March 12, 2012

I wish I could speak to more German people.... My German speaking
skills are roughly non-existant at this point. A previous Elder in the
Mission and good friend, Elder Oliver Kersey demanded that I could not
lose my ability to speak German. He said one of his biggest pet peeves
is when people learn a language and then forget it. I have my work cut
out for me in the future, that is for sure. So go for it Dallin, speak
to some Germans and improve yours so you don't lose it. The key to the
two mile race when you are in a slow heat is to run so fast that you
catch up by overlapping the slowest ones, then you still always have
someone to catch. :) Try it out. Well on to the week... Here are some
things that have been in my head:

One of the biggest changes from the beginning of my mission is my
understanding of how to work with investigators relationship wise. At
the beginning of my mission in Liverpool I thought that I needed to be
extremely professional and not get attached to those we were working
with. (Stupid idea I know, and I am still professional, just in a
better way.) Because of that when we taught we taught well and the
spirit was there, but something was missing. Now being in Liverpool
the second time around I can see the massive effect that building
strong lasting relationships has on the teaching process. When your
investigators are actually your friends they WANT to make time to meet
with you. Instead of feeling it is a burden to learn about God they
look forward to our visits because they have fun doing so. Building
these relationships one by one is key in the success of us as
missionaries. We cannot afford to lose our personalities and act like
robots around those we are serving. We have to show them our love, and
the way we do that is by being a true friend.

Looking back at my mission and even before my mission I can see the
lack of planning and scheduling in my life. Fair enough that I did not
have too much to plan for before my mission, but over the past year I
can barely believe how much planning we as missionaries do. Literally
almost every night now we are taking calls from other missionaries and
then after that calling all of our investigators to set up
appointments for the next day. After which we call members to come
teaching with us. Many times we are calling all the way up to 10:30
pm. (It is really nice to work with Uni. students because they are
always still up at that time). Then during the days we have to
rearrage schedules with many more calls when appointments fall through
or need to be changed. I don't understand how the missionaries in the
past worked effectively without phones. A skill that I have gained
from my mission that I appreciate dearly is the ability to plan
effectively and effeciently.

I went on two exchanges this week! One with Elder Youles (from
London), and the other with Elder Perego (from Italy). Both are very
different missionaries with different skills and talents and both of
them are fabulous. Elder Youles is constantly smiling and letting
everyone know why (especially during lessons) and Elder Perego is
constantly asking soul searching questions and clarifying any concerns
or problems people may have. I love how Elder Youles is always looking
for ways to serve those around him. He is a big heart and a great love
for his family which stands for a strong motivator in this work. Elder
Perego is very very passionate, and along with that passion he has the
quality of patience which is very strange if you ask me. Usually
passionate people have patience problems. Not him though. I enjoyed
being on exchange with them and talking about how their companionships
are doing and being able to give advice and counsel on how to overcome
tension or small tiffs. It helps give me ideas of how to work well
with my companion too!

I need that help with my companion at the moment. We could be getting
along a lot better than we are now but there are a few struggles with
communication and other obstacles, so we are working on it. I thought
my tests of patience were over..... Haha, just kidding, with me they
will never be over.... We are still busy teaching many people and they
are all progressing. Some a little bit and some great bounds of
progession. It feels great to see these steps forward. Last night we
went to a members house for Tea and were fed so much I felt sick. She
says that she has a son on a mission and would want him to be fed well
so she makes sure we get the same treatment. Talk about do unto others
as you would want them to do to you, or your son..... It was really
fantastic food. The best part about English food is that they put
gravy on everything they cook! Gravy makes everything better!!

We are looking forward to the Chinese Fireside this saturday. There
will not be as many people expected, but it will be good. We are still
planning what exactly we are going to do, so I can't really give you
any details on what is going to happen, but next week I can. So wait
with anticipation.... I love you my great family! Keep looking for
reasons to be happy and smile!!

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