Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Companionship/Learning woodwork

(At first we thought maybe Ty wanted us to keep his troubles with his companionship private but he actually asked me to share it on the blog.)

Hi Family,

My companion and I are getting along a lot better. We had a companion study this week and I felt like we should study the chapter about attributes of Christ. We were reading and then came across an activity we could do at the end of the chapter. We skipped to this activity and we were reading over the questions it asks us. At the very end, there was a section for obedience. I was reading through the section and found parts that applied to us and what we need to do. I knew that we had been guided to this area. I felt that I needed to make a specific point about this topic with my companion. At first I was a bit nervous because I knew it would turn into an argument. But I felt that this argument was necessary to strengthen our companionship. With faith, I brought up the specific part in the section. We talked for the rest of our companion study about it. As I predicted, it turned into an argument. But, it wasn’t the spirit of contention that was with us. I could feel the spirit guide me in my words, and help me to say what I needed to say and how to get my point across to my companion about how I want to be as obedient as I can be. It was a fragile and tense situation, but my nervousness went away as I was able to answer all of his contradicting questions. I could tell he was trying to trap me with my words, and say things that would make him ´win´ the conversation. I´m not trying to say that I am the only good person in our companionship, but I knew that my companion had some bad habits. I made sure that he knew that I wasn’t perfect either, that I just wanted to be more obedient. That I wanted to change for the better, but I wanted him to change with me. I felt the spirit help me with this discussion. I have the desire to be a good-obedient missionary and God knows that. He blessed me with his spirit to make my desire known unto my companion. All I needed to do was open my mouth.

Now, my companion and I are good friends. After we had our “argument”, it wasn’t like we just immediately became best buddies, it was still a little tense. When we went out to work, we just talked, and talked, and talked some more. We built trust and now we can teach with the spirit more in our lessons, our lessons flow more smoothly because we know how to work together. And right now, we are having much success in the mission. The important thing I want to mention is that through faith, trust, and the desire to do good, my action of wanting to be more obedient with my companion was fulfilled. We get up on time every morning. We exercise, we study, we teach, and through our obedience and diligence we found 9 investigators and 8 with baptismal dates! And we have the help of at least one member with each of them. They help us with soo much and it’s so much fun to build trust with the members of our ward :)With every lesson we teach with them, we have a member present. We feel the spirit more and we continue to work hard. With obedience come blessings. I see that promise more and more throughout the mission and it only makes me want to be more obedient.

We are teaching this one family. And they keep EVERY COMMITMENT!!! We went to return for the second time and teach them about the Restoration of the Gospel. We asked if they had read the little pamphlet we gave them or if they read the Book of Mormon. They smiled and got all shy, and said they had only read a little. They read all of the introduction, the testimonies of the witnesses, and they were a little over half way through the testimony of Joseph Smith. When we heard this it was like the heavens opened and a pillar of light was around them. We had found a golden family. We asked them what they remembered and they pretty much taught us the lesson of the Restoration. They told us sooooo much! It was soooo coool! When we first met them, they were really shy and timid. But through continually visiting them, they are just becoming Happier! Whenever we see them, they get big grins on their faces. They came to church for the first time and were smiling and sharing their feelings of peace and happiness. The only challenge with them is that they aren’t married, and they are living in free union... Which will complicate things. But I´m sure if they have the desire to continue learning, and they feel that the teachings and knowledge we have to offer is true, the Lord will provide a way.

We have some members whose grandpa is a carpenter. He´s not a member so I got to know him through is trade. He is teaching me how to use his tools, and while we work we talk about gospel related things. The President of the Branch was there with us and all three of us were working and talking. Oh, and everything is hand made. No power tools. Everything is done with a hammer and a chisel. I love wood work, and it is definitely going to be a hobby once I get home. I made a little half man half frog thing. If you look at it one way it’s a man, and if you turn it upside down, it’s a frog. Super cool, all hand done with a hammer and a chisel from a cube of wood. It’s not done yet but I´m going to send pictures of its progress. I call him Gabo. Frog/toad in Spanish is Sapo. So he is Gabo el Sapo. I was thinking about Gapo but I didnt like it. Gabo is better. It was funny when the Grandpa showed me how to use the tools. He just gave me a hammer, a chisel and demonstrated on a piece of wood how to hit the chisel. He told me that with practice I can get better. Gabo is my first little project. He is amazed with how I could create him, he observes the symmetricity and all the other aspects of it. He doesn’t believe this is my first time using these tools. I made a joke with the President of the Branch about how we need to follow the example of Christ, and Christ was a carpenter ;) But I love how we can teach him through his trade. It’s so much fun to work and create art, and it is so peaceful. Not only to share the beauty of a peaceful work, but to bring the spirit with conversation of doctrine and sharing the gospel with him. I also recognize this awesome experience that I have to learn something while on the mission. I hope to come home with this skill and others also. I also hope I will learn to make a lot of the food I eat out here too. I love the Mission!!!! I am sharing, learning, experiencing, and doing so much! This will definitely be something that will give me great life experience. I can feel myself changing as a person, and have the desire to do good in the world. I feel more love for everyone and it is awesome :)

Elder Koontz

This is Gabo the Sapo (Toad)

This is Gabo the Sapo (Toad)
He took this extra picture of himself while he was sending me emails
to make up for the fact that he hadn't taken very many last week.  Cutie pie!
Zone Conference

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