Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 67 in the Field: New Companion and Tips for Effective Scripture Study!

 Me and former Elder (and Assistant to the President) Byington

Hi Everybody!  What's up!

So Monday was the last day we would be with E. Nalder. I was happy to be receiving a new companion. We spent the day in Spring Hill with the Spring Hill elders and had fun going different places and looking at stuff. We also mostly spent time playing basketball at the church. In the evening E. Nalder went on a split with a YSA to go contact other YSA's. Why did he go on the split when he would be leaving in less than 24 hours? No clue.

Preaching the gospel in the spirit world. Well, more like a Confederate Graveyard.

Elder Bedwell and I finished getting some items and went to Dairy Queen for dinner to celebrate the start of a new transfer together. He's a great guy and the new guy we got is awesome, too.

Speaking of transfers, we have a new companion!

Tuesday we went down to transfers and dropped off E. Nalder. To our surprise, The guy formerly known as Elder Byington was there! He finished his mission a little over 13 months ago. He was my favorite assistant to the president, and it was super great to see him there. Not only did I get to talk to him, but he remembered me! It was awesome. Nothing too crazy other than that happened at transfers. A lot of the missionaries that went home this transfer were some of my good friends so it was sad to see them go. People like E. Stutz, E. Cullum, the mission secretary Sis. Godfrey, and so many more.

Sweet Sister Godfrey, our Mission Secretary, gives her parting advice before heading home to Utah.

But the upside was that our new companion is Elder Powell from Boise, ID! He was the same guy we stayed with when I left Eldorado. He was E. Bedwell's MTC companion and it has truly been a much more fun transfer than the last one. He's also a piano player so that's a perk for sure. After we got settled in, we went over to see our recent convert and he was happy to meet E. Powell so that was good.

Wednesday during district meeting I had Sis. Kohler train on teaching when you find people, and finding people when you teach. I followed that up with some goals I wanted everyone to work on as well as a finding tournament to get everyone excited about finding new people to teach. It's been a good tactic thus far and hopefully things will work out. We also contacted a less active and began helping her with her computers. After that we tried a few people and then went on a split. I went over to see an awesome family that had a lot of dogs. The family loves to talk, and it was funny that the members I brought to see them had literally everything in common with them. It was scary cool.  Great to be directed by the Spirit!

Thursday we went over to the Well and helped out there. We had a lot of difficulties getting there because we couldn't get a lift till the very end. Elder Powell got a lot of blisters from walking this past week, but we will be glad to get the car for this week. After that we went tracting for a bit and then had ribs at a TS1 (Thompson’s Station 1st Ward) member’s house that we helped move a while back. We later got dropped by an investigator and contacted a TS2 (Thompson’s Station 2nd Ward) member family.

Friday we had planning which didn't last too long. We also got to go out to eat lunch with the Spring Hill elders since they were coming back from an exchange. We tried a few people but then Elder Powell's feet couldn't walk anymore, so we had to call it.

Elder Bedwell and Elder Powell helping cut hedges at the school

Saturday we helped out at the TS1 service project, which was cleaning up an elementary school. It was fun to work with every one and talk with the members. After that we went tracting for a bit and continued to help the less active with her computers, which we couldn't fix too well.

As we were walking back the bishop of the 2nd Ward drove up and took us out to dinner with his wife. We were very grateful to them and appreciated it very much. We went store contacting for the last little bit.

Here is a photo from the Franklin Zone Conference.
(I am third from left in the back row--don't know why the picture is blurry.)

Sunday was the same except we were all especially tired. And the 1st Ward had their primary program, which was fun to watch. I knew a lot of the kids involved and it was pretty adorable. The whole thing was centered around the idea that "I Know My Savior Lives.”  It was great to hear some of my favorite songs sung. As for 2nd Ward, I think I may have fallen asleep during sacrament meeting because I was so tired that day. In the evening we had dinner with the TS2 Young Women's leader and her daughter. After that we contacted a former investigator family and then returned to the church for the last bit of Standards Night.

Okay so here's something cool I wanted to share with you:

I figured out 5 things you need to do to have effective studies when reading the scriptures.

1. Have a clean and comfortable space - Remove distractions or things that would keep you from having a more effective study. If you can't do tight spaces, figure out a way that helps you be more open. Clean your desk up and organize it for how you will study the next day.

2. Pray - By inviting the Spirit into your studies, you are able to gain and retain more information than you normally would. I can testify this works not just for scripture study, but for educational study as well. At BYU-Idaho in the beloved testing center, one of the instructions my teachers would always leave on the cover of the test was to pray prior to beginning the test. It works.... If you studied beforehand. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, (an apostle in our Church) once quoted someone who said something along the lines of "So long as there will be tests in schools where kids may not study as well as others, the need for prayer will always be present."

3. Search Diligently - Casual reading will not be able to help you as much as diligently searching for answers. You will gain more spiritual knowledge and insight doing this, than simply casually reading a General Conference address. When Elder Schwitzer of the Seventy came to train the mission last February, Brother Gonzales from the Church Missionary Department said there are two specific ways we study. There is linear and exponential.

Linear increase was likened to causally studying because while you do learn,
you may not gain as much as you would by studying more effectively and
diligently, which was likened to exponential increase.

4. Ponder - When you pause and reflect on what you have studied, you can gain the understanding of how what you have read is important to you. Ask yourself two questions:
1.  What about that verse stood out to you?
2.  And what from that will you apply to your own life?

5. Pray Again - Closing with prayer allows you to be grateful to the Lord for the knowledge He has given you in this short hour we have. It shows appreciation for His wisdom and knowledge which is endless. By thanking the Lord for the knowledge you gain, you show your gratitude. And the Lord loves when we acknowledge His hand in everything we do.

So yeah just some insights from my training. Hope they help.

Today we are planning on going to the Loveless Cafe in Nashville. I hear that's a big landmark or something. Should be fun. A member is taking us there so we're excited. 

Talk to y'all later.

Elder Peery

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