3 Nov 2014

Week 14 Thessaloniki

Elder Teal,   Elder Lyttle,   Brother Todi,   New Member,   Elder West

WE HAD A BAPTISM THIS WEEK!
"It was the sisters that have been teaching her, so it wasn't technically "ours" if everyone has there own, but in a district and branch as small as this every baptism is an amazing occurrence! Something that President Edwards taught us in the MTC is that if you're being an obedient missionary, every baptism that happens in the mission whilst your there is "yours", and if someone asks you how many baptisms you had when you come back, you should simply say "All of them"

Elder Ferraz-leite & Elder Dastrup

This week we had our exchanges!
"Elder Ferraz-leite (Zone Leader) and his companion Elder Dastrup (we only have one zone leader here, not the two like in other missions) flew up to Thess for a couple of days. The first day I was with Elder Dastrup, and it was so strange to be back with him for a full day like it was in the MTC. We had such a good day, we gave out 14 copies of the Book of Mormon in one day (which is the weekly Standard of Excellence for the mission), and also received 5 names and numbers for interested people (potential investigators diladi) oops sorry diladi is a Greek word, it means "in other words' or "that is to say"

The second day I was with Elder Ferraz which was the real reason for the exchange. so that he could see how I'm doing as a new missionary. Again we had an amazing day and got so much done, we also had a lesson with a less active member who joined the church when Elder Ferraz was here at the start of his mission (he's got 2 weeks left now). it was great to be able to learn from such an experience missionary, how to contact people, how to testify, and he was also a huge help with the language, he talks like a native!"

Its all Greek planning to us !
Greek?
"My Greek is coming along well. I translated in priesthood again yesterday, and also at the baptism for Elder Lyttel's testimony. I am getting better at understanding people now, and I can usually say what I want to say in most situations. I still have moments when I have no idea what someone just said if they go off-topic, but I just smile and say something about Jesus :P"

Study time

What have you learnt about finding people?

  • "I don't even say that I'm a missionary at the start of the approach, by the time you've introduced yourself and said the name of the church (which is SO long in Greek) the person has lost interest. It's so important to testify immediately! Last night I had a really good experience with the whiteboard. I was talking to two young guys who weren't interested, they said religion didn't really play a role in their lives. I simply bore testimony of the Book of Mormon then asked if we could teach them more, and to my surprise they said yes!"
  • "I've learnt is how important it is too teach simply, and in-line with what it says in Preach My Gospel. When we use commitments and invitations specifically written in there, we have so much more success. Before the exchange I would usually ask people if they would interested in learning more or something like that at the end of a finding situation, but Elder Ferraz showed me how powerful it can be when we sue specific commitment invitations. So now I always say, "Can we teach you more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ", which is a difficult question to say no to!"
  • "Something I did for the first time this week was door-knocking! Here in Thess, I haven't seen a single house-with-a-door, it's all apartment buildings with buzzers. That makes it more difficult, as the first thing you have to do is have someone who is interested enough over the button thing to buzz you in. We had to try a few different tactics to get the door open, and then once we're inside we can try the doors. We didnt have any success but it was a good experience"
  • "The other day with Elder Ferraz, two young guys in the street were disrupting all of our conversations with people. The best thing to do is bear testimony to them, so that they realise that by disrupting you they're interrupting something that is incredibly important to you, and that you know to be true."
  • "I seem to have lost any notion of awkwardness when it comes to talking to people, I even street-contact people who are on the phone! The message that we are trying to share is so much more important than anything that they could possibly be doing as they're walking down the street!"

Food? 
Don't think they are starving !


 


Weather
Despite what most people think it is really quite cold in Thessaloniki at the moment, with average day time temperatures of around 7 C

 

There must be a good reason for wearing his suit inside out ?
A friend they were teaching but is now returning to Albania

"I'm so happy, 
I'm absolutely loving it. 
I better go now, I still need to write to the President, and we  have a busy day lined up 
I'm doing my best for the Lord, and He's doing his best for me, I can't ask for more than that! 

Have a great week! 
Elder Teal"


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