Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 6 in California

Alright so I just finished week 6. It’s been an eventful week I suppose by the standard of some of my other ones.
Monday!! We played some Gator Ball. I almost died and had an all-around blast on our P-Day.

Tuesday. Tuesday we had training with Elder Walker of the 70. He is in charge of like all the temples. So if you watch almost any of the dedications in the last couple years he is the man standing right behind the prophet. It was really cool to meet him!! Unfortunately I forgot my notes at the apartment so I'll tell you about it in a letter or next week. Something I wrote in my regular journal is that we sang with Elder Walker in a spontaneous musical rendition of the Hymn, ‘Nearer My God To Thee’. Here is how it went …we are taking our break from the training and we go in and have lunch. It was pulled pork and it was actually really good. I was talking to Elder M. and Elder C. is talking to another sister missionary named Sister L. And they are talking and singing was brought up and Elder C. goes. "Oh!! Elder Gore Sings!" and Sister L. gets excited and gets my attention and asks if I do and I say yeah I like to sing, and Elder C. kind of goes on about how much I'm singing and so Sister L. is like "Hey lets go to the chapel I want to hear you sing!!" and I’m like uhhh ok. So the 4 of us go in, Elder C., Me, and Sister L. and her Companion, Sister B. And she plays a hymn and I sing it by myself and then the sisters are telling me I’m a lot better than I think I am, and then she starts playing,’ Nearer My God To Thee’, and I sing it and then she joins in and when we finish Elder Walker stands up, cause he had been quietly sitting on the stand, and comes over and asks if the 4 of us would sing that at the beginning of the next training session. And we are like uhhhhh ok. And so how we do it is First the 5 (yes, Elder Walker sang with us) of us are in unison, then it’s the 2 Hermanas on Melody and the 3 of us Elders singing Tenor and then for the 3rd verse Sister L. and I dueted with her on Harmony and me on the Tenor Melody. It was super nerve wracking but I’m glad I did it. Then we drove home and that was basically the day.

Wednesday. We went on exchanges!!!! Elder C. went out with Elder H. to the English area and I took his companion, Elder T., who has been out the same amount of time as me and we were in the Spanish area. That was a crazy day of faith. I had no idea what we were going to do but then what popped into my head was the revelation challenge that our elders (Centreville Elders) gave us. To pray to know which of your friends we can teach or help. So I made that the base of the lesson. I translated it into Spanish and found a good scripture and we then had 9 lessons that day and I gave the challenge to a bunch of members. That was the day this week that we had the most lessons. Usually we have 1 or 2. But there are a lot of days where we have none. So that made me feel really good. But also it was super cool because like people would talk and I was understanding most of what they said!!! It’s been in the last couple weeks that I have noticed that I can differentiate between every word whenever anyone but Elder Cebreros is speaking; he talks at like a thousand miles an hour. But It was so cool cause people would make some comment and I was like, "I understand you!!!!!!" In my head but yeah it was super, super cool!!! It was a super Faith and Confidence building day!!!

On to Friday!!!

So on Friday I went on another exchange. But this time I took Elder H., the senior companion and trainer of Elder T., with me into the Spanish Coachella area. Why I went there twice with English at first I didn't know why but now I do. So the night before we had planned the day and had a bunch of lessons and it was going to be pretty good. We had some empty space in the day and I was trying to figure out what to do and Elder H. says pick a name. Don’t think about if they are going to be home or not. Just pick a name. And even before he had said that the name Rubio popped into my head. I knew the husband, who was a member wasn't going to be home but that’s where we decided to go. We went and talked to the wife for a little, she isn't a member but she said she'd talk to her husband to set up an appointment. After that Elder H. said lets go for a walk. I was a little confused and he said, “You and Elder C. don’t do much street contacting do you”  It was a question and a statement really. It’s true we don’t. I explained that the 2 times at the park that we've talked to people Elder C. told me to start teaching as soon as you start talking to people. That didn't seem right to me and that’s probably why my first 2 times were so rough. I talked to Elder H. about that and he sort of chuckled and said that was the culture of one of the Missions but in another Mission the culture was to just talk to people and become their friends. That’s also the culture that our Mission President wants. He told us that it took about 7 positive contacts with the church in order for someone to become interested. He wants us to just talk to people about everything but the church to start and if the church comes up then we talk about it but if it doesn't that’s ok because the people will have had a good experience with the church.
That’s what we ended up doing the rest of the day. Because all of our appointments fell through, so I learned how to talk to people the right way. We haven't had the opportunity to do it since then but I’m ready now.
That night we also had the wards Trunk-n-Treat. It was a blast Juan our investigator and his family came and we hung out and we found some ward members to socialize with him. He was having a great time talking with the older men it was really good. We hung out with a bunch of the youth.

Saturday. Ok so Saturday I had another really cool personal experience. I'm in personal language study trying to figure something out for a lesson with a less active and I really was struggling with it. We had decided to do a little 20 min lesson about prayer and I had this super strong feeling to tie it to the Atonement.  That is the most important thing we teach about. Repentance and the Atonement. Everything leads to that, everything begins with it and it’s what allows us to live with our families forever, and ultimately live with God and Jesus Christ for all time and eternity in Exaltation. So yeah it’s pretty important. So I’m struggling because I wasn't sure how to link the atonement and prayer together. The first road that I decided to follow was that it had something to do with closing "in the name of Jesus Christ." But I wasn't sure where it all connected. And I’m searching the scriptures and I text Elder H. because he is like the scripture wizard!!! The Book of Mormon like really is his favorite book in the world and he knows so much about it. It’s crazy!!! I'd almost want to take his scriptures for a week just to see all the connections he's made. It’s like super deep and stuff and I can tell you some of the stuff I’ve learned from him but maybe in a letter I don’t have enough time here. I’m looking and looking and I can't find anything. Then Elder C. goes out to our little “porch" area, and sees a family moving out of the apartment complex  So we go help them load their truck and then we come in and I sit down and I finish the little sentence for the lesson I was working on and then the word "Mediator" pops into my head!!! And then like words just start flowing and I figure out how to connect it and I have to write them down so I don’t forget them and it was super-super cool!!!!.

That night we went to the ‘P.’ Family's secret Halloween Dinner Party. It was super cool!! Fantastic Food!! Music!! We hung out with the older kids and the ‘P.’ Sisters who are the 3 adult women in the picture. They are such a cool family. 

Sunday. Sunday was good we had church and we were going to go and meet with this new investigator and the plan was to use the ‘How to Begin Teaching Points’. And I don’t really know any of those so 20 mins before we have to leave and Elder C. is taking a nap, I went into our study room and I knelt down and said a quick prayer that I would be able to learn and memorize and remember these points. And then I grabbed a spare dry erase board and I went to work and I was able to memorize 3 of them in about 15 minutes!!!! I memorized...

- "Nuestro mensaje, el cual se centra en Jesucristo, es de gran valor e importancia."
 - "Nuestro mensaje no se puede aprender en una solo visita. Comprension llegara con el tiempo mediante la oracion, el estudio y la experiencia, y al guardar los mandamientos de Dios."
 - "Al esforzarse sinceramente por entender nuestro mensaje, es posible que tengan desafios, pero Dios les ayudara."

We ended up not teaching them. Cause we drove by and the husband saw us and, because like everywhere, there was nowhere to park on the side of the road even though everyone has a driveway so they were able to pretend like they weren't home. So I didn't get to use them but I had a powerful experience with the Spirit and its ability to strength our minds and abilities.

Well that was my week.
We have to head out now. It’s almost time for dinner. But Write Me!!! Or email!! Or something!!!

Have a great week!!! I love you all!!!

Elder Zachary Gore :)

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