Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Helping out Sister Maiava

This last week has been the best week so far!  Everything seems to have started to click and I fell that I can really hit the ground running.  We started to have HSI, Habla Su Idioma, days where we only speak Spanish the entire day.  It started out really tough but has gotten progressively easier as I continue to keep working at it.  I am so grateful for the Gift of Tongues because I would not be able to learn Spanish this fast otherwise.  I also helps when my companion pretends to know no English on HSI days and keeps me striving for better ways to convey my thoughts and feelings.  Speaking of my companion, he is great.  We have a lot of fun and push each other hard to get the most out of our MTC experience.  I have learned so much from him and am astonished at his knowledge of the scriptures.  We definitely make a great team as we teach the voluteer investigators!
This last week I had a great opportunity to talk to my 15 year old investigator Sean!  We had a great conversation about the Book of Mormon where he bore his testimony that he knew that it was absolutely true and that he felt he was drawing nearer to God while he read.  Upon hearing this I asked if he would like to learn more.  He said that he would love to and now my companion and I are starting to teach the discussions to a real investigator!  We taught part of the first lesson to him on Monday and committed him to continue to read the Book of Mormon and go to church.  He said that he would do it!  We are going to call him and check in on him on Saturday and then finish the first discussion on Monday.  I am so grateful for my opportunity to teach Sean and am learning so much from the experience.
Another great experience I had this week was duing a Missionary Discretion Time where me and my companion were quitely studying in a garden area of the MTC campus.  At a table not far off was a solo sister trying hard to study while her district of elders were sitting not far off.  She was minding her own business when the elders started saying some very crude things out loud about sister missionaries in general.  I tried to block all of this out but couldn't help but notice the poor sister missionary uneasily shifting in her seat.  I then realized that all the crude things that the missionaries from her district weren't directly said to her but to she probably felt they applied to her directly.  When this realization hit my mind, I felt my stomach physically get sick for her.  I didn't know what to do to help her so I began to pray fervently that the Lord would help this poor sister out.  During my prayer, I got the distinct impression that I needed to go over to her table and contact her, get to know her, and then bear my testimony.  I did exactly that.  Me and my companion walked over, sat down, and started a conversation.  What started out as a contact turned into an opportunity where me and my companion really got to help Sister Maiava out.  We found out that her companion had been sent home after two days at the MTC leaving her as a solo sister.  Her district of elders were all very rude to her and she recounted many times where she would just cry at nights.  My heart just sank as she told me of her problems so far, but I felt the Spirit tell me I should bear testimony of how important missionary work is and that she is in the right place at the right time.  After I finished and my companion bore his testimony she looked at us and told us how grateful she was for us.  I have seen her around in the cafeteria and other places on campus and we will stop and chat.  Everytime she tells us how thankful she was that we stopped and talked to her and really cared.  I am so grateful my opportunity to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to help out this sister.
Well I really appreciate all your wonderful letters and prayers. Oh man, got to go....30 seconds!!!
Elder Janis

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