Tag Archives: Kevin Hunt

Developing Talents and Teaching by the Spirit

In previous blogs I have talked of the Missionary in Training program.  It might be of interest to some to know how this program came into being.  A journal entry from March 6, 2013 talks of the beginning of the program – along with some insights about developing talents through the power of the Holy Ghost.  On that date, I walked from my place of employment to a nearby Deseret Book store – with the plan to buy some “Future Missionary” badges for some grandchildren.

March 6, 2013

“On my way to the store, I received inspiration relative for a Christmas poem for this year – and was surprised that the inspiration came so much before the Christmas season.  I wrote down the ideas that came to me for future reference.  I guess this inspiration came because I earlier read from a Christmas “Church News”.  (I am a bit behind on my reading!)”

On that occasion, the inspiration through the Holy Ghost started to come.  And as it did, I recorded enough notes -and some verses – to be able to tap into the Spirit at a later time to receive the full message.

For 25 years I have written a new song or hymn for each Christmas season.  And over the years, I have learned to request – AND RECEIVE – these by the power of the Holy Ghost.  I have asked for specific help and have been grateful when the help and inspiration has come.  (And I have long hoped and prayed that the Lord would send to me the man who could write the music for all of these.  That is still future tense, however!)

That March morning was kind of “spirit overload” (an interesting challenge) and I couldn’t write all in a few minutes.  But, shortly thereafter, I used my notes, the verses that I had written or had been given to me – and prayed for specific guidance of the Holy Ghost for the poem that I wanted to write – and for the inspiration already given me of the Holy Ghost.  And the words soon flowed.  (And after they did, I gratefully acknowledged the power of the Holy Ghost and thanked Him for the words given to me – acknowledging the true source of that which came – knowing that it wasn’t Kevin Hunt material.  Though I had a part in the process.)

I love the Parable of the Talents!  I am sure that you recall this.  Most folks, when they hear this story, think that it is about putting money in the bank and getting interest – though financial success can be a part of it.  In the day of Christ, “Talents” were/was actually money.  But I love to think of it literally about talents – like writing, song composing, playing a musical instrument, singing, art, taking tests, sports, etc.  The same process applies to teaching a lesson or making a presentation.

The Lord gives each of us talents or gifts (like Gifts of the Spirit).  And he gives us opportunity to learn and to develop these talents for the building up of his kingdom and to share with others.  That is the key!

Some of our talents are given to us because of circumstance or need – and we get them and hardly recognize them as talents of the Lord.  When I was a sixteen, my current Bishop came to me and asked if I would work for him in his flower shop.  I did so.  When i started there, I knew nothing about floral design.  But, I took advantages of opportunities to learn to create.  And over time, and with a lot of practice, I became a skilled creator and designer of flowers – for wedding bouquets, funeral arrangements, corsages and flowers for all occasion.  I have enjoyed this talent through the years.

Another scenario.   When I was a Scout, our Scoutmaster – Mr. Nelson – taught all of us Scouts how to cook in Dutch ovens.   I continued to develop this talent on my own.  Then, over time, and through a lot of practice, I became a rather skilled Dutch oven chef.  And I have very much enjoyed sharing this with family and friends.

Genealogy and family history research is another example.  When I was twelve, I had opportunity to take a genealogy course that lasted just a couple of months.  But, I caught the spirit and with time and a lot of practice, I can now skillfully accomplish research for my and for others.  This has been a great blessing to many people.

I could go on and on … the Lord has been good to me.

Other talents I have asked for and have worked to develop them after being given the talents.

In the Parable of the Talents, it says, “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two and to another one  EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS SEVERAL ABILITY.”  Then he that RECEIVED the five talents went and made them other five talents.  And son on with the one who HAD RECEIVED two talents.   And then there is the case of the guy who had one talent given to him (without him doing anything for it) his his away.   Even though given of the Lord, he did nothing with it.  He did not share it with others.

Then at his coming, the Lord gave the man with five double – and so with the one with two.  But the one that was given one and did nothing with it, his was taken away and given – as a bonus – to the man who had five.  The five and two had learned how to magnify their talents and used them to serve others – rather than keeping them to themselves.

Over time, and through practice, I have come to realize that all talents are given to us through the Holy Ghost.  Not too many people have come to this realization.  Once I came to realize this, some glorious things happened in my life.  The Lord wants us to  have and use many talents.  And as we learn and receive talents by the Holy Ghost and serve others with them, He will magnify them and give us more and more.  It is a pretty exciting concept.

he process is pretty simple:  Pray for help.  But, don’t pray in generalities.  Get real specific.  Say, “Heavenly Father, I am anxious to write a poem about …..  I pray specifically for the Holy Ghost to inspire my thoughts on this subject and give me guidance and direction.”  Then go to work to learn the skill, learn the lesson, study, perfect, etc.  Then after your own extensive preparation, talk again with the Lord.  Thank him and the Holy Ghost for his guidance and help on this ……. poem (ow whatever).  Pray for added help as you perform or do or write – or speak – or whatever it is.   Then do the act … teach the lesson, perform the talent.  And be in tune to the Spirit.  Act upon what you studied and the inspiration gained.  And at the end, pray again in Thanksgiving for the guidance and direction received.  Recognize the Holy Ghost as the source of the talent, ability or knowledge.

We are always told that we are to teach “by the Spirit”.  But no one tells us THE HOW of such a task.  it is always in generalities.  When I was on my mission, it was the same.  We were always told to “teach by the Spirit”.  We were told that time and time again.  It was years later – through time and a lot of practice that the HOW came to me.  And when it hit me, it was glorious indeed.  Fabulous!   Words do not describe the feelings, the results and the exhilaration of having the Spirit with me.  The results were phenomenal!  My capabilities were magnified.  And I was working on the errand of the Lord – not on Kevin Hunt steam.

Of course to have the Spirit – and to develop talents and teach by the Spirit, one has to do the basics:  Keep the commandments, read the scriptures, say regular prayers. And if doing these things, then the Spirit is able to dwell with you.  Then with the Spirit, you can take His help and guidance to the next level by asking for specific help.  It is all kind of exciting!

So, what does this have to do with missionary work and mission preparation?  I believe that it is incumbent upon all of us to develop and use our talents so that we can be prepared to serve as the Lord needs us.  And as we learn to teach by the Spirit, we become servants of the Lord and can become effective teachers.  And in so doing, we can realize that we are on the Lord’s errand and that it is actually the Holy Ghost who is doing the teaching.  A beautiful and wonderful concept for missionary success.

By Kevin V. Hunt


Getting Started with the Missionary in Training Program

As noted previously in other blogs, the Missionary in Training Program is a home and centered program for missionary preparation.  Now that the program has been introduced, here are some ways to get started with the program.

  1. Parents review together the overall Missionary in Training Program and make a personal and family commitment to believing in and committing to the long-term plan for the family.
  1. Have/Conduct the FOUR preliminary missionary training programs – in home evenings – using the attached “Missionary Training Guides” and “Planning Worksheets”. Complete the missionary preparation activities and teaching as outlined.
  1. Obtain the MISSIONARY IN TRAINING package and other materials for the family and each participating family member.
  1. Prepare the program “mission Calls” as included in the program package – for each participating child or family member – including parent and youth trainers.
  1. Schedule a date and plan a special “Open the Call Gathering” to include siblings, friends of each child, Primary, Young Men and Young Women Leaders and even non-member friends and neighbors to get children, youth and parents committed and excited about the program.  (See the attached “Missionary in Training “Call Opening Gathering Agenda” and plan.)
  1. Set a date and make a plan for conducting the quarterly or annual family MIT planning conference. (See attached “guidelines”.)  Set a date, determine a location, and make assignments – without the children knowing of the plan.
  1. Prepare a place in the home for your Home and Family Missionary Training Center. This will be where you will stage future missionary training programs.  This could around a wall in the kitchen (by the dining table) or in the family room.  It needs to be a place (or bulletin board or wall) where plaques and planning worksheets can be posted and viewed frequently or continuously by family members.
  1. Create a box where MIT badges, training supplies and materials can be placed on a shelf or in proximity to the board or wall described above
  1. Tell family, friends, home teachers and church leaders about your program and plan. This will further commit you to the plan and will generate support and will commit them to periodic involvement with you in your program.  It will also generate enthusiasm for you and your family.


There are a variety of programs and missionary preparation activities in the Missionary in Training Program.  There are planning guides for each of these.  The various program elements are described below:


As you begin using the Missionary in Training program, you will want to start with six different lessons to help lay the foundation for the program.  And it will be best not to share details of these lessons, the “Call Opening Gathering” or other program elements with your children until after the “Call Opening Gathering”.  It will be more effective if the children do not know ahead of the Call Gathering what is going to happen.  Older children can be invited to present some of these lessons – but don’t give them a vision of the whole big picture.

The first Program Prep lessons will lead up to the “Call Opening Gathering”.  These four lessons are:

Preparation Lesson #1:  “What is a Missionary?”

Preparation Lesson #2:  “Temple and Mission Preparation”

Preparation Lesson #3:  “Who Wants to Commit?”

Preparation Lesson #4:  “Preparing to Receive a Call”

After these lessons, there will be a “Call Opening Gathering”.  This is where all children and parents will receive a “Call to Prepare”.  The event should be a real big deal as it will help to generate enthusiasm and momentum for your future home and family Missionary in Training program.  More detailed information on this gathering is included elsewhere in this MIT package.

Following the “Call Opening Gathering”, you will have two kick-off lessons to help the children understand the coming program.  These lessons are:

Kick-off Lesson #1:  Introduction to the home and family MIT Center

Kick-Off Lesson #2:  The Introduction lesson will take two weeks so for this lesson you will want to continue what you started until the lesson and material has been fully taught.

Following these introductory lessons, you will be ready to start the Missionary Study Sessions on a weekly basis.


This is a special conference or gathering held to jump-start your Home and Family Missionary Training Center program.   This is a gathering staged to get everyone enthused and excited about participating in the Missionary Training program.  Grandparents, home teachers, Bishops, teachers and others may be invited to your gathering.  Make this gathering a special one – with special food, and a unique missionary setting or atmosphere.  All participants should be dressed in missionary attire.  At the gathering, all participants – including Parents, teen Ammonite trainers, and all missionary training participants receive “calls” to “prepare for missionary service”.  This gathering will set the stage for an effective and exciting long-term missionary preparation program in your home.  It should be a very fun and exciting program to be enjoyed by all participants.


This gathering is similar to the Mission Call Opening Gathering but is to be held in subsequent times – like a year after you initiate the Missionary in Training program.  This is a time to recharge batteries of all program participants.  It is a time to recommit to using the Missionary in Training program.  Certificates can be awarded for participation during the past year.  New “calls” can be issued to new participants in the Missionary in Training program (like when young children become old enough to be involved).  Children who turn twelve can be “promoted” to be Ammonite trainers – and can be recognized appropriately with new “calls”.  This gathering can be held any time that the family deems it appropriate or beneficial.  There is no set time for it.


These are the weekly missionary training meetings – formerly AKA – also known as “Family Home Evening”.   Most of the study sessions use “Preach My Gospel” as their main source and are referenced on the planning guide for each session.  There are some additional lessons that do not use “Preach My Gospel” as the reference.

These study sessions from “Preach My Gospel” use materials that missionaries use to teach to their investigators.  There are also study sessions on other reference material in “Preach My Gospel”.

In addition to the “Preach My Gospel” study sessions, there are other study sessions on a variety of subjects that will introduce the children to the missionary life and aid in their preparation.  Some of these will introduce at your Monday gathering what you will explore in greater detail on a Missionary Preparation Activity day – probably to be held on the Saturday of the same week.

It is recommended that you plan the study sessions two weeks in advance – so that you don’t have last minute lessons that you have to come up with.  You should have a weekly planning meeting – and it doesn’t have to be a long meeting – to plan upcoming lessons or study sessions.  These could be held right after your study sessions – or on a separate day.  So, for this week, for example, you would review the lesson plan for next week.  And you would do the initial and more detailed planning for the week after that.  If you follow this plan, you will be able to relax and enjoy the lessons and you won’t be pressured to come up with lesson material.

If you have Aaronic Priesthood or Young Women age youth, it is highly recommended that you use them almost weekly to give the lessons.  Let them be a part of the planning process with you – or even on their own.  Let them be responsible each week for the scripture reading in preparation for the lesson.  They can “study by subject” through the week and make note of key scriptures that they want to share with the family.  They could also research the subject on the Church websites to find material from current Apostles and Prophets and other leaders that supports the ideas of the lesson.

Each lesson planning sheet is the same format.  Routine is good.  But, you can have the flexibility to change things if you decide to do so.  But you will find that having a set plan to follow will greatly help you in your lesson planning.

Most lessons will begin with an introduction designed to be given by even the youngest of children.  A parent, Ammonite or other sibling can work with the child to memorize the sentence for the picture that they will hold up.  Each lesson calls for a picture.  Some of the pictures can be found in “Preach My Gospel” in small pictures.  You could also find some of them on-line.  Use photos from your own family if applicable.  There does not need to be a great amount of discussion after the child shares his picture – but there can be.  Let the child ask his/her question and then have the other family members respond to it.  Then an older person can introduce the main idea for the lesson that evening.

The lesson plans will work the best if a number of people participate each week.  If you have multiple children, give each of them a part on the program.  If you have one or two, give them whatever assignment – or multiple assignments they can handle – and parents can take the rest of the plan.

You may find that some lessons will take a couple of weeks to cover the material.  You could bump into a second week – or just cover what you can in one week and come back to that subject for the rest of the material in a few months or next year.

There are a multitude of study sessions.  You will find that there are more than enough to last an entire year – even giving a lesson every week.  Pick and choose which lessons you will use and when they will be given.  They can be given at any time – though they appear in the book/program materials in the order that they appear in “Preach My Gospel”.  Those that don’t use “Preach My Gospel” can be inserted into the plan whenever you want to use them.

And with so many lesson subjects, you can go for a very long period of time before you give them all a single time.  But, if you do make it through them all, simply start over.  The children will be a year older the next time – and their circumstances will have changed.  Repetition is a very good teacher.  Don’t worry about using the same lesson over again.  And some subjects are covered multiple times in “Preach My Gospel” so are repeated again as separate lesson topics.  And remember too, and remind the children that missionaries will use “Preach My Gospel” through the whole duration of their missions and they will go through the book many times as a missionary.  If they become familiar with the book now, they will be able to recall your home and family MTC lessons and will be able to share personal experiences “in the very hour” as they need to draw upon what you have taught them.

It is best to plan for the entire year and assign lesson numbers to each week of the year.  But, what happens if you suddenly have a family, school or other activity that pre-empts your calendar plan.  No worries …  You can slide the whole calendar to accommodate the lesson next week – or just drop it and put it back on the calendar for ext year.

And if you just get bogged down and need a break, go ahead and take it.  It is your program and you can be flexible when you need to be.


Each lesson also calls for testimony bearing by each family member.  As a general rule in the Church, we do not do enough testimony bearing.  And having very little children get up in Sacrament meeting can prove to be a bit obnoxious.  Our Church leaders are frequently saying that children should be taught to bear their testimonies at home.  Also, missionaries need to bear their testimonies very frequently – often several times within a single discussion with those they teach.  So, for this reason, testimony is built into every weekly MIT program.

The program uses testimony every week in an effort to get the children (and even adults) used to testimony bearing so that they will be comfortable with the process and it will come across naturally.  At first, as you introduce the weekly testimony period, it will be rather uncomfortable for some family members.  They will hesitate to bear their testimony.  But, keep encouraging them and very soon they will be very comfortable and willing to share their testimonies frequently.  You will be amazed at the results that you will see – and the missionary will later thank you and thank you again for the training that you gave to them.

Also, the lessons invite the family members to bear testimony of specific principles as taught that evening.  Teach the children that they don’t have to always say the same three or four things, “I know the church is true … I love my family, etc”.  Help them to learn to bear testimony – as prompted in the lesson planning guides – to share testimony of specific principles – and not everything that they know – all at once.  If they bear testimony of the single principle, they will soon be amazed at how their testimony is growing and they will have a conviction of much more than they ever thought possible.

Teach children to begin their testimony with the words, “I know …” OR “I believe …” OR “I Feel ….”  And then add to that, “And this is why …”

Children and all family members can then share a personal experience or a spiritual experience with or for that principle.  It might be as simple as saying, “I read in a scripture last week about this and I felt that it is true …” The “And this is why … “ might be sharing feelings of the mind or heart.  “I prayed about this and received a warm feeling in my heart …” etc.  Simple testimonies are the best when given with love and sincerity.  If they will learn to bear testimony, the Holy Ghost will use their testimonies to touch countless investigators and they will truly be a successful missionary.   Try this out and you will reap wonderful rewards from your efforts.

See also, Bear Testimony Frequently, “Preach My Gospel”, Pages 198-199 and MIT Study Session #9.


Missionaries have learned that some of their greatest teaching opportunities and contacts have come as a result from service given to the people – often even before they have been formally taught.  There are a million ways to give service.  Teach the children to always be looking for service to be given.  Help them to realize that they don’t need to do the major service things – like spending three hours on a lawn project (though they may do some like that). Teach them that they can do even 5-minutes acts of service – like taking out someone’s garbage can – or bringing it in.

Try to motivate the children to find some 5-minute type of service activities to do each and every day.  And make service a part of every family prayer.  Ask for service opportunities – and be ready to act upon impressions and opportunities to serve and soon this will become a very natural and rewarding thing for family members.  This may not happen on the first attempt – but if they think of service every day and find opportunities on many days, they will begin to find more and more opportunities.  Teach them of President Thomas S. Monson and how his whole life has been based upon service following quiet impressions.  He has learned how to listen to the promptings as they come – and he testifies that the Lord has come to know and trust “Thomas S. Monson” as one who will go and do.

As the children do service to their friends – and those who are not yet their friends, they will soon make more friends.  And through service, they will soon be able to make other conversation and will be able to extend invitations to their new friends to come and join in on missionary preparation activities, to attend church, etc.

In the MIT program, you are encouraged to schedule some “bigger” type service things – which the whole family can participate in.  There is no set number, but it would be great if you could calendar a service activity together with your Friendshipping Families at least once every two months.  It would be a great idea to invite non-members, less-actives, and others who need fellowshipping – to come and serve with you – at a common neighbor’s house, in the neighborhood, or even with the church group.  If you do this, you will reap great benefits and you will later be very grateful for the times that you “reached out” and included others.


We all know that missionaries have a weekly preparation day.  This is the one day when they can clean their apartments, buy groceries, do the laundry, clean their rooms, write letters, visit cultural places, etc.  Make the “P-Day” a part of your full home and family MTC program and you will be amazed.  There is an Activity Package specifically titled “The Preparation Day Introduction”.   This should be taught or held soon after you start using the MIT program.  Then after that, it is recommended that you make every Saturday a “P-Day Activity” Day.  Do the home basics each week and then jump into other activities that you have planned for the day (as if they are a part of the actual Preparation Day plan).

In addition, The Missionary in Training Program includes a multitude of Missionary Preparation Activity packages and each package contains a plethora of sub-activities that center on the activity theme.  These also are recommended for Saturday activity preparation days.  You could do your regular routine of P-Day and then launch immediately into one of these activity packages.

Saturday Preparation Day Activities

What this means is that you could make EVERY SATURDAY morning a missionary “P-day.”  You know that if you tell the children that we are going to clean the bathroom, this will not be met with great enthusiasm.  However, if they know that it is “Our Missionary “P-day” – and that fun stuff can be done after the work, they will be more anxious to participate and do their part.  Make the P-day a regular routine.  We get up, we exercise together.  We have companion study.  We clean our own room and then help with one other – with a sibling or alone – and then we go shopping, and then we do a sports or other fun event together.

And the missionary preparation activities of “P-Day” can be things that you would probably be doing anyway – such as the laundry, going grocery shopping, etc.  Perhaps you have been the one to always do the shopping – alone – and it takes a lot of your time.  Now, look at shopping as a family P-day activity – combined with learning to plan menus and cooking – because they will need to do that as missionaries.  Wow!  Think of the results of such a concept!  The children will go for it with enthusiasm and you will accomplish so much more than you ever thought possible.  So what if they only get three rooms clean in the P-day cleaning.  That is three more than you would probably ever get with the cleaning as an independent activity.  And if they do three rooms together, that is three less rooms that you will have to clean yourself.

And teach the children to do their own laundry as a part of each weekly P-day.  Teach them how to do laundry and just expect that to be done – because it is part of the P-day routine.  Teach that P-Day (or more properly, the “Preparation Day” is like a Saturday – where they prepare for the Sabbath.  On the mission, the P-Day could fall on any day of the week but the missionary preparation activities of the day are still in preparation – preparation so that full missionary work can be accomplished on the other days.

A good idea would be to pair older children with younger children to accomplish your tasks.  Even laundry could be a “companion” activity – and would be a benefit since most children do not have enough soiled clothing (if washed weekly) to fill a full laundry load.  So, a shared thing between companions would have multiple benefits.

Note that there is one activity day program package that is centered on the real missionary “P-Day”.  This activity is to introduce the MTC participants to the P-Day concept.  It is to teach them the routines that should be a part of each future Saturday preparation day.  So, it is recommended that you use this early on in your program – and that is why it is included in your first three months program.  The sooner you get the children into the “P-Day” scene, the sooner you as the parent will reap the rewards.

So, find the lesson study guide.  Introduce the concept of the “P-day to the children.  Talk about what kinds of missionary preparation activities missionaries typically do.  Then tell them that after the weekly household chores are complete, then the whole family can go and do other fun missionary preparation activities as a part of the family “P-Day”.

The next section will discuss MIT “Activity Days.”  You will be encouraged to have frequent activity days – like every two months – or more frequently.  Even on your calendared activity days and programs, you can still incorporate the P-day concept and combine the activity with the usual P-day routine.  Just do the household stuff first and then proceed into the planned activity – rather then just randomly doing stuff.  The activity day will give missionary focus and will encourage the children to get the house cleaning stuff done first so that they can do the missionary preparation activities.


Activities as a family can be times to strengthen each other and to enjoy being together.  They can be a fun way to learn new things and to practice skills learned in missionary study sessions. Activities can help to build or create strong family traditions and brotherhood among family members.

A major component of the MIT program is the many “Activity Days”.  These program “packages” (a bunch of activities centered around one preparation theme) are all built around real live missionary stuff that missionaries deal with regularly – or that are needed to truly be prepared as missionaries – like “how to sew on a button” – or “how to buy clothes for my mission” – or “how to enjoy working with people of a different culture and language.”

There are many different activity program packages and you can choose which ones you work on and when.  With each activity, there are some basic guidelines that will teach the principles of the activity – the “what and why”.  And each package has a multitude of other FUN missionary preparation activities that can be done to learn further of the function or subject.  Again, you will find that you can’t do them all.   You will have to pick and choose.

Another idea would be to choose an activity theme package and then kind of use the list of possible missionary preparation activities and do one or two of them every day.  You could spend a week on each activity – or even a full month.  Or you could do some of the missionary preparation activities now and then others a year from now when you do the activity again.

After the children get into the action of your family missionary preparation activities together, they will really get into it.  They will find that the missionary preparation activities are FUN and they will want to do more and more of them.  They won’t want to quit after just a few of them.  And who knows, they may want every Saturday – or every night to become an activity day.  (And that could happen … you could do an activity from the selected theme each afternoon or evening as all of the family gets home in the evening – rather than TV or video games or whatever.)   Do one or two at a time and they will be begging for more.  Then you will be amazed at how much fun you really can have as a family.  You’ll do things together that you have never done before.

Altogether, you will find literally hundreds of missionary preparation activities that you can do together (and most of them don’t cost money).  Wow!  You’ll have such great times together.  You will look back and say, “Wow” (again) and “Why have we not been doing these things together before.

As with study sessions, and service functions, delegate out the planning and implementation of missionary preparation activities to your Ammonite children.  Teach them how to plan and conduct an activity – and let them have full reign (almost) to stage the missionary preparation activities for their younger siblings.  And think of the leadership experience this will give them.  They are capable of taking the bull by the horns and going for it.  If you give them basic training, guidelines, and parameters, you will see fabulous results as they soon “do it all” to make something happen – and to make it wonderful and fun. Wherever possible, delegate to and use your Ammonites.  They will grow so much through the experience!  And again, you will be truly amazed at their capabilities and results.

In the MIT program materials, you will be trained to know that every activity you do can become a missionary opportunity.  With each activity – no matter how large or small, ask yourselves, “Who do we know that we can invite to do this with us?”  Most non-members, part-members, etc. will have a limited social group (unlike us “Mormons” who have so many built in ways to have friends – just through the structure and activities of the Church).  They will welcome the opportunity to do things with you and your family.  And as you look at the various missionary preparation activities, you will see that most of them are not really “church things”.  The missionary preparation activities are fun things to do – but in this case, they are fun with a purpose – that of missionary preparation and training.

Whenever possible, throw in some kind of food.  Combine a BBQ or a park picnic with a Frisbee competition at the park – or after some other activity together.  Food brings people together.  Have the first BBQ and activity at your home.  Then, you plan the activity and let the friends host the BBQ afterwards at their place.  And after that, they will surprise you by saying that they have an activity you could do together – and they’ll provide the food.  They it will be time to invite them to the church service project or activity – and they will probably come!  (And that is another WOW!)

And again, with your children, call the activity a “missionary activity” – or a “P-Day activity” – anything to tie it to being a missionary – now and in the future.  And if you are upfront in the beginning about your home and family missionary training program with your friends, you can call your events “Another of our MIT missionary preparation activities” as you invite them to participate.  They’ll soon equate the activity with fun and friends – and together you can enjoy what the program (and the Church) has to offer to you and to them.  And like the above other elements of the MIT program, you will soon begin to reap wonderful and exciting blessings as you do the fun things together – as a family – and together with others.


On missions, every missionary looks forward to zone conferences.  These are the greatest of times as they hear from the Mission President, receive training – usually centered around a specific theme for the day – a set of scriptures, a gospel topic, a teaching method, fellowship together, sing with gusto, hear good talks, and of course, FOOD – and lots of it.

So, that is what a Missionary in Training special conference is all about.  It combines and uses all of those elements.  Special conferences take some planning and extra effort but they will be very much worth it.  Do all that you can to go all out to make them extra special.  Have them at the home of grandparents, the Bishop, or at the Church – or on the Temple grounds – or some other cool place.  But, they can be great even in your own home – if you take some advance effort to make them special and unique.

Try to make the conferences different than the usual missionary preparation activities and study sessions.  Invite special guests.  Invite the home teachers, the Bishop, teachers, aunts and uncles and grandparents, returned missionaries, and others to participate with you.  They will bring a wealth of experience – and they will have new and interesting experiences to share with your children.  Delegate out the various program tasks to as many people as you can.

Note that for almost every special conference, you should have the children wear missionary shirts and ties (or dresses for the girls) and their missionary name tags.  Make these conferences more formal and your children will pack in the memories of their time in your Home and Family MTC.  They will brag of these special times later to their missionary companions.


You will want to make a family decision about when to be in full-dress missionary attire.  You may decide that you want every study session to be in “full-dress” missionary attire.  You may decide that you want to be dressed as missionaries for most missionary preparation activities, as well.  You might want to decide that any time that you got out in public together (except for work projects and sports type events) that you want to be in full dress attire.  Doing so will help the children feel and act like missionaries.  They will act better when they know that they are wearing the missionary badge and are supposed to be missionaries.

You will enjoy seeing the eyes turn to your children when they look so wonderful.  And you will have great missionary conversations as the children are seen as missionaries – rather than a bunch of rowdy kids. Don’t just smile and say, “Yeah, they do look great” but smile big and tell the “why” they are dressed this way.  Talk about the MIT program, your home and family MTC, and the church – and your family’s plan of missionary preparation.  This will give you a lead-in to explore other Church conversations and to perhaps invite them to your home and family study sessions, an activity, etc.  You will be surprised at who might take you up on it and want to know more – just because of a white shirt, tie and a name tag.

As noted, many missionary preparation activities can be done when in missionary attire with name tags.  Look at each activity or function and determine together what missionary attire might be the most appropriate.  They – the children – will develop a special sense of missionary and family pride as they all do it together.  You might even want to have the children wear missionary attire to each home and family study session.  This will really help them catch the vision of being a missionary – now and later.  Ultimately, your family should determine together what the plan will be – and what the dress of the day is to be.  Talk of this a few days ahead so that clothes can be ready as needed.


This is a wonderful opportunity for teen boys AND girls who are preparing for missions.   It is a week-long (five day) camp held at a retreat facility or camp of some kind.  It is an intense missionary training program where youth receive missionary preparation training as they look, dress, act and LIVE as regular full-time missionaries.  The course content is taken from the regular “Missionary in Training” program but is compacted tightly to be received in one week.

Attending the camp will not diminish interest in your home missionary training program.  On the contrary!  Youth who attend the “Camp of Ammon” will come home super excited and charged with an intense desire to prepare even harder and better for their missionary experience.  They will come home better able to serve in their role of “Ammonite Missionary Trainer” in service to younger siblings.  Participation in “The Camp of Ammon” will be well worth the financial sacrifice it will cost for your participating youth.  Youth can attend the camp year after year if you and they desire to do so.


This is a very key element of the Missionary in Training program.  You and your family will have great opportunities and also great joy as together you share the Gospel with others.  It will be your blessing and opportunity to invite “Friendshipping Families” to participate with you in your Home and Family Missionary Training Center events, activities, service events, and special conferences as well as Church and community events.

A “Friendshipping Family” is a general term that is all inclusive.  A “Friendshipping Family” can include:

Non-Members of the Church

Less-Active Members of the Church

Part-member Families

New Converts


Families with whom the Missionaries are Working

Anyone who needs friends

Family members of friends to your family

Member families who can assist you with the above families


It will be more fun for your teens and they will get more out of the program if they are highly involved with you.  They should not just be passive participants.  They will have more fun and they will enjoy the program more if you use them for teaching, training, planning, preparation, bearing testimony, leading games, researching scriptures and talks from Church leaders, etc.

The Ammonite program is designed specifically for Aaronic Priesthood Young Men and Young Women.  There is a special training that parents should present to the Ammonites as you start with the program.    Train them in what they can do and help them to “catch the vision” of how they might be involved and participate.  Help them to realize that as they take on these tasks, they will help themselves and their siblings, they will learn a great deal through study and lesson preparation, and they will become familiar with and proficient in various leadership responsibilities.  In the beginning, help them plan Missionary Study Sessions.  Give them specific tasks within each session and then as they become more familiar with how to do their job, you can delegate to them and back off a bit to let them do it.  There will be great benefits to the youth and parents if the youth will actively participate in the program and be given responsibility – AND freedom to act, organize and implement.


The Ammonite Personal Retreat is a very exciting opportunity for your Ammonite.  It will take some innovation to pull it off, but with some thought, you can make it happen.  And when it does happen, it can become possibly one of the greatest experiences your youth can have.  It can be a life-changing, highly motivating and spiritual time or event for them.

This is a personal retreat where your teen son or daughter has time and focus to ponder life and what he/she should do with it.  The concept is that the Ammonite goes to a place where he/she can be totally alone and where time can be spent thinking about their life, reading scriptures, praying, setting goals, and making commitments o Heavenly Father about their future – and hopefully, about their desire to serve a future mission.

The innovation part is the question of where to send them?  That is a good question.  Where can you send a teenager where they can be secluded and safe for a few hours or a day?  But, give it some thought and see what solutions present themselves.  And it doesn’t have to be expensive, either.  It could be as easy as a retreat to the woods near the family cabin, the hay loft at Grandpa’s farm, the back porch on a Saturday morning, under a big shade tree at the chapel or wherever.



Missionary in Training: The Program Vision




The MISSIONARY IN TRAINING (or “MIT”) program is a comprehensive but flexible plan to help family members to be current member missionaries as well as to prepare for future full-time missionary service.  We all desire to train our children (now – more than ever before) and we know that we need to do it.  The challenge is to commit to it and to know how to do it.  This program gives a plan – a vision – and the focus to do it through your own Home and Family Missionary Training Center.


  1. To create a family expectation or tradition of missionary service.
  1. To get family members – children and even teen-ages (both male and female) excited and involved in missionary work and to commit their involvement.
  1. To get teenagers – Aaronic Priesthood holders and Young Women – involved as teacher/trainers as they participate in the program as “Ammonite Trainers” – with the goal of getting them comfortable in the role of teacher for their future missions, by giving them training assignments for each weekly training session – wherein they can plan, research, present and testify to other family members.
  1. To help Aaronic Priesthood young men and Young Women to fulfill requirements and complete requirements for Duty to God and Young Women Recognition awards as they “learn, act and share”.
  1. Utilizes “Preach My Gospel” and other current resources but in a simplified manner so that children and youth can understand and enjoy it.
  1. To teach and train the children relative to the “How and What” of missionary service.
  1. To have a master family training plan to include study sessions (AKA: home evening), missionary preparation activities, service events and training lessons focused specifically on missionary service and preparation.
  1. To build testimonies and to help children to make and keep sacred covenants, including baptism; to receive additional priesthood ordinances as they are eligible for them, and ultimately to get them to the Temple.
  1. To strengthen extended family ties as older cousins (without siblings), aunts, uncles and grandparents are involved occasionally as guest trainers.
  1. The program is not designed to be new tasks to be added to an already “too busy” life. It is to be incorporated into current family and home plans and objectives – but has an expanded vision and focus on missionary work.
  1. To get family members to commit to being missionaries NOW by inviting “Friendshipping Families” to join with yours in missionary preparation activities, service events, special conferences, and church and community events.


  1. Families commit to a long-term plan for missionary training and preparation for their own children of all ages.
  1. The family creates an organization and a master plan to accomplish the long-term goals and objectives of missionary service now and in the future.
  1. Parents, home teachers, grandparents, siblings or others commit themselves to be full-time missionary trainers of their own HOME AND FAMILY MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTER for all of the children in the home.
  1. The children are taught of the missionary function and their current and future service opportunities. Each child also commits to long-term mission preparation missionary preparation activities and instruction.
  1. The children complete a “Future Missionary Application” and anticipate being “Called to Serve”.
  1. “Mission Calls” (patterned after “real” mission calls issued to full-time missionaries) are sent/received for each child and then are distributed at a special family gathering designed to create mission preparation enthusiasm and commitment to begin a formal preparation and training process. Each child becomes a “Future Missionary” and a “Missionary in Training”. (Special important note to parents:  DO NOT SHARE news or details of the MIT Program with the children until after the “Call Gathering”.  Excitement will be stronger if they don’t know all of the details!)
  1. Weekly “Missionary Study Sessions” (AKA ‘Missionary Preparation Classes or Family Home Evening) are planned to develop each “Missionary in Training” in the Home and Family MTC.
  1. Families have a special breakfast or other planning event to plan out a quarterly or annual program of training sessions, missionary preparation activities, service events, special mission conferences together. Use the MIT Sample Calendar as outlined for the initial three months of program participation but put specific dates to each training or activity.
  1. This is a home and family centered program designed to help accomplish the mission and objectives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for missionary preparation and the family. It is a “program with a plan” to help parents serious about their parenting responsibilities and opportunities.  And while the program is congruent with Church policies and objectives, it is not a program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nor is it endorsed by the Church.
  1. This is not a new list of things to add to your already “too-busy” life. It is a system – a plan – for home evenings you already are or want to be havingscout-1

Written by Kevinthescout Blogger – Kevin Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author and Speaker, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director, and Missionary enthusiast

Kevin Hunt is the compiler of the home and family “Missionary in Training” Program.  This is a comprehensive program for parents to use to train their children for their upcoming missionary responsibilities and opportunities.  This article is from the MIT package.

For more information about the “Missionary in Training” Program, contact Kevin directly at info@missionaryintraining.com

Introducing the Home and Family Missionary in Training Program

I have mentioned our daughter, Kaylea, and how she and her husband, J.D. are raising missionaries … Well, now she has six children – five boys and one girl – all between the ages of eight and twelve.  So, that is a lot of missionaries who could all leave about the same time.  And that is a lot of missionary preparation that needs to happen.  It is exciting to think about all of those missionaries.

Kaylea and her husband, J.D., have regularly bought new suits (beginning with the feature photo shown with this blog – when the boys were eight and under) – and dresses for Lucy.  When they bought their first suits for the boys I was excited … I could only imagine how fabulous they must look.  I decided that if they were willing to get the suits for the boys, then I, as the Grandpa, should get some “Future Missionary” name badges for them.  I went to the local LDS book store to make a purchase.

They actually had two badge options.  One was the “Future Missionary” that I went there looking for.  And the other, I had not seen before.  It said, “Missionary in Training”.  I just kind of stared at those badges for a few moments as I first saw them.  Then suddenly I was overpowered almost by the Spirit.  I felt a rush of inspiration about the development of a “Missionary in Training” program for all of those missionaries in that one family – and thought too, of all of the rest of our grandkids.  Wow!  I had never considered this before.  And I certainly would not have thought of it myself.

Anyway, after that initial inspiration – for which I am very grateful, I began to ponder and think about what might be in such a program.  The ideas kept coming (literally flowed into my mind) as I worked over the next few months to get the ideas and inspiration down on paper.  Details of the full program were unfolded to me.  And the inspiration expanded to include not just a program for my own grandkids but also to all other parents serious about their charge for missionary preparation.

And that’s what this package is all about.  It is all about training our missionaries and preparing them now so that they can be prepared to serve anywhere in the world as they are called.  It is very much a home and family program designed to help parents and families focus specifically upon the training of their own missionaries – to serve now with their friends and neighbors – as also to prepare them to be future full-time missionaries.

I really love the recent quote as given by Sister Julie B. Beck when she was general Relief Society President.  She said:

“Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre-missionary training center  (MTC).  Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC   would be a review  and not a revelation.  That is influence; that is power.”   (“Mothers who Know”, Beck, Julie B., Ensign,  November    2007   available at https://www.lds.org/general-          conference/2007/10/mothers-who-       know?lang=eng).

 Well, there we have it!  That is the challenge for all of us – dads included!  We all know that we need to help prepare the next generation of missionaries and we all want to do it … and we probably all wonder how we can rise to the massive challenge of that preparation.  So, how do we get started?  What do we do?  Sure, we can do/have home evening – and everything else that was on my list above – and more … but how can we not only do the minimums, but also keep pace (run like crazy) with the vision of our Church leaders?

This program, “MISSIONARY IN TRAINING” might help us all to do that.  It might help us get focused to really step up and do as we have been asked.  It can be the tool that we all have wanted anyway … the tool for us to really get involved and progressing toward the missionary preparation goal with our children.

“MISSIONARY IN TRAINING”The Program really is home evening (as we should have been doing anyway) but with a new missionary focus – and specific missionary preparation activities.  The program also involves missionary lessons, an attitude of missionary work, an organization, and excitement to get our children (sons AND daughters) thinking of how they too can commit and prepare to be missionaries.  It is not just a one-time lesson on missionary work.  It is rather, a total commitment kind of thing.  It will take major effort and commitment, and that level of commitment must be for the long-haul … but the results can be phenomenal.  Really great things can happen for you and your family as parents gives the program a full effort and that long-term commitment to the children.

If you are serious about the missionary commitment for your children and family …  If you want to really “Do It” (as President Spencer W. Kimball taught), then this program may be for you … Check it out … see what it might do to assist you in your goals and dreams – your missionary preparation and training responsibilities in the family.

“MISSIONARY IN TRAINING”!  (That sounds really great but let’s make that “OUR MISSIONARIES IN TRAINING”) … WOW!  You can do it through your very own “Home and Family Missionary Training Center” – with you, parents, and your teenage sons and daughters as the Ammonite trainers … and all of your children – of all ages – participating as Future Missionaries.  CATCH THE VISION OF THAT … Your own Home and Family Missionary Training Center for your children – a part of “The GREATEST GENERATION of MISSIONARIES!” MAKE THE COMMITMENT … and GO FOR IT!  MISSIONS, HERE WE COME!

Kevin V. Hunt

             PROGRAM SUMMARY

MISSIONARY IN TRAINING (MIT) is a HOME and  FAMILY MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTER program.  It’s a fun and very detailed program designed to help families (with children – both boys and girls – of all ages) to train their sons and daughters as future missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The program consists of weekly Missionary Study Sessions, monthly (or more frequent) missionary preparation activities, weekly “P-Day” missionary preparation activities, as well as special Home and Family Missionary Training Center conferences.

All of these training sessions, missionary preparation activities and conferences are designed to teach and to prepare future missionaries through building testimony of gospel doctrine as well as practical application of needed “missionary life skills”.

The MISSIONARY IN TRAINING PROGRAM is a LONG-TERM PLAN, a HOME and FAMILY-CENTERED PROGRAM FOR MISSIONARY PREPARATION – typically to be staged during your regular family home evening times (and the weekly home evening will now be called a “Missionary Training (or “study”) Session”.  The program also involves special missionary preparation activities and conferences held on Saturdays or other days as the family organizes its own HOME AND FAMILY MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTER.

In addition to the home centered MISSIONARY IN TRAINING program, there is also a week-long “MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMP” (The MTC) program entitled “The Camp of Ammon”. This MTC program – to be held at various times and locations throughout the country – incorporates many of the same learning sessions as MISSIONARY IN TRAINING (which can take a year or two) but study sessions, missionary preparation activities and conferences are all compressed into five days of intense training.

At the MTC – The Camp of Ammon, youth dress, live and act as regular missionaries!  They will eat, sleep and really live the missionary life!  If you really want to get your sons and daughters excited about their future missions, send them to this great MTC program.  It might be one of the best investments you’ll ever make!   (Note:  This is a developed program but has not yet been staged.  If you have interest, you could help us make this a reality …  Contact Kevin Hunt to express interest!)

Youth have who participated in the MIT program at home and who also attend the MTC “Camp of Ammon” program can help to motivate, inspire and encourage other Camp of Ammon participants.  And they will return from the Camp of Ammon supercharged to be “Ammonite trainers” in your own Home and Family Missionary Training Center.  Check out both programs on the internet at www.missionaryintraining.com.

The MISSIONARY IN TRAINING PROGRAM will strengthen youth resolve to serve missions, will pull your family together in a marvelous way and will get everyone thinking about being missionaries now and in the future.  The MISSIONARY IN TRAINING PROGRAM will be beneficial to your family and others – in so many ways – and it will be great fun for you and all families, everywhere.

This is a home and family centered program designed to help accomplish the mission and objectives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for missionary preparation and the family.  It is a “program with a plan” to help parents serious about their parenting responsibilities and opportunities.  And while the program is congruent with Church policies and objectives, it is not a program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nor is it endorsed by the Church.

As the Director(s) of your own Home and Family Missionary Training Center, you can commit yourself (yourselves) to active, deliberate and focused missionary training for your children.  You can help them to prepare to be effective missionaries.  You can prepare them to be ready to serve whenever and wherever they might be needed in the world.

You can determine the level of participation and training for your own family.  The Missionary in Training program is a comprehensive package designed to assist you in your parental responsibilities and opportunities.  But, the program, and your use of it, is still flexible.  You should utilize the program as desired to meet the needs of your own family – while also maintaining your own family traditions, goals and activities.  The program is designed as a tool to help you achieve your own family objectives.

The Missionary in Training program is designed to be fun and exciting.  This is not something you “have to do” but as you CHOOSE to do it, your family will have some really great times together.  You’ll later look back and rejoice together in the missionary preparation for each family member – and ultimately your missionary success – through your posterity – throughout the world.

For more information about the Missionary in Training Program contact:  Kevin Hunt

Missionary in Training       E-mail: info@missionaryintraining.com

Phone: 480-717-8241        Websites:  www.missionaryintraining.com

Kevin Hunt is an author, blogger and speaker.  He writes regularly on three different Scouting blogsites and shares his insights about Scouting, Scouting in the LDS Church, and other subjects.  New blogs are posted on his Facebook page: Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.