Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I'll Be a Trainer

Kumusta sa inyo lahat! (How are you all doing?!)
It’s official! I’m going to be a trainer! He’ll most likely be a Filipino. I’ll be here in the wonderful world of Palawan for one or two transfers and I’ll head over to the crazy world of Manila. I say one or two transfers because my trainee has already done six weeks of his training, so I may be out of here at the end of January (one more transfer) or continue to be his follow-up trainer for the last six weeks.  Either way, I’m happy!
I'll miss this guy so much!
Elders Balonsong and Hart are both pretty thrilled to be going back to Manila. They’ll both be training and Elder Hart will still be a district leader. Elder Saclot won’t be training, which, I assume, means that his companion will be the district leader. 
But… let’s talk about me. I’m training. Do I feel prepared? In short, no. I’m pretty freaking scared on how much authority will be laid on my shoulders. I still am very unsure of the language, and when I went on splits last night, my confidence plummeted, as I basically taught by myself all night, and had a rough time meeting people on the street with 5 branch missionaries following me around, asking me questions I didn’t understand.

Looking on the bright side, I’ll definitely be learning the language quicker now! I’ll have to leave my comfort zone once again to get any better in this language. I’m sure I’ll make mistakes, but at least I’ll be better because of it. My biggest priority is just to have fun this week.
I’ll miss Elder Hart immensely. I’ve learned so much from him in many unusual ways that are kind of hard to explain. Put it this way: he showed me how to be a missionary even when times are hard, and the importance of consistency in every situation that you’re being put through. Like it says in 3 Ne 5:13, we are called as disciples of Christ and regardless of what people say or do or think, we have a sacred duty to preach the gospel to all those who receive it.
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.  (3 Nephi 5:13)
I went on three wonderful exchanges this week with Elders Saclot, Haynie, and Delorino. What I learned from Elder Saclot is to keep the lessons short and powerful, especially when you're teaching first lessons. Elder Haynie taught me that I need to ask more inspired questions, and to not say "ummm" when I don't know what to say. He's really becoming a close friend of mine, or "barcada." And I noticed when I went out with Elder Delorino that he is a wonderful example of how to gain the investigators trust. The exchanges really helped me prepare to be a trainer, as I was leading the area in two of them.
But the biggest thing I've learned this week is that missionaries can do very little without members. I've taught probably... 200 lessons now? Probably more. I'm sure that I helped people gain a testimony, but testimony without conversion is dead. And the members need to do their part to nudge those in inactivity or investigating the church to come back.

I hope that this next transfer will be a transforming one for me. One where I will not only work with a brand new missionary, but work with the ward. To coordinate and follow through.

Elder Thurber

PS  This little bugger was under Elder Saclot's dresser this morning!

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