September 14, 2011



Things, like normal, sound like they are pretty busy. Which is good and bad. Its good to be busy but it depends what we are busy with. I'm sure you are all busy with good things though. 

This past week was also pretty busy here. The towns in this area where we work are pretty spread out so we had a lot of traveling and things to get to appointments and members and all. We made baptismal invitations for Schwester Lind. She has been investigating for a couple months and will be getting baptized on Sept. 24. Its awesome to see how the gospel is affecting her life. Apparently she was very closed to anything the Elders had at the beginning and was sticking to her beliefs. Then they just invited her to read in the Book of Mormon and she did it. Since then everything has changed. Each time we go she will share with us what she has read and why she liked it so much. She has kept a little notebook from the start that she showed us and she writes why she likes certain things and all that. She says she reads the Book of Mormon and Bible together and writes down her thoughts. Her willingness to just do what she was invited to do has now changed her life and eternity.
I sadly do not have much time right now. A member in the ward wants to take us today to Eisenach to see where Martin Luther translated the bible, I'm pretty sure the place in called the Wartburg. Its a castle/fortress thing where he hid out. And that will take up much of our pday.

Tuesday last week though we headed down to Frankfurt. It was so cool being able to ride the tram to the part of the city where the church is and where I used to live. It felt like going back home as we got closer and then as I walked into the Stake Center. Lots of feelings for Frankfurt and the members and the people rushed back to me. Then we had the opportunity to hear from Elder and Sister Bednar. 

Sister Bednar spoke shortly about experiences her sons had had on their missions how a mission is a blessing. Then Elder Bednar stood up and said ''are you ready to get to work?'' He didn't give a traditional talk on a specific subject. He introduced to us what we were going to do. Which was basically discussing two talks he requested we read before he came. He would ask us questions and our thoughts and we would answer. Then the end turned into a Q&A session. It was a cool experience. I really liked how Elder Bednar did it and the point he was trying to get across from us. 

The talk that impressed me most that he had us read was about learning with faith. He talks about how we often discuss what it means to teach by faith and with the spirit but how we forget learning must happen the same way. Then he introduced to us his thoughts on Agents and Objects. He said as we teach we must teach people as agents, allowing them to act. We must not teach them as objects, simply acting upon them. As we teach and allow people to act as agents, using their agency, the spirit can teach them and thus they learn by faith. If we simply act upon them as objects we take away their option to use their agency to learn, thereby decreasing their capacity to access the spirit through their own correct decisions to act. When we teach a class for example we often just call on someone specific for a specific answer. We have then treated them as an object and asked them to ''guess whats in my head'' as Elder Bednar said. If we invite them to participate and ask their thoughts or opinions or what they learned, they can choose to speak and share what is in their mind. As they do this the spirit is allowed in and can help guide their thoughts and teach them things they need to learn and know that we, ourselves, could not have taught. It is a really awesome thing. You experience it a lot on a mission as you teach and Preach My Gospel also teaches us a lot of this principles. The scriptures themselves teach us many of these teaching and learning principles. For some reason though we often forget and naturally treat others as objects and ask them to guess whats in our heads. It must be a conscious effort to apply these things and allow the spirit to teach each person exactly what they need.

It continues to amaze me how simple it all is. We unlock spiritual doors as we use our agency correctly. We allow the spirit to work within us, and to change our hearts. Or we don't, and the opposite happens. Everything necessary is given us from God. Then he leaves it to us to decide how we, as agents, will act. I'll forward the talk to you he had us read and invite you as well to read it and apply what you learn.

Sorry this, and the last few emails, have been so rushed. I hope you are all doing well though. Enjoy the week and make the best of it. I pray for each of you daily and love you so much! 
Elder Puriri 

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