Well this is it… next week is officially my last week in the MTC, and then it’s off to Slovenia! Even though we’re all pretty nervous to have to speak to real Slovenes, it’s so exciting to be able to actually go on our “real” mission. And it is coming just at the right time. I’m not sure how much more of the MTC I could handle. It’s an awesome place, but it’s hard being completely isolated from the rest of the world, and it’s hard to sit in class for hours and hours each day. We’re all going a bit stir crazy I think (8 weeks will do that to a person), and just want to get out there and do real missionary work!
I forgot to mention the devotional I prayed in! It was great to be able to sit up on the stand during the devotional, and see it from that perspective (and from those comfortable seats!). I gave the opening prayer and it went just fine. The speaker that night was Elder Don Clarke of the 70, and a member of the Missionary Executive Committee. He works closely with the Prophet and Apostles to run the missionary department. He was an excellent speaker, and gave us some really practical advice for our missions.
I guess I’ll share a few things I learned this week (sorry for the lack of cohesion in this!):
I learned that it’s okay to say “I don’t know”. We were teaching “Marko” (a recent convert to the Church) about temples, and he asked us quite a few questions that I honestly didn’t know the answer to (or questions that don’t have an answer). Up until this point, I thought that as the missionary it was responsibility to answer every single question the investigator has. What I realized though is that I don’t know everything, and that people wont get angry or offended if I simply and humbly tell them that I don’t know the answer.
In connection with all of that, I learned that a teacher (or missionary in my case) shouldn’t hand everything to the investigator, so to speak. I realized that it is so much more helpful to the investigator, for them to find some things out on their own. If they don’t, and if I simply tell them everything they’ll ever need to know, they’ll never gain their own testimony. An example of this was in a lesson on the word of wisdom. Our investigator essentially asked us why we are not allowed to drink coffee and tea. Initially, I wanted to jump into a discussion about heath, about obedience, and about following the counsel of modern prophets. Instead though, I decided to talk very simply about following God’s commandments, and then asked our investigator to read the scriptures we had discussed, ponder them, and then find out for himself through prayer if what I was saying is right. Again, another lesson to me that the missionary is simply there to teach and invite. God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost do the rest.
So those are some of my thoughts from the week.
On a happier note, we get our flight plans tomorrow! That’ll tell us exactly when we leave, and what our itinerary is. It’s so exciting!!
Anyway, I love you all so much, and think about you all of the time.
– Staresina Davis