Sunday, February 9, 2014

Weekly Update: Week 2

Hey Everyone! Today is my last P-Day at the MTC! I leave Tuesday morning for the Aloha State!!!!! This week has been a crazy roller coaster. From some of the lowest points I've ever been at to the highest spiritual experiences every couple hours sometimes! We have been doing basically the same stuff but with more and more skills and depth to our mock investigators and role-plays. I have noticed that everything is starting to click in a way and it's getting easier and easier. The first couple days I was here I was so overwhelmed and freaking out. I felt like I was drowning and I had no idea where to even begin to understand or prepare to teach, let alone teach! But we make progress everyday. Our teachers take upon roles of investigators they had in their missions and we teach these investigators daily and because they are our teachers they can give us really good feedback after we have "left". They also throw unique circumstances at us too. Such as one day we showed up to teach "Grace" (Ms. Wilkinson) and she was flat out drunk! Haha. But also on top of this we gained a TRC investigator (training resource center) Monday which are volunteers who come to the MTC to pose as investigators and  we teach them the gospel. They are all either non-members, recent converts, or members but they don't tell us! So we have no idea if they're acting or truly not members! Our investigator's name is Chad and he is a former atheist who is looking around at different churches trying to find happiness and found and had requested a Book of Mormon. This is all we had going in, but we have developed a close relationship with him after just three 45 minute visits.  At first we thought we were struggling to connect with him even though he is very open and nice. But last night we finally learned what our teachers have been teaching us about "teach people not lessons". We went in there very nervous and depressed about the night before but in our prayer before we went to meet with him Elder Hatch and I asked for the Lord to guide us and to know what Chad needed to learn and the answer came while we met with him. Both Elder Hatch and I cleared up some deep questions he had and shared some personal experiences and the spirit was so strong that all three of us began to cry. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Truly astounding. As I said before the MTC is a roller coaster. This was a high and that followed a pretty low day. I have learned that this work is not possible without the Lord. You have to prepare diligently but have the humility to turn to the lord for help and give him everything you have and he will take care of the rest. Over and over I have seen this in just the past 10 days. The MTC is a grueling, grinding experience that takes everything out of you but when you have experiences like I did with Chad last night it makes it all worth it.

Also we have more than enough food!! Thank you to all that sent food to us. Between us we have 8 boxes of food!!! We do not need anymore food here at the MTC haha. On another note I can't seem to send photos from the MTC computers so I will share photos when we get to Hawaii. But please send me pictures! I would love to see some photos from home! I can't wait to get to Hawaii and start teaching the Hawaiian people! I'm not sure what day I will have P-day in Hawaii. I assume it will be Monday so it will be the Monday after next. The best way to send me letters is still through! Here at the MTC until Monday before noon then in Hawaii for the rest of my mission. My mom sends me them daily so I'm sure she could answer any questions you have! Thanks for all the support!
      Elder Shoaf

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