Hello! I love you! Thanks for writing to me! :)
This past week has been a great one! We had Zone Conference last Friday and it was an edifying experience. Elder and Sister Zwick were there, so they spake, as well as President and Sister Taylor. Elder Zwick started off and taught us about teaching principles. He taught us to introduce the principle (for example, prayer), share a personal experience in 60 seconds or less ("This one time, I was really frustrated. I didn't feel good. Then I prayed. The feelings of frustration left and I was filled with peace") and then testify ("I know that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers") and then END. He said that too often someone will teach a principle, include a personal experience, testify, share another personal experience, and then talk about the principle some more. He said he learned this lesson from President Boyd K. Packer.
President Packer had assigned Elder Zwick to speak at the Palmyra temple dedication in four different sessions. Elder Zwick spake and then had a learning experience from President Packer. Elder Zwick said they were on the plane ride home and President Packer told Elder Zwick that he would like to teach him something. President Packer got a napkin and in the bottom left corner he drew a "P" with a circle around it. He said, "You started here with the principle. You did a great job of that!" Then he drew a line up to a "D" with a circle around it. "Then you taught the doctrine. That was very well done." Then he drew another line up and in so that they started to form an arch. At the end of that line wrote "Experience" with a circle around it. "You also did a great job of sharing a personal experience." Then he drew a line to the top center of the napkin, drew a star, and said, "Then you testified of the doctrine and testified of Christ. It was perfect!"
Then he drew a line down and to the write to another "Experience" with a circle around it. "But then you shared another experience." He drew another line down to another circled "D" saying, "And you taught the doctrine some more." Then he finished by drawing a line to another star in the bottom right corner of the napkin. "And then you testified again."
President Packer then drew a line, cut off the right part of the arch right after the star at the top and said, "That is where you should have stopped! That is when the Spirit was the strongest! It got lost and dulled with all of the other words after you testified the first time." Elder Zwick said he was humbled and grateful for the advice.
How true it is! The Spirit can only dwell in holy, quiet places. After hearing of that story and being taught by Elder Zwick, all of us have been trying our best to "Simplify and intensify!" as Elder Zwick put it. I've felt the Spirit a lot more than before! I know that sharing the gospel with others is more effective when we use less words. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He will always be there for us.
Thanks for all of your support and love! I love all of you! Have a great week! :)
Elder Woolley :)