Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It's the Simple Things

Elder Burt with his District
Week two in the CCM went by with the seamless feeling of being one long day. Time works completely differently, feeling simultaneously like I've been here forever and like the days are half as long. My teachers are great, and most days we have fake lessons with them as though they were investigators. It feels extremely real (they have us knock on doors in the little *house* section of the CCM), and it's a little stressful when you don't know the language much. It gets particularly difficult as you're juggling all the other things you're learning- you're supposed to ask questions frequently, lightly asking about their life in a non-intrusive way. You're supposed to teach the lessons as the investigator needs. And teach equally with your companion in a language neither of you know, and respond correctly to answers you don't quite understand. It's outstanding practice, but it's definitely the most stressful part of the day.

TALL is this computer system for missionaries learning the language. It's efficient and thorough (the church's language program is outstanding) but is quite hilariously outdated. I wouldn't be surprised if it was made during the 90's. Our teachers give magnificent lessons that tie together the language and the things we need to teach efficiently.

But perhaps my favorite parts of the day are in the more relaxed moments just after class or right before we go to bed when we just talk together as a district. It feels a little like Harry Potter in the common rooms with his friends. Elder Johnson has this amazing voice and musical talent, as does Elder George. We'll relax and talk about Batman, or old movies we liked, or spiritual thoughts. One spiritual thought I want to get in really quick is as follows. Sometimes my plans and goals get a little larger than life. I get consumed, particularly with the mission, with my responsibility- because, as I'm fond of saying, our capacity is our responsibility. Elder Desposorio asked what inspired me one evening, and I talked a little about that and our duty. He said it was the small things each day for him. The idea that each day we can do something important that builds up. It released a lot of stress.

That's all for now, folks! Life is about doing the simple things each day, and seeing what they make of us. I know this, and say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Andrew on a crowded bus, going into Lima on his P-Day.