The largest Missionary Training Center (MTC) is located in Provo, Utah. But there are 14 others located around the world. Younger Elders and Sisters are all assigned to be proselyting missionaries. If they are learning a foreign language, they will be at the MTC about 11 weeks. Senior missionaries are not taught a foreign language at the MTC. If they are proselyting, then one of them already knows the language from proselyting as a young missionary. If the Senior needs to learn a language (like we do), then they get started with a tutor using Skype (video conferencing over the internet). We did that for 8 or 9 weeks prior to going to the MTC (2 or 3 lessons per week). We are learning Mandarin Chinese.
Our first tutor was Jonny Liu. He served a mission in Australia, teaching Chinese-speaking people. We met him in the cafeteria (where they feed thousands of missionaries every meal) one of our last days. When BYU classes began, they switched his teaching assignment, and so we got a different tutor.
Our second tutor was James Pao. He served his mission in Canada, teaching Chinese-speaking people. He helped us two or three weeks before we went to the MTC, and then we had three lessons with him in the evenings at the MTC. The last time our assignment was to bear our testimony in Chinese. Since we were the only Chinese speakers, we joined a group of Spanish speakers who were having a testimony meeting. They couldn't understand us and we couldn't understand them.
Wednesday evening of our first week, Genevieve came to visit us for a couple of hours. She gave me a tie (which I've been wearing ever since) and Mom a scarf. We ate our Subway sandwiches that she brought at this picnic table outside at the MTC. We had a couple of hours together before she had to leave.
We spent two weeks at the MTC. The first week was an overview of how to teach as a missionary. The second week was instruction to prepare us for our assignment in Taiwan. The weekend in between we had no responsibilities so we went to visit the Valentino family in a suburb of Salt Lake City. They lived in Radcliff two years ago. Saturday afternoon I tuned their piano and we babysat their three children for a few hours while Elysa went to sing with a women's choir in the Conference Center for the Relief Society Broadcast.
The flowers and grounds are maintained by the BYU horticulture students. The flowers and fountains are beautiful.
Once a month there is a group of senior missionaries like this being trained to serve in temples, mostly outside the US. In this group people were going to Monterrey Mexico, Merida Mexico, Guatemala City Guatemala, Lima Peru, Santiago Chile, Cebu Philippines, Manila Philippines, Taipei Taiwan, Freiburg Germany, Washington DC, and Manhattan NY.