Guest Testimonies

Monday, July 7, 2014

"And that’s pretty much a basic day in a Daveyton missionary’s life!"

June 23, 2014
:) “...and now it’s time for silly songs with Larry. The part of the show where Larry comes out and sings a silly song...” (1)
Hahaha okay it’s not silly song time but it is time for this cool idea I had to type out a “day in life” thing. The part of the blog where elder smith comes out and types, a day in the life:) Daveyton Edition :)
630- Time to wake up! Sho it’s too cold and it makes it very shocking when we put our feet on the tile -____- but we endure eh? ;) So now it’s time to prepare for the day by preparing some cereal or eggs for breakfast, ironing our shirts, brushing the dust off of our kasi (2) shoes, and chilllin’ till studies start.
800- Time to start personal studies. Things such as journal writing, studying the standard works, PMG (3) and looking at the lessons that we teach that day so we can prepare lessons more personally for our investigators and members. Close with a prayer.
900- Start companionship study with a prayer and a hymn on the guitar. Then we read the white handbook (3 pages a day), recite a mission quote, and share what we studied with each other. I personally like this part the most! It’s cool to share what insights we had thru our studies and to be able to learn from our comp. So after we do that, we look at our day and make sure that we have a member to come with us and that we have backup plans for each of our lessons. This is an important part of the planning because maybe an appointment will ditch and you need to take the attitude that the Lord needs you to see someone or do something else. Backup plans allow you to not waste any of the time that we have out in the field. This usually takes up the rest of the hour so now it’s time to close with prayer :)
1000- Studies are over but the other guys still have the 12 week program for another hour so Stilgoe and I either prepare food, read Liahona (4), or just hang out and talk and prepare our stuff for the field.
1130- Leave the flat! Sho' we try to leave as close to 1130 as possible so we 1-are obedient and 2-have enough time to pick up our members and drop the Daveyton 2 guys off at their 1st appointment and make it to our first.
1200 till 2000- it’s time to proselyte :)  We try to have teaching appointments every hour so that we have time to teach a quality lesson and then have enough time to walk to our next. If we don’t have an appointment or if our plan AND backup plan fall thru, it usually means that we need to find someone. So we’ve found that tracting isn’t as effective here in D-ton as street contacting is. This makes it nice to just be able to talk to the people who are more or less available and we aren't disturbing them in their homes (they get really mad when we interrupt things sometimes so we try to avoid making people mad :P )
                So then I had a question posed to me in a letter this last week: “what are the actual discussions/lessons like?” and that’s a pretty fair question! So this is different for each companionship but each is generally the same. Here is how most of our lessons go: we spend maybe about 5 minutes talking just about life and stuff (we aren’t robots haha we’re still regular people and as we are able to build solid relationships of trust with people, they get more out of the lessons. So then we ask if we can turn off the distractions and start with prayer (pretty standard). Basic lesson structure is whatever the person needs haha so even if we plan one thing, they might need another lesson (Spirit is the key) so it’s important to be paying attention :) We follow up on their commitments that we left last time and see if they have any questions that we can help answer. Asking them questions helps get them involved in the lesson and is one of the best ways that we’ve found to teach a person, not a lesson! But then if they don’t really have any concerns we can progress with the lesson that we prepared. So as we teach the doctrine, we teach the principles that we find in PMG and usually, to teach for understanding, we only get thru 1 maybe 2 principles a lesson. Then we leave a commitment and close with a prayer. That’s a basic lesson but it’s a lot better in real life because you can feel the spirit when you’re with these people. When we can realize that everyone is a child of God and deserves as much of a chance for the gospel as we have had, you really are able to forget yourself and lose yourself in the work. No more are you thinking about you but your whole focus is on “how can I help this person come closer to the Savior” and that is where we find our missionary purpose. When we’re focused on our purpose, the spirit attends the lessons. When the spirit attends the lessons, people experience conversion in their own way and the promises and blessings that we talk about are able to be poured out upon our heads. One cool lesson that we had on Sunday was that we were able to place two of our investigators on date to be baptized! Bradley and Kudzi are two gents that stay in the same house as one of our members. A few weeks back, as we were leaving a member lesson, they came up to us before we even got to the gate and asked when we were going to come share with them! We made an appointment and began teaching them about the restoration. They accepted the invite to come to church and have been every week since. Their questions reflect a great understanding of the doctrine of the restoration of the gospel and they are keeping their commitments and even understanding what they read in the BoM (5)! It’s cool when people read the Book of Mormon but even better when they can understand what’s going on! And for two guys who haven’t had much religious background, they understand the wording and points from the BoM as well as a member! I think that truly shows that they are being led and guided by the spirit! So anyways, as we have been teaching them, they’ve had golden questions and when we invited them to pray to know and followed up with it yesterday, they said they KNEW the Book of Mormon was a true book of scripture and they knew the restoration really had happened because “the spirit helped (them) to know that it was true, that it felt right, and that they had found the truth. So Elder Stilgoe and I are trying to hold back our excitement to jump up and down as we ask what they feel is the next appropriate step for them and Bradley said: “I need to repent and be baptized!” and Kudzi said: “if I found the church with the right power and rights to baptize of course I would be baptized!” and from there, we were all just freakin’ happy as the Spirit was uplifting us :) and just like how in golf, you have that shot that keeps you coming back, its experiences like this on mission, that make you forget all the bummy experiences! It’s amazing!
                But that is how a normal pross (6) day goes! Sometimes we are lucky enough to get fed by members maybe 2x a week and that’s always nice, no lie! Members here are too legit and it’s always nice to feel welcomed into a home at the end of a day :) but then it comes time to get back to our car, drop off our member and pick up the other guys and drop off their member! Then, we say cheers to Daveyton for the day and head back so we can make it back to the flat on time.
2130- We need to be at the flat! And then we can get started on our daily planning. This is where we talk about how our day went, update the area book, get our stats, and plan the lesson outlines for the next day. Then, like always, close with a prayer :) now it’s usually close to 10 and we have to be in bed at half 10 so we usually have a good amount of time to exercise! Stilgoe and I like to swap off lifting weights and sprinting down in the car park so that’s what we usually do until it’s time for bed and it’s a nice workout to get us tired for bed and burn off the unused energy from the day!
2230- Bedtime!!! Best part of the night!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha we need all the sleep we can get!
                And that’s pretty much a basic day in a Daveyton missionary’s life! You get things like weekly planning, district meeting, PMG class, and other recurring meetings as well but that’s just an outline of our basic day :)
...this has been “a day in the life”. Tune in next time to see Elder Smith type: “everybody’s got a water buffalo! (rhino, lion, cheetah, and giraffe haha)” (1)
Tha's 'bout it!
Elder Spencer "Tony" Smith

Editor's Note: 
(1) See Veggie Tales: Silly Songs with Larry
(2) Kasi = Sputh African slang for ghetto
(3)The LDS Standard Works are the Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments), The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.  PMG = Preach My Gospel- the missionary teaching handbook.
(4) The Liahona is an LDS magazine which provides spiritual messages for adults, youth and children, as well as Church news.  It is the international version of The Ensign, The New Era and The Friend, rolled into one. 
(5) BoM = Book of Mormon  
(6) Pross = proslyting