The temple for me as a missionary: I was really homesick at the beginning of everything. California, even though it is not Hong Kong, has a totally different feel than Utah. Homes here are different and everything felt messy and crowded,. The pace of life is fast and nobody wants to listen to you unless they have recently been humbled my the Lord. When I first got here, we had a missionary out with us who had just returned home from Mexico. He was shocked when the first door we knocked on was slammed in our face and they yelled at us to go away. He was more surprised when the people on the street weren't even cordial with us, even if they have nothing better to do. Everything felt superficial and hard. I was just tired and felt so far away from everything that was comfortable to me. We went to the temple, and the second I walked in, for the first time in two and a half months, I felt like I was at home. I went through the endowment with just complete peace in my heart. I wasn't worried or scared or tired. I was happy -FINALLY HAPPY. I cried because I was so relieved to finally feel normal. Then I went to the celestial room and told God how grateful I was for this home, His home. I asked Him if I could feel His Spirit. I feel the spirit powerfully, . . . that is something I have learned since I have been a missionary. The spirit comes to me with a very distinct feeling, and I can feel it any time I am worthy. But it usually only lasts a short time and then it leaves. This time in the temple, it just kept coming. There was no limit to how much I could feel it and it felt like home. It was wonderful. That is why I love the temple. I care a lot about the covenants I make there and I am keeping them, but on my mission, the peace and happiness I have felt there has been life sustaining for me! I love the temple because it is the closest thing to our heavenly home that the world offers. AND YOU CAN FEEL THAT when you go.
Preparing for a mission: I hesitate to say much because I feel like I wasn't very prepared when I left, and I still feel under qualified. I also don't think anyone can specify the best ways to prepare for a mission because everyone needs different things. So I'll tell you what I needed at the beginning of my mission that I didn't have.
BEST MISSION PREP CLASS
1) Practice teaching as much as you can . . . it is necessary! You should practice teaching every mission prep class. So sorry to the instructors who talk a lot, but practicing teaching is the way to go. The more we practice teaching, the better we will get.
2) Use the best three resources money can provide for missionaries every lesson: Preach my Gospel, The Book of Mormon, and recent RM's.
3) Sharing mission experiences is wonderful, but a few are enough to motivate each class. They really inspire but too many can be distracting.
4) The best mission prep class I went to was run by RM's during school in my singles ward. It was run with the intent of creating good missionaries. It wasn't the one at the institute, and it wasn't the one I went to at . It was the one that involved group discussion, practice teaching, and using PMG a ton.
THINGS I NEEDED AT FIRST
1) Homesickness- Recognize that you will be homesick for something. It may be your family, your old culture, watching movies, or living normal life. Everyone is homesick for something. I know very few missionaries who are never, and have never been homesick... and the ones who claim it are probably liars:) A good cure for homesickness for me has been journaling, praying, and reading The Book of Mormon.
2) New missionaries are many times humble in the fact that they are ready to learn, but prideful because it's hard to be corrected. Let people correct you, take the blow to your pride, and be better. Sadly you don't know everything, so let your companion help you even if they are crazy.
3) When you are mad at your companion, which will happen, pray for love and serve them. Those ALWAYS work.
4) When you are tired and unmotivated, tell your companion, and pray. Even if you are with your companion just say, "Hey I need to pray, can I have three minutes"? Then beg God for energy and desire to do the work. HE WILL GIVE IT TO YOU IF YOU ARE WILLING. The natural man doesn't really want to be a missionary- but God wants you to do it. He will help you.
TALENTS and KNOWLEDGE I WISH I CAME OUT WITH
1) I wish I would have known the Book of Mormon better. I think the best way to come to know the Book of Mormon would be to memorize scripture references that are often used by missionaries. (2 Nephi 2 and 32, Alma 5, 11, 40, 32, Ether, 3 Nephi 11....) Just know the basics of where stories and famous scriptures are.
2) I wish I had memorized the points in the missionary lessons before I came out.
3) I wish I had gone out to lessons with the missionaries more.
4) I wish I had watched the entire "District" (a series provided by the church)
5) You have time on your mission to prepare with things to know. You should prepare beforehand more on the spiritual and emotional side of things. Make sure you are ready spiritually and emotionally- these are key to success!
MOST OF ALL - GOD LOVES HIS MISSIONARIES! Missions are hard but really amazing!
So . . . This week was awesome.
I went on exchanges with Sister Montague and Sister McGarry. Both of these sisters were in the MTC with me, so it was fun to catch up and be near them again. It's cool to see how they have changed.
T AND HER KIDS ARE GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK! That's four people! The missionaries found T and her kids three weeks before I got here and we have been teaching them 2-3 times a week since I arrived. They are so neat and I really like them. They are golden investigators, and have been super prepared by the Lord. They were ready to be baptized when they were found.
We were driving down the street and a POSSUM fell out of the truck in front of us. Random!
The YSA elders called us and said they found a lady we could do service for. We went over with the elders to do service. We were raking her leaves and a huge black widow came booking it out of the wall. I freaked out and Elder Salazar came over and started to playing with it. NOT SO SMART! Anyway, he killed it with his hand, and he is still alive. I personally think he is crazy. We ended up teaching the lady who we did service for and it was the first lesson I have ever given in pants.
We also had the Halloween party this week and it was so much fun! The kids did a trunk or treat, and we actually had lots of non-members there.
Anyway- the church is true like the sky is blue. Have a good week!
|Our first day together in our new apartment and it was FREEZING COLD!|
|Think I may be loosing it some nights!|
|This is as dressed up as we get on Halloween:)|
|Letting it all out after daily planning!|
|Beautiful Cali sky|
|Love Sister Watson|
|My first day being an STL|
|Stole my comps companion in the bathroom #alwayshavetopeetogether|
|Glad she's the driver!|
|THANK YOU Jim, Rach & Family for sending me a Halloween package. I LOVED IT!|