This week we received letters in the post from Greece... In Greek ! Fortunately we all got our own letter in English and the family letter was alternate paragraphs of Greek followed by the English Translation. He does apologise that he was rushing so the hand writing is not his neatest, cant say that I even notice the quality of the hand writing!!!!
On the evening before Elder Teal left for his missionary service I was privileged to be able to use
the Priesthood that I hold, to give him a Fathers Blessing. One of the things that was said in that blessing, is that he would have the "gift of tongues"
Paul mentions this gift when speaking to the Greeks in Corinth. It is believed to be the ability to speak to others in their native language, not your own. 1 Corinthians 12:10 I think that the ability to read, write and speak Greek to this level (no doubt it has mistakes) is miraculous. Like the other missionaries in Greece and the thousands more around the globe, this miracle takes place on a daily basis. It also helps that he has an excellent trainer, Elder Lyttle to coach him. Although we do wonder if he has learnt to speak Greek with a Scottish lilt !
As always Mondays bring emails and it was good to hear the missionaries were safe and well after reading news reports of riots in Greece and particular Thessaloniki. (the 6th anniversary of the death of teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos) It seems the unrest was confined to a small area and the Thess missionaries had not known much about it, other than being asked to stay away from the town centre.
Pictures from Sister Trippi's last Sunday
Some Questions and answers
The computer you use to email is the keyboard English , if so what do the Greeks do with it?
"It's an English keyboard yeah, but you can just change the language settings in Microsoft, in the toolbar at the bottom, and then the keys correspond to the Greek letters. It's done by the one that looks or sounds the closest, but sometimes it takes me a few guesses to find the right key for the letter I want in Greek ha ha!"
"I was wondering....what do you actually put on the blog? Because I don't write anything specifically for it, is it just excerpts from my emails or something? And do you do it like it's me writing it or do you make it obvious that it's you compiling it? I just don't want it to look like I'm going on blogger whilst on my mission haha :P
I take all your emails and share the bits I think are interesting, along with pictures . I generally add some commentary. If you quote s scripture I link it to the actual scripture on lds.org The content is basically 80% you . 20% me so it's our joint missionary effort. I never share anything from your journal entries though. I make it very obvious I'm compiling it. In fact I always put your words in quotes"" I don't include full names of your investigators just first initials (I've read somewhere we shouldn't) if you mention books or lessons I may or may not include it. My overriding aim is to present the life of a missionary and his family at home.
"Ha ha ha well it sounds like people love it, keep up the good work! I'm excited to sit and read it all when I get back, it will be interesting to see the bits that you thought were the best!"
How is your new coat?
"My new coat is great! Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture, so I'll send one next week, it's very nice though! And it's warm as well, even if I only have a shirt on underneath."
How are your friends that you are teaching?
We have three really good investigators at the minute, G, J and B. They are all so different and have such different levels of experience and knowledge, but they're all really great people. I think I will be friends with them even after my mission, I just really hope they'll progress to baptism! G is still struggling with the Word of Wisdom, and B still has concerns about how the Book of Mormon clashes with the Bible. J has only had two lessons until now, but it's going really well with him. He studies biochemistry but doesn't see evolution as clashing with creation, and has a lot of the same opinions that I have. He's a really nice guy!
Were there any disturbances?
Yeah there were students protesting in the city centre, we were just told not to go into the center. We don't know much about it really. Last night we were on the seafront doing a whiteboard and we could hear whistles and shouting from the center, but I don't really know what was going on."
It wouldn't be a blog post without the Lyttel/Teal cook book. This week its Paella
"I really like the story of Lazarus, it's one of the only instances when Jesus is really distressed about the situation, it says he was troubled in Spirit, and it really shows that even he had to exercise faith in order to perform his miracles. I also like how Mary (or it might be Martha) says, if you had been here he wouldn't have died, which shows she had some faith but didn't really understand the power of the Saviour. I also really like how before he comes, the Saviour tells his apostles that Lazarus has died by saying he's sleeping, and they don't understand, so he has to tell them outright that he is dead. It shows that the apostles at that time were really just fishermen, and their understanding was limited, and shows how far they had come by the time they wrote their epistles in the New Testament."