An MTC Story

Mid-December is creeping up on us, bringing with it finals and the end of another semester. This year, as a result in the change in missionary ages, mid-December may also herald a tidal wave of new missionaries.

Growing up, I heard not-infrequent stories about missions. But I remember only the rarest stories of the MTC. So, To better prepare you for the MTC,1 here’s an MTC story. Merry Christmas!

When I was in the MTC, we had three classes a day, for three to three-and-a-half hours per class. To break up the monotony and make sure missionaries had some minimal daily physical activity, we took a walk every day in our afternoon class.

My district considered itself musically talented–when we sang hymns in class, we sang them in 3-part harmony. At some point during our two months in the MTC, we decided to take our act on the road. As we walked, we sang, Portuguese hymn books in hand. We practiced our language, our singing, and made the people we passed smile.

Until one day, our afternoon teacher came in without his customary smile. He told us that someone had told him that singing during our walks was inappropriate (it disturbed others, maybe? or made them feel bad about themselves because they weren’t as talented as we were?) and to knock it off.

That day on our walk, we hummed hymns in 3-part harmony.2

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Assuming, of course, that any prospective missionaries read blogs. Which, I’ve heard, they probably don’t, generationally. But maybe someone younger than 30 somewhere is.
  2. Please feel free to share your poignant, funny and/or self-deprecating MTC (or, for some of you, LTM) stories.

42 comments for “An MTC Story

  1. whizzbang
    December 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Coming from Canada it’s a rare treat to see a General Authority speak. My companion was from Sandy, Utah. Our first devotional I was SO excited to see whoever was there. My Comp didn’t want to go, he complained, “oh, in Utah you see them all the time in church, or around town or just wherever” so he didn’t even want to go at all. I had to literally beg him to attend the devotional, beg him. Finally he consented and turns out there was some meeting in Salt Lake City that night for all the available brethren. So, we watched some video instead. he was like I told you!!!! waste of time!! and I was heartbroken and what was I going to say next week to get him to go? Fortunately he had a change of heart and I got to hear Elders Tingey, Paramore and Elder Perry of the Twelve.

  2. Steve Smith
    December 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Ah the MTC, where practically everything you is inappropriate or against the rules, even using the bathroom alone.

  3. Tim
    December 12, 2012 at 11:13 am

    We also went on afternoon walks sometimes. The MTC is surrounded by high fences and guarded gates. Once on one of these walks a sister missionary asked if we could play a game. “I know,” the MTC teacher said, looking at the high fences. “Let’s play jailbreak.”

  4. A Turtle Named Mack
    December 12, 2012 at 11:47 am

    My first morning in the MTC I was awakened by one of the 4 alarm clocks in our room and jumped out of the top bunk to start my day. Unfortunately, my leg had fallen asleep and the alarm proved ineffective on my lower extremity. I will never forget the looks on the faces of my roommates as they saw my crumpled mass on the floor that first morning. They genuinely didn’t know what to make of it, not even laughter. I’m sure there was some pain involved, but all I remember of the event is the dumbfounded looks on their faces.

    That was the highlight of my MTC experience. The next positive experience I had was leaving the MTC.

  5. Dustin
    December 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I remember being so shocked when I got there and had a schedule given to me of every minute of the entire stay.

    I also had never seen a General Authority in person until the MTC. Elder Neal Maxwell came and spoke while I was there and also Elder John Groberg (not bad for only being there three weeks).

    I hated the communal showers. I had never showered in public before (or since).

    I didn’t sing but some of the Elders in our “dorm” sang and would do renditions of God Be With You Til We Meet Again in the stairwell (for acoustics, I guess?) every time a group moved out.

    The MTC was interesting, I guess, but very different from the mission field. Its hard to realize just how different your mission is going to be when you’re there and that’s all you know. I heard a speaker on tape once say (I don’t remember who) “The MTC really isn’t the prison its made out to be. In a prison, you can have visitors.” So true. :)

  6. Brian
    December 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    My district was learning Spanish in preparation to go to Mexico and our instructors encouraged us to HSI (speak your language in Spanish) as much as possible.

    One morning I was brushing my teeth in the communal bathroom. A very large non-Spanish elder was shaving with a cheap, plastic disposable razor and cutting himself pretty bad – blood was dripping down his face in at least a dozen places.

    My diminutive companion looked at me and said “el idiota no sabe afeitarse.” Another elder in our district who wasn’t very confident in his language skills asked “The idiot doesn’t know how to shave himself?”

    We ran. The end.

  7. December 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you. This is just what I had hoped for.

  8. December 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    One of the Elders in our district (about 1980) had given a ring to his girlfriend before entering the MTC. This is probably never a good idea, and in his case it ended up with the Elder yelling into the pay phone in the MTC lobby:

    “You don’t want to wear the ring? O.K. Then don’t wear the ring!

  9. Brian
    December 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    We also quickly figured out that some of the lovesick elders’ girlfriends would leave them treats in designated spots between the MTC and the temple. On our P-days we would get up extra early for a special missionary “harvest.”

  10. December 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I was in the MTC on Christmas Day. My companion asked his mom to send him a whole bunch of miniature stockings and on Christmas morning, we woke up super early and laid out the candy-stuffed stockings in front of all the doorways on our floor for the missionaries to discovery when they awoke. What a great Christmas memory.

  11. deb
    December 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Three years ago, our daughter was at BYU-Hawaii, and her later-to-be-husband was at the MTC. Our son happened to be visiting his girlfriend in Provo, and offered to try to get a forbidden treat to the elder in the MTC.

    After some conspiring, it was decided a message was easier. On the day they knew the elder’s district would walk up to the temple, my son got up very very early, and chalked a long message on the sidewalk, dictated by my daughter, to the elder, using a phrase that only he and my daughter used.

    The following week’s letter was puzzled. “how did you do that? I know you are in Hawaii!” The elder said he loved it, his district was amused, and the sidewalk was still wet when they left the temple, from being hastily hosed off.

    The photo my son took of the message clearly showed the Please Do Not Write On Sidewalk sign. What-? It’s a sidewalk!

    Our son went to the MTC in England, and has repeatedly expressed gratitude for skipping Provo’s MTC. the silly rules would have stifled him no end.

  12. Jax
    December 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I was in the MTC for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s… the trifecta :( We saw Apostles 7 times. The best was Elder Oaks… we sang “Called To Serve”, of course, and followed that up with “Who’s on the Lord’s Side, Who?” Well some extremely zealous missionary stood up in the middle of it, presumably to show HE was on the Lord’s side, and then his companion stood, then the whole darn group (except for me and a handful of stubborn holdouts). Elder Oaks stood before the prayer was given and gave us a 5 minute talking to about how we shouldn’t stand unless directed to by the chorister and not to take dramatic acts without authority…

    6 months ago I took our branches missionaries to a zone conference where they sang Who’s on the Lord’s Side, Who? where a missionary stood up, followed by the entire room. The mission president stood up to speak and told us how it brought tears to his eyes…

  13. Steve Smith
    December 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I recall that some elders in my district, just before being sent to the field, went out of the MTC and tried to hitchhike to Lehi to see his girlfriend just before he left. They went out to eat at some fast food place. I don’t know if they made it to Lehi, but they came back to the MTC and never got caught.

  14. David Parker
    December 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I think I was the one who discovered that our name tags, the folded ones that fit over the suit pocket, could be played like kazoos. For a Christmas-time talent show my district and I all got up and played “Far, Far Away On Judea’s Plains” on our name tags.

  15. Sheldon Miller
    December 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    My memories of the Mission Home go back 50 years now. Being just north of Temple Square we got to hear apostles and 70’s presidents multiple times each day for the week we were there. We also trekked 3 times a day the block and a half to the basement of the Hotel Utah for our meals. On our last day, a Sunday, we had a testimony meeting in the Assembly Hall which family members and friends could attend. Then if we were able, we got to go home for the night before traveling to our missions the next day. Altogether a much pleasanter experience than those I’ve heard from the MTC.

  16. Adam G.
    December 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve heard plenty of MTC stories; they all involve bodily functions; and based on observation during my own MTC time, there is a close correspondence between what I’ve heard and what went on there.

    But here’s one that isn’t too German.

    We’re a Spanish-speaking district. One of our elders is a California surfer who–it is obvious to all–only recently did some vigorous repenting of his severe marijuana habit. He struggles even with English a little, let alone Spanish. It is painful to watch.

    We are learning the names of languages, countries, peoples. We do some back and forth chanting with the instructor. Aleman, Alemania. Aleman, Alemania. Ingles, Inglaterra. Ingles, Inglaterra. Frances, Francia. Frances, Francia. Like that.

    Then the instructor calls on Elder Surfer. “Elder Surfer, ask Elder Greenwood if he speaks French.” There is a long pause. Elder Surfer’s face is contorted. A couple of us are blushing in embarrassment. One elder giggles nervously. Our instructor just sits there. Finally, surprisingly, Elder Surfer’s face clears. “Elder Greenwood” he says, “parlez-vous francois?”

  17. Max G.
    December 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Steve Smith, I’ve never heard of missionaries in the MTC being forbidden from using the bathroom alone. No one ever said anything about it while I was there.

    It’s a sensational assertion that has a certain plausibility, the kind of thing I’m coming to associate with your name. Aren’t you the one who claimed that deacons in your ward would solicit fast offering donations from non-members? That, too, doesn’t correspond to my experience at all. And since donations have to be associated with an individual name in church records, I have to wonder. Are you taking something that happened once, in the MTC or in some ward where you lived, and overgeneralizing one incident into general practice, or are you trying to spread misinformation intentionally?

  18. December 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Max, relax; this is a story-telling thread. If the stories are slightly exaggerated for comic—or other—effect, so be it. But if we burst into flame wars in the comments, the whole point of the post (general frivolity, mainly) is defeated.

  19. Sonny
    December 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I was in the MTC in the fall of 85. Fall means football season, and there was a lot of talk about BYU’s first home game against the Washington Huskies. There was a lot of cautious talk among my district about whether anyone was going to sneak out and go to the game (our P day was on Saturday). I tried a different approach. I went in to see the Branch President and asked if it was okay, and he said yes. So no one ened up sneaking out to see the game, except my comp and I who had permission to go.

    The next week an announcement was made that no one can go any football games, even on P day. So we were somewhat despised for getting to see a game without breaking the rule.

  20. Matt S.
    December 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I was in the MTC for the Fourth of July. On that blessed day, some celebrating Utahns went out on a hot air balloon excursion, and many balloons hovered right over the MTC. I went outside, turned to my dear companion (who hated me, and the feeling was mutual), and said, “just when I thought this place couldn’t get any MORE like East Berlin…”

    He didn’t get it. Nobody in the district did. And I realized I was in for a very long two years.

    Another instance happened in one of the auditions with the MTC President’s wife to do a musical number in one of the devotionals. There was an elder with a lovely voice who sang a number with his companion accompanying. As soon as he was done Sister President smiled her best smile and said, “next time elder, try to find an accompanist who can actually play the piano.” RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE ELDER. After that I started calling her the chupacabra, even when somebody told me I was speaking evil against the Lord’s anointed.

  21. December 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I went into the MTC the same day as my little brother. We liked to switch nametags and enjoy the doubletakes. And hug each other in the Cafeteria.

  22. December 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Sonny (19), five years earlier they sent the entire MTC to one of the BYU football games (that was before the end zone seating was complete, and there were bleachers in the end zones). The entire end zone was full of MTC missionaries.

    I suspect that once the stadium endzone seating was complete, and BYU had won the national championship, there was no way that BYU would pass up that revenue.

  23. Brian
    December 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I kept a journal of all the ridiculous things my districtmates said during class time. The 10:2 ratio of elders to sisters in our district was wearing on a few of the elders. You’d think they had been incarcerated for years. One hot, July afternoon we had the door cracked open when a whole district of sister missionaries walked by. Elder Shields (played football at SUU) threw the door open and yelled “come quick, it smells like girl.” Elder Cairns’ reply, “not anymore. I just impurified the air.”

    Juvenile, yes. But at the time nothing could have been funnier.

  24. Jax
    December 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I was in the MTC a whole of one day when one Elder rubbed his Berkenstock (?) shoes together and made a fart noise. They were the “in” shoe and so we all had them. The afternoon female instructor came into class and we all did it at the same time, creating one GIANT noise… she walked in, heard the noise, and walked right back out. End of class!

  25. AJ
    December 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Three things stand out twenty-five years later:

    1. Having Paul Dunn speak to us about perfecting ourselves one step and one gospel principle at a time, just like he was trying to do. It was a great talk…but I remember a few years later thinking that perhaps he should have gotten to honesty more quickly.

    2. On Thanksgiving, a friend dropped off a homemade pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie without whipped cream? No way. So I went up to George Durrant, the MTC president, and offered him a piece if he could get the kitchen staff to provide some whipped cream. He laughed, went to the kitchen, and we both enjoyed the pie while watching football (he gave us a dispensation for the Thanksgiving games, too).

    3. Late on our final Sunday night, the vending machines in our dorm were empty…and we were hungry. After checking several other dorms and finding their machines empty too, we realized that the only possible place to get anything before Monday morning would be the sisters’ dorms….so we conducted a covert operation, discovered that the sisters’ machines were well-stocked, and absconded with as many bags of chips and Twinkies that we could carry.

  26. MC
    December 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    1. While playing basketball in our dorm room on an improvised hoop, we accidentally knocked out the a/c vent and saw a spiral notebook inside. We pulled it out and found a diary of illicit activities by some elders who had left the MTC a few weeks before. Sneaking out with girlfriends to engage in pre-marital who-knows-what, smoking weed behind a gas station, etc. Being good little elders we turned in the evidence. Reportedly their mission president in Bulgaria was positively thrilled to have an excuse to send them home. (I swear this story is true in every particular)

    2. Around midnight one night, some flashes of light came through our window. My roommates, the APs, went out to investigate. A couple of girls dressed to the nines were waiting at the fence for a couple of elders to go clubbing with them. The A.P.’s said, “Who are you looking for?” The girls demurred, so the A.P.’s insisted, “Naw, it’s cool, just tell us and we’ll go find them for you.” That little ruse worked, incredibly.

  27. Chet
    December 12, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I chuckle when I remember a few of us walking by an empty room with a piano, en route to the cafeteria. A few minutes later I was severely rebuked (by a teacher?) for plucking out the first few measures of “Stairway to Heaven.”

  28. Chet
    December 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    p.s. we need a separate discussion to share interesting stories among those of us who worked at the MTC while pursuing our BYU education.

  29. sba
    December 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Ah, spirit prison. The food was so bad I lost 4 pounds.

  30. December 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Chet, remind me and I’ll set one up. I’m curious, because my time teaching at the MTC didn’t provide me with stories nearly like those I have from my own MTC/mission experience.

  31. Raymond Takashi Swenson
    December 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I was in the very first group to go through Japanese language training at the Language Training Mission at what was called Church College of Hawaii, so all of us from Utah ALSO got the regular week in the old Mission Home that sat where the Conference Center is now. we had lots of general authority speakers, including Harold B. Lee coming in to meet us in the top floor assumbly hall of the Salt Lake Temple and answer our questions about the Endowment. One of the staff at the Hotel Utah dining hall we ate in was a black gentleman who liked to ask questions of the missionaries to embarrass them about their lack of knowledge, and then reveal that he was a member. At the end of the week we all were assigned to a general authority to be set apart. Several of us who were bound for Japan were taken care of by Bruce R. McConkie, who was a supervisor for Asia.

    The last night, those of us from the local area got to go home for the night before heading to the airport. This was in February, and overnight over a foot of snow fell. My family managed to get me to the airport, but most of the flights were cancelled due to the snow falling and the difficulty of keeping the runways cleared. Finally, hours late, those of us bound for Hawaii got off, changed planes in San Francisco, and landed in Honolulu, walking down a staircase in the heat and humidity and hit in the face with the pungent smell of flowers. What a contrast with Salt Lake a few hours earlier.

    The day we arrived they had a full schedule of events for us, disregarding the fact that we were several hours out of our biological time zones.

    The whole LTM occupied the top floor of a dormitory building, with classrooms in the four corners and one larger lecture room, along with dormitory cubicles. We ate exotic tropical food in the college cafeteria, and in the evenings during our break, the “Relief Society” sisters would come sell us sandwiches. Our Preparation Days included excursions to Pearl Harbor, to movie theaters showing Japanese movies in Honolulu, and the Polynesian Cultural Center. One day I was allowed to go out to dinner with the family of one of my Dad’s missionary companions who lived in Hawaii. We were allowed to play team sports with college students and jog down to Laie Point. My companion snuck down to the beach early one morning and had his picture taken wearing swim trunks and a necktie, posing with a surfboard (he is now the supervisor of banking for the state of Idaho).

  32. Steve Smith
    December 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Max G. (17), no I never mentioned that deacons were collecting fast offering from non-members. But the bathroom story is true. I experienced it first hand when I was at the MTC. I needed to use the bathroom during class and my instructor insisted that my companion accompany me to the bathroom (not the stall of course, but the bathroom nonetheless). He was following standard procedure. In fact my dad is a branch president at the MTC and has told me that they only recently did away with the bathroom requirement.

  33. John Mansfield
    December 13, 2012 at 8:13 am

    This isn’t an MTC story, and it’s not a mission field story; it’s in-between. Our district’s travel from Provo to Argentina included a day in LA to pick up visas from the Argentine consulate. One of the elders was from Orange County, and arrangements were made that they would drive us around Los Angeles with their big van instead of the usual plan of us taking taxis from the airport to the consulate and back.

    So we arrived at the consulate on Wilshire Blvd., and Elder Browning’s parents took off to take care of something else. Getting the visas didn’t take long, and we found some benches by a Catholic church to sit and wait. Before long a crowd started forming across the street from us. It was a demonstration, and we spent a mildly miserable hour keeping an eye out for the Brownings’ van while being careful to stay clear of any entanglement with the demonstration. The Brownings treated us to a nice dinner out that evening.

  34. Tim
    December 13, 2012 at 10:47 am

    True example of MTC food:

    Breakfast: Biscuits and gravy.

    That same day, the dessert accompanying dinner was listed as “Strawberry Shortcake.” The dessert was disgusting, but it was certainly a creative way to get rid of the leftover biscuits…

  35. Bryan S.
    December 13, 2012 at 11:25 am

    After the MTC I went the Utah Ogden mission to wait for my visa. 2 months later it came and I flew out with a couple missionaries that were younger in the MTC but were in our district. We got to the airport and I noticed that my visa had one of the other missionary’s names on it and mine had his. After some panicked calls to the Travel Office we ended up going to the LA mission and spending a couple days there.

    During that stay they flew us to San Francisco where we shuttled to down town, waited around for the consulate to open, quickly got our visa’s fixed and then had about 3 hours to burn. We walked around, ate pastries, checked out China town, rode a cable car up a hill and then walked back down.

    A suburban with a large family honked and waved ad us and then we passed a guy with dreadlocks wearing all black, a long trenchcoat and chains rattling everywhere. As he passed he said “How’s Kolob?” I think my stunned response was “Good?”

    I still kind of chuckle about that one sometimes.

  36. The other Brother Jones
    December 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I am enjoying this thread.

    I was also in the MTC during George Durrant’s presidency and stayed for Thanksgicing, Christmas, and New Years. I still laugh about how that was handled. The whole MTC runs on BYU students and they all go home.

    It was in the MTC that I first watched Chariots of Fire, 76 Trombones,10 commandments and a few others. There were few very boring days because there was literally nothing going on.

    My favorite memory is a Christmas memory. We were learning French and so we were singin french chistmas carols fomr the hymnbook. Also, we were scheduled to end class and go to dinner at the very end of the time the cafeteria was open. We would literally run to get there and grab a salad from the salad bar before the took it away.

    One of the Hymns was Ecoutez, les Chants du Ciel (Hark the Herald Angels Sing). In french there is only one verse. We chose it all the time because we could blast through that one very almost in a single breathe so we could make it to dinner on time! Still love that hymn!

  37. The other Brother Jones
    December 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Another one.
    One of the instructor in the MTC married a girl from Quebec, and they were moving there at the same time we were flying up. Some how (I am sure unofficially) they got our district to take their kids up on the plane with us and meet the grandparents to hand them over. And I was in charge as I was already a Canadian citizen. Well, we got to the transfer in Chicago and found the gate for the next flight and waited for an hour until they called out flight. It was then that we found out that these kids tickets did not go past Chicago! There was clearly a misunderstanding somewhere!

    I left the kids with the sisters and a me and a comp ran back to a ticket desk to find out what the deal was. I paid $400 to get the kids on the plane and ran back and barely made the flight.

    On that flight, the kids were getting tired and were better behaved with one of the sisters. After we got our bags, Sister M’amed (from Algeria) had taken them through immigration and was being questioned in a separate room from the kids. Then I got questioned. then the grandparents got paged. By the time we got that all sorted out the mission president was getting testy. Won’t try that again!

  38. Rob Perkins
    December 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I was in the MTC during Ed Pinegar’s term. During the BYU break between Fall ’88 and Winter ’89, the Church renovated the MTC cafeteria, requiring all missionaries to walk the 1/2 mile to the Morris Center for their meals. It was very weird to eat there after having lived there just eight months before.

    (Yes, that means I spent Christmas in the MTC. Let’s not mince words: It’s a desperately lonely thing and no degree of platitudes or GA talks will change the fact that basically, it sucked.)

    During those two weeks we got a couple feet of snow on the ground, and there were drivers unafraid to run through the salt-water slush slurry on the side of the road, soaking us in the process. Only happened once but you never forget that.

    One day during that time our MTC instructor commented idly that her basement apartment’s driveway was going to be impossible to navigate without help shoveling. My two companions responded immediately by volunteering to leave class, walk up Temple Hill and shovel the walk for her. We three were kind of obnoxious together and hard to manage so she sent us away to do that. And that’s how I ended up shoveling walks while skipping classes in the MTC.

    Two weeks later a spate of strep throat swept through the MTC, impacting me as well. The clinic there advised me to endure to the end and there were no medications offered. This would be the same clinic that about a year later advised another friend of mine who was suffering from extreme cramping to just take 10 tylenol or advil tablets at a time for the pain whenever it happened.

  39. Rob Perkins
    December 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Oh, now I remember another one. During my stay there the PA system would periodically page a teacher to go to the hall phone and call someone. One of my classmates had mastered the “Police Academy Radio” thing. He devised a way to gaslight the teachers, by scaling those narrow hallways and throwing his PA voice at the top corner of the classroom door. We had one “cool” instructor, one “tool” instructor, and one very good looking RM Sister instructor. Only the Sister was not fooled. She recognized the Elder’s voice.

    The reactions of the other two were hilarious.

  40. Chet
    December 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    None or few have mentioned “celestial service,” free janitorial duties performed by missionaries within the MTC compound. An elder in our district (March 1990) wanted to take a mental health break during this service time but was quickly pressed into service by the MTC paid custodial worker.

  41. Rob Perkins
    December 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I had completely forgotten about “celestial service” …

  42. Tim
    December 14, 2012 at 1:52 am

    My brother and I were students at the Y, both rms, and our younger brother was at the mtc, going to Ecuador. My younger brother was recently in a motorcycle wreck with his girlfriend (future wife) and could barely get around on crutches. So I borrowed a car from a friend who was out of town for the semester, for plausible deniability. It was evening when we drove up to the door of the dorm building where Jerry was and parked on the sidewalk as close to the door as I could. The building was downhill from the admin buildings, so I thought we’d be safe for a while.

    After a good visit and goodbyes, we came out to find a security guard (rent-a-cop college student) and a couple responsible looking missionaries with hands on hips. They were glad we weren’t girls. I helped my brother to the car and left. I was relying on a saying I learned on my mission, “it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.”

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