Well this week has been a good working week for us here in Ubon. Last Friday our zone leaders came and held a meeting with all the Elders (and 2 sisters) in the zone. They went over some of the new program that the First Presidency is putting out and training all the missionaries over the next year. They focused on starting a first lesson with someone. Let me give you an example of one thing that will be changing. Since I got into the mission field our idea of a first lesson has been to teach the Restoration or a point of the Restoration. In the program that is changing to be some of the things that is in chapter 10 of Preach my Gospel(That chapter is titled How Can I Improve My Teaching Skills? Mom). So in the last week we have been working on some of the phrases that it asks us to be able to use. We have taught a few new lessons in the past week and I feel that it helps to set the expectations better for those we teach. It also sets it up so that right away we can start to understand the needs of out investigators and by using the help of the Spirit teach to their needs.
This last week I also took a day to exchange companions with the Elders that live in Warin. I went to Warin to understand how they are teaching and inviting and to see how I can help them improve. Its strange to be the one who gets to decide when to switch off rather then receiving the phone call to be told what day I'm going to another area. As the District leader here in Ubon I have to switch off with every member in the district to get to know them and to train them if necessary. So I spent last Wednesday with Elder Christenson and got to know him better. He is a great Elder from St. George. We had a good time working together. We ended spending time inviting in an area of Ubon or Warin, I'm still not really sure, its kind of a island in the middle of our area. It was kind of a poorer area of Ubon. Recently due to flooding many people were out of their houses and in tents on a dry part of the the "island." We spent a few hours inviting and teaching people there. On a interesting invite something interesting happened. As we were walking by a house a man shouted to Elder Christenson and I in Laos. From my 7 months I stayed in Sakon I learned a little bit of Laos, enough to understand what he said, then I answered back. He asked us how we were and I'm pretty sure I gave him a heart attack when I answered back because he jumped pretty bad. After that we had a talk about what we do and asked if we could come back later. They weren't interested but they were good friends.
I'm way excited for conference this week. From some of the things that Dad talked about I can't wait to hear it all. The best thing of all is that this time I'm going to here it in English. Ubon is a stake center....well will be. so they have satellite feed. Which means that I don't have to stress about not understanding it. I'm way excited. but if possible I still would like a copy of the conference issue when it comes out. That way I can have my personal copy to carry with me when I move.
I haven't yet got the package. I should be able to get it around the 14th. That is when the next moves meeting is. Oh man that's a scary thought. I have everyone confused in predicting what's going to happen to me next moves. I could move and become a zone leader because there are so many people leaving the mission this time ( I don't want to do that). Then I could stay another moves with Elder Lesueur which would be sweet. Or I could train next moves (there are about 18 people coming in) so for every person there needs to be a trainer for every person ( I think this is what I am going to do). Its going to be a crazy.
One last thing before I finish. Connor I had the opportunity to talk to some members about your facebook. I still can't figure out how in the world you were able to get a trade for a yellow and silver paperclip to 10 karat gold earrings and $100 gift cards to AE. I got to see the pictures you put up as well. That's way sweet. Also Jay, one of the guys that recently got baptized is going to try and find you on facebook. He is sixteen. I think you two will have fun talking together.
Any ways that's all I've got
until next week
I love you all
Elder Brandon John Holt
ps Connor, don't date too many girls before the weekend.