How Working at the Space Center's Prepared Me for an LDS Mission
By Elder Scott Warner
Dear Mr. Williamson,
I have been super busy here at the MTC. Plus, we only get 30 minutes on our Pday to read and write e-mails. Here are some thoughts I had about how volunteering/working at the space centers helped prepare me for my mission. As you know I started volunteering when I was thirteen so I gained a lot from my time being a part of your awesome organizations.
1) I had many people tell me how hard the MTC was for them. It is true that the MTC is a rigorous schedule. However, after working long, rigorous hours at the space centers, I was well prepared. (I actually get more sleep here then I ever did working at the space centers.) I was also used to spending many days and nights away from home from doing camps since I was 13. This made it easier to adjust to being away from home.
|Scott as a 13 year old winning an award for volunteerism|
2) I was also warned that some of the beds at the MTC were hard to sleep on. As a volunteer, employee, and chaperone I spent many nights at the space centers. Sleeping arrangements were not always the best, especially if we had to give up our pads for campers. But, from this I learned to sleep anywhere on just about anything. So sleeping here has not been a problem.
3) Another thing I learned from my time at the space centers was getting along with lots of different kinds of people. I interacted with other volunteers, senior staff, and the numerous and various people of all ages that came to do missions. Sometimes we spent days and nights together, working together to make things happen. We had to work as a team despite different personalities to make the missions successful. On an LDS mission it is essential that you be able to work with and live with lots of different kinds of people too.
4) One thing that is interesting about the MTC is that they use a lot of simulated learning. A lot of our time is spent preparing lessons that we then have to give to our teachers who act like investigators. I learned the value of simulated learning from Mr. Williamson, and my time at the space centers. Now I spend most of my day in a simulated learning environment.
5) There is another interesting parallel I have found while doing this simulated learning. At the space center we have set mission stories, prepared tacticals, and staff all ready to carry out that story. The same is true with the lessons we prepare to teach people. In both cases we have a message/goal that we do our best to prepare and carry out. However, you never know where the crew will take things, just like you cannot predict the reactions of the people you teach. At the space center we had to be ready to adjust to the crew and anything they might throw at us and still manage to get the point of the mission through to the crew. Not always easy, though we did our best. As missionaries we have to be just as ready to respond to those we teach and whatever they may throw at us, and yet still try to get our message across to them.
6) As a volunteer we gained our knowledge and training from those who had been there longer. Then we passed that knowledge down to the upcoming volunteers. At the MTC we are taught by return missionaries. When we go out to the field we are trained by senior companions. Eventually, I will be training the newer missionaries. It is a pattern of sharing our knowledge to help others. I am so grateful to the many great space center people who trained me and pushed me to do my best.
7) Last, I learned that volunteering your time to a worthy cause, whether it be the space center or on a mission, is very rewarding and helps you grow as a person.
These are just a few of the ways volunteering/working at the space centers helped prepare me for my mission. Working at the space centers has made all the difference in my life. I have already seen the benefits in my first few weeks as a missionary. I know that what I gained will continue to help me for the next two years.
Thanks again to all of you!Elder Scott Warner
The Orion Spacecraft Launches. America's First Step toward a Manned Mission to Mars
NASA marked a major milestone Friday on its journey to Mars as the Orion spacecraft completed its first voyage to space, traveling farther than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has been in more than 40 years.
Orion splashdown in the Pacific.