Friday, August 13, 2010

The Thirtieth Letter

August 9, 2010
Dear Family!

I guess that I will first start by talking about my week, but thank you for your emails! I LOVE getting them every week and it brings me so much joy. So, for the first part of the week I was with Elder Hilton. On Monday we went into the big main Cathedral here in Vilnius to see what it was like. I've never been in one before. Let me just say that it is way weird and has such a different feel than our churches. Like it was peaceful, but it just wasn't the same! It was a pretty church though. And we went up to this little castle thing that looks out over Vilnius, it's like the main tourist attraction, and that was pretty cool. I got some cool pictures. They had all of these old suits of armor up there in this little museum and that was cool to see. You know how much I love history! But, that was pretty much it for that day. Oh and we went to some place called grill Brazil, kind of like tucanos but it wasn't really that good. Tuesday we just had a normal day and we taught a less active member about the temple. Man, I didn't realize how complicated the words and language are that we use about the temple until I had to say it in a different language! But that was good. Elder Hilton is still pretty new, so I had to take the lead on most of the language stuff. It gave me some good confidence that I really can speak ok and it was good for me to kind of be the one in charge. It was a really good learning experience for me! On Wednesday we just did normal stuff and contacted and knocked doors all day trying to find some people that would listen to our message. We did have a meeting with one guy that Elder Hilton has met with before and that was really good. He is a very smart guy and speaks flaunt English. We taught him about the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon and stuff. The Spirit was really strong and I'm glad that we had the chance to teach him. Hopefully he will progress, but Elder Hiltons companionship will be teaching him. It was good for me to be with Elder Hilton and it went pretty well. It was stressful at times, but it was good. Thank you for your prayers. On Thursday Elder Lindell got back from Riga. This new training that happened was really interesting. It's not a ton of new stuff, but it helps us to be better teachers. It focuses on following the spirit and helping our investigators to feel the spirit more. As missionaries we sometimes get into the habit of teaching the same lesson to everyone, kind of like how it was when missionaries just used the discussions. But the first presidency wants us to focus on teaching people and not just lessons. So they want us to be more aware of the needs of the people we teach and try harder to discern what they need and that is a big thing with following the spirit. The church has some DVDs that are the preach my gospel DVDs. I don't know if you have heard of them or if they are just for missionaries, but they are real situations of real missionaries. The DVDs follow a district in Texas and show them working with real investigators and it's just all real stuff. It's way cool. But we watch those to help us know things that we can improve on and it teaches us how to be better missionaries. So, that came out in 2006 I think but they just came out with "The District 2" and the leaders that went to Riga watched most of it and said that it was WAY good! It's about a district in San Diego and it was filmed last fall. They said that it was more real than the first one because the missionaries weren't was perfect and they had their struggles with things. But it mostly focuses on the spirit and teaching by the spirit and for the needs of those we teach. So it shows real lessons and how their investigators progress and everything. I can't wait to see it! We will get to watch the first segment in Zone Conference next week. Which reminds me, Preparation Day will be on Tuesday for us next week cause we have Zone Conference on Monday. Anyways, this whole training thing is pretty much to help us be better teachers and I know that it is going to help the work in the world so much! It makes it so much more personal. This training happened all over the world this past week, so pretty cool huh? So you know how we haven't been having a lot of lessons lately and that it has been hard to find people to teach? Well, this weekend was kind of a miracle weekend for us and we found a ton of lessons! Friday we found Three lessons and we usually hardly find one! Saturday we found another lesson and then Sunday we had another lesson too! Sundays was with a guy named Rojus (Royoos) and Elder Warner and Manning, who were in our area just before us had found him and given him a Book of Mormon but shortly after he went to Norway for work. But we knew he was getting back last week so we called him and set up a lesson and it was just great! It turns out that he read the entire Book of Mormon in like a month and believes that it is true and believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet and he has a desire to be baptized! It was seriously a miracle. One of the things that the church wants us to start doing is to try and have kneeling prayers at the end of lessons. That is something that Elder Lindell learned at this conference. So we got him to say the closing prayer and we knelt. I know it's a simple thing, but it actually helps to feel the spirit a lot. So it was just a way good lesson and I think this is our guy. He is almost 20 like me and he is just a way nice guy. He told us all about the history of Lithuania after the meeting and it was way interesting. So that was way good and I know that the Lord has prepared him and We hope that he will be baptized. Pray for him ok! But anyways, that is my week! Kind of more interesting than usual I guess. I love you guys so much again and I hope that you have a great week! Thanks again for all of the happy birthdays from everyone! It's so weird that I'm going to be twenty! SOOO weird. But that's life I guess! I'll write next Tuesday!

Love Ya!

Love, Elder Leishman

208 days down, 522 to go!