"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." ~Joyce Brothers.
This blog started out to be a way of reporting on Tom's mission adventure. I soon realized that there's just a lot going on in life that I don't want to forget about. Our lives are busy, happy and full and I hope to capture some of the excitement in this blog.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Week Ninety Eight - Receiving "Trunky Papers" and Inspired Teaching!
Headed to the meeting with the district leaders!
I am happy to hear that you had a good, busy week. Being busy is good! We too had a busy week. On Tuesday we had a fun service project where Elder Denos and I took out some small trees from a less active member's yard. It felt good to get my hands dirty, sweat, and do some real, manual labor. On Wednesday I went on an exchange, to Lakewood again! And that was probably the last time I will go there. That same day I received my "trunky papers" in the mail, where I get my flight itinerary, instructions for sending a bike home, and the schedule for my last Tuesday and Wednesday in Dallas. That made things a little more real, but I still don't think about it too much. I'm pretty excited though!
Thursday was a special day. We had a leadership training meeting that lasted most of the day. All zone leaders, district leaders, and lots of sisters were in attendance. We had a couple visitors from Utah there, Brother Donaldson and Brother Jarman. Brother Donaldson was a mission president in California, and now works in the missionary department - not sure what his exact title is. Brother Jarman works at the MTC, hiring and training MTC instructors. They are practically professional missionaries, and they visit missions around the country, training us to be better missionaries. They taught us the importance of the Doctrine of Christ, how to plan more effectively, and how to teach the Restoration in 7 minutes. it was mind blowing! And everybody was spiritually and mentally exhausted by the end of the meeting. Those two men were absolutely brilliant. They made me feel clueless, like I was in the MTC again! It was a humbling experience, yet a grand opportunity that I am grateful for. I still have so much more to do and change and improve!
That night we tried teaching the Restoration in 7 minutes, the way we learned from the brethren that day. It is done using the pamphlets, and you basically just go through every picture with them, asking inspired questions, and teaching as little as possible. This way, the person you are teaching has to be more engaged and make the connections themselves. We learned from the brethren that often times, we try too hard as missionaries to be the best teachers we can be, but in the end, we only get in the way of the Spirit, the real teacher. So when we gave it a try, it was a little more than 7 minutes, but I was amazed at how well the man was understanding. He was making all the connections himself! The next day, we did it again with a lady that just barely moved here from Mexico. The first picture in the pamphlet is a cheesy picture of a happy family. As soon as she saw it, she started crying. She went on to tell us all the family problems she has. I realized then that even the pictures in the missionary lesson pamphlets are INSPIRED! This whole Church is INSPIRED! It would have been nice to know some of the things I learned in that meeting since the beginning of my mission.
So on Wednesday we were informed that we needed to have a zone meeting on Friday. And because of the meeting on Thursday, we had no choice but to plan the meeting the morning of. That was stressful! Then, to make it more stressful, we had the pressure of taking everything we learned the day before in the 6 hour meeting from two "professional missionaries", and relaying everything to the zone in a two hour meeting. That was lots of pressure! But luckily it all worked out and everything went well. We went to Sam's Club afterwards for lunch! And now I just saw this morning in the mission email that they did it to us again! Tomorrow we have to plan for a 6 hour meeting for Wednesday, interviews with President Taylor, and I have no idea what we are going to fill up all that time with! Ugh.... stress is good. Stress is good! When Elder Foster was here, he said that stress builds and strengthens. So I'll just keep telling myself that.
On Saturday, Elder Denos and I got challenged by some hoodrats to a game of basketball. They asked if we wanted to play, kind of jokingly, and when we said yes, they busted up laughing. I don't think I need to say who was laughing after the game. That is just the best feeling!
I could not be more excited for General Conference! I seem to appreciate it more and more every time it comes around again. I hope and pray that everyone will make time for Conference!
-I actually met a guy from the YSA ward who is driving home to Utah in mid May, and he has a big trailer with lots of space, and he is already taking bikes home for other missionaries, and he offered to take mine home! So that is probably what I will do.
-Not sure how many are going home to Salt Lake with me.
-Conference will most likely be watched at the chapel.
-I will need to send some stuff home. Not sure what though yet.
Thanks for writing! Thanks for the pic! Tom is looking good! I got Dad's letter the other day. It was so nice to hear from you, Dad! I hope everybody has a superb week! Love y'all!