Whata joy it is to hear from EVERY member of the family! I now know what joy a missionary feels to hear about everything going on at home while am out here! It is weird being taken completely out of the world here in the MTC but I guess that's what makes it so great!
Well, what a week it has been! A lot of ups and downs. This week we taught our investigator completely in Spanish 3 times. The second time we taught him was awesome! We taught him how to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and how important it is in finding out the truth. Elder Whitney has had no previous Spanish training so it is really difficult for him and he was struggling a bit in the lessons so I teach most of the lesson and he bears his testimony usually at the end and says the prayer.
The third lesson didn't go well at all. I learned a valuable lesson though. I went in to the lesson thinking we were going to teach about baptism but quickly found out that we hadn't even taught him about Joseph Smith or the restoration. The second mistake I made was relying on myself for everything. I didn't involve my companion very much and that is not how the Lord wants us to teach. I was trying to answer all his questions by myself and didn't rely on the Spirit as much as I should have. I ended up teaching him a watered down lesson on the restoration that I hadn't prepared for and I think Elder Whitney only said 3 sentences. Needless to say I felt pretty bad after the lesson. But I learned such a great lesson that I am glad I learned while I am still in the MTC!
I am so grateful for such a real life teaching experience so soon in my mission! The last lesson we taught Ismael was the complete restoration, we wanted him to have a firm grasp on it to help clear his questions like, Why is your church different? Why do we need a prophet? Why his baptism doesn't count in the Lord's eyes? I made sure this time to have Elder Whitney teach a lot more and he did pretty well! He would say something and if it didn't make sense to Ismael I would just translate for him. The Lord has really blessed me early on with the Gift of Tongues. I am so grateful for His help with Spanish. And so the lesson went wonderful and he committed to baptism! Awesome feeling!
I was surprised this past week with how much we have been role playing in our classes. I was very skeptical at first just because it made everyone feel a little awkward and it was hard to take seriously. But I have come to realize that it is such a great tool to practice teaching. It has REALLY helped me and when you take it seriously it can be a powerful experience!
This week's study has been focused on the missionary purpose. I really want to make sure that I understand my missionary purpose thoroughly before I get out there and start putting it to use! There is so much to faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end that I quite don't understand yet! I spent an entire week studying repentence and I am just shocked at how much you learn when you study by topic and focus on one thing! Repentence isn't something we do to erase our sins off of some heavenly chalkboard. We repent to be "born of God" and make our will His will. And we use Christ's Atonement to make ourselves better and at-one with God. I wish I had time to share all my impressions with you! But we are only permitted 30 minutes!
But my district is getting along wonderfully and are learning together at such a rapid pace! The MTC is such a firehose when it comes to spirtiual knowledge. I can't get enough! It is so great to be here with so many of the Lord's servants and have run into plenty of HT and SUU friends as well! I would send pics but we can't here in Provo. Sorry for not responding to the family... I really don't have time but when I get to Colombia in 10 days I will for sure! I love you all!