I'll answer some q's first:
You mentioned that one of your goals is to contact five people for five minutes each day. What does that mean? Do you make phone contacts or what?
No, we just contact other missionaries around the MTC and give them a little message in Spanish about a topic that we are trying to get more fluent in or that we just recently discovered.
Just one more question, do you get to go to the temple once a week and are you enjoying that opportunity?Yes, we go to the temple every p-day (preparation day). It's always a nice break and I can feel the spirit so strong. The temple is a great place to get revelation. When Spencer W. Kimball received the revelation to give the Priesthood to all worthy males, he was pondering in the temple. I love the spirit there.
This has been a pretty solid week overall. I'll give the day-by-day (Tell me if you like the way I do my letters or not. I have no idea)
On Tuesday, we heard from President Walter Gonzalez of the 1st pres. of the 70 (Presidency of Seventy). He and his wife both gave awesome talks. He emphasized Christ-like teaching and talked about how we need to have the Spirit. She gave a great talk and mentioned her in conversion story how she couldn't understand much of what the missionaries were saying, but she could feel the spirit so strong and the language of the spirit is universal. It helped me realize the importance of teaching with the spirit and making sure that the investigator is able to feel the spirit during the lesson. Then let them know what it is they are feeling!
On Wednesday, E. Durrant and I got 2 new roommates. Up until this point, we had the room to ourselves and that was sweet. So now it's a little crowded, but they are both fluent in Spanish so I ask them questions all the time and they are super helpful. So all in all, I'm grateful for them.
My teacher Sis Smith gave a sweet spiritual thought about trials that we have. Earlier that same day, I had been reading in D and C 121 where Jose Smith is in Liberty Jail and he calls out "O God, where are thou?" Though it may feel like God isn't there sometimes, he is always there to help us out. we need to remember that our trials will only be for a short while, and that it will strengthen us in the long run. Ether 12:6 ! So legit.
On Thursday, I received this really strong witness about the importance of prophets in our lives. I have been continuing my close study of the BOM (Book of Mormon) as suggested by Elder Evans and it has been going awesome. It seems like every time I have a question that I would like answered, I read about it in the BOM the next day. I love that book. Anywho, I had been searching lately for reasons that we need prophets, because that is something that comes up a lot when E. Durrant and I practice lessons on fake investigators. Then I was reading in 1 Ne Chap 15, where Nephi is explaining the vision of the Tree of Life to his brothers and some of his fam. The brothers of Nephi may be able to receive a witness or feel the spirit on their own, but they need the prophet (Nephi) to help them with lots of things. Without Nephi, they would have had no idea what the meaning of Lehi's vision was. This was because Nephi was a prophet and had the keys to receive the extra revelation for his people. Bringing it back to today's terms, we need the prophet always because there are things that we don't understand and we need that extra help and info. Even though we might be able to receive a witness personally, prophets give us counsel of where to go and tell us what things mean.
Friday, E. Durrant and I taught the 1st lesson in the TRC (Teaching Resource Center) again to a volunteer actor. When we go to the TRC on Fri it is kind of a big deal because we are talking to investigators (even though they are fake) for the first time and they each have their specific special "needs" that we need to teach to. And they speak Spanish fast so it's harder. But I think we really nailed it. Our goal to teach the 1st lesson 2 times a day paid off. I think we taught it 15 times in a little more than a week. This was the best one. I am always amazed at how much easier it is to speak Spanish when I'm am talking about the gospel and when the Lord needs me to shine. Now we are moving on to the 2nd lesson, and we are working hard at that now.
On Saturday, we made the big goal to speak only in Spanish. Elder Durrant and I have been doing a pretty good job and I can feel my abilities in Spanish increasing. I've been speaking mostly Spanish for casi 3 days now. So writing this e-mail in English is messing me up, but oh well.
On Sunday, something crazy happened. Our district got moved to another branch, so I have an entirely new Branch Presidency now. The cool thing is one of the counselors in my new presidency was the most recent Mission President in Asuncion South Paraguay, my mission. So I will def have to talk to him about it. He says most of the good elders learn Guarani! So we'll see. He completed his mission presidency about a year ago and he said the current pres is great.
The new branch is a mix between Americans trying to learn Spanish and international Spansih speakers trying to learn English. It is a little interesting b.c they want to speak Eng. all the time and we want to speak Span. all the time, so we will see how it goes. I am confident that they will be able to help me with my Span. skills.
Sunday night, we heard from Stephen B. Allen. He was great. The thing he said that I liked most was that in order to have the spirit and teach by the spriit, we need to have our ears and minds open, and our mouths shut.
Monday was great. I talked to a woman in Spanish on the phone for 10 min. She was a native speaker and went really fast. But I understood most of it. I sent her a Book of Mormona and bore my testimony like 123890 times.
I am out of time. Love you all so much