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Mormon church's Provo MTC: Exclusive look at the largest missionary training facility in the world

Published: Monday, March 21 2011 9:00 a.m. MDT

The TALL instruction is for missionaries learning a new language, as they listen to words, phrases and longer readings from a native speaker and record and compare their own pronunciations.

"What really makes or breaks you in learning a language is your personal time," said Elder Russell Homer of Holladay, called to serve in the Russia Rostov Mission.

The Provo MTC continues to grow — both in number of missionaries (the LDS Church forecasts an upcoming demographic upswing in prospective missionaries) and a current 10-year expansion and renovation project.

The current construction focus is a three-story, 40,000-square-foot building to house mail services, clothing assistance, medical and clinical services, a book store, a copy center, a maintenance shop and a receiving center. It will also provide additional office space and residence rooms for 30-plus senior couples.

It is scheduled for completion and dedication in ceremonies later this year that will double as a 50th anniversary commemoration of the old MLI.

Still, the best success stories focus on the missionaries rather than the facilities.

Like Elder Gabriel Ribeiro of Brasilia, Brazil, in the Provo MTC being taught in English — his second language – to learn a third language — Japanese — for his assignment in Japan.

"I write home to my parents about the spiritual feast I have here every day," he said. "I learn so much here. I didn't think I could learn that much — about the gospel, about Japanese. I tell them how grateful I am to be here and to see the church really working."

email: taylor@desnews.com

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