BUENAS DIAS DE LA CCM (mtc)! Este experiencia aqui es maravilloso. Cada dia aprendo cosas nuevas sobre español, y la doctrina de Christo. Mi español es mejorando cada día. Ahora se casi todo la conjugaciones de español. Ok, I’m done. I don’t want you to have to translate too much, and it takes a tad longer to type español. My Spanish is coming great. This last week has been a really spiritual week. I felt like I have came leaps and bounds in understanding this gospel, and especially the spirit. I studied in Preach my Gospel the chapter about recognizing the spirit. You should look over this for Family Home Evening! I wish I understood how the spirit worked for me before I came here. I still don’t understand it all, but I am slowly recognizing promptings, and following through with them as I receive them during the day. We listened to a great talk that Elder Bednar gave here about 2 years ago about following the spirit. Quite a powerful talk actually. I don’t know if you could find the story anywhere but it was about when Elder Bednar was a missionary in Germany and the newest junior apostle was Elder Packer. He was coming to Germany on some church business, and needed accommodations to get into West Germany. Elder Bednar and one of the other missionaries found food, and a train that would take them to where they needed to go. Before leaving Elder Bednar handed Elder packer a 20 german note, saying “This is for food in case you get hungry.” He thought nothing more of it and they left (Elder Bednar completely forgot about giving him money, he only knew that he did later on from talking to President Packer in 1992 at a big general stake mtg.) The Packers then proceeded to go on the train, and during the night they were stopped before the wall, and everyones passports were checked. Elder Packer’s wife, had a 3 year passport, that had been extended 2 years. This was no longer accepted, and one of the German soldiers was giving a lot of trouble to Elder Packer. Then he remembered the money, put it in his wife’s passport, gave it to the man, and soon the man returned with their passports, money gone, and they were on their way. (Elder Bednar said “this wasn’t a bribe, but a “righteous exchange”) This was the quote that I took from Elder Bednar after he gave his story. “You don’t need to know why you receive a spiritual prompting, right when you have it. Most of the time you don’t realize what it means until later. You receive these spiritual promptings while you are busy being a good person, keeping the commandments, and living up to your covenants. Your steps will be guided, so quit worrying about it.” – Elder Bednar
Julie B Beck came this last week for devotional. She is an amazing speaker. No teleprompter, and she talked without missing a beat for 50 minutes. She talked about her experience as a little girl in Brazil, while her parents were mission presidents there. She and her siblings would dress up in all the old missionary clothing, plan lessons, make pamphlets, and pretend to do door contacts, or street contacts, at the elders desks. Kind of funny. She talked about “the vision of the mission.” Both for those who receive the gospel, but also for those who serve. “The vision is this: the preparation that you go through on a mission will prepare you to be a better parent, and give you knowledge and experience that you can’t gain in any other way. Go on missions, learn, grow, understand the gospel, come home, get married in the temple, and perpetuate these good decisions to your offspring.” This is both for us as missionaries and those we teach. The ultimate goal is to get them to the temple and as they do they they fulfill this vision, and perpetuate the gospel to their offspring and to those around them for generations. She talked about how they didn’t have many people in brazil who wanted to go on missions, and the church was not doing very well because of it. So a bunch of bishops and stake presidents got together and did a “missionary factory”, where they just have one room to start the paper work, one room for a haircut, white shirt tie, photo, a room with a doctor and a dentist. Basically individuals could come and get their mission papers turned in in one night. Crazy cool. A temple was soon built, and tons of missionaries in Brazil went out and shared the gospel. At that point there was one mission. Now there are 12, (from what she said).
I had a weird dream the other night. I was a squirrel. I was climbing up a grain silo and Parker was there, also a squirrel. We were fighting on the ladder on the side for some reason. He hurt me and I fell to the ground and rolled underneath the silo. I fell a sleep and in the morning, I went left the silo and fell on the ground, pretending to be hurt on the side of the road. As people passed they would drop money next to me. It was nice. then after I counted the money, some dumb people gave me monopoly money, but most of it was real life money. Anyway kind of weird.
A lot has happened this week. I went to the doctor again, because I dislocated my toe last Saturday, and turns out that I also broke the growth plate. They sent me in for an x ray and the doctor was pretty much like “tuff, deal with the pain”. It just so happens that this is the most random place, and most painful place to break your toe. I was dong karaoke (drill I did in track) up the stairs on my way back from gym, and I slipped on the stairs. Ouch.
We had a great lesson yesterday with one of our investigators. I have never felt the spirit stronger in a lesson. This was the kind of lesson that makes me want to do missionary work forever. The spirt guided all of us as we talked and related what we taught to her life. It is hard to do this because she is just acting as one of her investigators from her mission, but we can still do it. It will be a lot better when we get into the field. We asked her to be baptized. She is going to think about it. She has had a hard life; grew up Islamic, Dad was murdered, Mom is blind, she has health problems, she has 3 daughters, boyfriend almost killed someone, she had no idea who Christ was when we first met her. The spirit truly guides as you are worthy to have the spirit, and when you let it take the lead. I have learned that pausing during lessons when responding to questions or when thinking, brings the spirit and helps me to form questions when I need to. We practiced this with one of the zone resource teachers. She would think of a problem and I would ask questions to understand what it the problem was. Three times I paused, thought, and asked questions that nailed her problem on the head each time. Sometimes right on the first question, sometimes it would take a couple. The spirit truly helps to discern things. Missionary work would not be successful without the spirit. D & C 42:14, “..if ye receive not the spirit, ye shall not teach.”
Not much more time. I need to go soon. I’m trying to remember what has happened this week. What was funny. Oh we learned a phrase in Spanish because we are learning subjunctive conjugations. It is ojalá que…… it basically means God willing, or I really hope so. For example: I don’t know if there is food in the house. Ojalá que si! It sounds really funny though. We like to put more emphasis on the j and make it really ggghhh -y. We feel like we are speaking farsi or something. ha ha. funny word.
Oh by the way, I’m District Leader right now. I forgot to tell you guys. Also I leave to honduras in just over 2 weeks. I believe I leave on that Monday. Missionaries never leave on Sundays so they must have gotten the date wrong. I will find out more when I get my travel plans over the next 2 weeks. I’ll try to write down this week as things happen, so I can remember what to tell in my letters. Oh, I can now go pretty much a whole day without speaking English. It is nice. Somethings I can’t speak quite as well as I would like, but I can get by.
Love you all. Have a great week. Do good things and don’t eat tuna sandwiches.
ELDER JONES O_O