Wow. Great week. I don’t really know where to start. It’s been busy, time has flown, and I leave for Honduras in less than a week. I hosted new missionaries this last week and will do it again next Wednesday. It is basically where the elders help the new elders and sisters get set up when they first come to the emptysea. Just like what happened when I was dropped off. BUT, I didn’t host anyone this last week. ha. I got talking with an old room mate Will, or Elder Staten, and we just ended up getting roped into delivering water to the elderly volunteers. It was a good chance to take a break, and chill for a bit.
I can’t believe that I only have a week left. I heard that Tegucigalpa had some huge flooding and a bunch of people were killed and there is a lot of damage. That’s good for me! I’m sure I will get to help out a lot once I get there. My spanish is improving. I’m at the point where I understand how to conjugate everything, and most of the time when to use the different conjugations. I have present, command, conditional, preterite, imperfect, and past participle down pretty well. I can understand pretty much everything my teachers say, with the exceptions of new words they use here and there. I’m worried about my spanish and how Honduras will be, but I know that all will be well.
I had an experience this last week that really solidified my testimony of missionary work. We were practicing how to teach to people’s needs, use the spirit, know when and how to ask inspired questions, and ask them to be baptized. Which is great because I have been studying a lot on how to follow the spirit during my lessons. It was a small practice, where we have already talked about the restoration, and were starting near the end of the lesson. One of the resource teachers was in our class, just helping us out, so I taught her. The first time I taught her, I used the Book of Mormon to link the restoration to baptism, read some scriptures, asked a few questions, but didn’t really feel like I was doing as well as I needed to. I was a little frustrated at the end of the practice and the teacher could tell, so she asked me what I could improve. After talking it over with her I realized that I didn’t ask enough questions or ask the right questions by the spirit to understand her need. I also realized that I relied more on myself and my knowledge to teach and not the spirit. She gave me the advice to not talk or to pause during the lesson and not say anything until I have been given by the spirit what to say. So we did the practice again for the second time and this time I waited in the beginning for about a minute and then proceeded to follow the spirit. I don’t really remember all that I said but I do remember that as I spoke, took time to get to know the need of the investigator, and had more confidence in the spirit, I was guided with what I was to say. When I didn’t know where to go next or what to say I would pause, listen and think, and then move on. Slowly during the lesson I felt the spirit increase more and more and that was how I could tell I was moving in the right direction. By the time that I reached the end, I was testifying that she would see her father again. I felt prompted to tell her that her father wanted her to accept the gospel and that he was waiting for her and her family and that through baptism and living the gospel of Christ this could happen. I have never felt the spirit stronger in my life. I knew that she had felt the spirit as well as I looked into her eyes and saw them well up with tears. This experience will forever be special to me and has given me a testimony of the importance of taking time to pause, listen to the spirit, and have confidence in the spirit. D&C 42:14 – if ye have not the spirit, ye shall not teach. Missionary work is a wonderful joy. I’m excited to teach real people.
I’ve also come to realize this week that the Lord prepares those who he calls. I think my experience working as a CNA for the past year was not on accident. It was a great thing to prepare me for my mission. Everyday I would get up at 5 in the morning. It has helped prepare me to wake up easier. I interacted with lots of nurses and CNA’s during the day which taught me how to use teamwork and communicate effectively. Same thing with my companion. If I can’t work well with my companion, I wont do very well. I have always been handicap regarding all things social, and talking to my patients all day everyday and having relationships with people helped me overcome this. Also I have learned to care for people, and be sympathetic towards other’s pain, discomfort, problems, and sadness. At times I would be a therapist as my patients would tell me their problems, even though I didn’t really help all that much, I found out how to be a friend and try to help them in anyway I could. I think that through all the cruddy stuff I had to do I learned how to work hard. With my schizophrenic patients I learned how to find humor in absolute nonsense. ha. With so much pain and death and seeing people who I cared for die, it was hard to see but at the same time I gained a testimony of the importance of the sacrament. When I worked on Sundays I often would pay attention to who took the sacrament. I had a cancer patient who knew he was going to die in the next week and that this might be his last time to take the sacrament. It was a humbling experience to watch him so close to death yet so peaceful. The sting of death taken away and the fear of what would come after meant absolutely nothing. It was great to think about these things this past week. I know that the Lord prepares us for whatever part of life we are in.
We had Richard G. Scott come this last week. He is a great speaker. When he came into the room there was a power, a noticeable difference with his presence there. He spoke carefully and slowly like always and had the power of the spirit to testify of all this words. He spoke of the spirit. He went through and talked about many “doctrinal principles”. It was really good. He would take a scripture and turn it into a doctrinal principle and show us how it applies to us. Very simple yet profound. These are some of the things he said, “don’t take for granted the honor to serve the lord.” “Never go anywhere without something to write down spiritual promptings. If I didn’t write these things down, I would have forgot a treasure of knowledge. Pray to the lord to give you more and “capture” those things, and apply them to your lives.” “If we are casual about the things we are taught by the spirit, we will not receive as great of promptings.” “A good sign that you are following the spirit is when you learn something new.” “Seek prayer in a way that you are unhurried and have the time to commune with the lord with out interruption.” “No better way to improve or enhance your promptings than to acknowledge, follow, apply and be grateful for your promptings.” “Wait for the impression to come.” (I think this one is important – we need to wait until we receive a confirmation and not just keep going.) He also bore the most powerful witness of the divinity of the Savior I have ever heard. “I know God and I know his son.”
Well I must move on. I’ve got a day full of good things. I’m over my email time. ha. I’m excited to only have one more week. I get to go to the temple for the last time today. I’m going to miss it. I hope that the temple in Tegucigalpa will be finished during my mission. That will be a great opportunity to attend and to teach others about the gospel, through the open house. Sorry this email wasn’t very exciting. I need to write down the stuff that happens during the week so I remember to write about it. Ojalá que coman pescados! lol
Oh, and Parker send that stinkin letter you have been working on for the past 3 weeks.
ELDER JONES O_O