Sunday, July 19, 2015

2 weeks down, 100 to go...noooo problem.

Hello there!

First of all, time passes super quick here. Feels like I've been here four days and it's been 15, so there's that. Anyway

This week was pretty great. Really enlightening and helpful for my teaching skills especially. The main fundamental that we focused on this week was Teach People, Not Lessons which was amazing. The way the MTC is set up in case you're unaware, is that they essentially set you up to fail, so that when they teach you the right way to go about teaching and such, you understand what not to do, and are humble enough to rely on the Savior for help in all that you do. So for the first week or so they throw you into new situations in a different language and have you teach basically how you believe you need to teach. Then they show you how to actually teach. Brother Barton was right when he told me not to worry, you're just talking to people for two years. Previously, my compa and I would go into a lesson with a complete lesson plan set up, we talk to them for a few minutes, pray, teach, and then give a rushed commitment because we're out of time, pray and run away. We learned this week that we really need to show love for this person for a large portion of the time, and then teach the points of doctrine rather quickly, and teach to the commitment, so that they understand the importance of it. And then leave quite some time to answer their questions about how to do the commitment (i.e. how to pray, what pages in the Book of Mormon to read) so that they understand that we love them and not that we're just bursting into their homes to teach them a 20 minute lesson about something they've never heard about before and then telling them to read this book when they don't understand what it is.

Emeritus General Authority Ben Banks gave the Tuesday devotional. Two things I loved is that he shared a quote from President Hinckley, where he said that he regards us (missionaries) as companions in this work. It was amazing. He also told us to read D&C 100 and it is very powerful. Please read it.

Also, while preparing for a lesson earlier this past week, Elder Johnson and I were trying to decide which topic to talk about next in the lesson. We decided to pray together to know which section to teach next. We both took a few seconds to ponder and I asked him what he thought we should teach next and he said the Word of Wisdom, and that is exactly what I thought too. It was a super cool experience.

On Sunday Smooth J and I taught District Meeting about Recognizing the Spirit and it was super good. We had an awesome discussion about the Nature of the Holy Ghost and how we've felt it in our lives. My branch presidency is fantastic. President Shallenberger is an international businessman that travels a ton all over the world running different things, and he has really good insights on leadership skills and other things. Brother Slingerland is a retired Pediatrician and a convert to the church. He actually was converted during college and didn't go on his mission until after he finished medical school. He is also a genius and attended Dartmouth for his undergrad, graduated early, and went to Penn State for medical school. He is a super spiritual man and inspires me every time he talks. He is also like 5'6" and has the most pure white hair ever, it's my dream to have hair like his when I'm his age. Brother Dowdle is a bit younger, and is a professional guitarist. He is really cool. And shout out to Doug bc he also served his mission in Dallas, Texas! Sunday night we had a devotional and the special musical number was a violin and harp duet of "Come Thou Fount" and it was super amazing. Made me think of Jessica and Lauren and how thankful I am for their talents and for the fact that our entire family appreciates music so much and that it has become such a big part of my life because of that.

Our investigator that is actually our teacher taught us for the first time last week, and she is fantastic! Her name is Hermana Martinez, she is from Mexico, she's like 5 feet flat and is really energetic and fun. She actually taught at the Mexico MTC for 3 years before she started teaching here, and she makes class really fun.

Also, our first teacher Hermano Rasmussen has started being another investigator for us. He is a very convincing Mexican, let me tell you that. He definitely isn't as open as Kimie was, which is on purpose so that we can learn how to deal with investigators that aren't golden like she was.

Lastly a few things: I need you guys to send me my Priesthood Line of Authority. My Branch President asked us all to have a copy. Also, my companion and another one of my roommates have been converted to sleeping with earplugs every night, so I might need you guys to send me some more for them, but I'll let you know haha. Also, I think my white baptismal pants are still in my temple bag, so please send those.

I get to go to the temple today which is super exciting! We didn't get to last P-day because it was closed for cleaning, but I'm grateful that we have the chance to today.

You guys are the best and I love and think about you every day. I know that my Savior lives and I see His hand in the work that I do every single day. The Book of Mormon is true, and a pool of knowledge. I encourage you do drink deeply of it everyday, and to pray about it again, even if you already have. It's always an amazing experience to have a confirming witness that these things are true.

Con amor,

Elder Grondel

1. Self-explanatory

2. How I study basically everyday. Shoes off, feet up, in a different room.
3. A guy in our zone has a selfie-ready camera so naturally, we took a photo.
4. Random selfie from study time feat. Elder Davis
5. Name tag and all the things I keep in my shirt pocket.

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