Monday, January 30, 2012

Week of January 28 from Berlin

Hello Everyone!

Well today has been a great day already to bring an end to a long long week of travel. So basically just a few hours ago this morning I was standing in the baptismal font in our church baptising one of our investigators, and now I´m here writing this email. It was a great baptism- definitely one of the better ones I've attended. The Spirit was strong, and she was very very happy. Normally when we asked her in the past how it´s going, she would reply with a "Bad, life is horrible" or a "Naja, life could always be better" but it was fun this morning when we asked the same question she replied with an emphatic "WUNDERBAR!" She´s made lots of progress, and now she´s finally a member! Everything went very smooth and just as planned and it was no problem... we were initially a bit concerned since she´s super old and not a big fan of water, but she did it and everything went perfectly.

Well aside from that this week was a pretty good one itself. We had lots of Zone Conferences to visit, but it´s always fun to get out and see all the missionaries, to be taught from them, and to teach a little bit yourself. It really is a great blessing to be able to visit and participate in every single one and to get to see so many different view points and ideas for improving yourself as a missionary! Tuesday we started in Berlin, the next day in Hannover, the following day Hamburg, and we ended in Dresden, with each city hosting 2 zones. Dresden was beautiful as always. It was great to be back there. Also, most all of my ex-comps and good friends are in the Dresden and Leipzig zones down in Saxony at the moment, so ya it was super special. Following the meetings we drove president and his wife down to Freiberg where he had a quick meeting while we ate and then we all did a temple session together. I love that little Freiberg temple!  It was so beautiful with the snow everywhere on the ground, and it was another great temple session. I went with a few problems and opinions and left with lots of answers and confirmations, so that was really really good. I wish I would have had my camera to take some pictures of everything, but sadly I left it in Berlin and the ZL´s there grabbed it and are holding it hostage and I have to go on exchange with them if I want it back. Yes, apparently there´s no rules against blackmail in the white handbook, so I´ll probably have to surrender to their designs and just go on an exchange. The tricky part is just working it all out and balancing it with the hours of transfers we have to do this week.  There are lots of decisions to be made, and there is going to be a lot of change in the mission in preparation for the new mission president coming.

So anyways, for our thema we focused primarily on a section in Chapter 10 of PMG focused on "Teaching for Understanding." We started off with a quick role play which began in a doctor's office. I would come in and diagnose a selected missionary and give him instructions for treatments using complicated medical lingo (conjured up by my father of course-thanks dad ;) ) and then watch their eyes fill with confusion. Then we´d do the same role play using simple, easy-to-understand lingo and see the difference. We emphasised how crucial it is to teach for understanding and not leave our investigators confused or overwhelmed. We taught that we would better teach for understanding if we first, studied and treasured up the doctrine ourselves, second, understood the principles of expounding on doctrine, and lastly if they would develop more trust in the spirit. So we expounded upon those things a bit and it ended up turning in to a great thema and one that was lots of fun to teach. We said that as a mission if we would do the 3 S´s- that is Shorten, Simplify, and Sequence our lessons more properly- that we would see more success and teach with for better understanding.  Sometimes missionaries fall into this once a week for one hour schedule with investigators, which in reality PMG calls for us to have 15-45 minute lessons multiple times throughout the week. I likened it to treating a public pool.  You don't roll up in a truck and zap-fry a pool every month, but instead it requires short constant sequenced treatments to purify the water, and it´s the same principle with our investigators I think. So ya, it was fun to teach and I hope to see some results come as we all shorten, simplify, and sequence our lessons better.

So ya, that was our week this week. Ended with an awesome baptism! This next week is going to be full of prayer and big decisions.  It´s fun to seek revelation with my companion and president though, so it will be interesting. I´ll also find out who my new companion will be this week as well, so it will be even more interesting.:) Hope you all have a wonderful week back home.  Luv ya lots!

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