Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Adversity and Faith

Hey Mom!
How is everything going?  This week has been alright here. We have stopped teaching Sis. Alder, who was pretending to be Anita, and now we are teaching Bro Luna as Karl Knoll and Sis. Alder as Frau Zeidler. It's pretty cool because these were real people they taught while they were on their missions. Yesterday we watched videos and learned about how important it is to get investigators to pray with you so that they have something to think about and a motivation to pray alone. When we taught Frau Zeidler, we were running out of time and we started trying to invite her to pray. She kept saying she would pray alone, and I didn't want to quit because they taught us to never give up because the Spirit will help them have the courage and the faith to pray then and there. The only problem is I didn't know what words to say in German and I couldn't convey the importance of praying with us. I knew that, as Sis. Alder, she was trying to get us to the point where Frau Zeidler would feel comfortable praying, but we were running out of time and Elder Bonzo kind of gave up and let her off the hook saying she could pray later alone. It made me pretty mad inside, but mostly at myself because I couldn't say what I wanted to say. I started to feel super inadequate and like the other companionships were way better at teaching with the Spirit and the gift of tongues. I felt bad about it for hours.

Then later on that night when Brother Luna was teaching us as a class we read 1 Nephi 17, where Nephi is commanded to build the ship and Laman and Lemuel are being huge jerks to him, saying he couldn't do it. I started to realize that although I may not be able to do or say everything I want now, I will be able to in the future and the feelings of inadequacy are coming from Satan and are things I need to forget about. I don't have my scriptures with me, but I remember there is a verse that says something to the effect of how Nephi can do all things through the Lord, even turn the waters into earth. I feel like I am doing everything I can in terms of keeping the commandments, studying, and learning German and I'm not seeing any fruits from my labor; however, if Nephi can build a huge boat with the power of the Lord in the face of adversity, I'm pretty sure he can help me with my German. I've heard from other Elders that the 3 week mark for learning a language is the hardest and that after that things will just start to come naturally. I'm trying to exercise faith that I can do this work, even though it is harder and harder everytime we teach and practice. My biggest weakness is that I can pretty much write out sentences quickly and correctly on paper, but when I am trying to think of how to say a sentence while looking into someone's eyes, I can't speak quickly at all and I probably mess up a ton of all of the random grammar principles there are in German. Anyway, enough about that.

As a district we have started playing sand volleyball and my old volleyball skills are coming in handy. It's a lot of fun playing when it's not competitive like it was in high school. I also go to the gym and run every other gym day with Elder Proffitt and sometimes Elder Kinghorn. Well, the language is tough, the days are busy, and now we are the senior missionaries in our zone. All of the older elders left early this morning for Germany, which is more than half of our zone of 37 missionaries. Hopefully we get more in our zone tomorrow so that sacrament meeting isn't virtually empty. It was really nice though because we had a TON of Japanese Elders on our floor that left today as well, and they were really loud all night and disobedient to the hours we are supposed to be quiet and go to bed. Anyway, Elder Proffitt and I are total buds here. Well there is nothing more to report; everything else will be in my letters home. Aufwiedersehen!

Love, Daniel

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