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Friday, August 18, 2017

Mission: Week One, Day Five

This morning after breakfast we had our Teaching Member Experience.  It was so lovely.  A little tummy-tightening at the thought of teaching our first real person, but when we got in there and met Mary Anne, we totally gained confidence.  She was so nice and kind and interesting.  We spent ten minutes getting to know her then we had fifteen minutes to plan a lesson.  We had semi-planned last night but were waiting to meet her before finalizing that plan.

Because she had some of the same family issues and concerns that our missionary couple had, and which we had, we were able to use the bare bones of our previous lesson and flesh it out with even more specific thoughts and suggestions and discussion.  At the end of the lesson we said goodbye with tears in our eyes as we had in that very short time felt great love for this sweet kind lady.

After our district of four couples all completed their TME we met back together to talk about the experience and evaluate ourselves.  The final step was to receive an evaluation from our trainer who was to have met with Mary Anne to get her comments on our teaching.  As it happens, Mary Anne was having difficulty with her asthma.  She had volunteered to do the CME with another senior missionary couple prior to meeting with us, and being in the small divided room was difficult for her and she had to leave before evaluating us so our trainer just spoke with us about her impressions of how we did with our other assignments throughout the week.  Well, we were okay with that.  It seemed to us like the lesson went smoothly.

Following lunch we all met as a large group, the last time we would be all together as some missionary couples were leaving later that afternoon, and others were leaving over the weekend for their areas of labor.  Still others, about half of the 65 couples were staying for some days the following week for additional training for their specific assignments.  (We were one of those couples.).

During that final meeting we talked about what we had learned about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, wherever we were and in whatever situation we found ourselves.  We were encouraged to be missionaries for Jesus even after the conclusion of our full-time service.

We also talked of "enduring to the end".  This is something that many Christians think about and talk about.  There is a short article by Dieter F. Uchtdorf  in the July 2016 New Era magazine that we referenced that was really good.  A section that I really enjoyed reading and cogitating over is:

"...enduring to the end is not just matter of passively tolerating life’s difficult circumstances or “hanging in there.” Ours is an active religion, helping God’s children along the strait and narrow path to develop their full potential during this life and return to Him one day. Viewed from this perspective, enduring to the end is exalting and glorious, not grim and gloomy. This is joyful religion, one of hope, strength, and deliverance."  

For myself, I hope that I can help others along their way to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father one day.  That will bring me great joy.

Weekend is here.  As Senior Missionaries, we have the time free to do whatever we need to do.  Some people went to visit local family members.  Others stayed at the MTC to do laundry, relax, and practice what we have been taught all week. Still others, like us, planned to attend the temple Friday evening or Saturday.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mission: Week One, Day Four

It is Thursday already!  Hard to believe.  We have learned so much.  Our heads may be nearly full up!  Plus, we have been completely bushed every night.  Tonight we have no evening meetings.  And no laundry to do, so maybe we can rest and go over “homework”.

This morning we had more Gospel App training. I learned a lot!  I had not known how to use the Notes function.  Also it was great to see how to download videos for use in lessons.  The one sad thing about this was that at one point I saw that we could “trim” videos so we could use very specific parts of the videos in our teaching.  Unfortunately I not have been able to find that option again, and had not written down how to do it.

We had some time to study and to prepare to teach Elder and Sister L. again this afternoon.  With our new technology training, we decided to add a small video.  We shared the video of the Baptism of Jesus.  Just click on the previous sentence to view it for yourself.

This experience was to help us prepare for teaching a “real” person tomorrow morning. By real person, I mean someone who is not a missionary. We learned a lot teaching this dear couple.  We have really learned to love them very quickly.  They will be serving their mission in San Diego, California.

Later in the afternoon we had instruction on how to work more effectively with the local church leadership, using several case studies to model.

After supper we had personal time.  We were certainly ready for that and went to bed early.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mission: Week One, Day Three

You will recognize the pattern:  morning ablutions, solid breakfast, then off to study.  We had a large group meeting with all the senior missionaries on the subject of Christ in Our Teaching.  Excellent.  Then on to small group/district meeting where we discussed the attributes of Jesus Christ and the role of The Book of Mormon in teaching about the Savior.  We discussed how we could better develop those attributes for which Christ is such a wonderful exemplar.  We have a long way to go, but are possible on the right track.

There are those who do not know that after His resurrection, Jesus Christ visited the American continent.  The Book of Mormon is the record of a family who came from Jerusalem around 600 BC and whose descendants were here when the Savior visited and taught the people the same things He taught the people in the Holy Land.  It is wonderful to learn ways to share those glorious teachings.

In the afternoon we had a short training in the various mobile apps that are available for free  from LDS.org.  I was thrilled to see that there were more than I already knew how to use!

Later on we met with our “assigned couple” for our first teaching experience.  It was amazing as we taught one another.  One of the miracles that we have beheld here is that there are more commonalities between people than there are differences.  Some of our most trying experiences from our “growing up lives” are shared by many, including are newly loved Elder and Sister L.  The nice thing about our teaching each other was that we were able to comfort each other and learn new ways to cope with continuing trials.

After supper we loaded up my carry-on suitcase with more than a week’s worth of laundry and went over to the laundry room to get them clean.  We used two washers and two dryers.  We had purchased little boxes of laundry soap at the Bookstore for sixty-nine cents each.  When the dryers completed their runs, many of the clothes were not yet fully dry so we changed the setting to hot and let them go for another 15 minutes.  THAT WAS TOO MUCH!!  The clothes, especially Dear One’s white shirt, were so hot they burned our fingers.  It is a miracle they did not turn into ashes!  Next time we will be smarter.