Hola everyone! Where to start?
Happy Father's day! :D Thank you, dad, especially for your diligence, hard work, and patience with me.
Also, Happy Birthday, Maia :D :D :D I really liked your letter where you basically complained that DearElder.com is trying to turn me into a chubster by sending me cookies.
Thanks for all the mail. :D It's really nice. And yes, I did get the package with the clothes I left behind. I got one yesterday that I think has the Dog Dazer in it, but I didn't open it yet 'cause there just hasn't been time and I keep accidentally leaving it in the classroom :P
I also got the Spanish hymnbook. Thanks for that. I wasn't able to find a spiral bound one in the bookstore, but I hear you can make any book spiral bounded at Kinkos. I don't know how much that costs or if it'll work with a Spanish Hymnbook, so if it doesn't work out, don't try too hard and I'll use the big one I already have.
Also, could I have one more pair of athletic socks? We have gym time almost every day and my one pair gets stinky. :P
Ok, done with business items so I can talk about the MTC. I'm amazed how much I'm learning every day. Every day feels like 3 days because we do so much. It's taken time, but I feel like I've gotten used to the MTC and the schedule. We finally got feedback on the lessons we had with Santiago. It was basically the same feedback for the whole class: we were more worried about what we were going to say in Spanish than we were about inviting Santiago unto Christ. The lessons with Santiago felt like challenges and trials rather than opportunities to love and invite. As a result, our lessons were very very boring and impersonal. Now we've seen what we can do and what we need to improve on, we're taking a short break from investigator lessons to prepare and learn the best ways to teach by teaching each other and seeing demonstrations.
It was really hard to accept at first, but now I have a testimony that it is more critical to love who we teach and to really get to know them. Knowing what to say in Spanish is second to the Spirit. You need to have faith and rely on the Holy Spirit or you can't be an effective missionary. To teach, you need to understand who you're teaching, and they need to understand you. Missionaries need to know what others expect from us and what they need, and we need to be completely transparent in our purpose, to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
Ok.... 2 minutes left. Elder D and I need to teach a lesson this Sunday in English to the District. We had a lot of trouble making progress in our planning. We just couldn't agree on anything and couldn't communicate. We got super frustrated with each other. We decided that the next time we had to study, we would just try practicing teaching each other so we could see what worked and what didn't and see common ground. There was tension in the air in the 4 hours before we got to practice, then Elder D said a beautiful and sincere prayer that we would get along and work together. I taught him the lesson and the Spirit was really strong. Our prayers were answered and we're both super excited to teach this Sunday.
I have pictures, but no time to attach them! I'll attach them next week
Love you all,
Elder Connor Christopherson