Monday, March 24, 2014

Speedy Recovery!

March 18, 2014
Well yesterday, p-day, really stunk(literally).  I had to take two days off due to the pooping party I got invited to. Today I am feeling a little bit better and the work has been better. It is different getting used to a companion who can speak fluently in lessons.  That is a really good thing to have to adjust to.  Tonight we marked a ton of visits with the youth at seminary.  However, I am pretty worried about our new convert, L. , who attended seminary for the very first time tonight, and ended up leaving after 15 minutes to chase after a young man in the ward who was skipping out on seminary too.  I never thought that I would feel like a protective parent to the people that I have taught the gospel.

March 19, 2014
I have fully recovered from my virus! I just had to take a day off after the hospital because I was literally going to the bathroom every 30 minutes almost like clockwork!

Today was another one of those days when you just don’t want to be a missionary. Well, at least in the start of the day.  Everything fell through, the lessons just felt long and repetitious.  Elder B., my new companion, is good, but outside of the lessons, doesn't talk a whole lot.  I like to talk between appointments as we are walking, but he just walks. A lot of times he doesn’t even respond to me as if he didn’t hear me…Ughh!  He reminds me a lot of Elder G, my first Brazilian companion.  The first week is always a little bit weird, but we're getting used to each other. I'm learning a habit of praying while we're walking because of how quiet he is, and I really like it!  He's very focused and likes to work, but the only problem is that he doesn't know how to work as a missionary because he just finished his training. Also, I still don't know how to work effectively as well! Haha!  One really good thing that I like about him is that he is a hard worker, and I like that. We're definitely going to get better with our effectiveness in our teaching this next week.  My goal is to be a better missionary myself, plan better, teach better, and follow through better.

We had a very nice spiritual lesson tonight with Al. He was saying the closing prayer and he got very emotional as he asked for the strength to overcome challenges in his past.  It was one of the more powerful spiritual experiences I have had with this companionship….we’ll get there.

March 21, 2014
My companion and I are starting to teach a little bit better together.  It is only the end of the first week and we are getting along okay!  We still have a lot of improvement especially in that we teach way to LONG of lessons. We both realize that we need to ask more questions so that we can know what we need to teach to meet the individual needs of our investigators.  I was just getting used to Elder F. who didn’t talk a lot during lessons, but was friendly outside of lessons.  Elder B. is just the opposite.  Of course it helps that he is fluent, but he also likes to teach and talk during lessons. 

One of the cool things that happened today was that we spent 3 house contacting people.  This normally isn’t the kind of thing that sparks your interest as a missionary, and it doesn’t seem all that fun.  But we decided to visit a list of member who no one knew in order to confirm that they still lived in the ward.  We found various families (inactive, part-member, and even non-members)  I think that it was very productive and we will see what happens.  I am learning how to pray for my companion during our lessons, contacts, and in the street.  In general, I am learning hoe to keep a prayer in my heart. 

While we were checking the addresses of the 'unknown' members, we met an older gentleman who makes hot sauce for a living. At the end of our contact I asked him how much one of the bottles costs and he just gave it to me! And one for my comp.!

March 22, 2014
I was more that just a little bit disappointed today, but not because it was a bad day.  In truth, it was a really good day!  We taught 5 lessons and confirmed 3 baptismal dates, and found 6 new investigators.  We also had a really great session of Stake Conference which was focused on accelerating missionary work.  It was so good that I took a lot of notes so that I can remember the advice given on how to be a good member missionary after my full time mission is done. The big disappointment is that we only had 4 members of our ward there, and none of them were part of the leadership of our ward.  The information was so good, so useful, and so well presented that it was frustrating to me that the members were not there to hear it. I hope that if my family had something like this meeting available to them, that they would take advantage of attending so that they could learn to be better member missionaries.

March 23, 2014
Today’s Stake Conference was better attended, but also taught about more general doctrine.  One of our investigators went and she has finally committed to baptism next week.  Our zone missionaries had 17 investigators attend Stake Conference today!

Elder B and I wrapped up the end of our first week together and I think that we are getting a lot better. We're teaching, at the very least, 30 lessons every week. Soooo that's a good thing. One of the other new Zone leaders in the house, Elder Packard is super funny! It is going to be a good transfer with him in the house. 

March 24, 2014
Mom,  one of the best ideas that you have ever had was sending those cookie mixes! Every American loves them! If you could find a mix for molasses (I forgot how to spell) cookies, that'ld be awesome!  Also, my shirts are tearing out in the back. Well, only 2 of them, but it's super noticeable and I don't think that there's any way to fix them... I'll try to show them to our LMA, because he sews for a living and maybe he can fix them for me.

My New Zone T-shirt
Levi, congrats on your papers! I'm sending some tips to the Mish class, but I'll tell you one thing right now, don't waste your time getting super fit before your mission. You need to be fit, but I already know that your are more than fit enough to handle the burden of being a missionary physically. You have to think about the long run. Haha. Of course you can get super fit if you want to, and I know that climbing is super fun, but everything that you do to strengthen your body, you will lose in your mission. We have one elder in our zone, Elder Wall, who was basically a bodybuilder before his mission, annnnnnnd he looks like an average guy now. Not because he doesn't exercise, but it's because you just don't have the ability to work out like before. If you haven't noticed, just about all return missionaries have the same average body build, isn't that right?

Seriously, what you need to do is focus on studying the scriptures and missionary work that you can do right now. Did you know that you go from your scripture study habits right now (I don't know about you, but I didn’t have all that great study habits when it comes to the scriptures) straight into the MTC when you are studying for about 12 hours a day, with very little break. When you get in the field, you have to study for at least 4 hours until you finish your training and then it's only 3. Yeah, just try to build your way up to an hour a day in the scriptures if you don't already study like that. I'm super proud of you, but you need to be prepared before you come out. If I had known exactly how big of a change this is, I would've done a lot of things differently. I'm super excited for you and I hope that you go to Brasil as well!!!!! I'm hoping that you get called to the Brasil Fortaleza mission!!!!! Haha I think that it would be so cool and MAYBE the new president would let me train you, or be your comp for a while or something like that.

I have to go, but I want you to know that I love you guys! If you could send me Bailey's email, I would like send her a birthday letter (email) next week! I hope that you know that I am trying to do the family name justice down here. I'm making sure that I won't do anything to disgrace either of the names that I have on my nametag. I love you tons!

Elder Colvin, pretty soon I will have to say, Elder G. Colvin 

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