Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Week 89, I love my mission!

So we had an awesome skype lesson last night with Josh. Bro Macke in
the ward was there at the church building and we asked him if he would
like to join us. He told us that he wouldn't want to because he
doesn't like Skype since he is 71 years old. Elder Odd said, well at
least come see what it is like. We got him a chair and sat him in the
screen! At first he was like no way don't let me be seen, but once he
saw Josh come up on the screen he immediately changed and talked, and
bore testimony. Bro Macke loved it! It was so funny because at first
he was so against it, but Elder Odd gently coerced him to do it haha!
It turned out sooo good.

I am so grateful for Preach My Gospel. I have learned so much from
studying this manual. I am seeing my teaching improve tremendously.
What is amazing though, is having anxiety and learning to really
control it, but most importantly learning to understand my mind. I
have learned how to work with people on a psychological level so that
their spiritual level will be reached more efficiently. I am learning
how to ask the right questions that get the person to think and then
teach themselves and see what they personally need to do. While we
were teaching a young man named Jeffrey, I did this. I started asking
him questions to understand him and his testimony. He responded shyly
at first, but I was able to open him up. We got to the conclusion that
he doesn't understand why knowing the Book of Mormon is true is
important. We read 1 Nephi 6 and dissected it to show him how to
study. Following this, we asked him follow up questions, and then
basically started to say so now what? What are you going to do because
of what you learned? He opened up and told himself what he needed to
do, so we committed him to do what he said he felt he needed to do. I
am so thankful The Lord has given me this personal challenge. I have
been able to help sooo many people as I have learned to understand how
our minds think. Even today the sisters were freaking out over an
investigator. I was able to say a few things like "hey you are having
this thought which is causing you to feel this, and you just need to
do this". This gift I have been given is from The Lord and I am very
grateful for it. He has taught me to be who I am.

The Lord has sent me another one of His children that has an emotional
disorder. This investigator of ours has been taught by multiple
missionaries for years, but never quite makes it to baptism because of
his fears and doubts. I have known him for a while now and love him a
lot. I felt a special connection to him from the beginning not knowing
why. As I prayed about what to share with him, after the sisters
passed him over to us, I felt prompted that he has anxiety and
depression. I could easily see it when we talked with him. When he
begins to feel anxious by the chemical imbalance in his mind, he
naturally goes to try and find the source of the problem. He
immediately feels that it is the discrepancies in the church. He
begins to doubt and that's why he backs out of baptism because he is
feeling anxious about something he hasn't figured out yet, so his mind
tries to find the source of the anxiety and he points it at his
testimony. I felt prompted to talk about that and it went really well.
I also gave him a blessing and it was powerful.

I love being a Zone Leader. We had a good companionship study in the
morning trying to figure out what we could do to help out the zone
with inviting investigators to be baptized in the first lesson. It
hasn't been happening very often in our zone and the impression that
we have received is that we need to help improve the teaching skills
of our missionaries. If we can learn how to teach effectively and give
the baptismal date with the proper expectations and tone to the
lesson, it will go so much smoother instead of just winging it to get
the number. The idea came about to do a survey of the the missionaries
in the zone. We made a survey straight from PMG chapter 10 which is
all about teaching skills through Google Forms. We are creating it
around the same format as chapter 6's Christ-like Attribute
Assessment. It consists of 50 questions on various topics in each
category in chapter 10. We are excited to see the results.

We also attended on of the units in our zone's district meeting. I am
so glad we did! In their district, the District Leader decided to make
a Vision, Goals, and Plans for their district for the rest of the
transfer. This was just soooo good. I was receiving impressions to add
to their meeting focusing on key indicators as goals and adding inputs
on previous VGPs I have set. This district needs a faith booster.
Their ward is struggling and their pools are dead. They wanted to set
a goal for 8 investigators as a district for the next 3 weeks. I felt
unsettled about it. I then said very excitedly and emotionally charged
something along lines of "you can do so much more than that!" Elder
Odd then added how many our district has found in 2.5 weeks- 24. They
were all like woah. They have only found 2 in 2.5 weeks. Their faith
increased a bit and 20 investigators was set! I felt very good about
this! It was amazing. The spirit was guiding all of that. I love this!
Then, that night they found 4 new investigators and 3 more the rest of
the week! With increased vision, comes increased motivation.

We also held our Zone Training Meeting all focused on Preach My
Gospel. This manual is awesome! I have gained a much stronger
testimony as I have been center I my studies on it.

Here is this week's funny: These two teenage boys were on their roof
cranking their music and jamming out. I look at them, they look at me.
I stop and just starting dancing with them! It was hilarious. We all
got some good laughs out of that.

Well, I love you all!

Elder Hooper

(Unloading some storage!)

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