Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Week 6- Sep 1, 2010

Well another week here in the mtc has come and gone, and it has been great. I love life here at the mtc and the atmosphere is so great. I have been able to learn and grow so much. This week as last week we have focused a lot on teaching in spanish. It is hard, as any effective teaching is, but i am improving. I have been able to really see growth in my vocabulary and my fluency while i have been teaching. We are using it more outside and inside of class, and virtually everything we do is in spanish. It is fun to learn and challenges me to work hard. I have so far to go and there is no way i can be satisfied with where i'm at spiritually and with my knowledge of the gospel or with spanish. I cant wait until i'm in the field to learn to be an effective teacher. I have to learn to teach and to communicate to the people as soon as i get there in as much broken spanish as i can pick up here. I'm very thankful for the opportunity i have to learn.

Thank you everyone for your letters and for the packages. I have a ton of candy now and it fills up one of the drawers on my desk. You are all so kind to think of me. Mom thank you for all of the music and the folders as well. I dont have much time to play but hopefully i'll be able to practice those a little bit sometime soon.

I'm sorry that i dont have too many non spiritual messages or stories, but thats cause there really isnt much that i do that isnt spiritual. There are some funny conversations at lunch and stuff i guess, but really all of my time is spent studying, eating, and sleeping.

This week we had a few districts leave to mexico with visas on time. It gives me a little more hope that i might be able to get out of here on the 19th of this month. That is crazy to think that i'm going to be right in the middle of a mexican city in less than a month trying to speak spanish and teach, but i know i'll be ready and will continue to be blessed with what i need to accomplish the work.

This week we got another new teacher. Hermana Tate had to work less hours because of school so we got Hermano Goodrum. He served his mission in Honduras just like Hermano Mcpherson and is a really great teacher. We've only had one lesson so far, but he knows a lot and is very excited to teach and i know that i will be able to learn a lot from him. It was sad to lose hermana tate though. She was a really great teacher and you could tell that she cared a lot about us and about our learning and growth. She was a great teacher and had a very strong testimony and i am very thankful for the time that i was able to have with her and for the things that i learned from her.

This week a slightly funny story was that we practiced teaching people who did not have a christian background. We sometimes watch short videos of people answering questions and then come up with lesson plans to teach them what they need. The man that was our investigator this day was named Fra. He was a 56 yr old Buhdist Monk who lived in Thailand. It was very hard coming up with a lesson plan and in not very much time, but it worked out for me becasue i got chosen to act out this person for another companionship to teach me. For my preparation for being this man i thought of a book that i read senior year called siddartha. I actually did like this book and so i read most of it i think, but it is about enlightenment and part of it is about buhdism. Though i didnt know much, i tried to relate what i knew and then kind of made up some stuff too. It was fun to act out. For the opening prayer i assumed my "meditating position" and crossed my legs on my chair and everything. Then when they asked me what i believed. I talked about how i had been reencarnated and how i was one with nature and stuff. It was interesting to try thinking like that and i posed for a difficult person to teach about God and Jesus Christ to. After this somewhat of a funny experience we came back to the classroom where Brother Mcpherson critict us a little bit, which turned into a lot a bit. All the groups who taught kind of got into taht this was just another lesson. He enphasized the importance of teaching the person not a lesson. It is something that is hard to do especially in spanish, but is esential. Planning for a lesson is just as important as teaching it, and this principle can be adopted into any other aspect of our lives.

the last this i want to share is about the devotional yesterday. Elder Hinckley (the Late President Gordon B. Hinckleys son) came and spoke to us with his wife. I'd liek to share one point from each of their messages. From Sister Hinckley i learned taht attitude is everything. From this i reflected on my missionary moto of "today is a great day"! today and everyday is a great day, and we have to always remember to be happy. happiness is a decision, and its one that we make everyday when we wake up, and everytime something not so good happens. Life is so much better when you go through it while smiling, its as simple as that. This will be something that i will try to always remember when i face the inevitable trials ahead.

From Elder Hinckleys talk that thing that hit me that most was about how to love the people. The way to love someone is to serve them, and to see them the same way and with the same potential that our heavenly father sees them. Everyone is a child of god and we can learn to love everyone that we are around. he then shared a story about when he was a mission president about one of his missionaries. I will outline it thought it was a very good story, i dont have much time. There was a lady whose husband was an inactive member and died. The missionaries went to try to teach her and she said she didnt want anything to do with the church, but the missionaries began to do service for her and it softened her heart enough to let them teach her. They taught her and she felt the spirit testify of the truth of the book of mormon and she was converted, and two weeks later she was baptized. The missionary then told of the experience he had of seeing this woman be sealed to her late husband in the temple for all eternity and while they were there she mouthed the words "thank you" to the missionary. The impression i had was that who am i to think that what i am doing is a sacrifice. and this is just how this missionary felt as well. I am doing the happiest most joyful work there is on that face of the earth. I am serving my heavenly father and i will be teaching his gospel to the people that he has prepared and though i will have trials and hard times, those are nothing compared to the blessings and the joy that i have and will have by learning and sharing his gospel and seeing the changes in peoples lives and see the eternal choices that they will make while in this life.

I love you all and am so thankful for you. You all support me in your own way. Thank you for your prays and your love and support. I hope that you all have a great next week. I love you and miss you, but i am so happy and am excited to continue to learn and grow.


Elder Smith

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