(I am leaving this photo in its original size so that you can read the fine print....)
The Students of our ward woke up to this notice yesterday morning. Why might you ask? Because of this breaking news story:
Church Secures Use of Additional Buildings for Missionary Training
SALT LAKE CITY —
To better accommodate the recent increase in new missionaries, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is expanding its missionary training operations by securing the use of additional buildings near the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC).
Missionaries will occupy the Raintree Commons apartments at 1849 North 200 West, and portions of the BYU-owned Wyview Park apartments at 146 West 1940 North in Provo, Utah. This temporary arrangement is one of the many ways the Church is accommodating more missionaries entering into missionary service around the world.
“We are grateful for all those who have chosen missionary service,” said Elder David F. Evans, executive director of the Church’s Missionary Department. “Regardless of where they are trained, missionaries will have a rich and inspiring experience that prepares them for their labors in their assigned missions.”
Approximately 2,000 missionaries will occupy the facilities as early as May 2013. English-language missionaries and those learning foreign languages will be trained there.
Missionaries housed at the Raintree Commons and the Wyview Park apartments will eat, exercise and attend classes and worship services on-site. Additional temporary structures will be installed nearby to provide services to missionaries. All missionaries being trained in Provo will still have opportunities to attend the Provo Temple.
Updated Missionary FAQ
How many missionaries does the Church have serving currently? 64,373
What is the average number of missionaries being called per week now? 1,400 per week since 1 January 2013
What is the current percentage of Elders/Sisters being called? For calls made since 1 January 2013, 57% are elders, 36% are sisters, and 7% are seniors.
What are the plans currently for expansion of the Provo MTC? We are currently reviewing options with the city and neighbors that would approximately double the capacity of the Provo MTC. These plans are not yet finalized.
Are there plans to expand the Provo Temple to accommodate increased numbers of missionaries? No
Soooooo, what do the students think? Well, with social media it's easy to see and very quickly. Comments such as these are being posted:
One student wrote that she is looking for a big box to live out of since she is being forced to move and will soon be homeless.
Others are saying that they should still have use of the pool and hot tub because the missionaries won't need them.
Another suggested that the ward blow the budget on an end-of-the-year party within the next month.
Most are saying how very, very sad they are that they will all be moving. Essentially, they are loosing their sense of 'family' in our little ward.
For me personally (at the moment), I am mourning this change as well because I love, love, love these young people. It has been my privilege and honor to serve with them. What a tender mercy this calling has been for me.
On the flip side, after thinking about this for a few hours, I can see the divine wisdom in this inspired choice. The campus' of both of these apartment buildings are rather isolated. Raintree itself really does have a central commons area and the apartment buildings surround it keeping all the occupants close together. The missionaries could quickly and easily move from one building to the other despite the weather. Geographically, the roads, river, and business buildings keep this area uniquely isolated to itself. The parking for Raintree only has 2 entrances and could easily be taken down to one to keep the campus isolated from well wishers or interested parties.
I remember when President Spencer W Kimball coined the phrase "Constancy amid Change". This announcement is perfectly suited for this phrase. In the last days, the missionary work really must expand and fill the whole earth. Since the announcement was made by President Monson during the October General Conference, we have had nearly 17 young sisters either receive their mission call, leave for the MTC (one left yesterday), or are in the process of putting their papers in. Imagine this expanded missionary activity in every YSA ward in our valley and the worldwide impact it is having. My husband and I joked that perhaps one of our own Young Single Adults might end up right back in the apartment they just left, however they would been transformed into a missionary this time. For me personally, I just get to see this change up close and personally.
I will miss my Young Single Adults.....May the Lord Bless them all.....until we meet again. ************* PS: There is now an official site for those who are displaced. If you know of openings in the Provo area, please feel free to post them here: https://www.facebook.com/RaintreeRefugeeFoundationRrf