3 Sep 2014

Week 5 MTC

This is some of Elder Teals MTC group, we assume it is his zone, (Alpine Germany and Athens Greece)

Another week has been and gone, only 4 more until he leaves Preston to go to Greece (30th of September).

We have sent a couple of packages, including a mini speaker with music pre-loaded on micro SD cards. The speaker was a request he made in last weeks email. We loaded a selection of Mormon Tabernacle choir and classical music.

Some email sections..

Questions from Dad.
What was the funniest thing this week?

"The funniest moment was probably on the first night when we had the speaker. We burst into one of the German rooms and picked up Elder Jensen plaing the Lion King song, then I did the line thing on his head like at the start of the flm. They were really surprised and it was hilarious."

Most spiritual moments?

"This Sunday we had a devotional from Elder Evans, who's something high up to do with missionary work. He talked about communication with home, and how all of our emails and letters should aim to edify and uplift our families and friends, and how we should model our letters after the epistles of Paul and the letters in the Book of Mormon. He talked a lot about Father/Son letters, especially with Moroni and Mormon towards the end of the Book of Mormon. I'll talk more about it in the letter I write to you this afternoon, but it meant a lot to me and made me think about the great letters you've sent to me, so thanks for that."

How is the Greek going?

"The Greek is going really well, i'm confident enough to speak about most of the lesson topics without planning what i'm going to say now, and I can hold a general conversation really well. I play the investigator when the teachers do Demonstrate Teaching, and I enjoy it a lot."

Favourite scripture this week?

"I really like Alma 36. I liked it before but read it again properly this week. Alma the Younger's conversion story is amazing, and his description of repentance and change through the Saviour in Alma 36 is beautiful."

I liked Alma 22:18...

"Yeah Alma 22:18 is great. I also love how it talks about sins as possessions. Sometimes our sins aren't just things that we do hey can be character traits or part of the people that we are, and we have to be willing to change as well as to stop or start doing things. Alma 17 and through the 20's are like the ultimate missionary manual, Ammon and Aaron are amazing. It's interesting to read about them teaching King Lamoni and his father, and they both teach similar content in similar styles. A great example for how we should be teaching new investigators! Something Pres Edwards talks about a lot is how in Alma 17 Ammon sees opportunity where others see adversity, it's a great mindset to have."

Email to Mum...

"Yesterday we did a class about Revelation through Church Attendance, and the two Greek Districts went to Chorley chapel to role play giving someone a tour of the chapel and telling them why Sunday church-attendance is important. I enjoyed it a lot and it made me see going to church in a new light. Brother Gibons tells me we should start every Sunday with a question in mind that we want to receive revelation about that day, and then to pay careful attention to promptings throughout the day. This Sunday I felt that I need to work on seeing the best in everyone, and having charity for people even if they're being a bit annoying! not that that happens a lot, we get on really well.

My Greek is going great, when we have Demonstrate Teaching (when the teachers teach a lesson and the missionaries watch and join in at he end) I play the investigator that they teach (in Greek). I feel like I can have proper conversation, which is great because it means I can actually plan what I want to teach in a lesson rather than spending all of my time planning the exact words that i'm going to say. instead we can just have topics in mind that we feel the investigator needs to hear, it's great.

This Sunday we had a devotional from Elder Holland called Feed My Sheep. It talks about why PMG was introduced and the importance of teaching what the investigator needs rather than memorised lessons by rote. he's such a powerful speaker and it was a great devotional, I enjoyed it a lot. It was also the first time I made my notes in Greek, which is something that I think will improve my writing and spelling a lot!

I've really loved having an hour set aside very morning o study the scriptures. Preach My Gospel (PMG) is such an amazing tool, not just for missionary work but also for study, it has great scriptures about all of the topics. I've taken to going through a topic and marking up all of the scriptures, and writing a brief summary of each in the margin of PMG so I know which ones will be good for a particular situation later on.

I've also gained a real testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. Just reading from it with an investigator in the lesson is incredibly powerful, and if the spirit is there (which we are always aiming for) they can feel a strong witness of it's truth. We include the Book of Mormon in every single one of our lessons because it's such a amazing teaching tool, not only for us but also for the spirit.

We're going to the temple later, I can't wait :)

Something else I also like to do is during prelude music, to look up the hymn being played and look at the scripture references at the bottom of the page. I've found some really good scriptures that way, and it really invites the spirit to the meeting. The hymns are so good, I love singing them in he meetings. We're encouraged to sing in our mission languages so the hymns are always a mix of languages, but like a prayer it doesn't matter what language it's in. in D&C 25 it says the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and I've really felt that over the last few weeks, especially with hymns like Nearer My God to Thee (my favourite) and A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. We have Greek hymnbooks but they're limited, they only have about 60. the other week I translated the first verse of Be Still My Soul into Greek, I'm hoping to do more when I get the time. It's difficult because Greek has much longer words than English, it's hard to make the words fit into the tune but keep the meaning. On Sunday one of the devotionals we watched was from Provo on Christmas EVE, so the closing hymn was Silent Night, which was funny when we all sang along.
The missionaries from Utah often see people they know sat in the audience at Provo on the broadcasts (as in they're missionaries in the MTC), which is funny because they get all excited and start pointing people out to their companions.
Anyway I just thought I'd send you a longer email because I feel like I often rush my messages, and I wanted to tell you more about how I've been feeling in my time here. I miss being able to sit at the dinner table and talk about our days! I'm having an amazing time and I'm so happy that I am here. I'm 100% worry-free and I know that I'm in the Lord's hands. I love the work, and I can't wait to get to Greece."

Dads thoughts.. Its amazing to hear that Elder Teal is picking up Greek well enough to teach lessons and hold conversations after only 4 weeks! We are just happy to know he is enjoying himself and growing so much. To finish this weeks post I thought I would share this video that speaks of why missionaries do what they do.

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