Illustrations by Jennifer Tolman
Dear Journal, Jarom wrote as he sat at the kitchen table, I’m getting really excited about going on a mission. Did you know I can now go when I turn 18? That’s only eight years away! I can’t wait!
Jarom kept writing about how much he looked forward to his mission. His younger sister Taran was also writing in her journal. Kelcey, Ben, and Alyssa drew pictures in their journals instead. They were still too young to write.
I used to be kind of nervous about the idea of leaving home to go on a mission, Jarom wrote. But now I know better. A mission is going to be great. I wonder where I’ll go.
He kept writing about his future mission. Every Sunday his whole family wrote in their journals for 15 minutes as part of Family MTC—their family’s own “missionary training center.”
They’d already done their 15 minutes of personal scripture study. Jarom knew that was important too, even if it wasn’t always easy. Sometimes the scriptures confused him. But he kept doing his very best. And Mom and Dad could always answer questions when he got really stuck.
Journal time, though, was always one of his favorite activities. He especially liked when they shared journal entries with each other.
“OK,” Dad said. “Time’s up. Ready for class time?”
Everybody cheered. Class time was fun. They each picked favorite articles from the Friend to teach the rest of the family. Jarom chose a baseball story he found—he loved baseball, after all. And his younger brother, Ben, couldn’t wait to tell about a boy who tried building the biggest block tower in the universe. Everybody had something to share.
The 15 minutes zoomed by with favorite stories. That meant only one thing was left.
“It’s time for family devotional,” Mom said.
Jarom grinned. Family devotional usually meant watching Church videos on the computer. The whole family loved those videos. They sometimes couldn’t decide which videos to watch for the 15 minutes. There were so many to choose from.
“Can we watch the one about the scorpion again?” Jarom asked before they even made it to the computer. “Please?” The video about the scorpion showed how Elder Patrick Kearon of the Seventy learned to obey his parents and avoid dangerous things.
“We just watched that last week,” Dad said with a laugh.
“I know, but it’s awesome!”
“I want to watch ‘The Coat,’” Kelcey said.
In no time at all, it seemed, Family MTC was over for another week. And yes, they’d gotten to watch Jarom’s favorite video again. Sooo awesome, Jarom wrote really fast in his journal.
Then it was time to get ready for church. Jarom grabbed his scriptures and headed for the door.
He remembered a couple months ago when they started Family MTC. At the time he didn’t really know what to think of it. Would it feel like one more hour of church? Sometimes three hours felt like a long time already.
But he was surprised by how much he loved Family MTC. Going on a mission was one of his big goals in life. He knew what he had to do to be ready. Learning as a family made it that much more fun.
Besides, if it meant he got to watch the scorpion video a few more times along the way, well that was just fine by Jarom.
To watch Jarom’s favorite video, go to lds.org/friend!
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“Raising the Bar,” Ensign, Nov. 2007, 49.