Elder Lund With the Other Missionaries in His District
Another week down at the CCM. The days are going by super fast. It seems like we just had preparation day yesterday. It's probably because we stay busy working from in the morning until at night.
The beginning of week 3 was a little difficult. However, as the days went by, things started to go a lot better. I thought about the situation as I was going to bed one night, and I just felt like I needed to change first. I needed to be more patient and more loving with him. Instead of getting upset when he wouldn't prepare for lessons, I would try to put on a smile and correct him, but lovingly. I wouldn't get mad with him. I tried boosting his confidence by complimenting his improvements and giving him words of encouragement. This attitude continued to strengthen after Sunday church meetings. During District Meeting (AKA Sunday School) we went over chapter 6 in PME - how to develop Christlike attributes. We spent a lot of time on 'Patience' because the Elder Roney said he needed to work on that one. I think I needed it just as much as he did. It really helped me put things in perspective. During Sacrament Meeting, President Cisneros - a counselor - talked about loving your companion. He urged us all that in the CCM and in the mission field we need to aprenderán a amar su compañero...or learn to love your companion. I've been putting it to action the last week and the improvement has been incredible. I know that learning to love someone will help me out post-mission as well.
Another CCM goal I have that I mentioned last week is to read the entire Libro de Mormon en Español antes de nosotros salimos el CCM. Last Friday, I began getting up at every morning to read since I don't have much time during the day. Usually it's just Elder Soifua and I - I have to wake him up - but sometimes my companion and some of the other members of our district join us. It's been a great experience, and the day goes by so much better. Furthermore, before this week I had been paying attention to my sleep schedule and I noticed that I would consistently get up anywhere from each morning wide awake, but I would have to go back to bed and then when I woke up at I'd be exhausted. So this reading in the morning works better with my sleep cycle too.
Spanish is going well. It's kind of funny to think how fast we're moving through the material. The last three weeks would've probably taken a year and a half in middle school. We're starting to get into all the verb tenses which I really need to re-learn. I also had the opportunity to conduct la reunión sacramental (Sacrament Meeting) in Spanish. It was a little intimidating but I did ok. I'm glad that I took Spanish at CMS and CHS because it's coming back really fast since I've already learned it, but I wish I had taken better advantage of the opportunity. We messed around too much with Ms. Lee y Olga. ¡Que Horror! Singing in Spanish is a lot of fun too. They only have 209 hymns in the Spanish hymnbook and the words don't always follow the English verses, but the Spirit is still there, if not stronger, when we sing in Spanish. Some of my favorites are El Espíritu de Dios, Bandera de Sion, Más Cerca Dios de Ti, Para Siempre Dios este con Vos, and my all time favorite in English, Conmigo Quédate Señor. (The Spirit of God, High on the Mountain Top, Nearer my God to Thee, God be with you till we meet again, and Abide with me, 'tis Eventide).
My personal study of the Doctrine has really improved. It's crazy how many times we pray here at the CCM, but it's so important to open and close each study session with a prayer, even when it seems repetitive. I've been studying a lot more concerning the Doctrine of Christ as well as the Atonement. The other day, I wrote on a flashcard about 7 scripture verses that cover why we need an Atonement, why there needed to be an infinite sacrifice, why we need to have our garments cleansed through the blood of Christ, etc. I also try to study a lot of the Bible Dictionary and the Old and New Testaments, in addition to the Book of Mormon, so I can better relate with my future investigators. The other day, I was reading in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and fell upon verse 14. Paul urges us to "Be ye not unequally yoked..." I thought it was kind of funny...don't skip leg day! The rest of the verse is actually pretty good too. It talks about not being yoked - or as we learn in the footnote be married - with unbelievers. I think the yoked part of the verse would be a pretty good BYU Meme.
We learned a lot from the instructors this week. Hermano Enciso had us read 1 Nephi 17 together and we had to relate it back to our mission experience and future mission experiences. Basically, the Lord commanded Nephi to arise and start building a ship to get to the promised land. Even though Bountiful was a great place filled with milk and honey, the Lord had something better in mind for them. Not only would the promised land be better, but they would grow from the experience and trials of getting there. Although he had way more interesting points, to sum it up Hermano Enciso related it to Bountiful being our old lives and the Lord has something better in store for us in our missions. But we have to arise and get working on our boats (learning the language, learning the doctrine, being more Christlike, etc.) In my study journal, I wrote Arise, and get the heck out of Bountiful. Our Zone was kind of relaxed on the rules the past week, so Elder Lau and I set some Zone Goals for obedience. We announced it in their classes, but then delegated most of the work to the District Leaders. We set the overarching theme of each goal such as Focus on the Task at Hand and then the District Leaders have to write out the relevant steps and key indicators - so to say - for how the goals will be accomplished. For each goal, we also had examples if we saw something that specifically had to be changed.
We also watched devotionals from Elder Holland and Elder Bednar again this week. They are both awesome. I don't have time to say everything that they had to say, but I'll quote two things that I liked from each:
Elder Holland - Don't be idle...get into overdrive! and When you're a man, you put away childish things...grow up!
Elder Bednar - The 'trial of your faith' is usually not some big dramatic event. It is usually just trying to do the simple things daily.
We also watched Mountain of the Lord Sunday night. I really like that movie. There was a scene where a 12 year old wants to work in the stone quarry with an older gentleman from Scotland. The man at first denied saying he was too young, but the boy replied the work is faster/better with teams of two. I thought immediately about missionary work and how I need to be a better companion and focus on loving/building the companionship so that we can be better instruments in the hands of the Lord.
Last night, the Elders in our district decided to sleep in the living room. We wanted to apply the scriptures more in our lives, specifically 1 Nephi . We built a fort/tent out of tables, extra bedsheets, etc. We really had to put our Eagle Scout skills to the test. Elder Naupoto, who worked in construction in Hawaii before coming on his mission, really helped a lot. He had some excellent skills for some of the tasks. He wants to go into engineering at BYU after his mission. Anyways, we built it and took some pictures too. To be completely honest, we stayed up kind of late talking since we knew it was p-day today. We talked a lot about our missions too. It was a good to talk and our district seems closer than ever.
Well, that's all I have time to write about. I probably left out a lot of good things, but I got the most important things in. Estoy agredecido por la oportunidad a venir al CCM y llegar a ser más como mi Salvador.
- Elder Lund