I found this really sweet pad of paper, so I figured I'd go ahead and use it.
Okay, first off - jeans. I could write a whole letter about how much I love jeans. Maybe even a sonnet, but not about an eater bonnet. (Worst song of that whole movie, but just go with it.) But really, wearing skirts all the time isn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be (probably because everything else is a lot harder than I thought it would be. JK. But seriously.), except when I wear jeans and remember how much I love them. Wearing pants has probably been the best part of my mission so far. JK. But seriously, I say that a lot, don't I? I'll stop now. JK; But seriously....
Anyways. Wow, that was pretty much a waste of a page. But I'll just go with it. So I'll start with what I'm guessing you guys want to hear the most about - Caludio! His name is Hermano Arnold, and he's cgoing to become our teacher / another investigator today, and our other teacher (Hermano Stevenson, aka Matt Smith) is going to become an investigator. Crazy, right? But I've already learned so much from just teaching Claudio 4 times. Sometimes it would get frustrating because we weren't getting any instruction or feedback on our teaching, but now Hermano Arnold will know exactly what each of us needs. So that should be pretty cool. Anyways, I'm just going to give you the low-down for all you future missionaries, specifically Cristina. Always prepare, not just teach, with the Spirit. I know it seems really simple and obvious, but it's a lot harder than you'd think. Especially with a tripanionship (I just love that word!). Sometimes you'll be going along, preparing an awesome lesson about the Restoration when the Spirit's trying to tell you that he really needs to hear a lesson on faith in Christ, or whatever. Just remember that your purpose is to invite to come unto Christ, not to try and convince them of Christ. Hermano Arnold said that the only reason Claudio asked us to come back after our second lesson (where we were struggling to teach him about living prophets) was because I stopped the scripture-chasing Bible-discussion and said as simply and powerfully as I could, "Yo se que Thomas S. Monson en un profeta verdadero." So sometimes that's all it takes. Remember what I said in my email about the ESL testimonies - it's not what you say, it's about how much you believe what you're saying. So because Claudio felt that I believe Pres. Monson is a true prophet, he read and prayed about the Libro de Mormon and Jose Smith, and eventually agreed to be baptized. That was the most awesome feeling ever. Even though we knew Claudio wasn't real, we made an effort as a companionship to pretend like he was, and to pray for and love him. And it really worked. I felt such a great love for him that all I wanted was for him to believe us and enjoy the happiness that living the Gospel brings. All you RMs out there know exactly what I'm talking about, and you future missionaries will learn soon enough.
Anyways, what other advice do I have for Cristina? You probs won't have much time between when you get this and leave, but whatevs. First - watch "The District." All of them. Multiple times. The way the teach is (usually) super simple and with the spirit and effective. We watched the clip about Julie after committing Claudio to baptism. It was awesome. Also, I've seen most of the elders working around here as teacher. So that's pretty cool.
Next - always begin lessons with a hymn and prayer. (Be sure to explain how the words go from line to line and say something like, "You can just read along while we sing until you feel comfortable enough to.) And invite him to be baptized on the first lesson. And say the closing prayer. Just make sure they feel the Spirit - that really is the most important things. And after anyone says anything have someone else testify of it. Testify, testify, testify!!
Anyways, I know there was some other stuff, but I want to get this letter out today, so I'll move on.
Everything's great with me. I was a little sick so I skipped a few (4ish) meals, but I'm pretty much mostly almost better. A sister in my district has been quarantined for two days and had to go to urgent care because she passed out in the shower. But we're just hoping it was food poisoning or something else non-contagious. So no worries.
Things were pretty rough with my companions on Wednesday because one sister and I were meshing really well and wanted to give a simple but powerful lesson on the Restoration, but the other hermana kept throwing in random doctrine that would just confuse Claudio. So when we tried to just push through it, I could tell we started to lose the Spirit. Neither of us wanted to offend the the other hermana's crazy lesson plan, so there was some tension and we ended up mostly just winging it. And the lesson didn't end up being too bad, but the Spirit definitely wasn't strong. It was only there because one of the jobs of the Spirit is to testify of truth. So it did, but that was pretty much it. Then we had a companionship inventory afterwards and (thankfully) the one hermana mentioned on her own that she does go overboard and needs to learn how to simplify things and would be totally open to our help. Then as we all opened up and said what we individually need to work on, the Spirit started coming back. Beginning our next lesson was pretty rough, but as we kept asking ourselves what Claudio needs to do, it became less about how we wanted the lesson to go and more about helping Claudio. That's why it's so important to prepare with the Spirit - God knows things about Claudio that we might never know otherwise. So anyways, the next lesson was great. We had the Spirit the whole time, made sure he understood everything we taught, and we all testified of what each other had said. After he agreed to be baptized, I settled for fist-bumping my companions because I didn't think it would be appropriate to yell "Hallelujah!" But I really wanted to. Seriously, I was so happy. So that really helped our companionship, and also going to the temple this morning. That reminds me - I felt like the beginning of the movie was running at like 1.5x speed or something. Any way to find out if that's true or I'm just crazy?
So anyways, Things are great. Loving all the letters, but the only email I got was from dad last week. What's up familia? I love you all, and I can't wait to see Cristina! (Annie said she texted Ricky, but your room in on the floor below mine, and your class is two above mine. Sweet!)
Okay, that's it!