Each of them plays as an investigator - someone they know. Hermano Pence is named Samuel and he is basically a golden investigator who just wants to know more about the church, so we're just teaching him and he is Christian.
Hermano Wright is playing his brother Caleb who has been a member and was baptized and all, but he got diagnosed with like depression when he was like 14 and never felt like he fit in at church and so he's been really hard to teach. His main problem was that he was praying to know if God existed a ton and wasn't getting answers until one time on trek when he felt he actually received an answer and then after that he hasn't receive any and so he has like TONS of doubts that God exists. We basically had 3 lessons just where we literally taught him nothing, we just tried to help get past the first problem haha. Teaching is about the investigators not the lessons, and so we're finally at a point where he is willing to try and sincerely pray to know if God exists again, (he is inactive in real life so Hermano Wright actually tries some of the techniques we use with his brother or will like text him to know his reaction to some of the things we say because his brother knows he's pretending to be him).
Then Hermano LeBron swapped from his dad (who passed away when he was on his mission, Edilberto) to his brother Jose who isn't a member in real life either even though he has talked to him about the gospel. He has been like divorced and had a son and we were at the point in the story where he can't see his son because his wife won't let him have any custody. It's like pretty difficult but this week we got him to commit to being baptized in 2 weeks, which is fake but still feels really real.
Then we have our TRC investigator. Every Tuesday, we teach 2 members in 2 lessons just a short spiritual message and they're usually older and it's pretty easy because since they are members we can like ask them questions and they add a lot haha. We basically learn from them. Then we have our TRC investigator who is also a member but pretends not to be and we got him to commit to be baptized. His name is Carlos and he's pretty funny and is a SUPER logical person, which is funny because he basically confirms everything we tell him is true to himself so all we have to do is lay it out and he talks for like 10 minutes about logical reasoning for why it's true. At one point, he was like, "So I just need to know if Jose Smith was a prophet and then I'll know if this is the true church," cuz he had investigated a lot of churches and his only question when we started was "how do I get into heaven?" so we just basically talked about the restoration and then we challenged him to pray and find out if Jose Smith was a prophet. He didn't do it the first time, but the second time I made him promise to pray and he said he wouldn't break his promise again so he prayed. In our third lesson, we're like, "Did you pray?" and he's like, "I did, and I got an answer, and it's true" and we're just like WUTTTTT hahaha. I'm not sure if we had even really explained how the spirit talks to people or anything so it was like what?! Then we talked about the plan of salvation and he started crying as we talked about the premortal life. Then he just made logic and it was true to him he said, he was like, "I know this is true" right after, and he said, "You have no idea what this means to me." He asked us when we had learned this and we said when we were really young and he was like, "This, this is life changing." He said, "The difference is, I'm no longer trying to get into heaven. I'm trying to return to heaven." It was really cool, but I didn't do very well in this lesson. I was under pressure from our teachers watching and it wasn't my best, but I got humbled and realized once again that it's not about me. And it never is, it's about the investigators; we're just tools. The Lord will hasten His work without us.
Also, if you haven't seen it, watch "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. We have seen it twice here for our devotionals; it's really good. Apparently, there were 6 general authorities, meaning the prophet and 5 apostles, at a BYU inauguration on Tuesday and none of them came to speak to us. We were really thinking they would come. Okay...so...yeah, 5 investigators, 4 lessons a day typically.
So, district leader is just 1 person. So Elder Lindstrom was the district leader, and then now he, Elder Stoker, and I are zone leaders. All three of us. Elder Coombs is the district leader for right now, and in like half a week or a week Elder Gomez will become the new district leader. It's weird since there's only five of us. They interview all of us in the district, so like Elder Coombs interviews us, and then as zone leaders we will interview him and all the other district leaders haha. So effective.
Oh yeah, my trio is going to be the zone leaders for our last two weeks. Tomorrow, at sacrament, we get moved in as zone leaders for our zone. It's an assignment not a calling and so that'll be fun. Doesn't really seem like we do much other than interview the district leaders though, so easy peasy. Hmmm. Friday was a really humbling day for me because I had thought my Spanish was getting really good and I felt like I could teach well and then I didn't do amazing. Then, like I said, I realized I was focused on the wrong things. So, the bouncy balls (so many) and the letter cheering me up haha. I took some pictures of Z and got a few at the temple today with my companions. Sorry, I really don't have a good picture of just me yet...I will try and find a way to get one. Right now I'm in gym clothes so I have my magnetic tag if you want me to try and do some picture with that? I have only spent money from my MTC card; 6 dollars every Wednesday night. I've been trying to be frugal but today my companions wanted to go to Brigham's Landing, which is like a little gas station place just near by west campus with like a DP Cheesesteak and Jamba Juice and stuff. We get discounts so they wanted to go...so I had to..so we had lunch and it was like 8.50 I think on the debit card. :( I didn't want to spend the money...Sorry haha but the cheesesteak was pretty decent. I got the hot pepper steak; it had loads of banana peppers and a full jalapeno on it, which I ate whole and my companions just kind of looked at me haha.
|Elder Stoker, Elder Lohberg, Elder Lindstrom, Elder Gomez, Elder Coombs|
The main campus cafeteria is way better. The housing isn't as great or the classrooms, but food is a bigger priority, right? I've talked briefly with Hispanic people outside the temple; it's kind of fun.. I could easily survive in Costa Rica at this point, and at the very least, teach simple principles and bear my testimony. I can teach probably most principles, it just wouldn't flow very smooth. Hmmm, the door problem is because people just try and run through once they get in, so it gets going really fast and then people like misjudge the timing. Like the fastest we've seen it going is when I got hit by it hahahaha. No regrets. Anyways, yeah it happens a lot.
I love you so much, Mom! Happy birthday and I hope it goes really well! I pray for you guys. I think my emails home are technically supposed to be spiritual, so keep going to church and being converted and such. Also, watch the Character of Christ! :)