Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I love them. They are my people! - Week 52 (Transfer 9, Week 2) - 25 April, 2016

This week I am going to write you a quality email. So much has happened.

So this week started off strong. Which is great. I love setting up lots of appointments on P-day right after it ends at 6 pm so that we can get our heads straight back into the game.

We have been teaching this amazing guy named P* who I want to tell you all about.He is from Pakistan and is a refugee from the war. He has a very interesting back ground and an incredible story. This old, faithful, loving man has the Spirit so strong and I know that he is one of the people I was meant to teach on my mission.

We are teaching a lot of refugees. P* being one of them. Like I said, he is from Pakistan and his family got a ton of death threats because he is christian so he was forced to move here. He is reading the Book of Mormon in Urdu and started crying the other day because he said, "For so long I have been alone, and now I know that the church is with me and that God is with me and that You are with me. My only dream is to be with all my family again one day in peace and I know I can be there at the temple some day." His family is all stuck in Pakistan and in hiding. These refugees are real people who are starving and suffering. Their lives are in danger.

We have also been teaching an investigator named G* who is from Cosovo but speaks Italian better than his own language. He grew up in a very impoverished, war torn home and never got an education. Which is INCREDIBLE when you look at him because he is so kind, so clean, so professional looking. And incredibly hard worker and from the look of him you would think he is the CEO of a company. He is SO HUNGRY for knowledge. He will do anything to learn. He will do anything anyone asks him. He has so much integrity and love and is just so amazing. And if He had only gotten to have an education....
We have been working with the stake presidents counselor who served his mission in Italy and he has actually been translating for us at the lessons to make sure G* is really getting the most out of it and understanding.

These refugees are real. Toronto is full of them. They are so alone. They literally have two choices: Stay at home and die or come here and have everyone resent them. I love them. They are my people. 

P* and G* both came to church this week. :) P* was supposed to be getting baptized this Friday but it turns out he is not allowed to get baptized until he has a permanent residency....we had to push his date to July 29th. Pray that his residency will come sooner. G* has also accepted to be baptized but he does not have a date yet. But man, I want him to have the gospel so bad. It would benefit him so much. He needsss itttt. They both do. They both want it so bad.

Then there is G*. We are working with her and she is supposed to be baptized on May 7th but we may have to push it back a week because she is so busy that we have a hard time meeting with her. She was previously meeting with the elders before, but she is our investigator now that they have been transferred. So I don't know much about her yet.

This week church was incredible. I needed it. Actually, this whole week was incredible. We are so busy that we have no time to think about anything else so it makes being focused and consecrated easy. I wish I could teach everyone all the things I've learned on my mission. Last night my companions asked me for help on communicating with the ward council because they felt they didn't quite know how and it ended up being this whole long discussion about all the communication skills I've learned on my mission and how Preach My Gospel teaches us inspired patterns of communication. I will use these tools long after I am home.

One thing I wish I had known at the beginning of my mission?

1. How to listen to and recognize the spirit. I'm getting so much better now. I'm starting to be able to pick people out of crowds that will listen to the gospel. This week we were on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders and there was this guy walking towards us. I said, "Hey look it's a new investigator." And then he was. That's been happening so many times this transfer! Where God will just prompt me to know who to talk to and they just listen and it's so easy. It's incredible. Or when I was with Sister Gousse, we were doing weekly planning and someone came to my mind who we had seen on the street. I knew he would be baptized. So we went to his house, started teaching him, and now he is baptized and he is going to the temple on May 14th. Or P*. Man, I can't wait to tell you P*'s story. Or this other girl that we found named V* who we handed off to the YSA elders. She is getting baptized next week. WE JUST FIND PEOPLE because God literally tells us who. I'm so glad He is around. Sometimes I get afraid that it will all go away. I don't want that. I want the Spirit in my life forever.
2. How to communicate. Here is what I have learned:
Identify a concern or a problem.
Come up with a solution. Make a plan
Then talk to someone about it. (An investigator, a leader, a companion, etc.)
State the purpose of your visit, call, conversation, etc. Whether it's teaching a new investigator or working with mission leaders or counseling with your companions.
Set expectations. Tell them what you want out of the visit, call, conversation and what you hope to accomplish. Basically, tell them your goal. Tell them you expect to meet with them regularly, twice a week for 20 minutes. Establish the expectation that you will have regular daily contact. If it's with a leader, let them know you want to update them regularly on the things you are doing, and ask them when would be a good time to have 10 minute calls where you can coordinate your efforts.
Then tell them the plan. Make a suggestions. If it's an investigator, tell them you will ask them to read, pray, come to church, and be baptized right in the first lesson. Tell them their role in their conversion. Tell them our role. Tell them the role of the spirit.
Ask for their suggestions. If you are working with a leader, don't counsel them. Instead offer your plan on suggestion and plan WITH THEM. Modify the plan to fit everyone's needs. Work TOGETHER.
Leave a commitment.
Let them know you will follow up on that commitment. If it's a leader, ask them to follow up with you on carrying out the plan. That way it doesn't seem like we are telling them what to do.
Promise blessings. Let them know you know this will work.
Finally, ask for referrals. Do you know anyone who would be interested? Is having a baby? Had a divorce? Major life change? etc. If it's a ward leader, ask, who can we help in the ward? What can we do for you?
Then follow through.

This applies to everything! When I have a husband, I'll do this. If we have a problem in our marriage, I'll identify it. Make a plan. Present the plan. Ask for suggestions. Then do it. It's all from preach my gospel! Or if I'm ever a Young Women's leader, this is how I will structure my lessons. Of if I ever need to communicate with the ward council in a calling at home, I will know how. Or if I need to talk to you. Or Caelan. Or my teachers. Or my friends. Or my boyfriend. Or all my bajillion fans when I'm famous. ;) Or my contractors. Or my bank teller. Or whatever. I just need to let them know my goals. What I want. What I expect. And ask for their help. Then promise blessings. And do whatever it is that we planned. I KNOW HOW TO PROBLEM SOLVE NOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! When I align what I want with what the Lord wants, then that means I know how to get what HE wants.



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