THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND LETTERS. Elliott seems to be feeling better and enjoying life! Enjoy this letter from September 25, 2012.
So, I'm putting off eating breakfast for just a little while longer - I saw an opportunity to email you while doing laundry, and for whatever reason, that seemed more important.
First things first, mom and dad, I'll be sending a package today... it'll have some really neat stuff, both for your enjoyment and for Vera's birthday. It goes without saying, you're getting a handwritten letter this week (huzzah for no more pink eye!). And thank you so much for your letters this last week. This sentence is not just limited to family either. I really appreciate them - letters are now like getting a brand new car or bike for Christmas. They're really exciting, and fun to read =D. Terry, best of luck on the upcoming actuarial exams... or as the Koreans would say (according to popular rumor), work hard and do well. And as soon as Mason gets his mission call, let me know (I'm banking on South Korea).
So, there are a ton of things I really want to say. This week has been super crazy, event wise. Let's start with the most exciting, spiritually speaking...
Elder Bowman and I got dropped by one of our investigators. At first, I was super upset about it - like kind of embarrassed. But we talked with our teacher, and he gave us some really good advice - we need to be striving to teach as a companionship. And we were trying, but we weren't doing the best job at it. Elder Bowman and I talked about what we need to change, and how we want to go about working towards this goal. The consequence, our study time has officially been revolutionized. Personal study, companion study, and language study have never been so spiritually uplifting. I've been reading a ton from Preach My Gospel under teaching skills, and I had a most interesting revelation. As I study the doctrines found in chapter 3, I'm not really studying for the purpose of filling in the gaps in my own gospel knowledge, but rather, I'm studying to help my investigator understand the doctrines of Christ and to help them apply it in their own life. Seems obvious in hind sight, but it really makes studying chapter 3 way more fun. As I study, I'm on the look out for questions I could ask to help solidify understanding, scriptures that teach the doctrine, and personal experiences I could share to help build faith and trust in the Lord. Then yesterday, during coaching missionary study, Elder Bowman and I were reading in chapter 10... the Teach for Understanding section. The gem I got out of it was the application suggested towards the end - try to identify and define vocabulary our investigator (just for the record, the word for investigator in Korean translates literally to seeker of truth. A fun fact that I find super fascinating). Why this is relevant... our investigator who Elder Bowman and I taught last night had no idea what baptism was... like no idea. We had no idea how to explain it in Korean. I tried drawing a picture, but decided against using it when I realized that it looked like we drown people when we baptize... I'll be sending that drawing in the package today. I hope you enjoy it. And get a good laugh. I did.
Next really awesome thing. Guess who attended his second temple dedication in his life? This guy (erm, Elder)! The MTC received the broadcast for the Brigham City Temple Dedication. It was a really neat experience. It reminded me of when we went to the Medford Temple Dedication. It was super neat. Good gem of insight from this experience - the very presence of a temple is a powerful inspiration for anyone. It serves as a reminder of what our eternal goal should be, to return and live with Heavenly Father. And as such, it serves as a motivation to keep covenants we make so we can return to live with Him. In the coming package, you'll be getting the ticket AND the white handkerchief. It was a really nice dedication. The apostles who spoke were President Packer, Elder Perry, and Elder Nielson. You can't walk away from that not feeling the Spirit. Just saying.
Third awesome thing - the new missionaries came in on Wednesday. It was really fun welcoming them to the MTC and seeing their enthusiasm to the learn the language. And they are super smart - I'm really, really impressed with how smart they are, and how determined they are to learn the language and teach their investigators.
Running out of time (how was I able to write so much last week?!). A few more things - so, our district has been in teacher limbo. Our original two teachers have left, and we've been getting assigned different teachers. Right now, we have two native speakers, but we'll be losing one when the Korean missionaries come next week (he normally teaches them). So, we'll be getting a new teacher next week. That will literally be teacher number 7 who was supposed to be our permanent teacher... on the plus side, we get a ton of practice on the first few lessons (a wonderful silver lining brought to you by Elder Bowman).
I love you tons, I'll include more in my package home today. Take care! Stay safe!
PS, read 2nd Nephi 9 if you got a chance; it really outlines the Plan of Salvation nicely... not completely, but it talks about how the atonement is central to the plan... and how we can return to live with God again.
With a ton of Love,