Thursday, July 25, 2013

Big News-July 25, 2013

Why did you guys start doing fun stuff right after I left? YOU'RE SAILING!!! YOU'RE SAILLING!!! YOU SAILED, YOU'RE A SAILOR, ISN'T THIS A BREAK THROUGH? AHOY !!!haha. That looks like a ton of fun!

This week has been much better. My comp and I are getting along really well. I've learned a lot from him. Hind sight is ALWAYS 20/20! There are things that used to bug me but I just have gotten over them and they don't bother me anymore. I've been blessed with a change of heart. I'm growing so much here.

I still joke around too much. For study periods I make my comp and I leave the classroom to go study elsewhere because I don't focus when I'm with the other missionaries in a silent room. It's just a perfect scenario for too many jokes.

BIG NEWS OF THE WEEK! You didn't know this but last Friday everyone got their travel plans except for me. I got a white paper that said, "Sorry we don't have your visa. Expect a reassignment in the mail next Thursday or Friday. I was a little distraught but over the next days I was refocusing and getting ready to serve two missions. However, two days ago the front desk called our classroom. This voice came over the speakers and said, "Is there an Elder Weiss there?" "Yes..." "Will you please come to the travel office?" "YES!!!" They got my visa two days before I got reassigned! So in the end I'm Australia bound! Hurray! I know it's not so dramatic for you guys because you didn't know I was getting reassigned in the first place, but for me I was happier than Chuck Norris in a room full of lesser ninjas. I came up with a joke the other day that obviously I laughed at but maybe you will too. "Chuck Norris saved the day today...yesterday..." get it?..

Ok, well on a serious note, last night we were doing role plays and the "investigator" we were supposed to be was a character from the NY Times "One in a Million" thing. This investigator didn't believe in God like we do, He was Hindu. None of us really knew anything about being Hindu. We finished the first role play and the Elders all were saying, "How do you teach someone that doesn't believe in Jesus Christ!?"

I shared with the district an experience I had. I have a friend that once asked if we could talk about God. She is not a member and I knew nothing about her religious beliefs. Of course I wanted to talk about God so one day we talked... she talked. I listened for probably two hours just listening and asking questions. She didn't ask me a question but brought something up that I was able to teach her a little bit about the plan of salvation in like a minute or two and then that was it. We talked a few more times about it on the phone and I just listened and asked questions some more. Then she finally asked me, "Joe, how do you know its true?" I was able to tell her my experiences reading the scriptures and praying to be taught the truth. After she said, "Joe, that's so sweet, I can tell that you really care."

I didn't get to speak that much but because I listened to her talk for so long she knew I was sincere about what I was saying and that I cared about her. "NOBODY CARES HOW MUCH YOU KNOW UNTIL THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE!" She knew I cared about her as a person and was willing to hear what I had to say. She was able to feel God's love for her through me and feel the spirit testify of what I had said.

So I told the district. "You should never begin teaching anyone without them first feeling something." If I were to start teaching someone that didn't believe in God period, I would begin by reading with them Mosiah 14 or D&C 19:15-18 and ask them. "If you knew that someone did this for you, If you watched someone do all of this for you, how would you feel?"  Then they would be able to feel the spirit testify of the love of Jesus Christ for them. They might not know who he is but they'd be able to feel his love.  Motivation is something you feel, not something you know. First they have to feel before they can know.

I'm so excited to go to Australia and share the Gospel with the people there. I might not be the best missionary, but they will know that God loves them and that I do too. If that's all people learn from me on my mission, that Elder Weiss sincerely loves them from the bottom of their heart, then my mission will be a sucess!

I love you all!

Elder Weiss VI

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Large Plate" Info and wishlist from July 11-12, 2013

This is from a letter of Thursday and Friday, July 11-12, 2013 that was handwritten by Joseph.  Just getting around to typing it up. 

OK, so here are some fun facts about my MTC experience.
1.  I am not at the West campus.  I'm here on the main campus.  Sorry, Deb, if you broke your budget on Jamba, but I keep forgetting to tell people about the "Large Plate" information, if you will, in my emails.

(If you would like a personal letter, send your address to Joseph since he has a little time each night to write, but only one hour of time for email on Thursday Preparation day.)

2.  All three of my roommates are heading down to serve with Will in Concepcion Sur.  Unfortunately, I don't get to serve with Will, but Sydney is alright, I guess...(Ed. note...this is Joe's dry humor showing up.)

3.  I'm kinda sick.  sore throat, runny nose and such.  I'd appreciate your prayers. 

4.  I've been working out on my own besides our gym time because I could feel the pounds stacking up.  Today I weighed myself...10 pounds!  You sit around all day and get 3 big meals.  I hate seeing tithing being wasted, but you'll gain weight just by eating what's on your plate.  Gym is great though.  We mostly play soccer.  I'm starting to love it again.  I do miss tennis though.  Hopefully I'll get to play when I get down to Sydney.

5.  Jacob Scoville teaches Korean at the MTC.  Got to see him yesterday.

6.  This week a bunch of my friends from high school got here.  Namely, Russell Murphy and Braden Call.

7.  Lately we've been singing hymns and "Newsie" (the musical) songs as we walk.  I've realized that not everyone that thinks they can sing actually can.  I'm so sorry if I've ever just "gone for it" with you around.  I think I'm getting a taste of my own medicine.

Well, please pray for my health.  It's hard to think about others when you're struggling, but that's what Christ did his entire life.

Launna, thanks for the reply.  I agree, but I'm hoping someone will disagree so I can better understand.  The question is:


For Luanna:  Character of Christ is the the character Christ had to turn outwards in times of crisis when the natural man would turn invwards.  Elder Maxwell said, "Without the character of Christ...."  Google it...

So here's my wish list:
Listerine (it's helped me get better fast!)
Vitamin C / Calcium would be great.  Airborn or EmergenC would be nice, but not necessary.
Foam soccer ball...we have nothing to do on p-day except study and exercise as the Provo Temple is closed.
Some "Artisan bread" from Lee's.   (Not necessary.)

Friday, July 12, 2013
So I got your package today.  Thanks.  The photo album is fantastic.  I took a few glances at all the pictures by haven't read it yet.  I got to show my district my family!  I liked it a lot.

Last night I had my comp. give me a blessing.  He said exactly what I needed to hear.  It was his first ever.  About a week ago I gave him a blessing as well!

If you could have Deb get a little foam or Nerf soccer ball 6 inches diameter or bigger, that would be great!  But if not...we'll just make one out of socks.
Actually, I already did.  I sewed it and everything.  I'll send you pics soon.  I love you all. Thanks all of you who write!  I love getting letters. 

You all should read Elder Bednar's talk and answer my before stated question.  Love, Elder Weiss VI

(Then there is a hand drawn 1/3 page picture of TROGDOR for Deb.)

Mediocrity and Tender Mercies-Letter of July 18, 2013

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: July 18, 2013 8:02:28 AM MDT
To: Cyndy Weiss <>

Thank you family for all the letters and packages! Mom made me this scrapbook of pictures of all the family and Deb sent me the most thoughtful package I've ever received in my life! It was like Christmas day! She got me two high class ties from Florence, Italy and a Wimbledon tennis ball keychain! Absolutely made my day! It was an amazing example of gift giving. It was so dad gum thoughful I couldn't believe it! Probably the highlight of my week.

This week I've felt so perfectly mediocre. I absolutely hate it. My heart wants to a representative of Jesus Christ but the rest of me can't figure it out. I feel like I've plateaued at the MTC and I hate it. I know if I plateau here I'm gonna have the same problem in the field. I feel like a stumbly two year old trying to learn how to walk. For me in tennis I would always try to find something to focus on that would keep me from beating myself. Once I found something that got me so outside my myself I was playing out of my mind. But the next time I went to play it only worked partially and the next time after that it didn't help anything.

Trying to imitate past sucesses leads to mediocrity. Being spontaneous is what allows true creativity to flow. It's a constant battle to find the thing that will help you get to the place where you can play beyond your own capabillities. Once you've been there nothing compares. I feel like was learning at such a fast rate but then I tried to continue doing the samethings and the rate of learning went away.

There is no silver bullet! WHY IS THERE NO MAGIC BULLET?! Why does it have to be so hard? The hardest foe you will ever meet is person you see in the mirror each morning. I wish this was easy but it's not. I know that God's grace will come and save me... but I don't know when. The night is darkest just before the dawn. I know good things are coming. I know I can change. I've been saved and spared time and time again. The Lord is my light and why should I fear? All things are possible with God. This is just a bump in the road. And if you're going fast enough and the bump is big enough for a little while you can fly! One day I'll be able to fly whenever I want but for now it's gonna take hard times to get me up in the air. Just gotta Keep moving forward.

Yesterday I got to host the new missionaries. One of the four I picked up from the curb is from Herriman. His name is Elder Jones. His dad asked where I was going and I told him "Sydney, Australia." They all freaked out and said, "That's where he's going!! What language?" "Spanish" "Him too!" Pretty crazy! He's in the advanced class because his dad was a mission president in Chile and he learned Spanish there. So he'll only be here (MTC) two weeks which means we'll probably be flying down together!! Pretty crazy! His mom said, "There's your first teder mercy!" They were very emotional because this was their youngest son, so it was a pretty big deal! He's gonna be an amazing missionary!

So later today I should get my travel plans. I'm gonna save a little time for later so I can tell you whatever it is I find out!

I love you all! I'll be praying for all of you family and friends. I love my evening prayers when I get to ask God to bless those that I love! I love you all so very much! I love God most of all! He is my strength and my salvation!

Elder Weiss VI

Photos from July 18, 2013 letter