WOW!!! What a wonderful week we have had! On Monday, we were divided into Districts. There were four couples in our District. Couple missionaries from everywhere going to all over the world to do all kinds of missions. We were the only missionaries going on a records preservation mission. There were couples going to the West Indies, Africa, Philippines, Spain, Ecuador, and all over the United States. In our District there was the Campbells going to Huntsville, Alabama to do Member Leadership Support, Cornelius' going to North Carolina to work in the office, Checketts' also going to North Carolina to do Employment. We had the best teacher, Brother Sillitoe. He is just home from a mission. And our afternoon teacher was another returned missionary, Sister Thomas. She was so wonderful.
Starting Tuesday we began at 8:00 in the morning and had a devotional and then separated into districts and learned about the book Preach My Gospel. You know, I had a copy of that book at home, but I never read it. It is the most wonderful book. We learned that to teach the gospel, we had to think of a triangle--on the top is the Godhead--on the left side is you as a missionary---on the right side is the investigator. And our job as missionaries is to get that connection with God without us in the the middle. The Spirit is what converts not us. We have to get them praying to Heavenly Father and reading the Book of Mormon. I wish I would have understood this with my kids. I know that I didn't teach that to my daughter. I wish I would have realized that is where I needed to work with her. I needed to get her praying and finding answers from God. And to teach her how much her Heavenly Father loves her. To any parents I say, teach your children to pray and find answers from God , the Heavenly Father. That connection with Heavenly Father is so vital in their lives. I tried to teach my sons that, but I am not sure I did a very good job. I am going to try harder and teach them how much Heavenly Father loves them. And I am going to testify about prayer more.
We had to prepare to teach an investigator. We had to learn to listen to the Spirit and teach what we learned from the Spirit they needed. We did role play. The first day we had an older couple married nearly 60 years. It was very interesting. We invited them to read in 3 Nephi:11. We tried to bring up feelings that they mentioned as they camped out. We tried to tell them that was the Spirit that was talking to them, that reverent feeling they felt. We were not successful in getting the brother to pray. But we did feel the Spirit with them. the next day we were lucky to have another older couple. They had already had a first visit. We talked with them about the Book of Mormon. the brother said that the other missionaries had told him it was a story about real cowboys and Indians! He loved to read Louis Lamour. However we were able to tell them that it was a sacred book about the Savior and His dealings with a people here on the American continent. We were successful in getting the brother to pray before we left. We thought that was a great success. I learned something real quick...I need to know where the scriptures are that I need in teaching. I have started a system of marking in color tabs. Like my green tabs will be about the Restoration, and blue will be about the Plan of Salvation. that will help a lot.
We talked about our experiences each day and learned from them. We got done each day at 4:30 p.m. in time for dinner. Dinner....meals....what an experience! The eating place is just huge and there are hundreds of missionaries everywhere. It is awesome to be there. The meals are mostly cold by the time you sit down to eat. But they are good meals.
We were told that in the 2 weeks we are here they will have 1200 more missionaries come. We heard that they are going to convert the Helaman Halls into another training center. They are really expecting a big wave of missionaries in the next few months. This is going to change the world! Watch the Work of Jesus Christ go forward as never before.
Next week we have to travel to SLC each day and work in the Church Office Building to learn about the cameras we will be using. We aren't sure if we will try the train or just drive down. They said we could be done by Thursday. then we can head out to our Mission. We are just so excited to get out in the mission field. I remember the joy that Chad had in his face after the MTC when we saw him off to DC. I wanted to have that feeling. And I do now! It is a most wonderful feeling to be a full-time missionary. To be full-time in the service of Jesus Christ. It is amazing! We have learned so much.
We know this is where the Lord wants us right now at this time of our lives. One couple in our District this is their 4th mission. We want to be like that.
We are doing so well. The Lord has really blessed us. I caught a cold last week, but I am able to function and do good for all our training. What an answer to my family's prayers. Thank you family!
Oh...one more thing...they don't want the missionaries shaking hands so we touch elbows!