We also had a really cool lesson with Bro Freddy Torres. We found him on the street one day. He's stopped drinking, and doing bad things. We are now teaching his whole family. We had a great lesson this week. I asked him, how he felt the gospel has changed his life. He said that from the day he has met us, he has seen a difference. He told us that he knew what we were teaching him was true. He told us he believed the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, and that Joseph Smith really was a prophet. He knows that from the spirit he feels while being with us. And from the changes he has seen happen in his own life through the power of repentance. We are really excited to work with all of them. It's pretty awesome.
After being inside all week, it felt really good to get out and go to work. My companion last week was pretty set on staying in the mission. But then he has had some problems, and has had a lot of interviews with the President, so we'll see what happens next week.
The temple grounds are a 1/2 a mile of where we live, but in a different direction from where we work. Sometimes we walk past it, if we have an investigator up there. But right now it's just a big dirt lot. The ground breaking is happening this Saturday. The company that has come here to build the temple has attended our ward. So things are happening pretty soon. Really exciting.
To Braden, Spencer, and friends:
Ok Boys--this is what you are in for. Pay attention, and take notes. ; )
A Day in the Mission:
I've had some emails asking me what a mission is really like. First I want to say, The mission is awesome! I'm going to take you through a typical day in the mission, so you can know what it is like:
6:30 The alarm goes off. You wake up. Your knees hit the floor. You say a prayer
6:35 You look at your companion, he's still asleep, so you walk him up. Then you say a prayer together. Then you tell him to say his own prayer.
Then you do some pushups. You have to do 30 min of exercise everyday. But you're companion is too lazy to leave the house to go running, so you have to do pushups, sit-ups, crunches, and whatever else you come up with on the floor.
7:00 You get up and take a shower. Sometimes the water is there, sometimes it's not there. So that's why you have water ready in empty orange juice bottles that you drank all week long. That way you always have water for your shower.
After you do all of that stuff, you iron your shirt, you make breakfast. You don't want to eat what your companion makes, because you are the cook. So you make pancakes, because they are awesome.
8:00 Then you start studying. First you have personal study. You open your scriptures, then Preach My Gospel, you think about people you are going to teach today.
9:00 You study with your companion. You've got to do some practices, you have to teach him what to do/say, you've got to help him. You need to get better, you want him to get better too.
10:00 You study Spanish--or your language. You need to study a lot, because everyone you want to teach can't speak English. Your native companion should be studying English, but he won't want to do it, so you've got to make him do it.
11:00 You leave the house and you go visit people. You might have scheduled visits, you might not. So you just leave the house and try to teach someone. Sometimes you find some less actives to visit, you teach them something. Maybe they're home, maybe they're not.
12:00 Then you go to lunch. In our area we have a member that is contracted to feed us lunch. You get there and get all excited because you're super hungry and haven't eaten in 4 hours. So you get there and, wow, surprise! It's chicken and rice. Wow, yet again, for 7 months. So yummy, you have it again. You eat until you're stuffed. Your companion falls asleep, so you wake him up and say "let's go!" He'll say, no, I want to wait, but then you say No, and you leave lunch and go to your first visit.
You're all excited for your visit, because it's someone you met in the street the other day, and this is they're first visit, but...then they're not there. So you go look for another house. And you contact someone in the street. You teach everyone about the restoration.
Then you have a 2nd visit. It's a less active. The visit is great. But during the lesson, you find out that they have not been consistently reading their scriptures, so you encourage them to try harder.
Then you go to the 3rd visit. You have a lesson with an investigator, it's super awesome. But the member that was supposed to come with you, didn't come.
You keep going all day to appointments like this--with investigators, less actives, or recent converts. You teach everyone. Your day is a mix between these 3 kinds of people. You teach them the gospel, you encourage them to read their scriptures every single day, you call and remind them, you find new people in the street. You talk to every single person you meet. You hand out little pass along cards, to everyone. Then it's night time.
8:30 you start walking home.
9:00 you start planning the whole next day. You plan for half an hour.
9:30 you say a prayer. Oh yeah, you say a prayer for everything. You pray to start and stop every study. You say a prayer for breakfast, lunch, dinner. You pray to start and stop every single lesson. And you say a prayer to start and stop planning. So you pray like 30 prayers everyday.
Then you finish planning, and you have to go eat something, because you're starving, but no, you have fill out the Area Book. And you have to do this, because you are an obedient missionary, and you want to keep good records. So you fill out your investigator records in your area book every night. You have a form for every less active, every recent convert, and every investigator. It is a record of where they are at in their progress and what lessons they have had, what they have not had. You record all of the work you did during the day, and put it all in the area book.
Then you have to verify with the District Leader, what you did that day. He asks you a bunch of questions, you answer them all.
Finally you have about 30 minutes to do whatever you want to do. You have to write in your journal, and do all the rest of your personal stuff. Sometimes we listen to music and then cook more food.
I'm not really sure what happened to good old Dinner, but it doesn't happen anymore. You eat a big lunch at 1:00, then you eat again after 9:00 pm. I'm not really sure why it is that way, but it is. Sometimes we buy bread or something while we're walking, but usually we don't stop to eat until we're back home again.
10:30 your head hits the pillow, you set your alarm, and bam, it's 6:30 am again and you keep going. It feels like you don't sleep at all. Nothing. But it's so great!
It's really the BEST! You're going to love it! Every minute. Believe me, it's awesome.
So, What do you study? What do you do right now to prepare?
Well, number 1, start studying Preach My Gospel. Study it, I mean really study it. They do not teach you the lessons in the MTC at all, nothing. I mean zero. They just teach fundamentals, which are important, but they are not the mission lessons.
1. Start studying lessons 1-5. You need to know these lessons before you teach them to someone else. Underline, mark them, find all the scriptures that go along with the lessons, mark them in your scriptures and really study each lesson.
2. Go to Mission Prep.
3. Practice sharing the gospel with people you know and love--right now. One of my biggest regrets was that I did not do that as much as I could have before I came on my mission. So do that right now. Call up the people that you know just came to your mind, that you should be sharing the gospel with, and tell them about it. Call them, get rid of all your fears, tell them you want to teach them the gospel. Then call the missionaries, invite them all to your house, then they get baptized, their whole family goes to the temple, and that's the most important thing in life.
Prepare now for the mission! You'll never regret it.
Go BIG or Go home. Hallelujah,
Love you guys,