Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MTC Week 6

Hey Everybody!

So my first order of business is a little rant, but not really. I just feel like asking sometimes if anyone ever gets sick of singing "Called to Serve". Don't get me wrong, it is THE missionary song, and I love singing it, but I think it is overkill when we sing it for every devotional and fireside...I LIKE TO SING OTHER HYMNS TOO!!! Haha it really doesn't bother me that much, but I did notice that it is the opening song for every devotional and fireside. I also love singing the hymns in Spanish. There are a few in the Spanish hymnbook that aren't in the English book and they are really fun to sing because they are new to me.

So I called Carolyn back in the RC on Friday. The missionaries still haven't contacted her, so that was kind of a bummer. Our RC instructor said that he was in an area in Florida once where they hadn't responded to a media referral for 15 months! WHY???? They are basically free investigators! You don't have to look for them! They called US! Oh well, hopefully they contact her this week, and if they don't I am going to re-submit the referral. While on the phone with her I read from the Book of Mormon, Alma 40 to try and comfort her about family members she has lost. She said she believed everything I read, and all I am thinking is, IF SOMEONE KNOCKED ON HER DOOR IT WOULD BE AN AUTOMATIC BAPTISM! We have been told over and over again that the Brethren have said our purpose is to baptize, and somehow missionaries and members have gotten it into their head that service, re-activation, and retention are more important. They said in our missions we are to teach the members that missionaries baptize, and it is the member's responsibility to serve, retain, and re-activate. I thought that was interesting because a lot of Elders here in the MTC thought differently before our lessons on that subject. Anyways, so I hope Carolyn is contacted soon.

We taught the first lesson in Spanish last Saturday. I was pretty nervous thinking it would only be like a five minute lesson with how much Spanish I know, but we took the whole 30 minutes. I could pretty much explain all the doctrine without having to think too much in my head how to say it. I need to work on asking questions though. I pretty much only asked questions that there was only one answer for because I didn't want to risk having no idea what the investigator was saying back to me. Our evaluation from Hermano Conde said that he felt a great spirit when he walked in, and said afterwards we "were on fire!" I think he was just trying to be nice to us. I did, however, relate the First Vision from memory without breaking eye-contact. It was pretty much the only thing I was 100% sure I didn't mess up. Also the next morning during our Sunday interviews with our Branch Presidency members, I was interviewed by Hermano Wright, the only Spanish speaker of the three, and in the middle of the interview said, "So you just met me on the street in Argentina and I ask about Joe Smith and angels. Teach me." I sat and stared at him for about 5 seconds thinking...what in the world? You are a crazy old man! Haha, anyways, I talked for about 5 minutes about Joseph and the First Vision again. Afterwards he asked how much Spanish I had before the MTC, and I said none. Then he said, "Well you went from nothing to a lot pretty quickly then!" It was encouraging.

On Tuesday we met with Visa agents from the travel office to do some fingerprints and stuff. Visas have been difficult to come by but I guess it is getting better. We meet with the Consul on August 12th and he should be able to answer a lot of questions. We were told not to ask anything offensive like, How big are the bugs, or if they have monkeys in Argentina. We were also told we are to stand when he walks in and say, ¨Buenos Dias, Señor Consul.¨ in unison. Then we are to sing Called to Serve in Spanish, but change some of the words because the Consul said they don´t exist in Spanish. When we told Hermano Conde that he just started laughing and said that the words do exist, but Argentina doesn´t use them as much as the rest of the Spanish speaking was kind of funny.

Anyways, 30 seconds...I am doing great. 6 weeks!

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