This week has been superb! I am grateful that the Lord gave me the best, hardest-working, most obedient new missionary to train. 🙂 Elder Colton is a very hard worker and eager to learn. I am certain, though, that I am learning more from him than he is from me! He definitely came pre-trained. I have heard other missionaries say that before, but with Elder Colton it is actually true. I don’t think I could have asked for a better companion. He is a stellar missionary!
I have learned a lot from Elder Colton about the importance of maintaining faith in both setting and then carrying out goals – and in keeping those goals in mind throughout the day so that we can remain focused on the goals that we had faithfully made the night before. We have already seen great miracles as we have been more focused on our goals. On one particular day we had set a goal to give out a copy of the Book of Mormon. The time was approaching 9:00pm and we had not yet accomplished that goal. However, we maintained faith that we could do it, and saw a kid jogging toward us. We hailed him and he actually stopped (which doesn’t often happen with people who are out running), and as we had a brief conversation with him we discovered that he had previously met missionaries and heard about the Book of Mormon, but didn’t have a copy. We pulled one out, talked about it for a moment, offered it to him and he accepted! He was our last contact of the evening (after that we had about 40 seconds to get back to the apartment; fortunately, it was only a 30-second run from there).
There are many such examples that have greatly enlarged my faith that as we focus more on the goals that we have set with the Lord, we will be able to see and work miracles in accomplishing those goals.
This week we again met with both Fukatani and Tanaka, each of whom has a baptismal date for October 24th. Fukatani’s lesson was great! We taught about the following the prophet and keeping the Word of Wisdom; at first she had a question about an alcoholic sleeping medicine that she has been drinking a little bit before bed each night, but after discussing the blessings of the Word of Wisdom a bit she simply said, 「守りましょう！」("Let’s keep it!") She is progressing very well. Tanaka’s lesson was also pretty good – we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ – but he had some difficulty grasping some of the concepts. We will probably need to go a bit slower in teaching him and reviewing things that we have taught so that he can properly understand, but that’s alright! It will be a good experience for both Elder Colton and I to learn how to teach more simply.
That is one of my biggest focuses as a missionary – teaching simply. As I mentioned last week, my favorite quote from Preach My Gospel is, "It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself, and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it." Missionary work truly is preparation for future life. I never fully realized before my mission how true that is, but as I have experienced and learned from my daily life as a missionary I have definitely come to know that this is the means which the Lord has given for his children to prepare for parenthood. I really cannot imagine a better way to prepare to teach children than by studying and working every day to teach as simply as possible, so that a child can understand what we say and teach!
I am grateful to be the Lord’s servant in such a great work, and I am especially grateful for all that He is teaching me. It is hard (especially as a trainer), but it is wonderful!
p.s. If anybody (particularly current/former missionaries) has any experiences/tips on how to be a great trainer, feel free to share them with me! I welcome any advice.