This week is transfers!! And I'm staying in Elk City!! Elder Phillips is going to a Spanish branch in OKC and my new companion is/will be Elder Garner (who speaks Spanish and has been out about 8 months total). Sister Grant is staying in Woodward and is training, and Elder Kimber is staying in Clinton and is training. 6 missionaries in our district with 2 of them being fresh from the MTC! We're VERY excited!!!
This week we did a lot of sifting through potential investigators. It was a grand adventure with lots of people to see.
Yesterday, we went to the Thackers' home to teach them. Brother Thacker brought up his ever-looming concern: "If polygamy is righteous, then why did it change? If it isn't righteous, then how could Joseph Smith be a prophet?" The past few weeks, it seems like this has been brought up a hundred times when we see them. Sister Thacker is more humble and willing to change. Brother Thacker knows the scriptures a little better.
We left the appointment a little frustrated. We've emphasized over and over again "Read and pray. Read and pray." If there's anything robotic about my teaching now (especially with the Thackers), it's seems to be the ongoing chant, "Read and pray. Read and pray." We've also explained to Brother Thacker that it all goes back to, "Was Joseph Smith a prophet?" Regardless of what we say, Brother Thacker always seems to come out with his old polygamy argument, "It has to be one way or the other. It's either righteous or it isn't!"
So, today, as we real played in companion study, I started out as Brother Thacker. (PS "Real Play" is role playing but with the Spirit involved). We tried a little teaching, and then evaluated. We were still lost as to what to do. We switched roles and re-real played. I was lost as to what to teach and we sat in silence for a couple of minutes. Then Elder Phillips' eyes went big and said, "Oh! I got it!" He explained that we should use our "Communicating Effectively" model with Brother Thacker (our "Communicating Effectively" model being, "When you do _____, I feel _____").
We tried it out and basically said, "Brother Thacker, when you keep on bringing up the polygamy thing, we feel like you're misunderstanding what we're saying." Elder Phillips was like, "That's it!!!" YES! REVELATION! We've been trying to figure out how to help him for a while now. Real play totally works! Communicating effectively totally works! :)
So that's really it for this week. We're really excited to have a couple of fresh missionaries in our district. It'll be a fun adventure!
Thanks for the letters and prayers and love! I love you! :)