I HAVE MY TRAVEL PLANS!!! I am leaving bright and early Monday morning!!!!! I'm flying from Salt Lake City at 8:33 to Los Angeles by 9:33, then from LA to Buenos Aires Tuesday morning at 7:45... I have no idea how that long flight works, but that's what it says. SO, I get to CALL HOME!!!!!! :) I can either call home HERE on Saturday or Sunday, or I can call at one of the airports. Please dearelder.com me your number (sorry, I forgot the Montreal vonyage one!) and when the best time would be to call. I want to make sure I can talk to everyone! ANd maybe Elizabeth can get on Skype or something!
I FINALLY saw Ben! It was literally 5 minutes after I got my travel plans, so I was bouncing off the walls and then in walks Ben! So I ran up and gave him a HUGE hug (my last hug to a boy for a year and a half!). It was so great to see him! He looks so OLD - and by old I mean mature, handsome, and content. I am SO excited for him and Jackie. Wow, what a wonderful day it will be! I am devastated when I think about what I'll be missing with the family, but there's no where else I'd rather be than on a mission right now.
Ok, so the major things I've been learning and practicing this week are 1. Being creative and memorable and 2. Having fe (faith). My maestro Hn. Dallon talked to us about why missionary work is not getting "better" in that we're not producing as much as we'd like. President Hinckley in 1998 or 9 that the members could double baptisms and we haven't yet! WHY? His take is a very interesting one: we're doing the same thing wrong over and over. Missionaries do the same things and say the same things all the TIME! "Hi, we're missionaries and we have a message of happiness..." When they go to members homes they give a spiritual thought and then beg for referrals. Hno Dallon is an intense individual, but he said this is a load of garbage and needs to stop! He has an idea called "the revolution." He said that when missionaries go to members homes, we should one of the orange activity boxes in PME (PMG). Then do a different activity the next week we go over. Then maybe a week or two later ask them to make a new friend with a non-member and then NOT talk about the gospel. The idea is that after a couple of months of loving and genuinely befriendly them, THEY are bound to ask, "So about your church..." or "So, why don't you drink alcohol?" And once THEY open the door, then the member has the opportunity to "dive in" spiritually. He said that this is a great way for us to teach the members how to be good, NORMAL member missionaries. (Instead of teaching them to be awkward full-time ones)
(Oh, and Mom do you remember when I asked you to call the Fox family? I want to follow up to see if you'd have a chance to do this. Because I realized I already talked to you guys about this a little bit and THIS is the idea. While he taught this I thought of THEM, and honestly, I think this could work with them! Mom, will you make sure you give them a 5 minute call? Will you promise to do that? I'm a missionary- I'm all about giving committments now! :) haha)
Another idea Hn. Dallon has is with street contacting. Hn. Dallon says, "Do not say you have a MESSAGE to share"- He said NEVER say that! haha He said be different, be memorable; give them something they actually WANT or NEED in this life. "Hi, we're missionaries and do you know anyone with troubled teens?" Then go to that family and say, "We want to talk to about how to better your teenage children..." He says it's not lying and it's not persuasion, it's giving them what they NEED. I really like his ideas. He is a very intense, weird, crazy teacher, but I love the fact that he's innovative and has these ideas that frankly, I think will help me out a GREAT deal! The two others sisters going to Bahia Blanca and I want to try this out in our mission.
The other thing I've been focusing on is faith. Faith is such a deep concept when you think about it. If I have the faith the size of a mustard seed, I could move mountains! WOW! What an incredible thought! So, then I was thinking about faith and how it applies to me as a missionary. In Eter 12, it talks about how the wonderful missionaries Alma, Amulek, Nefi, Lehi, Ammon, and others had FAITH and because of their faith, they were mission changing missionaries. That's what I want to be! Dad gave me the challenge to be a mission changing missionary! To do so, I need to seek and strive for the faith of these missionaries and disciples of Christ.
Norma! Oh really quickly, in the RC I called a woman named Norma originally from Mexico (yes, all in Spanish!). We talked about Christ and families and after a while I asked, "Do you know any mormones?" SHe said YES and then she said to me, "Can I go to your church?" YES!!!! I was SOO excited because even here at the MTC I finally was able to help someone's life!
I LOVE this gospel! I LOVE the Book of Mormon! I love how when we keep the commandments, we are blessed (by laws of Heaven). I LOVE the temple! I LOVE being a misionera!!! It's my last week, so please keep me pumped! I love you all SOOO much!!!!!! Thank you for your prayers. HUGS and HANDSHAKES!!!!