Sunday, March 6, 2016

MTC Update

From Dad:

I expect Mom has updated most or all of you but just thought I'd add my two cents worth.  I use that phrase because it's one that my Dad used as well.  When Mom would send me a letter, he'd add maybe a few words but say that he was just "adding his two cents worth".

What an incredible week this has been!  Yesterday was particularly fun because we started the day with a session in the Provo temple right across from us and we ended the day by going through the Provo City Center Temple Open House with Jeremy and Kristin!  Well, to get a little worldly, we then actually ended by going to Chuck A Rama for dinner with them!  It was so good to talk with both of them.  I learned that in the deaf culture you seldom actually use name signs and that you don't get one unless you're deaf and it's given to you by a deaf person who is close to you. Mom and I are still just regular name signs = the open palm at the temple (Dad) or by the chin (Mom).  

If you have a telephone conversation with Jeremy through the relay system (which I strongly recommend you do), he will refer to Kristin all the time with the signs for "my wife".

One concept we've learned through and through in teaching is to "Teach the people - not the Lesson".  While we do need to be organized of what to teach we need to really talk with our investigators (I'd like to interject "Home Teaching Family" or "Visiting Teaching Sister" here) to find out what their real concerns are in their lives and then teach the part of Christ;'s gospel plan that addresses that concern.  At least as teaching missionaries, we should also pause every few minutes (Elder Holland really emphasized this) to either ask them if they are getting this, if they have questions, testify of the truthfulness of what you're teaching, or make solemn promises of them getting blessings (be specific) if they follow this teaching.  

If you invite someone to attend church services with you, you can certainly tell them of what to expect socially but make sure you explain to them that it is really a sacrament of taking the bread and water to remember the blood and flesh that Jesus Christ gave of His own that makes Sacrament so special.  We also learned that you can invite them to take the bread and water if they wish but that since they haven't been baptized yet, it's just bread and water but to us who have been baptized, we are renewing covenants made.  This is a change from at least 30 years ago or so when we were told that non-members really should not take the Sacrament since they had not made any covenants yet.

Light side joke): How many tickles can you give to an octopus?
Answer: 10      (think about it - it's good but it takes a little thought - out loud.)  One of our trainers told us this.

When Elder Bednar taught us (by recorded remote video) about what the character of Christ is, and how we should strive to emulate those characteristics, it felt so strong and I felt the love of Christ so intensely, I truly just wanted to continue my life and really never sin again!  One characteristic is that he always thinks so much outwardly, such as thinking of the poor soldier who got his ear cut off when Christ had just gone to through so much disappointment (Judas betraying Him, Peter and the others not staying awake with Him, besides the agony of suffering through the Atonement itself in the Garden. And then Christ, thinking only outwardly, heals the soldier's ear.

It was truly inspiring in one of our practice teaching situations of how well our (student) teachers/missionaries taught us a lesson that is of really high concern to us two.  It really hit home.  Maybe I'll tell you more detail some day!  😁

I am so impressed by my companion as well!  Bring back any memories to you who have been here before (Josh, Kristin, Christian, Seth, Jeni, Bryan, Jon, Jessica, and Marcus)?  She is just so organized when we have to talk about a lesson plan to make up to teach someone.  I fly around with random thoughts and scriptures but she gets down to organizing them all so well and we just seem to naturally shift to who's going to teach what segment.  Then in the actual teaching moment, she adjusts so well if I start to meander or if I get a little choked up.  She knows and remembers the appropriate scriptures so much too - she's amazing.

I look forward so much to the time when each of your children and especially when each of you as couples can go through this sort of experience.  Jon and Summer, I know you're not planning on such a mission but I think that day is going to come for you as well!

End on another joke: It's just about church time and a son is sitting and feeling kind of sad. Mom reminds him he has to get up and go to church.  "I don't want to go to church.  No one there likes me and sometimes I don't like them!", he replies.  She goes over to him, puts her arms around him, and consoles him that lots of the people there really do like him even if some don't but that they don't really know you.  He looks at her and says, "Do you really think they like me?  I'm supposed to give a prayer and I think I'm just a kid so much and I don't know if I can."  Mother, "Yes you can.  You're 42 years old now, Bishop, and you've said lots of prayers before  Now go back to your flock and love them!"

Mom's dental infection is going away.  I've had a calf muscle slight tear but it's getting better.  I may have also added 1.3 inches to my waistline!!  😫

Well, gotta go.  We've got two devotionals tonight.

Answer: say "10 tickles" a few times to get ..............  "tentacles"! 😒



From Mom:

We just got back from a fireside from Elder Bednar and it was so good.
Wow I feel I want to do better and be more Christ  like, and never sin again. 
Even when Christ was tempted he turned to help others and not just feel sorry for himself or fall into the temptation.  Even when Christ was on the cross he was thinking of his mother and for forgiveness for those who crucified him. He talked to the others hanging by him, not just whine in his own pain and problems, but did missionary work. 
He may have been disappointed in his disciples not staying awake while he prayed in Gethsemane, and for judas betraying him and that was after the agony of the atonement. Then when the guard had his ear cut off he did not say ok things happen, but rather he healed the soldier. 
Always looking outward not oh poor me. 
We are as natural man and generally look inward. 

A story he told of a lady who called then stake president Bednar. The lady said 3 girls from their stake were involved in a serious car accident and one was dead and if could go to the hospital and identify the girls. While he was on the phone she was on her cell phone to the nurse at the hospital and found out it was her daughter who had died. 
So instead of her saying oh forget it, she said we have to contact the other mothers right now. Reaching out to others. 
Then later the mom called president Bednar and said the funeral home has done a good job of making my daughter look better so wondered if you would like to come to the funeral home to see her now so you can get that other horrible vision of her out and see what she looks like now. She was thinking of his feelings. 
Then the day of the funeral a lady in the ward called to complain to this lady who was relief society president that no one had brought over food for her since she was sick. So instead of saying I am busy with my own problems, she made a meal and took it to the lady. 
Of course this lady had the character of the savior and reached out to others and not worried about her own problems. 

Well the fireside talk was excellent and wanted me to do better and love others as the savior loves each of us. 
What a powerful message. 

We have a full schedule of classes tomorrow but feel I will be better organized with books, and bags. We had so many papers and cards and such I had to get one of my bags to put  it all in. 
Getting ready to teach lessons tomorrow, so better do some studying before bed. 

Love you and thank you for your prayers and 
support in letting us go on this mission. 
Love you,

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