I realized after I sent this e-mail last week that I was at 6 months out! 1/4 served! So I am now calling myself a sophomore missionary... hahaha I am doing well though! I was touched to hear about the ward Christmas party and all the thoughts and old pictures. ha. Mon... i totally remember the Sheppard outfits too! haha There was a festival here last week called "The Festival Of The Sun!" Pretty much an excuse for a bunch of young people to get together and drink at a big out door concert! It was crazy to see! ha but it did bring some teaching opportunities! The work is progressing here and the whole zone broke the record for new investigators half way through the month! I am excited to see how the rest of the month progresses! It will be interesting! the sunsets here can be just as beautiful as Missouri sunsets, I included a picture of one... our Christmas conference is on Thursday and since we are traveling so far we get to go to the temple in Sydney the night before as well! so that will be interesting! President Howes is VERY temple focused! it is good. I will try to take pictures after If I have time! i would like to call around 6 or 7 Christmas eve, which is 1 or noon here. seems convenient for both parties.. but we will see. Elder Tsais family is on the east coast so they are 2 hours behind. I will let you know for sure next week!
My core experience with god this week was due to the fortunate opportunity I had to go on several exchanges with other missionaries! Every Elder I served with and every person we met were so different. All kinds of back grounds, behaviors, and habits. Some were loud and some are more quiet. However, when we were teaching we all were common. All faithful sons of our father in heaven. We may act different and have our individual personalities, but we are all converted to the same gospel. it was really neat to fill the spirit in different ways as I taught with different missionaries! Also, miracles happen on exchanges. We got into houses and met Less active members that hadn't been visited in years! We talked to more people and got more potential investigators and even investigators than we could have with out that individual missionary or on our own.
I m trying to be more patient when I teach. I notice I often think "okay, I know what to say there!" and want to say it, and am so eager to say it! But that isn't good because that means I am not doing as good of a job at listening once I have this thought. I am just waiting for them to finish. It stems off from the listening problem I am getting better at. I need to be more patient with my listening I think. It is so easy to jump into a topic and start bashing when you know something is wrong! But the spirit immediately leaves as we know... I have noticed lessons go better when I am more patient and stay away from the bashing line.
As i try to teach as Christ taught I am becoming a better teacher and ultimately a better me! I learning "people skills" I will use for the rest of my life. I am becoming evermore eager to share the gospel and what is important to me. In my studies I am becoming so much more grateful for the life and knowledge I have, particularly pertaining to the gospel, because of the sacrifice of others (ancestors, parents, friends, etc.).
We invited an investigator to be baptized this week and I think it really made it click with her that we are here to help and change. It really established our purpose with this daughter of god. helped her to understand the restoration much better too!