Sorry, I'm not sure why I keep putting a yeehaw greeting in every subject line. It just seems appropriate, y'know?
This week has been pretty amazing. I've adjusted to the missionary lifestyle, which is a huge blessing from last week. Before, it felt like the days dragged on and it would never end. Now it feels like every day swings by at twice the speed. That's pretty surprising too, considering we have about six hours of class every single. It sounds horrible, but I love it. Because it's something that I'm going to actively be using for the next two years, it really is easy to lose yourself in the teaching. We have two different teachers, Brother Dutson and Sister Brock. Sister Brock usually teaches in the morning before lunch, and she is generally joined by another teacher in training, Sister Tullis. They are both really nice and great teachers. They get great discussion going and I've learned a lot from their lessons. In the afternoon, after lunch, we are taught by Brother Dutson. Brother Dutson is one of the happiest people around. He has the awkward style of humor that is really funny, plus he says "the church is true" everytime something good happens. He is also really good at switching to missionary mode when he's demonstrating something, which is honestly awe-inspiring. I can only hope to be able to teach missionary lessons like he does one day.
This week, we've started what we call TRCs (TRC stands for Teaching Research Center). Essentially what happens is every Friday, companionships will go into a room filled with investigators and find somebody to talk to. They spend about 10 minutes talking and getting to know them. After, on Monday and Wednesday of the next week. each companionship teaches their TRC for 25 minutes. In addition, on Tuesday and Thursday, you're assigned a TRC for the week to teach without meeting them before. It was pretty nerve racking at first, but it only gets easier every time. I've only done it four times, but already I've learned so much about how to plan and teach lessons. The most important thing I've learned is you need to adapt each lesson plan to the individual person. Everybody has different needs from the gospel, so just allow the Spirit to guide you to what they need. A big speculation a lot of people have about the MTC is companionships teach actors, which is only half right. Yes, some of the TRCs are acting as friends or people close to them, or they're members needing something more in their life, but that doesn't matter. In the orientation to it, the guy explaining told us that each of the TRCs is there for a reason. No matter what, you need to have the love for them that Christ has for them. The TRCs shouldn't look at you as missionaries training, they should look at you as Christ teaching them. It was really humbling. Even if our TRC is an actor, love them and teach them anyways. Everybody needs the Light of Christ in their life, and who am I to deny that simply because they're already a member of the Church?
My favorite thing that happened this week as our Sunday devotional. The MTC presidency talked for a bit, then they had all the new missionaries listen to a talk by David A. Bednar that he gave to the MTC several years ago. The talk is titled "The Character of Christ", and wow. It was one of the best talks I've ever heard in my life. The main message of the talk was we need to inhabit the Character of Christ, meaning that when we would turn inwards, we need to turn outwards. Christ was the perfect example of selflessness, so we need to follow His example and turn outwards in service and care, instead of self pity and selfishness. I highly recommend it. On Tuesday, we got to listen to Elder Brent H. Nielson of the 70, who is the head of missionary affairs. He went through a list of generalized questions he had gathered from a bunch of questions submitted by missionaries and answered them. It was awesome and answered some of my questions. We also got the visit the temple this morning, which was a great experience. If you haven't gone to the temple recently, do it. Even though you won't understand everything, the Spirit is strong in there and is really the reason for you to go.
Fun story, as I was composing this email, I accidentally bumped the table the monitors are sitting on and my monitor fell to the floor. The casing popped off and the screen fell out of the casing. It's okay though, Elder Craven (my companion) is a computer guy and we got the tech people, so they fixed it right up. That is until I accidentally touched a button on the monitor and now it won't turn on, so I guess I shouldn't ever touch computer monitors.
Until next week, remember that God is your loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ died and atoned for your sins so that you can be perfected in Him.
- Elder Klepacz
1. Our cute little district (if you don't know, it's the group of missionaries you go to class with). From left to right starting in the back, it's Elder Allred, Elder Stephens, Elder Wynn, Elder Knighton, Me, Elder Craven, Elder White, Elder Jenkins, Sister Sorenson on the front left, Sister Arnold, Sister Bishop, and Sister Ogden.
2. Our district in front of the famous MTC sign
3. Me and the boys (Elders)
4. The Elders in our district all have a game where we try to pull each other's retractable lanyard things their full length without the Elder noticing. If you're successful, the Elder owes you 10 push-ups. If they notice, you owe them. Elder Knighton pulled my lanyard all the way without me even noticing in class when I was reading a scripture. Low blow.
5. Our district at the temple. Sorry it looks like I'm in immense pain, the sun was shining directly in my eyes.