Friday, July 26, 2013

July 15, 2013

Dear Family,

Sorry I realized that I forgot to tell you where I am. este es comico.
I'm in the city of Miami, Florida, the zone is the Miami Beach zone, but I'm actually still in main land Miami, and I am not allowed to go near any kind of beach.
I was going to show you some pictures but we rushed out the door and I forgot my camera, sorry about that.
Also you probably have some questions regarding my other letter, so I'll define some terminology in just a second. The ward is cool, it's completely Spanish though so I have a difficult time communicating and understanding what most people are saying. Basically they say something and I just say lo siento rapitar por favor, then when I get tired of them repeating words I don't know, I just get Elder X my trainer to translate.
It's weird, when I was in the MTC I prided myself in being able to understand most of what the teachers and investigators were saying, but I got here and it's a whole other ball game.
I've come to believe I was actually in the wrong class in the MTC;
I was being taught Spanish, but I should have learned Cuban.
Oh also, in our mission no music except tab choir is allowed, that includes seminary sound tracks and stuff, so even though I haven't asked if I'm able to bring my gentile sheet music out, I'm pretty sure the answer is no.
Sooooo just keep that home until I get back.
Anyways, as for the last letter, there are a few terms I didn't have time to define that I'm sure were terribly confusing. Our mission (the Florida Fort Lauderdale mission) is a very... different kind of mission. It focuses incredibly on exact obedience, and has several completely unique missionary tools which I'm told did not exist in any mission until this mission president (President Anderson)was called.  As for the effectiveness of these new tools, apparently they work, because I have been told on multiple occasions that either right now or just a while ago, we were the highest baptizing mission in America.
One of these tools that I can already personally attest to the effectiveness of is one mentioned in my last letter called harvesting. Harvesting is the thing our mission has instead of tracting. I've been out almost two weeks and I have yet to do tracting in the sense of the word we traditionally think of it as.
It has a lot of similarities. It involves a lot of knocking on doors, and getting doors slammed in your face, but the crucial difference, that the ultimate goal of the door knocking is not to teach a lesson, (or whatever the goal is in tracting, I know very little about it) but instead to leave a blessing, in the form of a prayer with the family, or person depending on the circumstance, and if that is accomplished, to invite them to baptism right after the prayer is finished before nearly anything is taught.
If you're looking at your screen right now and going... why, you’re not alone. This made no sense to me when they first told me about it; but it works and the reason I've found is actually quite simple.
A lot of people simply do not have enough time to have you give them a lesson, or a lot of people don't think they want to be converted at that time, but when a couple of missionaries come to your door and ask if they can just leave a blessing, which could take less than a minute and appears to have no purpose other than goodwill, it disarms people, makes them a little more likely to accept.
The second part is even more crucial than this though, because as we know the words of missionaries will never convert people, but the spirit of the Lord, and when you give people a chance to stop and take a moment to listen to that spirit, their hearts are softened and they are changed.

Love you
Elder Low.

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