Its great to here that you guys are working on scripture study! Something that I´ve noticed here is that we never read more than one verse per person. And when we study a chapter as a class we are constantly stopping to relate what's going on in the scriptures to what we are going through as missionaries or how we can relate the stories for an investigator. This is far more helpful then just reading through a chapter in monotone. Also saying a prayer before scripture study helps a lot!! I wish I had done this more before the mission, I would have gotten a lot more out of my scripture study. Even more so, I think it would be great if you guys focused on specific Christlike qualities each time you study personally. Like patience, hope, faith, service, etc. This is very helpful when you have a purpose in study rather than not. Heavenly father is much more likely to provide an answer for us if we study and search for specifics. I have a testimony of this. Also for family study, I feel like sometimes we miss the whole point. It's not to just get through the book of Mormon, its to bring peace and unity to the household. Keep on trying to discuss about the doctrine rather than just read through it. The doctrine works differently for us each time we read it.. it can always influence us for the better no matter what we are going through. Even if life seems excruciatingly hard, and you feel like your faith is waning, follow the commandments (i.e. strength of youth) that much more and God will shower you with feelings of peace and hope. One of our investigators, Luis, is struggling because his friends like to "fiesta" and he's afraid if he embraces the gospel he will lose all his friends...But Luis and all of us need to remember that no matter what, no matter how difficult weeks can go by, if you let him, Christ is always there, by our sides.. our truest friend. Some friends come and go, and never really understand why we feel the way we do. But Christ knows. And this is our anchor. This is why we personally hold to the iron rod. So we can always feel that Love of Christ. Just remember to not be distracted by things that Satan tries so hard to hit us with.. like self conciousness, jealousy, and selfishness. We can find strength in each other, in the priesthood, in the scriptures, and above all in fervent prayer. ...Now I wish I could just say this all in Spanish.
This week I kind of hit a sort of wall for a second. My companion and I had planned a lesson for Luis, and we were sitting on the grass outside, (getting slightly sunburned I might add) waiting to meet with him (By the way, Luis is one of our teachers who is actually role playing) I decided it would be efficient to practice teaching to each other. Before we went in to teach, I said a prayer with Hermana N, and asked for some type of miracle that I would know what to say. When we walked in, I started asking him questions on faith and etc. I´m not sure what came out of my mouth, but we left at the end of the lesson and we had committed him to baptism, going to church with his Mom, and praying to receive revelation through the book of Mormon. It was amazing, I almost started to cry. And I know I still have so much to learn.
Also, fun fact, we were teaching another investigator, Jesús, and the elders who taught before us went WAY over on time, so as we were walking over to the benches (under the palm trees I might add) our teacher\Jesús told us that we only had 10 minutes and asked if we still wanted to teach. OF COURSE WE DID!! So we sat down and taught a quick 8 minutes lesson on half of the plan of salvation. It was a really really good exercise. I had to think about what was the most important for him, and just touch upon those things. Also asking questions that are important to him helped a lot too.
Anyway. these are just a few of the stories from this week. We are constantly working and teaching and I can feel my Spanish improving the more I speak it. We had a devotional on Tuesday entirely in Spanish, and before hand, I prayed really hard for the gift of interpretation of tongues. Miraculously, I understood probably 68% which is a lot more than I would have been able to understand 4 weeks ago. I also gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting that was pretty great on prayer... so I´m glad I had that opportunity. There is an elder in my district with a beautiful strong baritone voice and we sang Abide With Me... It was beautiful! Hopefully we will be performing in a devotional soon. Oh and we found out that the CCM has not been dedicated yet (What the Heck) and so on February 9th, the Sunday before we leave, Dallin H Oaks and possible Jeffrey R. Holland will be coming down to dedicate it! We´ve started practicing for a special music number to sing for the devotional. Fun fact: one of the tenors singing in the choir is Sue Thorup´s nephew! Wow! Also, out choir director´s grand daughter is an alto in the BYU concert choir, and you know.. since I was in the BYU concert choir too, our choir director seems to trust me a lot as a choral member, and she lets me lead the sectionals. So that's nice. It's like I have credibility here as a musician or something.
Here is our schedule!
6.30 ....wake up (everyone else in my casa wakes up at 5.30 to get ready.. but not me.. I just get up and go)
7:00 personal study (we study what we think our investigator needs, we decide this the night before)
8.00 Breakfast!! (there was ricemilk in the fridges today which is great)
8.30 Class!! (this usually starts with investigators, then we have language, then coaching or a fundamental doctrine study)
11.30 Gym!!! (Yes there is a facility, with spin bikes, weights, indoor gyms, outdoor gyms, and an outdoor track.. me and my companion usually play sand volleyball with our district though, or we run around campus.. its pretty big)
1.00 Almuerzo! (Biggest meal of the day, usually corn tortillas, with a meat dish, and then salad and fruit always)
1.30 Tienda Time (This is unofficial, but our zone goes to the tienda and gets treats such as delicious icecreams or bueno bars)
1:45 TALL.. This is language training on the computers. Its great! I learn a lot from it... mostly grammar)
2.45 Study time.. (Me and Hermana Nethercott usually go outside and sit on the grass and study language)
3.30 Class!! Investigators (if we didnt teach in the morning we teach at this time.. it switches off each day, because we have a different teacher in the morning and afternoon) Language, and Coaching or Fundamental Doctrine
6.30 Dinner... usually dinner is the sketchiest meal of the day unless its pizza... a lot of mystery meat, or mystery sandwiches.
7.15 Language Study Time.. Our district sometimes plays games together to learn words and rules
8:15 Additional Study
9.00 Daily Planning.. this is where me and my companion plan on what we will study the next day
9.15 Our district likes to have devotional at this time
9.20 Our zone gets together to sing and pray and say good night.. PS our father district in our zone is leaving next week and its really sad
9.30 Time to go home and write in journal and shower and go to bed by 10.30!
Anyways! I love you all so much! Have a great week!!!
You are in my prayers!