Monday, January 18, 2016

Fwd: Adjusting to the Area

Buenas tardes!

Last week was my first district meeting.  I feel like it went well.  I got there and saw that there was my district of 8 other missionaries and that a Zone Leader had come and also an Assistant to the President and I felt a little nervous.  But I sat down and began to think that I had prepared the best I could and I knew that God would help me to do my best and I didn't feel nervous at all anymore.  I began to teach and I felt like I was able to recall all the things I had needed to.  I was able to remember past experiences I have had in the mission to answer questions and give good advice to the other missionaries.  Afterwards, the Zone Leader told me that it had went Really Well and that he had truly learned a lot.  A few days later, he told me that he loves that I teach "Very Surely and Calmly."  I told that to my companion and he said, "Yeah, that's very true!  I like that a lot about your teaching!  You talk with power and then you pause and the Spirit feels the room really powerfully."  And the Zone Leader's companion told me on intercambios this week that the two of them had talked about my district meeting and that the one liked it a lot and told his comp that he couldn't think of anything to tell me that I needed to improve.  So that has helped me out a lot.  I remember that when I received the call that I was going to be a district leader, I began to pray a lot (just like when I first became a trainer), expressing so much gratitude for the Lord for trusting me to have a position to lead others and even moreso, I prayed that the Lord would bless me and help me to be blessed with the spiritual capacity to do what the Lord would have me do and to teach and lead by the Spirit.  I know that the Lord has heard my prayers and blessed me.
Now I feel more confident to give District Meetings.  Which is good because I will have to do them every Monday.

THANKSGIVING - We didn't celebrate in any special way.  In fact, no one acknowledged it because it is an American holiday.  So it came and went and I didn't even think too much about it.
CHRISTMAS -  In Mexico, everyone parties on Christmas Eve night like all night long and they just sleep in on Christmas.  We went to the houses of a member and then an investigator on Christmas Eve (we were going to eat, but really just drank some Christmas punch), and the next morning we ate with two members and the same investigator.  Then we went down to our Stake Center and played volleyball for a few hours with our zone and watched Frozen and ate a few cookies and potato chips.  It was fun.  A lot of food.  :)
NEW YEARS - On New Years Eve, my companion and I finished a lesson at 8:30 and still had half an hour to get home, so we bought a little grilled chicken and grapes.  They have a tradition here in Mexico that when there are twelve seconds left to midnight, they eat twelve grapes and as you eat the grapes, you make a wish for each month of the year.  So my companion and I did that at about 10:15 and still got to bed at 10:30 and it was a fun way to celebrate. 
New Years is probably a bigger holiday than Christmas here in Mexico because for Christmas, no one receives presents or anything because they do for Day of the Wise Men/Kings.  On New Years day, there was no one in the streets and all the shops were closed down.  Again we went down to our Stake Center in San Pedro Martir and played volleyball with our zone. 
DAY OF THE KINGS - This is the holiday on January 6th, when all the children receive presents.  The day before, they all write their wishes on a paper and put it in a balloon and send it into the sky.  Then the next day, the kings (like the ones that brought presents to Jesus) bring presents to the children and leave it in their houses during the night.

This week we had Elder Pieper (of the 70) come to our mission and give us a conference!  It was Awesome!  Before the conference started, Elder Pieper told us that he wanted to meet each of us, so we all formed a line and went up to shake his hand and his wife's hand and tell them our name and where we are from.  As I did it, I told him that I am from Logan, Utah, and he said "You went to Sky View High School, right?"  And I told him yes.  Then I went and sat down and began to think that that was pretty cool that he would say that while there are three high schools in Logan.  No explanation but the Spirit of Revelation.  :)
Really the things he said have changed everything about how the way in which I teach.  He focused on that we often Give baptismal dates to our investigators, but that it should be them that choose when to do it.  It is Their baptism, not ours, so it should be done when they feel ready, not just at the end of the transfer, before we get switched.  :)  I have learned to allow them to talk more in the lessons.  Teaching is not talking, but also involves listening and sitting in counsel with them, everyone being edified from one another.  It is much more effective if you talk less and invite others to share more.  They can make an commitment and invitation for themselves that will help them more, be more personal, and they will be more willing to do it. 
Even though it's a little harder because the conversation can go a little off topic or you may have to be flexible with your lesson plan and willing to change what you will share, it really makes a world of difference!  We put it to practice the last few days and we've seen a huge difference in the reaction of the investigators and members! 

Oh, at Christmas you asked me if I think in Spanish or English.  I realized when Elder Davies became my companion that it has become a habit to think in Spanish.  When I first arrived, I would talk to him in Spanish and he wouldn't understand, so I would translate it to English for him and I realized how hard/uncomfortable it was to talk in English.  So that answered my question.  After being with Latino companions for about 6 months, I think in Spanish.  :D

Sorry, I tried a different computer this week and there's still not a place to enter my SD memory card.  I hope to send pictures next week!

Have a Wonderful Week!  I Love You All!

Elder Jarrett

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