Monday, October 21, 2013

Teaching Moments

Area- Pretoria, South Africa
Companion- Elder Louw
Letter #98

Heyllo! How ya doin!? 

So I'll share with you my miracle from the week/something I learned. 

We were teaching a lady named Yolanda the previous week and we invited her to be baptized. Without even hesitating she said "I've already been baptized." Sometimes with Afrikaners it is hard to tell if they are like raising their voice or if it's just the way they talk. So we thought that she was very against getting baptized again. Her husband started talking about authority and how he believes that it has been restored. He is a member. But then he talked about something else and we weren't able to bring it back to baptism. But this past week we have been reading some talks by Elder Bednar that he asked we study in preparation for him to visit on Oct 31 (which is super exciting! Cannot wait!)  So in one of his talks he teaches how we need to seek learning by faith and as teachers to teach by the spirit and help our investigators seek learning by faith as well. It kind of goes back to preach my gospel that we need to listen to their needs so that spirit can tell us what they need and how we can present it to them. The way that we can listen is by making them talk and we do that by sharing something small and then asking inspired questions. 

So we were trying to figure out how we were going to help sister Mona Lisa progress. We figured some questions that we were going to ask her which turned out very good and the lesson with her was also a miracle cause we received confirmation that she is ready for her baptism whereas previously we were kind of unsure. Elder Louw has that Color code book by Dr. Hartman (who is a member and was the mission psychologist for our mission and was just released a year ago) so we figured out what color we thought Mona Lisa is and we went to the part where he tells you things that will help that color feel comfortable. So we went to the lesson giving her compliments and just being really nice. It was almost like a movie being extra nice. I kind of wondered why I couldn't always be that nice. So it went well, she opened up, shared her feelings and testimony of the gospel and even asked us tons of questions. Her date for baptism is the 10th of November

Now back to Yolanda. On the same path of trying to help our investigtors seek learning by faith we recommited ourselves to being guides and not lecturers in our lessons. It has been powerful to see how people learn when you just act as a guide and let them teach themselves basically. We haven't been able to visit yolanda this week but we are going tomorrow. Relating to her being baptized we want to ask her. "We know that you have already been baptized but, why do you think that we would still ask you to be baptized?" Lots of times we immediately try to remind them of the authority or something like that. I am excited to help her think of the answer herself. Her question is why do I need to be baptized again if I already have been? We know the answer but she needs to know the answer and us telling her is not going to make her also know. So basically the miracle was that my teaching improved! I feel like I've also been able to gain more love for the people we teach because it does take a lot more love and patience to help somebody else seek learning by faith than to just give them all the answers.

It is so awesome to be able to learn and grow as a missionary and receive a stronger testimony as I see others learn the truth. There was a baptism for two 8 yr olds in our ward yesterday and Bantu brought his 2 daughters. One is 10 and the other is like 22. On Friday Bantu's 22 yr old daughter was there and she was very interested from when she had attended his baptism. We taught her a lot about the Book of Mormon and how it can answer the questions that she has. Bantu of course bore powerful testimony of that. She told us that she has never felt so good at another church ever in her life and that she kept having this feeling to come back. Well on Sunday she came with Bantu. We hear the baptism talks in the chapel and then move to the other room for the baptism so after the baptsims were performed everybody was going out back to the chapel and she walked by the font where Elder Louw and I were and she was looking at the font and I said kind of in a joking tone but serious inside ( if you know what I mean) "That's gonna be you soon!" she smiled real big and said "Yes I think so!" ...Didn't expect that. 

Thanks for all that you do for me. I know you are working hard to make sure that everything goes smoothly when i get home. I am excited! Don't stress too much. I love you mucho!

-Elder Dirkmaat :D

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