Thursday, August 26, 2010

Week 5

Today was a great week. The phrase, "today was a great day" has become the intro to my journal everyday, and is a phrase that i tell myself whenever i feel down. Though that sounds cheesey and is very far away from anything i would have ever thought of doing before, it actually does work, and everyday really is a great day when you think of all of the things and blessings that our heavenly father has given us.

This week was great and I have been able to really learn and grow a lot. This week in the TRC (teaching resource ceter, where we practice lessons to volunteers, usually byu students) our lesson consisted of teaching the second lesson = the plan of salvation, and also the word of wisdom. Me and Elder Thompson were able to practice it a lot of times before giving it, and we have gotten really good at teaching together. we play off of each other well and it makes for a great teaching experience. Idk if i've said this before but i love teaching about the atonement! Everytime i do i always feel the spirit and i can really feel it come to the lesson. In our lessons it is really cool when we are guided by the spirit and are able to give ideas and relate things to people in ways that i'd never even thought of before.

Also this week was the last week that i am going to teach in english. From here on out it is all spanish. We practiced teaching our first real spanish lesson a few days ago and it went pretty well. We only had like 20 min to prepare so we basically just had to wing it. We taught the first lesson to two other missionaries of a class that my teacher knew their teacher. they had been here for 3 weeks i think. They taught us a short lesson and then it was our turn. It was not the greatest lesson and it was kind of chopy and broken, but it was simple and i was able to convey my ideas relatively well and when i taught about the saviors atonement for us, i was able to really feel the words i was saying and i was able to speak smoothly and convey the message that i felt inside. I think i received a lot of help there. When we finished i wasnt too proud of what we had done, and i was very humbled by the experience and know i have a long way to go. The only comments the other missionaries had was first "good job you guys know a lot of spanish" (to them we probably did ha), then the last one they asked us a question and said "did you guys know that you just taught a 40 min lesson?" and neither me or elder thompson had thought it had been that long at all. it was really cool to know that we could teach for that long.

Another lesson that i taught was our whole district got together and taught a lesson to our teacher about how to feel the spirit. A scripture that i related along with a few others was matthew 14:18 and it says that the lord will never leave us comfortless. In a talk by elder bednar of the 12 apostles, he answered this same question with "quite worrying about it. if you are doing what you are supposed to, you will have the spirit with you. those thoughts you have and those feelings are from the spirit and you need to act on them and not sit around waiting for a massive spiritual experience to know whether or not it was the spirit." This was a really cool thing to hear. I have a lot of those thoughts and feelings and am never sure. I am a missionary and the lord will help me and give me guidance though my thoughts and feelings as i contuinue to study and strive to have his spirit with me.

Dad asked about my district. My district is amazing. We have 12 elders in it and 10 of us are going to villahermosa and 2 of them are going to bolivia. they were supposed to have left for the lima peru mtc two weeks ago but havent gotten visa's yet. There is no news about my visa either. i am guessing i'm going to end up going somewhere in the states for a few weeks after my 9 weeks are up and then go to mexico, but i'm not sure. I know whatever way it works out will be the best though. Also i dont know if ive gained weight, but it looks like i have. the food is,okay, i'm not the biggest fan, and i dont think its the most healthy stuff in the world. I'm looking stronger and stuff tho, so i dont think its had too many negative affects.

The last thing i want to write about in the last 7 min is that the gym opened up again yesterday for a devotional and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the 12 apostles came! It was an amazing talk. We didnt know it was him until like a min before it actually started, but my district had heard a correct rumor, but we had heard rumors like that every week, but this week it was true. He walked into the room while we were singing We'll Bring the world his truth and as soon as he walked in we all stood up and it was amazing to feel his presence in the room. It was amazing to hear him speak. We got to be pretty close to him. He speaks with so much power and emotion. at times he is yelling into the mic, but he still brings a strong spirit to the message. I dont have much tiome but i'll share the part that hit me that hardest. He posed the question of why a mission has to be so hard. why cant it be easy? then he said very powerfuly "It is not easy becase salvation is not cheap." he also said that we are trying to be like the savior. He was perfect and suffered all pains imaginable for all of us personally. and because of his love for us he provided a way for us to receieve eternal life and live with him again. If we are trying to be like him. in our lives we must also suffer. we must walk part of his path and we must shed some of his tears. To be his disciple we have to follow him. On my mission i need to "give all that i have for as long as i can give it" and i know the lord will help me in that. This same priciple aplies to all of us in our lives and explains why sometimes bad things happen to good people.

I love you all and i hope that you have a great week. Thank you so much for all of the love and support and the letters. It makes me very happy to read about how things are going in your life. I have a strong testimony of this gospel and i know that it is the gospel of jesus christ


elder smith

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