First off. How are Jeremy and Marsali and all the Hancocks out on the east coast? All we hear here at the MTC is random rumors about what is going on with the storm from what people have heard from people's families. And our Branch Presidency has said a few things, but they don't really have details about what is going on in the specific places where we know people. So if you could dearelder me about that tonight or tomorrow or something, that would be really great, just to know how everyone is doing.
This week started off on a really good note with a talk from Elder Bednar called Character of Christ that I would highly recommend to I think anyone. And so after that every single experience just seemed so much better. The main idea that I took from it was that the defining characteristic of Christ is that when the natural man wants to turn inward and just be selfish, Christ looks out. He always makes serving other people his first priority and when things are most inconvenient for him, he still chooses to focus on others first. Luckily, I have a companion who is also really really amazing at this. This last week, when she had just had a rough day. We all have them. A day where you just feel like you don't know how to teach the gospel and you don't know how to communicate in the language, and you are just having a hard time feeling the strength of this calling. But even so, at the end of that long day with some bad lessons and just hard feelings, when we got back to our residence she was still the one who noticed the needs of the other sisters in our branch and made time in her busy tired state to pay attention to them and just talk about the things they were going through. And those little acts of selflessness are what really impress me and really show me what I can become. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.
We got some new sisters in our room this week too! They are going to Hungary, so the mornings of 6 sisters in 1 room trying to get ready are pretty crazy, but also hilariously great with all the chatter and people apologizing for being in each other's way and just the overall girliness and positivity are kind of hilarious. in a good way I guess. haha.
One of my favorite things that I've been learning how to be better at this week is asking questions. Asking questions is hard. Asking good questions that help people learn is hard. In class our teachers have us read the book of Mormon all together and after one person reads a couple of verses the person before asks them questions to try to help them really think about what they have read and help them to receive revelation. Our teachers are so good at this, and it didn't seem like such an amazing skill until I started trying to do it. The thing I think has made the biggest difference is a line from Preach My Gospel about using the Book of Mormon effectively in teaching the gospel. They talk about likening the scriptures and describe likening the scriptures to us as creating a mental bridge between understanding the doctrine and living the doctrine. I had always just thought of likening the scriptures as trying to see how the scriptures relate to us, which is part of it, but the thing that really made the difference for me (when people were asking me questions) was when the question was requiring me to specifically identify things in my life that could be changed by this doctrine or finding specific things in my life that were examples of what we were talking about. I don't feel like I identified what was really important about those questions and that activity, but there's no going back in email time. :) But you should read about it in PMG instead of my half thought out explanation.
But asking better questions has really made all the difference with my investigators as well. As I come up with better questions I'm so much better at really focusing on them and what they need.
It has also made all the difference in my learning by myself. I have always had a hard time coming up with questions when I have studied on my own. but just as a little proof from heavenly Father that its important and that when we ask He really gives us answers. I don't have time to tell my example cause time is up, but tell me about yours! and anything else you want to! I miss you, but I know you're in good hands, the best in fact.
Sorry for the random thoughts. Hope they mean something to you.
Sister Stephanie Lofgreen : )