch with family and friends via weekly emails.

Following the pattern Jesus Christ established in the New Testament, full-time missionaries are sent out two by two (see Mark 6:7). They spend all day, every day, with an assigned companion (once they depart the MTC, companion changes occur every couple of months).

See also Missionary Program.

The Church currently operates mission training centers in 12 locations:

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Areas Served: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
Training language: Spanish

São Paulo, Brazil
Areas Served: Brazil, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Angola, South America South, Central America, Mexico, Japan, Portugal
Training language: Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese

Bogota, Colombia
Areas Served: Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Venezuela
Training language: Spanish

Preston, England
Areas Served: Europe, Europe East
Training languages: German, English, English as a Second Language, French, Greek, Italian, Russian, Spanish

Accra, Ghana
Areas Served: West Africa, DR Congo, Madagascar
Training languages: English, English as a Second Language, French

Guatemala City, Guatemala
Areas Served: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
Training language: Spanish, K'ekchi

Mexico City, Mexico
Areas Served: Mexico, other countries of North, Central and South America, Dominican Republic, Haiti
Training Language: Spanish, Haitian Creole

Auckland, New Zealand
Areas Served: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga
Training languages: English, English as a Second Language, French (native speakers only), Samoan (native speakers only), Tongan (native speakers only)

Lima, Peru
Areas Served: Bolivia, Peru
Training language: Spanish

Manila, Philippines
Areas Served: All missions in the Philippines and Asia areas
Training languages: Cambodian, Cebuano, English, English as a Second Lanugauge, Hiligaynon, Indonesian, Mandarin, Mongolian, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese (all languages except Tagalog native speakers only)

Johannesburg, South Africa
Areas Served: Africa Southeast, Madagascar
Training language: English, English as a Second Lanugauge, Malagasy

Provo, Utah, United States
Areas Served: Worldwide
Training Languages: 50+ different languages

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