Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"If you don't mind me asking... Why is your dad in prison?" - Elder Hawkes

Sent on Jan. 16, 2015

Hi everyone! P-day is here! Honestly, it feels like it's been forever since I wrote you guys last, even though it's been a week. That's one of the things about the MTC... every day feels like three. Members of my district will sometimes say, "Remember yesterday when..." and then realize that it didn't happen yesterday, it happened that morning. 

I think the reason that it feels like forever is so much has happened this week that it feels like everything should be spread out more. Where to start....

I'm a Zone Leader now! President Washburn pulled me and Elder Pehrson aside on Sunday and said, "I've heard great things about you from your teachers. We'd like to make you a Zone Leader." Honestly, just saying that first part about my teachers saying I'm great would have been enough for me. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be a Zone Leader, even if it's only until Tuesday. 
Christian's MTC District
Speaking of Tuesday, we got our travel arrangements for Tuesday. We'll be flying out of Salt Lake City at around 8 on Tuesday and arrive in San Diego around 9:30 local time. That means we have to report to the travel office at 3:30 A.M. on Tuesday. Not really looking forward to that, personally!

Our Progressing Investigator (Sarah, whom I mentioned in my last email if I recall correctly) is doing really well. We were initially having trouble connecting with her and getting her to respond to our questions. We started digging a little deeper and getting more in-tune with the Spirit, though, and we were able to teach her about faith on Wednesday. We invited her to pray and ask in faith if there is a god and she said she would. She also said she wants to know a little more about baptism and the requirements for baptism. After the lesson, Elder Harris, Elder Sorensen, and I all cheered and got really excited! It's so wonderful to have someone whom we've had trouble with progress so much!

Another investigator we've been teaching is Michelle. Michelle is our TRC assignment (TRC basically means that at a specific time on certain days we go over to 11M and teach an investigator) and has met with the missionaries in Arizona. She's up here for a few weeks and wanted to come to the MTC to learn more. She's a little more difficult than Sarah, actually, because she doesn't seem too interested in learning. The three of us bore testimony of the Book of Mormon to her and helped her read it and understand it last night, and she seemed almost heartbroken at the fact that we had to leave by the end of it. Again, we did a little happy dance and cheer in the hallway after we were out of sight and sound of anyone else (to show respect for the other missionaries, of course). :D

As Zone Leaders, it was our responsibility to welcome the new missionaries (which include an all-elders district and a district of ASL missionaries) Wednesday evening and show them around. We didn't realize we had to pick them up from their classrooms, so we sat around for 15 minutes while no one showed up. Finally we thought, "Maybe we should check their classrooms" and after another 10 minutes of rounding everyone up, awkwardly explaining to them that we were their Zone Leaders and that there was some miscommunication, and gathering them all into a room, we began the meeting and showed them around. On Thursday night, we gathered them all into the wrong room for their meeting with the Branch Presidency and so had to walk them to the room where the Branch Presidency was waiting. President Washburn didn't seem to care and in fact commended us for gathering them all in one big group and getting them all in on time. I was about to point out that we were five minutes late, but decided against it. 

Oh yeah, the quote in the title is from Zone Teaching last Friday. I was supposed to be a missionary and was talking to an "investigator" played by another person in our zone. She mentioned that her dad was in prison and I couldn't think of any other questions to help break the ice. So I said the first thing that popped into my head: "If you don't mind me asking... Why is your dad in prison?" The entire group I was with just starting laughing and I realized that asking someone why their dad is in prison is probably not the best way to break the ice. 

If you haven't sent me your physical address yet, I would love it if you did. I love writing letters to all my friends and family, but a weekly email just isn't enough. ;P I might not be able to check my email for a little while (unless my mission president says I can email you all, which might or might not happen), but I promise I will respond as soon as I can!

-- (Still really bad at breaking the ice) Elder Hawkes

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