"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!" ---D&C 128:19

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Week #4

Hey guys!! Week 4 is in the books, which is unofficially a month through my mission. I can do 24 of these easy. Haha just kidding. I'll get some of the questions that were asked out of the way first. 
Are you feeling better?
1. I'm feeling a lot better, but it is still kinda lingering. We'll see what happens, but if it's not completely better by Friday that'll be two weeks which isn't good. It's not bad as of right now. Just an occasional cough and then every hour or so I have to blow my nose. We'll see.
What was your favorite part of the week?
2. So my favorite part of the week, or the most interesting part I should say, was Sunday night devotional. I'm pretty sure the guy that gave it had prepared next to nothing. We had a special musical number before he spoke. It was a two person piano accompaniment along with an 8 person choir, 4 brothers, 4 sisters. All of the people in the number are teachers at the MTC. They sang "Joseph's Prayer." So his talk started fine. He had people stand for different things. If they were going to the area he went to you'd stand, if you'd gotten a dear john or dear jane then you would stand, stuff like that. Well after this he asks the special musical number to take their places and sing the song again. He then made comments on the First Vision. He followed this pattern until they had sung the song three times! I've often wanted to hear the special musical number again, but I wouldn't dare ask, nor would I make them do it three times. It wasn't bad by any means he actually gave some good thoughts, but the fact that he made them sing three times screams not prepared.
What was the worst part of the week?
3. It's pretty tough to have a "worst part" of the week when the MTC is as routine as it is. The toughest part really is teaching our "investigator." We cannot simply share a lesson with him unless we make it clear what we want him to get out of it and what actions we want him to take. Otherwise he will just absorb information the same way you and I might do for a test. I feel like we made it clear that this is more than just knowledge but something that when you actually live by the principles it will lead to comfort and a knowledge that  everything will be ok because the Lord is on your side. I'm sure we will figure it out, something that we say will hit him, or when he acts on one of the challenges we issue he will feel it. For right now though it's difficult planning for him. 

Other than that there is not much more to report about. The language is coming and we can almost say anything in a round about way, or with poor grammar but I think our point gets across. I think the rest of our MTC experience will be trying to sound like adults instead of children. Maybe my last week of the MTC will be in Dutch and you guys will have to use google translate. We'll see. 

I will share a "geestelijk gedacht" with you guys though. (See if google gets that one) 
Brother Norton, who we swear will be a general authority one day, gave us an amazing lesson yesterday. He shared with us how to keep a study journal and the importance of one. He showed us a binder that was filled to the brim with things that he had written down, impressions he had had, or notes on a talk he enjoyed. It was well organized and in his words was "one of the best souvenirs I brought home from my mission." The point of it was that he could write something down and then he would be able to access it again should he want to. It made me think of ways that I could organize a study journal in a way that I could do the same, access revelation I had already received. It made me want to take personal study seriously, and how I could make notes in scriptures or in a journal and what ways would be the most effective. I would want to take a picture of him for you guys but they usually have us do that towards the end. So I don't have a picture of him, but you will see him I promise.
General Conference is this Saturday too, so that'll be cool to receive impressions and listen to talks that I can apply to myself, especially in an environment like the MTC. There are also some positives to not having to go to choir practice. The other three guys in our district that have had to go are sacrificing their gym time, which is rough. Gym time is really the only break to an otherwise restless day. 

Well that's all I got for you guys. I'll caption these pictures and hopefully it'll be good for you. I'll try to come up with other creative things. . Have an awesome week you guys!
Elder Cooper

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