Tuesday, November 4, 2014

For entertainment we give Elder D weird challenges. Usually with ingesting large quantities of citrus. He was challenged to eat two oranges in seven bites WITHOUT peeling off the skin. He made it.
below: Elder S effectively using his pillow tie.

Grant and Elder B at the doctors office
below: is Grant's district and teachers.

Looks like the weeks of salads and soup has paid off.  Whew, I don't have to find him bigger pants!  I was getting worried.

So I am SUPER excited to leave for France! We have travel plans and everything! 11:35 We board the flight from Salt lake to Georgia. (I'll probably call home when we land in Georgia) We spend an hour and a half layover in Atlanta and then fly to Paris. We have a two hour layover in Paris then fly to Lyon!
This being our last week we get another P-day of sorts. We can send out Emails one more time and then do laundry and stuffs. 

Elder B and I have now taught Z three lessons! (Dad, he said he would try to email you last night or later today!) Z has lots of interesting questions about being a missionary. Like, why all the missionaries are here. What we do here. He was shocked to learn that B and I had never learned French before getting to the MTC. He doesn't know much about any religion really so we get to explain lots of the bible and other basic "christian concepts" like Baptism, Sacrament, and even who Jesus was! I think my favorite experience with Z was probably having him pray for the first time! It kinda went like this "God, hi this is Z, thanks for school and my family, and these missionaries, ill talk to you later. Amen, I mean Jesus Christ Amen". We explained why we close our eyes during prayers but he continues to watch us during prayers! It's kinda silly but I love him all the more for it!

Our last meeting with Z was even better! Earlier that day we learned about soft and hard invites during zone conference. A soft invite is a commitment that isn't so straight forward like "if you come to know these things are true will you..." So we used that with Z! We were having a conversation about praying and feeling the holy ghost when we asked him if after he read the Book of Mormon he prayed. He told us about how he felt more comfortable praying alone and he said that after his prayer he felt kind of comforted and that he felt peaceful! Six months of Mission Prep prepared me for that exact moment! I bore testimony to him about how, even though he might not know it yet, that what he felt was the spirit comforting him and that as he continues to pray he will be able to feel like that more often and recognize those feelings! He sat back in his chair and cocked his head and said "okay...." after a little silence Elder B read a scripture that talked about how the spirit works! It was amazing! I hope he could feel what Elder B and I felt at that exact moment! Later that lesson we used the "soft invite" to ask Z that "if he came to know these things if he would be baptized!" Again he sat back in his chair and said "yeah, I think that would be nice. I really like what you guys believe! It seems like a nice way to live!" My smile was just huge! I felt SOOOOOO happy that he wanted that! Elder B bore his testimony on revelation by the spirit and I used the classic "I know what my companion said is true" line and bore testimony of the same thing. That was an awesome lesson! It just felt great to help Z learn about the gospel and even better that he accepted it!

Sunday was EXCELLENT! Our MTC mission president, President Merril, was a lawyer his whole life! About ten years ago he was asked to teach institute at BYU and let me tell you, He is the COOOLEST~! Last Sunday he gave us a portion of his institute lesson on the godhead. Mind blown, God isn't who I thought he was, the church is true, and my concept of the godhead is totally different! I have two and a half pages of Awesome notes! He speaks hebrew and so he reads the Bible completely differently! I won't try and cram everything I learned into this email but ill put in some things that were WAYY cool were 
1: In Hebrew Elo means god and IM is how to make something plural. so Elohim, in hebrew, means Gods. And evidence in the hebrew bible suggests that God's real name is closer to Ahman. like ahman and diamoand(sorry spell check didn't help with that one)? but we won't for sure know that for a while. 
2: In MSH 15 in the first five or so verses it talks about dual aspects of Jesus. Man, and god; Flesh, and spirit; Son and Father. Then President Merrill asked us "what would Jesus be the father of" and no one really had a good answer. After a minute or so of more bad answers he pointed out that Jesus is the Father of our world, and our Spiritual lives! When we are baptized we "take upon us the name of christ" which I thought I understood but President Merrill explained that Baptism is like a form of adoption and that we literally get adopted into Christ's spiritual family. Therefore making him our Father.
3: Often the scriptures sound like god is speaking and then we have a jump and then Christ is speaking. President Merril explained that Christ is a "Divine Investigator of Authority" which states Christ can say something and it has just as much power as if God himself said it. That is why the scriptures sometimes sound like Jesus or God is talking and then they switch.

So elder B got an ear infection around Thursday. Infact, Elder B has been more silly than usual but you know what I have not been even the littlest bit annoyed or angry or felt any negative feelings for him. I have felt only love for Elder B. When he said that we needed to walk a half mile to get him medicine I was almost happy to go! Something changed this week. I love Elder B with all of his quirks and silly pieces. And it feels wonderful! I don't know what changed but something did! And it feels great! :)

Elder Keller

As of this week Troy hasn't received an email from Z, but we are hopeful.  So exciting to see these young men have missionary experiences before they are in France trying to share the gospel in another language.  What great preparation.  Love to see their perspectives change and the growth in their testimonies.  

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