Arizona, Week 7 – Mother’s Day, respect, and helping investigators reach their goals…

(Mesa area with Sister Tatiana Haar)

Happy Mother’s Day! I have an incredible absolutely amazing exemplar mother and it was so nice to talk to her yesterday. I loved seeing my family and they all are so grown-up looking! haha. Except Mom and Dad look the same, beautiful and handsome as always. The time was too short to talk about much, but it was nice just to see everyone’s faces and hear their actual voices. I LOVE YOU ALL! =D

This week I learned a lot about respect. The Family Proclamation says that “successful marriages and families are established and maintained on….respect,” and it mentions other principles too, but this week I learned mostly about the respect one. I feel I usually treat people with respect when I first meet them just because it’s polite, but then the more I get to know them, it’s easy to forget and be really casual around them. Really the people we love the most are the ones we should respect the most and if we treat strangers better than our own family, there’s something wrong with that. It’s so important not just to ESTABLISH a relationship with respect, but then MAINTAIN it with respect too. It applies to everything: from a marriage to a companionship, to even our personal relationship with God. If I never lose the respect of the first day with a companion, I’ll get along with her really well the whole time we are together. So, I invite you all to examine the relationships in your life and remember the respect you had “the first time.” Have you maintained that same level of respect? Are your dates with your wife as respectful as they were when she was your girlfriend? If anything there should be more respect with time, not less. What about the first time you really prayed and bore your soul to God? Are you still praying like that to Him often? Never lose the respect of the first time. I don’t know if I translated that very well to English, but it’s what I learned.

And don’t think that I’m going through a hard time with my companion or anything, I’m writing this because we actually get along really well. I’m learning a lot being with her. It’s just something we were thinking about this week.

So the investigators are progressing really well. I love them so much and this ward is AMAZING still. J, B, and A are three sisters that we’ve been teaching. They get baptized in a couple more weeks and are so cute. They remind me of my sisters. We also found a guy named C that is so prepared this week. He accepted baptism on Sunday and I have never seen somebody so excited and happy to accept a date before. His eyes were just shining with gratitude and in the closing prayer he just kept expressing how blessed he felt. He also has to get married cause he has a pregnant girlfriend, but he is totally excited about that too. We are teaching a guy named I who is struggling with poverty and really serious physical health problems. He can barely walk outside to talk to us sometimes. He wants to get baptized but never comes to church. He says that it’s for his health problems but we still don’t know if he is just being lazy or if he really physically can’t go. So we’ll see what happens with poor I. We found a bunch of cool people this week, but those are the ones who will most likely get baptized this month.

Something that has really helped me change my teaching style is focusing on the needs of my investigators. I do not enjoy teaching people who don’t have a personal desire to learn or try to convince them to change. It’s not a fun feeling so I try to avoid it. One of the best ways I’ve found to help people be self-motivated to change and do their commitments is teaching to their needs. We take whatever small interest they might have shown in us or the church and focus in on it. We ask, “Why did you let us in? What motivates you to keep listening to the missionaries? Do you have the goal to be baptized? Is your goal to seal your family in the temple? Did you just want some questions answered? What do you want for your family? What hopes do you have for your future?” When we probe around and find a goal or a motivation and it comes from THEM first and not us, it changes everything. Suddenly we are there to SERVE them instead of CONVINCE them. We are helping them reach THEIR goals instead of OUR goals. They motivate themselves to learn more and keep meeting with us.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week. Remember to show respect to the people you love most and especially your MOM! LOVE YOU MOM!!!

Hermana Berbert

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