Monday, November 11, 2013

Another Week Bites the Dust

Written by Sister Justyce Oliphant, training at the Provo Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When she finishes her training, Hermana Oliphant will travel to the Mexico Tuxtla-Gutierrez Mission, speaking Spanish.

(**Note to readers: You can click the highlighted links below for more information on the topics and phrases in this letter. You can also click on images to make them larger.)


Another week bites the dust!! I am doing awesome and hope you are all also!

This week I have learned a lot about patience. Our district sometimes has a hard time focusing, and it gets very frustrating when, day after day, we can't be quiet long enough to get any studying done. I was really having a hard time with it because every time we would have personal study, some of our Elders would be so distracting. I really let that bug me until I came to realize a very important lesson. I've always known it, but this week has really helped me to remember that we are all human. Most of the missionaries are straight out of high school, and it is hard to be in charge of everything we do. Here at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) we don't have someone telling us what to do, what to study, when to study, and how to do it all. It is up to us, and that isn't always an easy thing to do. You really have to grow up a ton and become the master of your own life. I've started to pray for my district every time I pray, and to pray that I can learn to love them and not let the small things bug me. I really have noticed a difference!! I love the power of prayer!!

Saturday we, Hermana Taylor and I, taught a new investigator named Pedro. This lesson I felt like I was prepared and ready to teach, but like always, we said a prayer before knocking on the door. We prayed to be able to understand and teach Pedro what he needed to hear. We prayed to be able to touch his spirit and let him feel our love and God's love for him. During the lesson, Pedro asked a question. Now, I always get so scared when the investigators ask questions, because sometimes they use Spanish that I don't know. They use words I haven't learned, or they speak so fast that I am not able to understand. Usually Hermana Taylor understands the questions and is able to answer them pretty quickly. But this time, she was struggling to understand. I said a silent prayer that I would be able to understand and asked Pedro to repeat his question. He did and I UNDERSTOOD EVERY WORD HE SAID!! I opened my mouth and answered his question IN PERFECT SPANISH!! I can testify to you now that I do not remember what his question was or even what my answer was to him, but through the gift of tongues and through the Spirit I was able to answer him. It was so neat! My testimony of prayer was definitely strengthened. I know that it was because I was prepared before by praying and studying that I was able to speak to Pedro in that way. Seriously so awesome!

This week we have mostly talked about how to become better teachers. Brother Sagers gave us two key things to remember when teaching.

#1- Have a plan. Don't just expect to know everything when you get in with the investigator. Actually sit down before your lesson and with your companion and come up with a game plan of what you want to teach and how.
#2 - Activate the investigator. This means to involve them in your lesson by asking good questions and helping to meet their needs. He used the example of a Twix candy bar. If you just explain it to the investigator, they might be a little interested, but if you actually let them hold the candy bar, and smell it, taste it... then they will be experiencing it right then, with you, and will be more likely to get another one and want more of it. I loved that example, and Hermana Taylor and I have talked about different ways we can 'experience' what we want our investigators to experience. Different ways we can teach our lessons to better meet the needs of our investigators :)

It was so sad to watch one of the districts in our zone leave this last Monday. I had become really good friends with some of the Elders. They are now in Argentina and really getting into the work. I am so glad I was able to be taught by them and now I am a little closer to Mexico!! Three more weeks!!!

Sunday, Hermana Taylor and I got a calling in our branch. We are now the Online Technology coordinators. SO basically it is our job to teach the new missionaries how to email home, how to access the email to our Branch President, and how to access their online missionary portal so they can take the weekly online assessments. We then also have to check up on our whole zone to make sure everyone is 1. emailing the Branch President weekly, and 2. taking their online assessments each week. I never have been super smart with technology and computers, so its definitely been fun to try and learn and be able to teach it! Good thing it's pretty simple :)

A scripture I love and have shared a lot this week is Ether 12:27 where he says that weak things become strong with the Lord. I truly believe this is true. I have seen the Lord's help in my life with taking my weak areas and helping me to make them stronger. How have you seen the Lord's help with making your week areas become strong? What do you consider to be one of your weaknesses you would like to become better at? I know for me I felt like I was really impatient. I asked the Lord to help me, and as I said earlier, I have become more patient. I am still improving, but I have seen the Lords hand in helping me. I'd love to hear your stories and examples! I know he will help as long as we first do all we are able and then ask for his help!

The other day at the gym (9:10-10 AM) it started snowing when we were playing volleyball!! I was so glad that I bought MTC sweatpants and a hoodie! It was pretty cool to watch the sky go from nice and blue to stormy in a matter of a few minutes!

If there's one thing I have learned so far, I have learned to just be positive! We have a lesson go bad with an investigator? Look at the good things that happened. Contention in our district? Look at how awesome we are doing as a companionship. I know that when I look for the positive in people or in situations, it always makes the situation look a little better. You can ALWAYS find something good to say about ANYONE. I challenge you to try it. Next time you want to say something mean, or someone hurts your feelings or offends you, try to say something nice about them. Find the positive in the situation. I promise you can do it!

I love this gospel. I KNOW it is true. I know that my Savior is ALWAYS there for me. I know that there is a reason I am headed to Mexico to serve the Lord. I am so excited to go! I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had to be here at the MTC. I have run into quite a few friends here - Sara Barlocker, Kenzie Brown, Jeremy Ellisworth, Jocelyn Nava, Jessica Bracey...It is so awesome to see the influence that this gospel brings, and the impact it has in people's lives.

I love the temple. I love the knowledge that we can live together forever.

I hope you are all doing great! I love hearing from you when I get your letters!! Thank you for all of the support! I can feel your prayers helping me each day! I love you all and pray for you every single day!


Hermana Oliphant

A Peak into my Life a the Provo MTC

Last Week at the MTC

MTC District on the West Campus