Wednesday, November 14, 2012


During Sacrament meeting today, Elder A leaned over to me and said that he's starting to get senioritis for the CTM. Haha. I'm starting to feel the same way. It's really cool to see all the smurfs (new missionaries) struggling with the language because I used to be in that same situation. I still struggle a lot, but I know a LOT more than I did when I first came in. We're one of the older groups here so it literally feels like being a senior in high school again, where you can joke with the teachers, mess around, and still get away with it. Hahaha. I'm starting to feel like a robot though. I was just about to get in the shower this morning and I started thinking about random things and all of a sudden I was walking back to my room. I was so confused and I told myself I needed to go back and take a shower, but I already had and I didn't realize it. It was seriously one of the weirdest things.
A super funny thing to do to the Brasilians here is to have them say "world, word, ward". They just look at you with the most lost expression on their face because to them, it sounds like the same exact word. Hahaha
So in my last letter, I mentioned that I was going to try to wake up early to study. Every day, except for the day we went to the temple, I woke up at 5:00 am to study my scriptures for an hour. I grabbed my scriptures and a chair, went out in the hallway, and started to study (not just read) under a dim light. Even though I was pretty tired throughout the day, it was worth it. My mind was clearer and I was able to study (during personal study time) the things that would help me the most. It was a huge sacrifice because as a missionary, you need all the sleep you can get, but I figured I could sleep as much as I want after these two years :).
Today at church, for some reason the AC wasn't working and it was ridiculously hot. We STILL had to have our suits on. They opened a window and turned on a fan, but that hardly did anything. Someone then told me that this will be nothing compared to what it is like in Teresina.
I had TRC this week and we were investigators. I had to be the main investigators in one of the rooms and I was kind of nervous because I didn't think my Portuguese was good enough. I ended up doing a really great job and the elders teaching me did a really great job as well. There was this funny TRC this week. Some elders in 39-B (the other half of us that came out of Atlanta together) played a super funny harmless prank on these two weekers. Right when it started, and they all sat down, the investigators (my friends from 39-B) offered the two elders some cracker type thing. They put it on the table and said in Portuguese, "if you eat this, you will die." Having no idea what they said, the two elders said, "Oh, thank you!" and started to eat them. Just how smooth and perfect it went, made it that much funnier. We were all laughing so hard because these guys were so clueless. The guys from 39-B went up to the two elders afterwards and told them what they did and they started laughing because they thought it was the funniest thing as well.
Dad, so about the mission prep class you're doing . . . something that I thought was really helpful is knowing when to transition between each elder so the lesson flows real nicely. Have them learn the first lesson about the restoration and then get them to plan out who will say what and so forth. And then have them flip the roles, so each elder will get a chance to teach the other side of the lesson they didn't get to the first time. They need to know BOTH sides of the lesson, because here in the CTM, they stress the point of "teaching people, not lessons". Yeah, sure, it's awesome if they can teach a planned lesson, but sometimes they'll need to teach about something they didn't plan before hand.
Another thing we do is a simple mock investigator session. One companion teaches another elder that becomes an investigator. That one elder, who is the investigator, thinks of a friend back home and becomes that friend or person he knows. We usually try to pick a friend that has some sort of problem or questions about the church. The companionship then teaches this investigator as if it was the first visit. So all they're trying to do is figure out the problem, get to know what the person knows about the gospel, and then go from there. We usually don't teach a full-on lesson. It's just the first visit, so maybe also have them quickly introduce the Book of Mormon and invite the investigator to read and pray about it.
Another fun thing that I think you guys would get a kick out of would be doing something like TRC where you teach a lesson while being recorded. A good situation for that would be that it's just a follow-up visit to see how the investigator is doing. The investigator has already been taught the first lesson or so. It turns out that the investigator hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon or praying because they don't have enough time. The companionship then has to teach why the Book of Mormon is so important, the importance of prayer, and then maybe teach how to pray. This would be good practice for the young men to stay on their toes. We've done this situation so many times here so it's just natural for us. It would also be good for them to see body language, posture, and how they looked when they reacted to certain situations.
I hope that helped. It's not a whole lot, but it's some super basic things that'll have them be ahead of the game when they serve a mission. Oh! Another thing - teach them some "confusing" scriptures. I'm sure you can talk to some super scriptorian about more scriptures in detail, but there are some scriptures out there that are confusing (and I'm sure you already know this). For example . . The Lord's Prayer in Luke 11:2-4. The Lord says that when you pray, always use this prayer. You can counter this with the first sentence in 3 Nephi 13:7. Another one is John 17:20-23 and Mosiah 15:2-5 where it talks about the trinity and how Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one. Dang, so I don't have my scriptures on me right now, but you could use the scriptures where Christ is being baptized. Anyways . . . I hope you get my point with this.
So real quick, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to us today, Elder Costa. It was really awesome.
Love you!
Elder Steed