PROVO — It was just a month ago that students living in the Raintree Commons apartments and half of Wyview moved out to make way for temporary missionary housing.
Since then, a lot of work has gone into transforming the properties for LDS missionaries, and with high school graduations coming up quickly, the wave of new missionaries is about to hit.
It's a scene that plays out every Wednesday in Provo — hugs, tears and luggage. This Wednesday, for the very first time, about 40 missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported to the new temporary missionary training center (MTC) at the BYU-owned Wyview apartments.
"These days are always bittersweet to have our missionary go," said Brett Skidmore, who dropped off his son Wednesday. "There's always change. Everytime we drop off a missionary it is always different."
Skidmore is from Phoenix and this was the third time he has dropped off one of his children at the MTC. His son will be going San Antonio, Texas.
Laura Clark, from Missouri, was the first missionary to arrive Wednesday. She was dropped off 30 minutes early by her former roommate, who picked her up from the airport in the morning.
"I got an email in my missionary email on Friday that said make sure you report to Wyview," Clark said. "Then someone called and said make sure you don't show up at the MTC — show up at Wyview."
Approximately 100 missionaries who had already arrived at the MTC last week moved into Wyview Tuesday night. Across the street at the Raintree Apartments — which the LDS Church has leased for the next 18 months — a fence has been set up and crews are still working.
However, some of the apartments are already in use, reconfigured from apartments to classrooms, where new missionaries spend most of their day studying. As for Clark, she said she doesn't feel shortchanged being assigned to the temporary MTC.
"I'm excited," Clark said. "I think it will be an adventure, something new and exciting at Wyview."
In addition to creating the temporary MTC to accommodate more missionaries, new missionaries will spend less time in the MTC; instead of 20 days in training, missionaries who arrived today will be leaving to the areas they have been assigned to in just 12 days.