Friday, July 3, 2015

Missionary Training Center, not Missionary Testing Center

Dear family,

I have just gone through my first official week at the MTC! It seemed to go really slow at first, but now it seems like it is going by so fast. I can't believe that I only have 4 more days until I go to the mission field!

Friday, June 26th
My first P-Day! I know that last time I didn't write very much about this day, so I wanted to write more about it. Our P-Day time was cut short, right after lunch we went back to class. I learned about the Plan-Study-Teach Cycle that I will be using daily on my mission. The teacher gave us 1 whole hour of personal study. It felt so long! Companion study was just after Personal study and it was also 1 hour long. My companions and I put together what we learned in personal study and tried to role play teaching a lesson. It did not end well. The teacher role-played our investigator, Steven. He had absolutely no desire to join the church except to be able to marry his mormon girlfriend. Steven kept shutting down everything we invited him to do, and my companion, Elder Kidwell, got so frustrated, that he insulted the investigator. Everything went downhill from there. Our role play was a total disaster and we felt kind of discouraged. We talked it over, and fixed some things and got the chance to start again later that night. This time, it went much better. We focused on learning to love Steven and address his needs. We didn't insult him this time and we actually got a small message across. It was so hard! I started to wonder if I have what it takes to be a missionary, but I still believed that I will get better.

Saturday, June 27th
Today, for class we focused on receiving revelation. We read through 1 Nephi 1 and 2. I was reading the story, but I got something totally different out of it. I felt the Spirit and I got the feeling that Heavenly Father is happy that I have chosen to go on a mission. I have something absolutely beautiful, the Light of Christ. As a missionary, it is my job to help share this Light to all people. He tells me that I will meet a lot of rejection and it will be hard, but also that if I stay focused and endure to the end, that I can find success in my mission. I truly believe that I am in the right place and I can achieve much through the guidance of the Holy Ghost! Oh, and we also filled up the white board with a lot of encouraging quotes. I put my favorite S.M.I.L.E. scripture, 2 Nephi 9:39 on it. 

Sunday, June 28th
Sacrament meeting went well. I am not used to sacrament meetings having such a small congregation in it. One of the people who gave a talk, did it in American Sign Language. I kept thinking about Becca. I think that she would enjoy an American Sign Language mission. We went to the Sunday devotional, but the speaker was not an Apostle, just a worker at the MTC. He talked about gaining a testimony of God's work and our purpose as missionaries. It was very Spiritual. After the devotional, my companions decided they wanted to go back to the residence and "hang-out". I wanted to stay and watch the movie, "The Character of Christ", but they just up and left and i had to follow them. I really was upset at my companions that night.

Monday, June 29th
Today, the 1M building is finally open and we got to enjoy real, all-you-can-eat food! We went through the studies and we got to see our TRC (I don't know what that stands for) investigator for the first time! Her name is Jamie and she is very kind and patient. She knows almost nothing about religion, so we have to explain a lot of things. Today, she was sick, so she made us talk to her over Skype. It was really hard to feel the Spirit and the internet connection was bad. I think that all we did was confuse her. I am sure we will get better eventually.

Tuesday, June 30th
Today was our Service Project. I got what was called, The Ghost-Buster Vacuum. It was the kind that is like a backpack. I vacuumed the mats in all the doors around the building. In personal study, I decided to study Charity and Love, because I was still a little mad at my companions. I learned that charity and love were the foundation for all the other attributes of Christ. I decided to forgive my companions and show Charity and Love towards them. I feel that things will get better with this. We also taught Steven again today, and this time we committed him to baptism! I remember thinking that we would never convert Steven. I believe that we are truly improving a lot.

Wednesday, July 1st
Today, all the new missionaries pooled into the MTC. Suddenly, I realized, I have been here a whole week! It didn't actually feel that long. It was nice not feeling new, though. We taught Jamie another lesson. This one we simplified, a lot and we stopped a lot to answer questions. I feel that she got a lot more out of this lesson than the last one.

Thursday, July 2nd
Today was the In-Field Orientation. It was an 8 hour class. This is where they taught us how to fill out all the paper work, how to use Key Indicators, and how to work with members to become the best missionary. I noticed today how much closer I have become with my companions. Elder Kidwell finally received his glasses in the mail today, so his attitude has improved a lot. He really couldn't see anything for the last week. Every time we have a successful lesson, we get closer and more unified. We teach so well together now!

Things received:
*Note in suit case from Mom
*DearElder from Mom
*4th of July Package from Mom
*Greenie Package from Grandma and Grandpa Sheffield

Q and A:

*Did I join the Choir?
Yes, but the first practice was on Tuesday. I love it so far.

*Do I get to do anything special for the 4th of July?
Yes, we will go to the Stadium of Fire to watch Fireworks after 8:00 Saturday night.

*Who are my companions and where are they from?
Elder Northrup is from Highland, Utah. Elder Kidwell is from Showlow, Arizona.

I love you all!


Elder Bretton Steiner.

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