This week we watched `Is it the Spirit or is it Me` from Elder Bednar again, it was really good, and I learnt even more from it. It's so important that we recognise that when we're being obedient and doing our best, everything we do is under the influence of the Spirit.
Another highlight was on Sunday, we watched The Testaments. I was sat next to Elder Peel and we loved it, it was hilarious. The flirting scenes are so ridiculously cheesy, and Elder Peel made notes in his book about how to flirt. It was things like "Wear an ill-fitting hat" and "Reject the traditions of your father" and it was so funny, we were laughing the whole way through. It's actually a really well made film though, and the scene where Jesus visits the Nephites at the end is so good. I really felt the Spirit, and then when he suddenly appears beside the blind man and heals him, I could feel a real love for my Saviour. Every time in a video when the Saviour heals a blind person, I think how amazing it would be to have the first thing you ever see be the Saviour smiling down at you, and how much love and gratitude you would feel.
I think one of the reasons why the Gospels talk so much about healing the blind is because the Saviour opens people's spiritual eyes as well, and helps them to see the bigger picture. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
There's also a scene where he heals a blind man, and as the mans eyes begin to open the Saviour takes his young daughter by the shoulder and stands her in front of him. The first thing he sees is his daughters face for the first time. It struck me that the Saviour knows what is most important to people and is so compassionate and thoughtful that he takes the time to do that for the man.
Scripture of the week would be all of Matthew! I've decided to read the Gospels before I go out as a lot of the people in Greece will know the New Testament really well, and I don't want to be left looking like a numpty who doesn't know anything :P
You can really see how at the start of his ministry the Saviour was kind and compassionate, and want to get the message out about the Gospel. Towards the end when he knows time is short, he begins to get exasperated with how little the disciples understand, and knows that it's going to be so difficult for them once he has gone. He still has immense love for everyone around him, and uses every single thing he does as an opportunity to teach. Especially interesting to me is that he could do no mighty miracles in Nazareth, because to the people there he was just Joseph's son, the carpenter.
In Jesus the Christ it talks about how the power of God is built on faith, and if the people don't have faith the power is not there. It talks about it a lot in Ether 12 as well. I really like verse 6 in that chapter. This week we read it in Greek, and for the first time I felt that I could read, understand and discuss all in Greek rather than having to translate to English in my head at any point, it was amazing!
From Email: To Mum
Yeah it's been great, I'm loving it! I've been really happy this week because we've been really productive. As a result of planning better we've had a lot less time where we're sat in the District Room not really doing anything, and we've been a lot more focused on our lessons. They've been really good! I can also feel my Greek improving massively every day. I can study PMG and the BoM in Greek now (obviously not as in-depth as I can in English though) and I can have pretty good conversations with the teachers as well. I love it!
Apparently we're going to Manchester Piccadilly tomorrow, which will be difficult again but I'll do my best! Younger people are actually the easiest to approach; they look down on us less because of our age, and take us more seriously. Many are interested as well, if only from an academic perspective, which is a start! The most success we've had finding was in the first week where we talked for a while to two young guys about the Book of Mormon. They were very skeptical, as they didn't believe in the Bible because of some of the strange laws and things in the Old Testament, especially Leviticus. We talked about that, and told them if they want to learn more about our church they should go on LDS.org. We also gave them a copy of the Book of Mormon.
I'm not particularly looking forward to finding tomorrow, because it's really strange to go into Manchester as a missionary. I'm determined to give it my best shot though, and to do the best I can!
I'm really looking forward to going now. I think my Greek is at a level where I'll be able to scrape along and be a small help to my companion in lessons, but I know my rate of improvement will increase massively when I'm surrounded by the language 24/7. I kind of hope that I'll be in Greece first for that reason, because there's quite a lot of English spoken in Cyprus, and I want to be thrown in at the deep end. But I know that President Freestone will have been praying about it for a long time, and wherever I get sent will be the right place for me.
Apparently he's so excited to have us come. We're doubling the size of the mission, so it's going to be an exciting time for the missionaries there! Every Elder will be training which is crazy, and because there's another group coming into the MTC when we leave, it means some of us in this group will be together after our first transfer. That will be crazy because we'll be so inexperienced! I do hope I get to serve with a lot of them though, it would be so good because we know each other so well.
I'm glad you're getting to know the Peels! Elder Peel is great, and I can tell I've made a lifelong friend. We're so excited for him to come to Manchester for Uni. His mum sent him a long list of courses this week but he has no idea what he wants to do. We're going to be the heart and should of the party at YSA dances judging by our dancing to Prince of Egypt in the room before bed ha ha!
From Letters :To Mum
From Letters :To Dad
Referring to Sunday Evening
Letters to Dad are always signed Elder Teal Jnr ! He started doing this and explained it was a mark of respect for me as I was an Elder Teal once and he feels his mission is a continuation of mine ... Love my boy !