Saturday, September 21, 2013

Missionary Training Centers

So I'm official have less than 1 month until I report to the MEXICO MTC!
In lieu of that I am sharing exciting information about missionary training centers in general.
Missionary Training Centers are the first stop for new missionaries.  The location and language of a mission call determines the amount of stay at the MTC but it ranges from 2-9 weeks (I will be in the Mexico MTC for about 6 weeks).

For more information on MTCs and what missionaries do in the MTC, check out Preparation with Purpose, an article produced by the church to share what missionaries do each day to prepare.
A couple years ago, KSL (Utah news station) did a special on the MTC and missionaries in general.  Though things have changed in the last year, it's still pretty interesting to watch (An Army of Faith).

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Race

The Race
-D. H. Groberg

"Quit!" "Give up, you're beaten!"
they shout at me and plead,
"There's just too much against you now,
this time you can't succeed."

And as I started to hang my head
in front of failure's face,
my downward fall is broken
by the memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will
as I recall that scene
for just the thought of that short race
rejuvenates my being.

A children's race, young boys, young men;
now I remember well.
Excitement, sure, but also fear;
it wasn't hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope.
Each thought to win the race
or tie for first, if not that,
at least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side,
each cheering for his son,
and each boy hoped to show his dad
that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went,
young hearts and hopes afire
to win, to be the hero there,
was each young boy's desire.

And one boy in particular,
his dad was in the crowd,
was running near the lead and thought,
"my dad will be so proud."

But as he speeded down the field,
across the shallow dip,
the little boy who thought to win
lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself,
his hands flew out to brace,
and 'mid the laughter of the vrowd,
he fell flat on his face.

So, down he fell, and with him, hope
he couldn't win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished
to disappear somehow.

But, as he fell, his dad stood up
and showed his anxious face, 
which to the boy so clearly said,
"Get up and win the race!"

He quickly rose, no damage done,
behind a bit, that's all.
And ran with all his mind and might
to make up for the fall.

So anxious to restore himself,
to catch up and to win,
His mind went faster than his legs.
He slipped and fell again.

He wished he had quit before
with only one disgrace.
"I'm hopeless as a runner now,
I shouldn't try to race."

But, in the laughing crowd he searched
and found his father's face.
That steady look that said again,
"Get up and win the race!"

So, he jumped up to try again,
ten yards behind the last;
"If I'm to gain those yards," he thought,
"I've got to run real fast!"

Exerting everything he had,
he gained eight or ten,
but trying so hard to catch the lead,
he slipped and fell again.

Defeat! He lay there silently,
a tear dropped from his eye.
"There's no sense running more.
Three strikes, I'm out... why try?"

The will to rise had disappeared
all hope had fled away.
So far behind, so error-prone
a loser all the way.

"I've lost, so what's the use?" he thought,
"I'll live with my disgrace."
But, then he thought about his dad,
who soon he'd have to face.

"Get up," and echo sounded low,
"Get up and take your place.
You weren't meant for failure here;
get up and win the race."

With borrowed will, "get up," it said,
"you haven't lost at all,
for winning is no more than this-
to rise each time you fall."

So up he rose to win once more.
And with a new commit,
he resolved that win or lose,
at least he wouldn't quit.

So far behind the others now,
the most he'd ever been.
Still, he gave it all he had,
and ran as though to win.

Three times he fallen, stumbling,
three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win,
he still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner,
as he crossed the line, first place,
head high and proud and happy;
no falling, no disgrace.

But, when the fallen youngster
crossed the finish line, last place,
the crowd gave him the greater cheer
for finishing the race.

And even though he came in last,
with head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he won the race,
to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad, he sadly said,
"I didn't do so well."
"To me you won," his father said,
"You rose each time you fell."

And now when things seem dark and hard
and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy
helps me in my race.

For all of life is like that race,
with ups and downs and all.
and all you have to do to win
is rise each time you fall.

"Quite!" "Give up, you're beaten!"
They still shout in my face,
but another voice within me says,
"Get up and win the race!"

*emily's note:  If you googled "The Race" by D. H. Groberg, you would find several different versions.  This is personally my favorite because it's the version my dad shared with me when I graduated high school.