Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A long, long week

Another week of traveling. This has been a long, long transfer. I have learned a lot and when I talked to President on Sunday, I told him I have grown more this transfer than any other one transfer of my mission. I have gained a lot of patience this transfer in ways I didn't even know I needed. At the beginning of my mission, my idea of a good missionary was one that rebuked every disobedient missionary he saw and always corrected others no matter what they thought of me. I did that for a little while and obviously it didn't work. I have no idea why I thought that was the right thing to do. My thought process was if I don't tell them I don't give them a chance to improve. My other thought was I should never lower my standards for someone else. I took that as meaning that I had to make every companion conform to my beliefs and way of thinking. This transfer I have learned that means my standards don't have to change just because I am being patient with a missionary that is learning. I have learned mainly this transfer that when missionaries are doing something wrong, they already know. I really don't ever need to tell a missionary that he isn't allowed to sleep in past 6:30, because they all already know that; they have heard it 1,000 times from their zone leaders and from the Spirit. The best thing for me to do, especially with a missionary for two days, is to develop a relationship and show them more love. I can have a better chance of helping them to repent later having had a good relationship with them rather than trying to force repentance now and ruining a relationship. It took a long, long time to learn that, but President Hiers and I sat in his office this Sunday laughing about it. He told me he knew it was always something I needed to learn, and that's why he had to be patient with me and do the same thing he was trying to teach me to do, that is be patient, develop a relationship with me, give me new experiences to learn on my own, lead by example, and just love me no matter what. He is a great mission president. I have never heard of anyone seeing him get mad, and I doubt that I ever will. I'm glad he taught me so many things in the past 18 months in a way I never thought would work. Now I am not saying I am very patient and passive or anything; now I have just improved a little bit and have a long way to go. The point I am making is that at least now I know what I am shooting for. I think it will help me a lot in the future with being a young men’s adviser for example, parent, things like that.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Never been more tired...

Sooo tired! Today for p-day we went to Antelope Island with four other zone leaders. It wasn't planned, but we slept at their house and then ended up just going, because they kept asking us to come. Then we spent two hours cooking lunch for all of us. Then we went back to Ogden, moved apartments, and there goes p-day! It flew by pretty fast. Antelope Island was kind of desolate. We saw a few buffalo and lots of dirt and dried out plants and that was that. So we just had to do it to say we did it once.

We had some amazing chicken. Elder Graham is from Hawaii, and he made us sushi, but instead of meat he used spam. It was actually pretty good: spam, mayonnaise, rice and seaweed. So I got a taste of Hawaii.

This week has been pretty interesting. I had some stressful days and some not so stressful days, too. I will work backwards. Yesterday, I went out with Elder Saldaña and his companion. He still loves me so much, ha-ha. He was kind of mad that I am going out with him again tonight and wanted me to go somewhere else, but I will be with him again tonight. During the day, we had normal morning schedule, then had some stuff at the office to do, and then did several companionship studies with groups of sisters. We do that instead of exchanges. Elder Kipp and I will just get together with four sisters at a church building to train on stuff. One group of sisters was Spanish, and they are all pretty young in the mission so it was good to just talk about the Spanish program. I miss it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Welcome, welcome p-day morning

Welcome, welcome p-day morning... I’ve been in Idaho, heading to Brigham tonight, then Cache Valley again by the end of the week...and still sick. Turns out traveling and sickness don't get along too well.

Well this week has been very long. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; that's just the way that it felt. I got sick the first day of my exchange number one last week after p-day. It's pretty rough to get sick while traveling, because we have to kind of always be at the top of our game and setting an example. So I have been sick this past little while, but everyone to ever serve as traveling trainer has been sick for a couple weeks of it, so I guess it's tradition.

My first exchange I was in Smithfield with Elder Smith and Elder Dale. It went pretty well; we had a couple solid lessons. I was fighting a fever and sneezing the whole time but managed to contribute. The second night they decided to play basketball, which this time I was ok with, because it meant I could sit on the couch in the foyer and fall asleep. Elder Dale had one encounter with a bishop telling him some of the mission goals, and the work he is doing and built a lot of trust. I learned a lot from him on how to work with leaders. He is a young missionary, and it was good to see how well he is doing early on.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Elder Dylan Kipp and I at General Conference
 SO the first week as traveling trainer has been pretty good. I started off the week on Wednesday going with my son to get my grandson. His name is Elder Garcia, and he seems like a really good guy. I hope they do well together; everybody pray really hard for them. The rest of that day was unproductive, just unpacking and moving stuff around. While we aren’t travelling, we leave our extra stuff at the AP's apartment. They didn't have any phones for us, because they accidentally gave them away. They ordered them, and they still haven't come in. It has been pretty awful without phones especially driving to places that we don't know where they are.

The first real day was Thursday. We had our regular study schedule. Then we had kind of a Spanish council meeting. I went with Elder Plowman and his companion and part of the mission presidency. We talked about some of the issues with Spanish people that want to go to English wards and who should teach them. It took like two hours to discuss all the issues and the conclusion was the AP's and I will make a Spanish training for the mission. I think I will just bring in Elder Plowman in to help me do it.

The biggest issue that I want to address is language study. The Spanish of the missionaries in our mission overall is pretty bad. I am convinced it is because people don't know how to be effective with language study. I am sick of hearing missionaries just watch The Testaments in Spanish and expect to become fluent. I will talk a lot about that and maybe have them all make a plan and then train on how to find, because most Spanish missionaries in the mission aren't working effectively with members right now which is a big part of what we talked about.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Personal goal, zone goal, ipads, traveling trainer

The teaser paragraph he sent while he typed his letter. (He knows Mark, Jessica and I are all waiting to read his email each Tuesday.):
Goodbye Mont Vista...I will be travelling the mission with Elder Kipp all next transfer. The assistants told me to get ready for the hardest transfer of my mission! Who's excited?! It will be very tough, but I am excited...I will learn a ton, I know that, and be able to work closely with President Hiers…I am excited. They got rid of traveling trainers temporarily, but President thinks it is needed again with the new "five essentials" and how young our mission is. A lot of what we will be doing is going around training everyone on how to use it.
Elder Kipp was my zone leader my first transfer with Elder Salazar; he is awesome. I really, really like him. He is from Canada and went to ASU before the mission. We hit our goal of four baptisms this transfer, first time hitting my goal. Our zone also hit our goal of 15 by getting 16 baptisms...first time I have ever hit a zone goal!
Oh, and did I mention we got ipads? They’re awesome, aren't they Dad? They are really well made...still lots of glitches, but that is to be expected. We are only the third mission in the world to get them...it's a big change.

WELL, there is a lot of change happening this week in the Utah Ogden Mission and for me generally. The first big change is that we got ipads this week! Monday they were given to the zone leaders, but it was kept a secret. Then on Friday we had a zone meeting with president and a few other zones. They started the meeting off like normal, out of the scriptures, and then one of the senior couples walked in with a big brown box and said he had a delivery. President pulled something out of the box, and it was an ipad. Then we all immediately walked out to the hall, and they handed us all ipads, and we had a three hour meeting learning how to install everything and use our area book app.