We've had some of the best lessons yet this week. In the one with our 'investigator' Benjamín we talked about following the example of Jesus Christ. In one of the pamphlets (the gospel of Jesus Christ one I think) there is the Sermon on the Mount painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch. Hna. Porter asked him to look at two of the listeners and decide which one he felt most like and which one he would most like to be. One that is to the left of the Savior is down on his knees gazing at Jesus hanging on to every word. The other is to the right of the Savior, and though he is sitting closer to Him, his back is toward the Savior and he's almost turning. Going into the lesson we thought for sure that Benjamín would say that he wanted to be the one on the left, but he said he would prefer to be the one on the right once he has turned back to the Savior. He explained that the man on the right would be stronger because he had to struggle to gain his testimony and the greater the struggle the more glorious the triumph. This struck me and reminded me that there is a purpose to my struggles and trials. They are opportunities to overcome, to turn to Christ, and to grow in faith. We knew that we were teaching by the Spirit when we as well as our investigator were being taught and edified.
We got to role play and pretend to be investigators just like in TRC! I really forgot how that feels, and I love it! I love it because it helps me understand more fully what my friends feel like. It's nice to have a change of perspective to refresh your own.
So, something I have come to realize over the past couple of weeks is that there is a difference between the way Sarah Thacker thought the lessons should be taught and the way that they have been divinely ordered and prepared. It has given new meaning to the scripture in Isaiah, ''For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts'' (55:8-9). I used to think that it didn't make any sense to use Book of Mormon scriptures to prove the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, or to teach the Plan of Salvation second when it really would just answer most of their concerns if we taught it up front. Well, Hermana Thacker has learned that the point is not to convince or use logic to talk people into believing. Our job is to invite. We use the Book of Mormon because of the Spirit it brings into lessons, and we let the Lord touch the hearts of the people instead of focusing on proving logically to their mind how true it has to be. The first lesson comes first because it's central message is receiving revelation. It demonstrates God's love for us and how we can come to know of that for ourselves. It sets the foundation, because without personal revelation that testifies that our message has what they need, there is no point to continue teaching. We tried teaching the Plan of Salvation first with our investigator Reinaldo. Yes it met his needs and brought him comfort, but we are struggling a bit with helping him understand why he needs the whole picture and can't just isolate the Plan of Salvation buffet style. I really am beginning to understand how Heavenly Father's ways are higher than my ways.
Also, I have a greater appreciation for hymns sung at the right tempo. We sing hymns a bunch... and our district likes to sing slowly. I Know That My Redeemer Lives sung at a funeral march tempo is not terribly fun. However, we are doing better now that we are singing Christmas hymns. :)
It´s crazy to think thatis Thanksgiving! We are all anxiously waiting to see what we will be fed for dinner . My best guess is a turkey gravy with potato chunks and pineapple. :) Pineapple goes in most things. Especially in American dishes that they prepare...
Happy Thanksgiving!! Love you lots! Don't forget to count your many blessings!
For all 7 girls in our district we have three washers and one working dryer. This happens to be the best way to get our clothes dry. I'm starting to wonder if they believe in dryers here. The elders told us that they have to check the dryers they use for laundry soap because the Latinos put their clothes in them thinking they are washing machines...