Thursday, March 27, 2014

Learning to be a Missionary....

well, heres the scoop for the week. So theres an hermana in the baby district thats from las Vegas! it was so cool. the new district came in last wednesday the 19th. nothing much on friday, another day. saturday, was a pretty cool day however. i did some jump around reading in the bible, and came to discover some really cool stuff about all of the early people in the scriptures.i aslo discovered the origin of the word babble. so in genesis, it talks about how the people were trying to build a tower to heaven, and the lord confounded their language, and then theres a verse that says, and the lord called the place babel, (pronounced babble) for such as it was. i thought that was pretty neat. so, i took a recent interest in the salt lake temple, both spiritualy and physically, and i was talking to president pratt, and i asked him when the underground complex off the north side where the entrance is, when that got put in. he told me it was in about the 60s. he was also tellin me about goin in through the front doors, and goin up the spiral staircases, and goin into the assembly hall and out onto the roof, and i was really kinda jealous im not gonna lie. :) i really want to see all of the salt lake temple, sometime in my lifetime. that would be such a cool job to have, designing temples. so that was saturdays experiences. now, sunday, oooooh man. sunday was cool. so, here. the elders go to priesthood meetings within their ramas (branches which is just a zone) and all of the hermanas meet together for releif society. in prieshood today, presidente alvarado (he is our branch president he is waaaay cool.) spoke. and he talked about the five ordinances necessary for exaltation. they are as follows. baptism, confirmation, recieving the full prieshood( meaning both priesthoods and that applies to men), temple endowment, and then temple marriage. so, for brothers there is 5 and for sisters there is 4. its really cool, to me to think, that out of five, im already at four of them. and only have one more to go, and then its enduring to the end. after priesthood, me and the other four elders in my district, met up with the hermanas in our district, and we had district meeting. now we don't do district meetings like everyone else. we just kinda go around and share with everyone, something we feel inspired to share, and its really neat because we get to know each other just that much more. its so great i love my district. they are totally awesome. after district meeting was sacrament meeting. there was a sweet spirit in sacrament meeting. after sacrament was lunch. and after lunch was a class with president pratt, where he talked to all the missionaries that are learning spanish. funny enough, when he started, he started by going over some rules.and one thing he said was, "do not, take the mattresses, out of the beds, and sleep in the living room with them" me and the other elders from my district were sitting like right in front of him, and when he said that, he kinda looked at us, and we started laughing. (refer to the last scoop if you are unsure why) he noted,"youd think i wouldnt have to mention that, but, recent experiences..." haha it was kinda funny. anyway, he started the class, and started talking about how you start by converting the missionary. and conversion means change. he said that when someone is converted to christ, they have a mighty change of heart, they do good continually, they offer up their souls to christ as an offering,walk circumspectly before god, and strive to keep the commandments. they lay down weapons of rebellion ( we talked about how the lamanites literally buried their literal weapons of rebellion. and talked about figurative weapons of rebellion, with the chiefest among them being pride.) and to serve with unworried diligence. he also taught us about how a testimony is a beginning and a prerequisite for conversion. how its a point of departure, not a destination. presidente pratt is so amazing. when he speaks you can just feel the truth in his words. after class with him, we had a devotional, where we watched jeffrey R holland speak to the missionaries in the provo mtc, back in jauary of 2013. it wasnt live, but it was just as amazing. the devotional was amazing, and ill copy my notes from it.:
-all of the earlier leaders in all of the other dispensations, although they new they wouldnt succeed, labored anyway, because they knew that in this day, our day, we would.
- the second coming started in the spring of 1820
-when moroni speaks at the end of his life, he is talking to us here in the present day, because he didnt have anyone else around to talk to.
-missionary work is real life, with a capital R L (he was talking about missionaries who get home, and say well im done with that time to start "real life")
-if you only have one convert, then it had better be you
-no organization in the world, would put it's future in the hands of a bunch of 18-20 year olds, except the true and everlasting god.
- we're gonna teach the missionaries first and then let them teach. (talking about first presidency when they were making preach my gospel)
- preach MY gospel. it's the saviors gospel, do it HIS way.
                - obedience to the rules gives you the spirit, and you cant teach without the spirit
                - no phrase is more common in the BOM than, "they taught with power and authority" you cant have that unless you have the spirit, and you cant have the spirit unless you follow the simple rules.
-all of the things we want for our investigators, and what we want them to do, god wants us to do: read the scriptures more, god wants us to do that more. pray more, well he wants us to pray more to.
helaman 5:17-19
mosiah 27 :11-13, 17-19

-go out, and astonish people. nephi and lehi did it, the angel did it with alma, and the sons of mosiah.
     - the root in astonish, is a word which means thunder. to astonish means to speak with thunder, get peoples attention.

-convert yourself. 
-obey mission rules, strive to have the spirit with you, and you are succeeding.

jeffrey r Holland bore a powerful testimony in his talk, and there was part of it, where i was literally in tears because i felt such a strong spirit from his words. after the devotional. we had a testimony meeting in the Thomas S Monson building, (all the buildings here are named after the prophets, the monson building is the main one) with our whole zone, because the father district was leaving. this isnt an official thing in the ccm, its kind of a little tradition within our zone. anyway only the father district bears their testimonies at these, because they are the ones leaving. they bore some pretty powerful testimonies, and they will be amazing missionaries. after that, we watched finding faith in christ, and only a stonecutter, both of which are awesome films. and in finding faith in christ, during the part where the savior is healing all of the people, i was teared up. ive seen the movie like a billion times before, but never before had i realized why it was soo powerful. after the movies we said goodbye to the districts that were leaving, and we sang para siempre dios estay con voz. god be with you till we meet again in the english hymnal.monday was pretty much a normal day cept elder swensen, was feelin crappy so he went home after dinner. i went with him because of the compañerismo rule, so while he was sleeping, i had a couple hours to kill. i did some house keeping. first time in three weeks it felt good. haahaha that monday, the 24th, marked exactly three weeks from our last day in the ccm. and yesterday, wednesday, marked exactly three weeks that we have been here its crazy how fast time goes by. anyway there is one thing i wont miss about this place, and that is that, every once in a while the air here smells like poop. literal poop. like theres a big turd hanging in the air right in front of your nose. its not very pleasant. anyway, the other thing i did on monday, was read the sermon on the mount, in matt 5-7 its so amazing what those three chapters encompass. the savior literally lays out a map for what you need to do in this life. so amazing. on tuesday swensen woke up with his allergys buggin him, so we stayed in a bit late, but after a bit of breakfast, and some allergy medicine, he was ready to start the was pretty good, we had progressing investigator where we taught our "investigator" (he was one of our maestros just playing the part. but they do an excellent job) and we had a good lesson with him. tuesday night was pizza night, and we had good pizza, and then there was a devotional after. the brother that spoke was one fo the seventy and i dont remember his name. but the devotional was in spanish, and in an attempt to learn more spanish, i didnt use the translator earphones, so i didnt understand all of it. i caught like every other word, but didnt entirely get his meaning. i did feel a sweet spirit though. wednesday, yesterday, was much less than interesting. swensen woke up and already knew that it wasnt gonna be a good day. he was having it out with his allergies, and his stoamach was givin him some trouble, so we ended up stayin home the whole day, and as it turns out i was a little sick too so i stayed with him. by dinner time i was feelin good, and he felf a bit better so we went and had dinner. whew weell, theres the scoop for the week enjoy!
This picture below is Elder Wardell's zone in the Mexico MTC

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Scoop!

heres the scoop for you guys.
sunday, IT WAS AWESOME!!! sundays are so great here.! we have priesthood meeting in the mornings, and then there is sacrament meeting. our branch, is just our zone so it was about twenty people. i had to pass the sacrament, along with elder swensen, and then i had to give a talk in spanish about the atonement. i really hope that one day, i can come to the level of knowledge that president pratt has about the atonement, the plan of salvation, just everything. just looking at him you can tell he knows so much. funny story about president pratt. the other elders have been sleeping on mattresses in the living room because they don´t wanna get sick, so they had their mattresses in the living room sunday night while we were writing in our journals and we looked up, and president pratt was standing there. we were like, oh crap, and he had said "well im trying to figure this out" and then the phone rang so he went and answered it, asked for a certain elder, and i went up to go get him, someone else went to get him, and so i was standing next to president pratt while he was looking at the mattresses on the ground and said, "does someone wanna explain this? and i said, uuuh well president, there are mattresses on the ground." i dont know why, but the real explanation escaped my mind at that moment. he said, oh, ok i wasnt sure about that, and then we went on to explain why they were there, and he said, oh ok. and we chit chatted for a bit and then he bade us farewell. on monday, we were in language class and Hermano Garza was talking to me about language goals, and i told him im reading the book of mormon and the libro de mormon side by side, verse by verse to learn the language. he mentioned to me that president hinkley had promised that if you read the libro de mormon through, you will speak the language when you finish. that was a really comforting thought.  well, on tuesday, we had our first TRC where we teach (supposedly) an actual investigator, and it was cool. we did it in spanish and we were so nervous because we kept forgetting our words, but she was cool. we taught her a bit about the plan of salvation, and then we taught her how to pray. it was awesome. we also had a devotoinal from elder Daniel Johnson, from the seventy. he came to speak to us, and i took some really cool notes, some of which ill tell right here.
 -why was the first vision even necessary? to show that god is a man, a perfect man. many of the people in joseph smith's day, believed god to be some mystical cloud, that was all powerful in the universe.
-you cannot have faith in something that doesn't exist
- people cannot have faith in god until they get who he is.
-one problem we have to overcome is what the investigator understands. as in, what their understanding of god is.
-the creation, was organization of existing elements. not just a poof outta thin air.
- Elder Johnson told us about this plaque that he has which reads, it wasnt nails that held him to the cross, it was the love that he has for you and me.
-It does not matter what it is, you can do it.
-if we want something, we ask. god wants us to ask. ask and ye shall recieve.
ok, so those actually were all of my notes haha. but it was totally excellent.

anyway, yesterday, we had a class called progressing investigator study, and we had to teach our maestro, Hermano Matías, (he played the part of an investigator named erik.) it was our second visit with him, and we totally nailed it. our first visit was horrible and does not deserve to be told. but our second one was awesome. we knocked on the door, exchanged pleasantries then he invited us to come in. we asked if we could start with a prayer, and he said that was ok. while we were praying, he was crinkling his candy wrapper really loud, and i almost laughed. (hermano matias is an awesome actor) anyway, we told him we did have a message that we wanted to share but first we wanted to get to know him a little bit more. so we talked with him, asked him what he liked, and talked a little about that, and some of the things we liked, and some of the same things that we liked, and we had a really pleasant conversation going on. we talked about his job, and how he likes it, and then we talked about his family, and as he was describing his family to us, i felt like saying, "it sounds like you love your family" i didn´t know how to say sounds like, so i instead had to say, "pienso usted ama su familia si?" which is, i think you love your family yes? to which he replied, yes very much so. i then asked him if he wanted to be with them for forever, to which he replied, yes if there is a way. (btw all of this was in spanish cuz Erik doesn´t speak english. hermano matias does, but his character does not.) anyway, so then we talked a little bit about the eternal family, and how god loves the family, and will bless him and his family, if he prays. he mentioned some of the problems he and his family are facing, and we told him about prayer. we told him that if he prays to god with sincerity and intent, that he will answer. with blessings of prosperity, safety, and peace. we then taught him how to pray, and then we said a closing pray to show him how, and then he prayed right after us. we set another day to come over, and then said hasta luego. the rest of the day was a normal day. and today is pday!!! whew thats a big scoop. ahah till next week, elder wardell