Thursday, August 23, 2012

Letter August 21, 2012

Hello Family!

I hear school has started for all the kids, excititing! I got a letter from Mary telling me how it was. You guys should also help Brook write me so I know how she likes her first grade class.

Things are going well here. I am learning a lot, especially a lot of Spanish, although I still feel like I am no where near where I need to be. This week we are learning the subjunctive tense. Before we started I was finally starting to feel comfortable teaching lessons in Spanish and this just floored me, again. There isn't really a subjunctive tense in English so I dont know how to explain it, but I realized I have been saying alot of things wrong in Spanish for the past 4 weeks.

This is our last week with our current teachers, I am pretty bummed about that. Brother Jarmin has been teaching us all of the grammer, he is a great teacher and he makes it fun. He is hands down the best teacher in our zone. This is also our last week with Sister Eyring, she is great too. I guess the byu semester starts next week so everyones teachers are changing, hopefully our new ones are good.

There is another district in our zone leaving today and tommorow morning, exciting but it kind of sucks because there were some awsome missionaries in that district, they were always pretty helpfull to all of us. There was also a new district that came into our zone on Wednesday, and Nathan Smith is in that district! Its kind of cool to see someone I know all the time. He said his brothers come into the mtc in 2 weeks. I also saw Justin Gooch this week, he got here Wednesday as well. There are so many people here that I went to high school with! everyone from desert hills is going to take a big group picture in front of the big world map in the main building this sunday night.

I know I have told you guys about one of our "investigators", his name is Miguel. I dont remember what I told you so I will give a little recap. He is married, has 2 children, his wife and kids are members of the church. He has been taking discussions for 3 years and he knows and beleives almost everything about the church. His problem is he cannot read and he will not admit it! For 3 years the missionaries have been telling him that he has to read the book of moromon to be baptized. he is loud, obnoxious, and easily upset. Before our last lesson we had had 4 lessons with him, 3 of which we got kicked out of... the last 2 lessons we litterally put in about 5 hours of prep per lesson, just to get kicked out both times. He kept telling us the Book of Mormon was a punishment. We figured out he though God was punishing him with the book of mormon because he could not read. Therefore he thought that God was unfair, and that God did not love him. We tried to get him to listen to the book of mormon on take but why would he listen to something that god is punishing him with? All these issues were completly intertwined and we figured if we cut out one of those theories the who thing would be resolved. We knew all this before the 4th lesson and thought we had it all figured out, we went in with this amazing lesson plan and we got kicked out... At this point I was really frustrated, I didnt even want to prep anything for him because it didnt matter, we would just get kicked out. Elders Nash and Cluff were also frustrated but finally we got a lesson plan put together, again we thought we had it. In all the other lessons we tried to dodge the real problem untill the end because we did not want to get kicked out in the first 5 minutes. This time it was all or nothing, we were either going to do really good or really bad. We decided we needed to present our lesson in a different way than before, we all brought our plans together and got one figured out. In the lesson Elder Cluff started by adressing that we were going to talk about baptism and what was actually required. At this point I had a really good feeling and just kind of took over the lesson. I used the same basic lesson plan but went a completely different direction with it. We read him the baptismal questions and asked him if he heard anything about the Book of Mormon. Of course he replied no because there is nothing about it in the baptismal questions. He was on the edge of his seat, really paying attention for the first time ever, and not craking his usuall jokes. I told him those were the only things he needed to get baptized. He thought for a minute, then tried to start an arguement. He asked why the other missionaries who were representitives of Christ had told him for 3 years that he had to read the Book of Mormon. He was understandably pretty upset. We talked for about 5 minutes about this issue, but he was still pretty hung up on it. I had this thought to come into my head to say the other missionaries were a little stupid and they weren't concerned about his needs. I pushed it away because I really didn't want to bash on the other missionaries even if they were stupid. But it came again and a third time and finally it just came out. He laughed and went off about how stupid they were for about a minute. But it worked, right after that we got him to commit to a baptismal date. After the lesson Brother Jarmin, who was playing Miguel, said that that was exactly what he needed to hear. The other cool part was I did all of this in Spanish! (my companions just kind of sat back and listened, I tried to involve them but it was going the right direction and they just let me go for it). The Spanish just came out, I had never been able to speak like that before. I had received a prompting to take the lesson a little different direction and I followed it, because of that the Spirit helped me accomplish what it wanted me to do! It was a real testimony builder for me. (It might seem funny that this was all a fake investigator but beleive me during the lessons it feels real, you are not teaching your teacher who is acting like an investigator, you are teaching that person, Miguel).

I know great things will come as we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and if we are prompted the Lord will provide a way to do the things He has asked. I challange you all to look and listen for promptings in your own lives, dont push them away, follow the Holy Ghost. I know you will be blessed by doing this!

I love you all!
Elder Utley

1 comment:

  1. Really cool experience about listening to the Holy Ghost! Thanks for taking the time to post Elder Utley's the letters on the blog and share them with the rest of us. I am planing on taking his challenge this week to "look and listen" for the promptings of the Holy Ghost, then act on those promptings. :)