From: Joseph Weiss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: November 24, 2013 at 7:46:04 PM MST
To: Cyndy Weiss <email@example.com>
This week I studied the section in PMG (Preach My Gospel) called "How to Begin Teaching". "How to begin teaching" helps us establish expectations so that they know exactly what to expect. When people feel like they understand what's going on they are put at ease and can feel peace. When they feel peace they can feel the spirit. So if you can make "How To Begin Teaching" a spiritual experience it bodes well for the rest of your lesson and future lessons as well.
Also through teaching I have learned how valuable listening is. People won't listen until you listen first. And by listening we know what to say and by not talking all the time, our words become more powerful to the investigator. I also learned that teaching with the spirit is also determined by the effort and focus you put in to preparations in study each morning. Good studies make a good day! I wonder how my studies will adapt in the real world but man studying the gospel every day is such a gift. Especially that my Spanish is sufficient to read in Spanish. I'm determined that I'm flippin' gonna speak this language even if I'm in Australia!
This week our investigator texted us and asked "How do people know when they want to get baptized?" We told him it would be easier to explain if we came over and talked in person. The next day we went to their house and tried to answer his question with Mosiah 18 the story of the Alma baptizing at the Waters of Mormon, but it didn't seem real enough. He wanted to know what the next step would be. So we told him about the baptismal interview and went over the questions with him.
When we got to repentance we asked him if he felt he had repented. He told us that since we've been teaching him he has started to stop and think before he talks. Before he would poke fun at people and say the first thing that came to his head, but know he stops and thinks to see if what he says will offend someone. His kids have noticed and asked him about it. It's awesome to see someone changing and becoming more like Jesus Christ. The only catch is he stayed up late watching rugby with his daughter on Saturday so he didn't come to church. So it upward climb continues and he has had a pretty insane past in the war in El Salvador.
Just no rest with this work. Next minute you think someone's ready to be baptized and the next you find out all these concerns they have and you're just like, "Gah I thought things were going so well!”
All in all though I think it's hilarious when people are like, "Wow you make such a big sacrifice!" and I'm like, "What?" Like I miss you family but I could probably do this forever. There are hard times but these last five months have been the best experience of my life.
Each day the Lord is pushing me to grow in ways I can't do without him. I'm not perfect and I make heaps of mistakes. But I'm so grateful that God lets me have a part in his work. That he lets imperfect people do something so special. I know when I care about something I want it done right. God feels the same way, but he loves us enough to let us make mistakes so that one day we can become like him. Far too blessed. It’s unreal.
By the way my companion tells me I'm Vizinni from Princess Bride. I thought you might get a kick out of that, seeing it's a family classic. They say it's my laugh.
Man, I wish I had time to tell you about the Bolivian peppers we ate. Holy Hannah, those things were hot as !!! I chopped some up and got the juice all over my hands and then at some point touched my face because my face felt like it was against an iron for literally two hours! Haha it almost killed one of the other Elders haha.
Ok Love you all-Goodbye!
Elder Weiss VI