Sitting here in my office chair with the air conditioning blowing, enjoying (maybe) 82ªF weather with clear skies and a full sun, I think about how you are right now. All of you for the moment in Montana, listening to the rain drizzle on the windows and the roof, at a wet 42ºF. I wish I were there. I like that weather better... You'd better believe it. I'm not a fan of heat, while mine is blowing on me almost full blast. But moving on...
The work here is progressing. We've started teaching this man named Silvio. I may have mentioned him last week. He's a pretty cool guy. He's got a few problems with the Word of Wisdom, but we've been teaching him a lot about hope and repentance. He just drinks it all in and loves it all. He reacts really well to ll of the things we share with him, and the way we teach has been slowly changing.
Recently, President Gulbrandsen has been focusing a lot on the talk that President Uchtdorf gave last April in the General Priesthood Session. The theme was the why as much as the what. So we've been changing our teaching to include more questions to help the people understand the why behind all of the whats. For example, the main doctrine of the church found in 3 Nephi 27 tells us that no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God, so to teach about repentance we would read that scripture and then ask something like, "Why do you think it is important to repent?" In some cases, we first ask "What is the Spirit teaching you?" then follow with a why question to really get them thinking more. And then we don't always get the same answers and they are really receiving revelation themselves.
As President Uchtdorf taught, the what informs, but the why transforms. As President Packer teaches, true doctrine, understood, changes behavior. Many times, we just focus too much on the "what" of the gospel and we don't understand anything about the why? The why of the gospel is what helps us change to what Dad describes as a "have to" to a "want to." That is the key to everything in the gospel, and it is also the focus of the new teaching criteria and program for sunday school. I'm super excited for it because it is exactly that program that will help prepare so many people for their missions now.
Well, it's about time for me to finish because I have five minutes left before we have to leave to teach. But I love you all. I hope the sick bug has finally run it's course through and you all will be well the rest of the season. I want to see more pictures of the kidlets!! Safe travels Dad!
To all of you farewell. I'll be speaking with you soon face to face!! (through skype... but still... it'll work)