Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week 2 in the MTC


Wow I honestly dont even know where to start, so much happens everyday, so its hard to summarize a whole week! Well probably the first thing that happened since I last wrote, was that we got called as zone leaders last thursday night!! Crazy, so that means were in charge of making sure all the Elders and Hermanas in our zone are doing alright, and aren´t breaking any serious rules. So right now theres 2 districts in our zone, and another comes in tonight. We have to help the new district get settled in, and introduce them to our branch presidency. Our branch presidency is awesome and im so excited to work with them on a regular basis now, because basically were the ones who let them know whats going on in our zone\branch. Our branch president is awesome hes this little mexican guy who is so short, named pres. Torres but is a spiritual powerhouse, and he loves baseball!! the night we were called as zone leaders me and Beus literally talked to him for an hour about baseball, and he told us how growing up him and his brothers wanted to play, but the only league they could afford to play in played on sundays, and so his dad said that they werent gonna play because they needed to keep the sabbath day holy! So righteous! So know his sons are in kind of the same predicament, but he went to the head of the baseball league by where they live, and asked if his sons could get special permission to not have to play on sundays and they did! So know his oldest son has committed to play at some really good college here when he graduates and his other 2 sons are in the league now, and he says their doing really good. That was a testimony strengthener for me that the Lord rewards us when we keep his commandments, and are willing to give up things of the world.

Anyways as zone leaders me and Beus didnt really have to do much until yesterday. We went to one of the districts to meet with their district leader because were supposed to do that once a week, and he wasnt there! He had to go home because of personal problems the night before. So sad their district was distraught so we talked to them for a little bit about it, and then made sure his companion got put in a trio with other elders in their district so we got that worked out. The only thing know is we have to talk to Pres. Torres to have him call a new district leader for their district.

I´m not gonna lie there have been a lot of fun good spiritual experiences this week, and there have also been a lot of tough times. The days seem to go so slow at some points, and then at other times it seems like before you know it the day is gone. me and Beus came up with a specific language plan that has daily and weekly goals that were trying to accomplish, and theyre difficult goals so theyre putting us out of comfort zone. Some of our daily goals are to learn at least 10 new words, and memorize 3 gospel phrases speak only spanish for at least 2 hours, and then complete 2 and half activities on tall (average is 1 and a half). So were working hard in that regard, but what has been frustrating for me this week has been getting along with other Elders in our district, and teaching Investigators. Just like you predicted Mom, yes I am struggling getting along and being patient with others! haha what else is new! I just get frustrated when people waste their study time, but then brag about how good they are at teaching, or at spanish, or being obedient, and sometimes I just want to yell and tell them to flipping humble themselves!! I know I cant though, and I just try and sing Hymns to calm down, and focus on the work. My biggest struggle with teaching is being able to understand the needs of the investigator. Because we had 2 lessons this week where they were the first lessons we had with them, and we only had 15 minutes to teach. so usually it takes like 5 to 10 minutes just to get to know them personally and their beliefs, then once we get a feel for what they need we can give them a short message, usually about just 1 or 2 topics from the restoration, and then teach them how to pray, and invite them to pray or read the book of mormon. But where it gets difficult is the language. Because I can be talking with an investigator and understand exactly what theyre saying, and then understand Ok they need to know that God is our Loving Heavenly Father, and that The Gospel Blesses Families. But Elder Beus wont understand what the Investigator is saying, so he doesn´t really know what they need. So then Im the only one who ends up talking, and the lesson doesnt go as well as it could have, and we leave feeling like we didnt work together, and we didnt teach well enough by the spirit. Its really easy to get discouraged, but were doing our best to just rely on the Lord, because this isnt our work its His, and we just want to do all we can to be instruments in His hands to bring others to Christ.

The other thing that made this week more difficult was that I got flippin sick!! I was on the toilet for at least 3 hours out of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday! Haha but I feel better know. K enough of the complaining because I really do have so much to celebrate and be grateful for!! One of the biggest things Ive been grateful for this week are my teachers! Hermana Murillo and Elder Enciso. They are amazing, and I have learned so much about teaching, following the spirit, and just doctrine in general from them. They help us feel encouraged, and motivated as missionaries. Were seriously like best friends with them. The other thing I have to be so grateful for is my spanish! I love speaking spanish so much, and I feel like I have improved exponentially already! One of the coolest experiences for me was on Sunday we were in Priesthood meeting, and pres. Torres was talking about the Jacob 5, and he was speaking in spanglish, like going back and forth between in English and spanish because his english isnt very good, so whenever he cant explain something in English he explains it in spanish. But I didn´t realize til the lesson was almost over that he was doing that! I was just focusing so hard to listen that my mind was able to switch from spanish to english without even recognizing!! I was so pumped, gift of tongues is real!!!

Well I love each and every one of you so much. Tell Kenzo and Maddie to send me an email if they can again because I want to hear from those knuckleheads! I miss you, but I know that this is where im supposed to be, and that im participating in the Lords work. This gospel is true, and I feel the spirit testifying the truthfulness of it too me everyday as I study, ponder, pray and teach. Im so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ, and that I have the opportunity to teach others of the joy that they can receive as they use His  Atonement. We were trying to find a chapter that we could Invite one of our investigators to read from the Book of Mormon to help her understand the happiness the Atonement can bring us, and immediately my mind went to Alma 36. I love that chapter so much, and would invite you guys to read it, because it talks about how everyone can feel if they repent. I have felt the joy that Alma talks about in that chapter, and that is why I am here, to help others find it as well. Love you all!!

Elder Nielsen

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