Wow, what a great week! We had “Leadership Training” this whole last week, from Tuesday to Friday, from 10 until 3.
First of all, Leadership Training. Dad mentioned that Trent had the same training, and YES it is the same training that the Church is using in the whole world. Basically, they summarized Preach My Gospel into 8 lessons to help the missionaries be more efficient. President Hicken taught us so much. I learned so much from what He said, and from what the Spirit taught us. There was so much, but here are just a few things.
-Kneeling down at the end of the lesson to say the prayer- This is something that Hermano Barrios in the MTC encouraged us to do, but I never really put it into practice. A few months ago, I was studying and had the impression to start doing that. I commented it to my companion, but we never actually did it. In the training we had, we learned that we should kneel down with the investigators to say the last prayer. As Elder Lara and I have done that, we have actually been able to feel the Spirit testify to the investigators that what they are listening and learning about is true.
-“We teach people, not lessons”- This is something that I learned in the MTC, and I am finally putting into practice. We learned to really teach to their needs and not just teach the lessons. We’re not robots here to teach the same thing over and over again without the Spirit. That’s why we have Preach My Gospel. I remembered an experience that I had a few months ago. I was on divisions or “splits” with another missionary, and we went to an appointment he had made with a sister in the street. We got to her house and as we were talking with her she told us that a few years ago her husband had died and how she was looking for peace. I thought to myself,” My companion is going to know to teach the Plan of Salvation” but he surprised me when he took out the pamphlet for the Restoration. I told him that we should teach the Plan of Salvation and he said that it would be better if we just taught the Restoration. That sister never listened to those missionaries again, and never went to Church. I feel like if we would’ve taught according to her needs, she would’ve listened to us more and even gone to church and been baptized. It’s a sad experience, but it shows the importance of teaching the spiritual needs of the investigators.
President Hicken is such a great man! I am so lucky to be able to learn from him and apply what he teaches. He has a vision that is really high for the mission, and I know we can achieve it with the Lord’s help.
Fabiola was baptized yesterday by her husband Jose! The Lord is blessing Elder Lara and me with a lot of success, this is really what we need to help the zone. I am learning new things every day and every week, I LOVE THE MISSION!
Fabiola, Jose y familia 8-22-10
Jose baptized Fabiola yesterday!! He was so excited and really nervous, he wrote the baptismal prayer down and was repeating it over and over. Fabiola when she went for her baptismal interview showed us her hand afterwards. She had written a ton of notes to herself on her hand because she thought the baptismal interview was going to be really hard!! She was just so excited and I know that excitement to keep the commandments is going to affect her daughter and son- Joanna and Luis. OH! I almost forgot, JOSE is the Elder’s Quorum Secretary!! WOW! He is so excited to do that as well! Brandon, Dulirza’s son, is going to be a ward missionary so he’ll be working with us a lot!
We married a lady named Silvia today. She is going to be baptized this Sunday. She lives in the street right next to the Church, and loves going! She is very humble- VERY humble. They live in a very small cement apartment. She has stomach cancer, and I’m not sure how but it has affected her hand and her leg and she has a very hard time walking. It is humbling for me to see the excitement in her eyes, and desire to be baptized.
The Lord is blessing us with success. We really didn’t have much time to work in our area this week, but the Lord provided. For example, we were blessed to be able to take 15 investigators to church. That was a huge blessing. We had a bad experience though, that I think we can all learn from. We took a new family of three, a complete family, they go to a Christian church but decided to go with us yesterday. We appreciated their step of faith to see if the church was true, they had read the night before, the Book of Mormon and were praying to know if the Church is true. We got to church and sacrament meeting (the last of the three hours) was so noisy and irreverent. The members were getting up and leaving the whole time and then they’d come back in. This family was sitting in the front, but they heard so much noise that they couldn’t really concentrate. At the end they came out and basically told us “Thanks for helping us come, but we didn’t feel anything. We are going to go to our Christian church, so thanks but no thanks.” Wow, I felt so sad because this is a complete family! After, another investigator said “I came to Church to sit down and listen and learn, but no one else here shows that respect. They were all getting up and leaving during the whole meeting, I didn’t feel anything! Why should I come all the way over here, you two just go to my house and teach us, because I don’t like it here.” I felt so bad for her as well. I think we can all learn something from this. REVERENCE is soo important, and its something that this ward knows nothing about. I hope we can all learn about that!
Mom and Dad, that’s great that Pres. Riggs is inviting everyone to take part in missionary work. Part of my talk yesterday was trying to help the members feel that it really isn’t that hard to be a part of the work. It can be as simple as just sharing your testimony, or talking about the church. You could give away a Book of Mormon with your testimony written in it, or ask the missionaries for a pamphlet to give as well. It really is so easy, and there are so many miracles that can happen. Alma 13:24 teaches us that the Lord IS preparing these people to accept the gospel. Just pray to know who they are, and He will help you. I just know it.
Thanks for all your love and support, les amo un buen!
-Elder Rasmussen (el mexicano!)