Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Nov -2 -1020
This week was pretty busy. I spent 4 days in Roiett for training.
On Tuesday we went down there to teach a district meeting about how to find people to teach. It was a really good meeting. We started out by talking about our purpose as missionaries. We taught from 2 Nephi 31 and talked about the Father's purpose, Jesus Christ's purpose, Nephi's purpose, and how our purpose is related to theirs. After that we talked about the importance of showing love for the people we meet. Then we talked about the importance of extending specific and firm commitments when contacting people on the streets.
I want to talk a little bit more specifically about those three things.
Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Yeah, it is a mouth full. It is very interesting to note that this is the mission of God as well, we as missionaries simply play a different role in this mission. The Father is the creator. He came up with the plan. It is His kingdom and His eternal life. He has made the rules. Jesus Christ is the way. Jesus Christ filled in all of the holes and made it possible. He showed us the way. The purpose of the prophet is to guide mankind and show them how to follow Jesus Christ. Being perfect is quite hard and simply seeing the example is oftentimes not enough. God has given us prophets to guide and direct us in following the example of Jesus Christ. We as missionaries have been called by the Prophet to help him with this work. We are guides to help people find, understand, believe, use, and follow the restored teachings of Jesus Christ.
Love is a harder thing. It has always been hard for me to love people, especially when I don't know the person. One thing that has really helped me is my love for Jesus Christ. Even though sometimes it is hard for me to love everyone, I do know that Jesus Christ loves everyone. So I can feel confident that when I approach people that if they can't feel my love, at least they can feel the love of Jesus Christ.
Lastly, the importance of commitments. Commitments are things that go hand-in-hand with missionary work. It is going to be very hard for me to go home into "normal life" and not give people commitments to repent and to change. Everything we do, regardless of it is teaching, finding, or simply calling on the phone, we are committing people to change their lives. One important thing that I have learned about commitments is asking people very specific and direct questions. This ensures that you are giving them a clear choice and that they can actually use their agency to pick between choice A or choice B. In Thai it has been difficult to break out of habits of asking lackadaisical questions and starting asking direct questions. Whenever missionaries are struggling, usually the first thing I suggest is to change their commitment pattern. Be bold. Be direct. Always invite people to repent.
We went back home Tuesday night to teach English and got a phone call from the Assistants that we would have additional guests staying with us that night. We have been trying to clean our apartment the last few weeks, and it was still a mess. We ended up having 8 people stay at our house. The next morning we headed back to Roiett for a Leadership Training Meeting with President Smith. The meeting lasted three days and focused on teaching more effectively. The hotel we stayed in was way swanky. The breakfast in the hotel was incredible. They even had bacon. A lot of it.
We got back to our area Friday night. We went companion exchanges with the Assistants. I worked with Elder C(he was my zone leader a couple of months ago) and Elder Ritchie worked with Elder G. The exchange was pretty good. Taught a lot of lessons. Extended a baptismal commitment to a new family I found last week at the market. They are very excited. This family consists of a mom, a daughter, a grandmother, and other assorted relatives. They seem really interested and we have a goal to have them baptized by the end of November.