Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Three Weeks Down!

Hey guys! This last week we got a new district! They seem really cool! There is this guy elder Merrill from American Fork and he dated Jessica Brower (my cousin). Small world! Elder Bradford, one of zone leaders, also went to AF High and knows Allie and Jessie (Brower)

So, we as a zone have had a few "Tie Drafts'' which is so fun. I got some crappy ties and that next day we all have to wear the new ties. Well, everybody puts in their worst ties so it's funny seeing how embarrassed everybody gets. This week I taught the district a Book of Mormon lesson and It was derecho fuego! I did it on 1 Nephi 2 and focused on the subject of faith. Everybody loved it. I also killed a class discussion on 1 Nephi 8. I basically said what the teacher was going to say, and he liked that too.

I'm feeling super great this week and I am no longer sick! We had TRC
(Teaching Resource Center) on Saturday and it was awesome. The people were all members and so we basically gave them a home teaching lesson but based on the lecciones in "Preach my Gospel." The spirit was super strong and so was my Spanish:)

So every Sunday, our branch president chooses four random people to give talks. Every week we need to prepare a talk on a certain topic. Last week it was baptism, and I stayed up late doing it Saturday night [totally did not procrastinate], but I did not get chosen, which is good.

So this last week, our district has been under some heat for people not staying on task and not doing what they are supposed to. Do not worry, I am on task, but it was a wake up call still for me to be the best of the best and work harder everyday. This reminded me of a Vince Lombardi quote:

"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." 

That quote is so true and really applies to all aspects of life.

Our Sunday devotional was an old MTC devotional by Richard G. Scott. It fit in with exactly what the branch presidency and zone leaders talked about with our district. Some good points Elder Scott had was that the Lord has called us to succeed, not to fail. He has inspired our call and will fit our tasks to our capabilities. He said we will discover things about ourselves we never knew. He talked mucho sobre la importancia de oracion, and how to receive answers. I have studied so much of the scriptures like never before and could tell you where certain things are! These two scriptures I really love: D&C 88:63,64 and all of D&C 8. Asking God for something in faith is asking with confidence. Elder Scott also said that to reach a goal never before obtained, we must do things we have never done. For me, prayer has never been so important in my life. I don't remember if I shared this yet, but I forgot what scripture this is in...it talks about doing nothing unto the Lord without prayer first, or something along those lines. Its so true. If we are doing the Lord's will, we need to make sure we tap into the communication system, if that makes sense. I have started praying more specifically, in order to receive specific answers to prayers- and let me say how much more powerful this is. For example, before each lesson and basically every night, I pray to be able to understand what 'the investigators' are saying and feeling, and boy, have the lessons been great! There is still room for improvement though. I know God loves us all and he does answer our prayers.We need to be patient though and remember He knows what is best for each of us.

My teachers have complimented us for our lesson strategy and how well our Spanish has improved! We have three teachers, Hermana Aguirre, and Hermanos Cruz and Gonzalez. They each play a role of investigator so we basically have 3 progressive investigators. Hermano Cruz was our very first investigator we progressively taught, named ''David" the first like week and a half. I like him the best, and he said he understands exactly we we are saying in Spanish and he said that we bring a special spirit into every lesson. I need to work on connecting the gospel principles to the investigators lives and show them how they fit in with what their are going through. On another note I have been reading my patriarchal blessing a lot and It is just so amazing!

I got a haircut finally today and I have been dreading it! Doesn't look so bad, but my locks are gone. Okay, I feel like I have been here forever and it really stinks. I love the MTC, but I just want to be in South Carolina already! Elder Casey has a friend in South Carolina and all the missionaries have been doing is service because of the hurricane and floods. Thank you for all your prayers! 

Elder McLaughlin



Pre-haircut pic outside of THE PLACE OF DEATH!

AAAAnd its gone

Missing two elders but I'm being a little goofy....
this was our pre haircut pic

My district and our haircuts (it's a big deal) left to right top to bottom: Jarnagin, Casey, Allen { elder allen was apparently at BYU with me this summer in the same building and same floor!} Hermanas Briggs, Olsen "{from Fallbrook} Robertson and Shumway, then me, Rodriguez"{going to San Diego} and Davey

This is my house. 
We each have a house as a district which is pretty sick

There are rows on rows of houses at the CCM. 
It's basically like living in a gated community of 1200 missionaries

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