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

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

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Mike B
TUCSON, AZ

I taught Spanish at the LTM from Sept 1963 to Aug. 1966. When I started, only Spanish and Portugese were taught. I was told the following story of how the MLI and LTM came to be.

In late 1961 Mexico bound missionaries were given a new type of visa and it took the Mexican government several months to issue them, so the problem was, what to do with these missionaries while awaiting their visas. After discussing and rejecting several options the junior member of the Twelve came up with the idea of setting up language instruction at BYU. Everyone said "what a wonderful idea Elder Hinckley." This was told to me decades before he became our Prophet.

For some time only Mexico bound missionaries were sent there, then they started having visa problems in Brazil, so Portugese was added. When the positive effects of language training were observed, in late 1963, all missionaries called to Spanish speaking missions were sent there. German was the third language and was added about 1965 and I don't think it had anything to do with visa problems. None of us ever dreamed it would become what now is.

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