...and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever. (Doctrine and Covenants 122: 7-9)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2nd Week, April 16, 2011

Hey everyone! I am through with my second week here in the MTC and I will be leaving into the field next week! So if you write me, use the Mission Home address on the right side of this blog because by the time the letter gets to England, I will likely already be in Leeds. That, or I will only wait a couple of days to get it. Letters take a long time to get here. Just so you know, when you write, make sure to put an international mail stamp on the envelope and not a U.S. stamp. Otherwise it'll be sent back to you for lack of postage. I'm a little jealous of my friends here because they've all received letters and I haven't yet, so please, please, please write me! I really look forward to hearing from you guys!And you can send me e-mails too, I just can't email back (but I can write!). My e-mail address is alexander.winder@myldsmail.net and if you write me that way I can print off the e-mail and read it later.
Anyway, about this week. I wrote about what the schedule is like here last time and it hasn't gotten any less intense. But you know what? I am still absolutely loving it. The Spirit works through you when you're working hard. I have felt the Spirit so much more greatly this week than the first week.

I am learning how important missionary work is. We are helping people change their lives. We are helping people find eternal life, and there is no work better than that. I've also learned that no matter how much I study, no matter how thorough my lesson plan is, no matter how profound the words I say are, I do not convert people, and the truth of what I'm teaching does not come through me. I teach simple gospel truths and the Spirit testifies to the investigator that it is true. I have to be ready to throw everything I prepared for out the window and teach what the investigator needs. One of the main things we focus on is that we teach people, not lessons. I think I said that last time, but it is so important. If we don't teach by the Spirit, why would anyone want to listen to us? They want to know the truth, and we can testify that we know the truth, but in order for the investigator to know, they have to have their own confirmation, and that comes through the Spirit. I know I talk a lot about the Sprit, but it is absolutely central to the success of missionary work. It wasn't until last night that I really understood how that works. I thought teaching by the Spirit meant praying during our planning meeting and coming up with the perfect lesson plan, but that's completely wrong. We prepare a lesson, we talk to the investigator, we find their needs and we teach to their needs, even if it means literally tossing our lesson plan out of the window. And then we testify. And then when the time is right, the Spirit testifies. And that is a real thing that you can feel happening in the moment. I know that because I felt it last night, even though it was a practice investigator. Next week we begin teaching real people with real problems. We don't get feed back on how to improve our teaching or the knowledge that it's just a practice situation if we mess up. The Spirit is the perfect teacher. Know how to teach through the Spirit, and you become a successful missionary. There's no other way to become a successful missionary.

I am really excited to get into the field, and even though it's so far away at this point, I'm so excited to come home. Not that I don't want to be here; there's nowhere else I'd rather be right now. I can't wait to come home and face life with all the growing up I'll have done here in England. I have learned so, so much the last two weeks about the gospel and myself.

I miss all of you so much. I won't let it distract me, but really, I can't tell you all how much I miss you. You all know who you are.:) I wish I could send pictures but that's more of a challenge in a 30 minute email session than one would think. I am going to fill my SD card up a little more and then I'll send it home in a letter, and all the pictures will be up from that.

Thank you all for your support and prayers! I love you all, and please please please please please please please please write me!!!!

Love, Elder Winder

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