Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Trying to find the Juan

So I think i am going to make it a thing where every week my subject/title is going to be a pun from the week. So this one refers to yesterday when we were practicing teaching, and the "investigators" were going to be a guy named Juan, and a list of different investigators is found in one of our booklets and the teacher thought the description of this guy was on a certain page, but that was the wrong page so she told us to see if we could find him, which i responded with "Try to find the Juan." The teacher and some other missionaries thought it was funny.

I got my travel schedule, and I leave the MTC next Tuesday, Aug 30. I have to be at the travel office at 3:50am and then my flight it at like 8:30am. So only one more week here!

Anyways, this past week was pretty great. I'm still growing and learning everyday. Last Tuesday night, we had a devotional given by Bonnie L. Oscarson about being a missionary and how often times on our missions and in life, we have trials and it may seem like we are being held back and not allowed to grow. This was related to a story someone else shared about a bush being cut back and looking like it had a tear formed from sap, but the gardener knew what he was doing and knew it was for the bushes good. The same is true in our life. Heavenly Father knows what he wants us to be, and so sometimes we may feel like we are getting 'cut back' but it's only for our own good. Also, my comp and I along with the other sisters in my district were singing in the choir and apparently, we were on the screen twice. So I'm practically famous haha

Throughout this past week, we have done a lot of teaching to prepare us for when we go out into the mission field. It's really good experience and it really helps me learn how to follow the Spirit when teaching and that it's okay to only teach part of what you planned or even change course when you get to the lesson as long as the investigator's faith grows. The saying and principle of "Teach people, not lessons" is harder to do than to say, but this is why we have the MTC to train and practice. People often say that the first time you teach a lesson by the Spirit, you just know after you finish the lesson. You walk away and just think, "we just taught by the Spirit." My companion and I experienced that for the first time this past week, and it is an amazing feeling and experience. 
Something else I have learned this past week is how to simplify lessons. Sometimes when we teach, we want to go deep down into details when in reality simplicity is better. It can cause less confusion and allow the investigator to better understand what we are teaching, but it can also spark specific questions that the investigator may have. Sometimes when we teach all the details, and investigator may not even know what question to ask or they just don't know what they aren't understanding. 

Sunday is always a good change in pace here at the MTC. It's just a little more relaxed. The devotional we had on Sunday was given by the Nashville Tribute Band. It was pretty good. Basically, they played some different songs and talked about some of them. Being in the choir, we sang 3 songs with them, and then they also had all the sisters sing another one with them, and then there was one song they had everyone sing along. The songs invited the Spirit. After, I watched 2 new visitor center videos that have only been seen at 2 of the visitor centers and then at the MTC. They were about the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the Priesthood. They were really good!

This past week, I have done a lot of studying about the Atonement and repentance. Part of this studying was just on my own, a lot in class, some in preparation for teaching investigators, and then also some because my comp and I had to teach in relief society. The Atonement and repentance are so real and so amazing. Repentance is only possible through the Atonement, and these two things put together provide so many blessings. We are allowed to forget the pain and sorrow from the past and experience joy and happiness when we accept Jesus Christ and His Atonement. We don't have to suffer for all of our mistakes because Jesus Christ has done that; He paid for our sins. An analogy I made in a lesson is if you were in a court of law and you had broken a law and bail was set at a certain price, Jesus Christ will pay the bail amount so you don't have to go to jail and suffer. You, as the criminal though, must accept that from Christ. He is ready for us to accept what He has provided us through the Atonement, but we have to make the choice. I have seen how the Atonement and repentance have worked in my life, and it is indescribable. It brings me comfort, peace, joy and happiness, and also strength to get through whatever is happening. A lot of the times, we think we have to have perfection, but in reality we just have to have progression and continually repent and allow the Atonement to work in our lives. 

Also, there is a new sister in my branch who came in this week whose name is also Sister Smith and we have been called dopplegangers or cousins because we kinda look alike and one day even wore somewhat matching outfits haha. And I learned that for me, playing volleyball at the gym is hard because a lot of the people playing don't really know how to play and I'm just too competitive lol

Anyways, I love y'all! 

Sister Smith

Sister Busath and I

District :)

Sister Bjazevich and I 

Throwback to freshman year when we would steal m&ms from the cannon center

Hermana Eraso and I  (friend from freshman year)

Sister Smith and I with our comps because our comps matched too lol

Sister Smith and I haha

Sisters in my zone

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