News Release

Virtual Missionary Training Center Opens Doors for Elder to Teach In His Home

Full-time missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider every teaching appointment a blessing. The experience becomes even more special when it is not a stranger whom they teach but someone close to their hearts, like a family member.


Such was the case for Elder Polo, who was called to serve in the Philippines Cavite Mission and has attended the virtual Missionary Training Center (MTC). His first missionary lesson was with his mother, who is not a member of the Church yet.

Home as an MTC

For Elder Nichol Angelo Polo of Gapan Philippine Stake (diocese), Nueva Ecija, one of the many blessings of the attending his virtual MTC training was being able to be with his family during the COVID-19 crises.

Since his father has gone, he felt in his heart that he must protect his family, especially his mother. Having to take great responsibilities at a young age, Elder Polo had to mature and learn leadership skills fast.

His life experiences and the traits he developed from these skills proved useful as he magnified his role as a district leader during his virtual MTC days, a missionary leadership assignment given to new missionaries to lead a group of missionaries in a district.


Elder Polo’s online missionary training allowed him to show his mother that he can be both a full-time missionary and a good son.

“He did his best to be obedient,” shared Nevin John Alban, one of his MTC teachers. “He created an environment in his district in which missionaries knew that exact obedience was important and expected.”

At home, Elder Polo shared that he applied the same principles he learned from his virtual training. He would pray and ask counsel and guidance from God about what to do each day because his mother was not familiar with the code of conduct that full-time missionaries must abide with. He also prayed that through his good examples, she would take more interest in learning the gospel.

And she did!

A special teaching opportunity started soon after.

Special Teaching Experience

Part of the milestones that missionary trainees should do while in training was to find people to teach. Near the end of the first batch of the virtual training, MTC Teacher May Muñoz asked her district to teach the restored gospel to their friends and family members.


She was surprised by the responses of Elder Polo and his two companions, Elder Perin and Elder Gamboa. Elder Polo said that their companionship already started teaching his mother about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“It’s one of the most touching stories I’ve heard in my stay at the MTC,” narrated Sister Munoz with excitement.

“The lesson was great! We felt the spirit, and I knew that my mother felt it, too,” Elder Polo said of his first official teaching appointment.


Nevertheless, the miracles didn’t stop with that first lesson. After the 19-day virtual MTC training ended, Elder Polo and his mother continued to study the scriptures together while following the Come, Follow Me curriculum.

His mother also participated in family home evenings and Sunday meetings. One night, Elder Polo shared that he saw his mother reading the Book of Mormon with real intent. He knew that she was really interested to learn more about Jesus Christ and His restored gospel.


Elder Polo initially thought that there is more pressure when missionaries teach their own family members the missionary lessons than to teach strangers. He did not expect that the first person he would teach about the gospel as a full-time missionary was his own mother.

Nevertheless, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity. Elder Polo said that the experience inspired him to develop the same feelings he has for his mother with those whom he will meet and teach once he arrives in the mission field.

For a Divine Purpose

As the training and teaching shifted temporarily to online platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, full-time missionaries are learning more about the true nature of their divine calling.

Most of the missionaries would express their doubts and fears about what will happen after their virtual MTC training, but Sister Munoz would testify to them that the Lord loves them, and He will give them opportunities to teach no matter the circumstances.

“As a teacher, I always tell the missionaries that they are being trained for a divine reason,” she said.

Through the virtual MTC training and through the special teaching experiences they had, Elder Polo and his fellow missionaries now realize that they are called to the Lord’s work at “all times, in all things, and in all places.”

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