Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hello Everyone,
This week has been wonderful. There were many points of growth that I saw. Firstly, our zone leaders gave an excellent lesson.  They told a story where a man was out at sea but saw an island far away, and he wanted to row there to survive. He aims in that direction, puts his head down, and rows with his might all through the night. In the morning, he stops, puts his head up, and realizes that he is in the same place. He had left his anchor down. The zone leaders told us about those "anchors" that are preventing us from getting closer to our end destination.  These would be those things that are impeding our growth. Under that could be diligence, a need of a change of heart, or many things that are getting in the way of us becoming true consecrated missionaries. We also discussed finding out people's personal concerns, which was great. It's amazing how sometimes I don't even see any concerns that would impede an investigators progress, but now I've been able to see how we must follow the spirit to help these people because there are mostly always concerns of some type. It was fantastic.
There were a couple wonderful miracles that happened this past week. One was when Elder Howse and I went to a less-active named Maria. We didn't exactly know what we were going to be teaching and inviting her to do. We got there and talked and then I recalled how she should have the commitment extended to make it a goal to go to the temple. That commitment would help her to attend church and overcome coffee drinking. So that was in my mind when we started. Elder Howse took out the "Proclamation to the Family" and we started reading that. The temple is mentioned in there a few paragraphs in. Elder Howse had us stop and not finish the whole thing, but rather started talking about the temple. I knew that this message that we were going to share with Maria was inspired because of our unison in what we wanted to teach her. It was a beautiful lesson with the spirit. Maria felt that and got a desire to go to the temple. We'll be excited to help her along the way.
Another miracle was when we had a couple of options of people to visit in the evening. We ended up choosing a husband and wife that were members and we hadn't visited for quite the tad. We went, talked, asked how they were, talked about coming to know God and how that brings joy and is what eternal life is about. We then told them how we felt like we should have come but did not know why. Phil, the husband and a recentish convert, then said that he knew why. He told us how he had been going through a rough patch and us coming over was helping him. That strengthened my testimony of being guided by the spirit, even when you don't fully understand.

This week I also enjoyed studying chapter 10, teaching skills. It was even better when the zone leaders had touched on that in their lesson. I think the big area for me to improve is found in the "Help People Resolve their Concerns" area because I feel that when we teach with that in mind, we aren't teaching a lesson, but rather a person; and when we are teaching with the spirit and with love, their concerns will be met and the spirit can testify. What an area for great improvement and an area that will definitely help me be a better missionary.

Also this week with my studying of "Teach People, Not Lessons" I enjoyed the "District" clips, especially the one involving Jynx with the two Elders, who focused on her needs, and helped her understand how she would feel when the spirit would testify to her. I think this also ties to helping people overcome concerns completely, because people are so unique and special, that each lesson should be that special. The investigator, or less active, or whoever you are teaching, if taught with true care, consideration, and with the spirit, will feel the love from the missionaries and the love from God.
There is one other important thing that I learned either this week or last: when it comes to patience or growing in confidence, it is absolutely your choice whether or not to have it. I was at a point of the day where I was getting perhaps a tad impatient. I sat there for a second, and realized, I absolutely get to choose whether or not to be patient.  Fortunately, I chose to be patient, and so it was. I learned this past week the same about confidence. It is my choice. I may not be the best at talking to people, or have amazing talent, whatever, but I get to choose whether or not I have confidence. It was an amazing eye opener for me, and I hope it can help any of you.
It has been wonderful out here in Camberra, the capital of Australia, and I am fortunate to be among such great missionaries that share the same goals and desires that I have. Truly the work is moving forward.
Elder Cederlof

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