elder caleb greaves

Holding to the Iron Rod in Germany

Hey guys

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This week was really good, despite the fact that we were running around all over the place all week.

The first chunk of the week was spent preparing for zone training meeting, which went well. We asked some sisters to teach a lesson on baptism, a senior couple to teach about the Restoration, and then we taught a lesson about how our main goal should be getting the Spirit in our lessons, not what we are teaching.

We illustrated this by asking one of my favorite missionaries, Elder Halbleib, to come up front. As we talked, he had to eat as many tortilla chips as he could. He had to do pushups while we looked up scriptures, and jumping jacks while others answered questions.


So then (at least the idea was) he was super thirsty. We started a roleplay in which we pretended our goal was to get Elder Halbleib to try some “Juice” for himself. We extolled it’s virtues, then handed him an empty glass, and asked him to drink from it that night. He said he would, but then we came back and he hadn’t. So we gave him a different glass.

We would pause the roleplay and go do “weekly planning” and plan a lesson for him, in which we decided on which glass to give him. Eventually, we decided to give him the juice. Then, of course, he could drink it.

The analogy was that we as missionaries sometimes really struggle to figure out that perfect lesson plan. We just throw doctrine at them and hope something sticks. And we do need to teach the doctrine – after all, it holds the juice. But we have to focus on giving them a taste of what the Spirit is like before they can learn to feel it on their own. And something that Elder Weber and I have really hit on is the that the biggest secret to having the Spirit there is wanting it there; if we are constantly trying to get it there, we get ourselves out of the way.

Then we gave them a pump up speech (my favorite). We used a picture of one of our favorite quotes from conference: “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be”.

The idea was pretty simple, but I think it’s pretty special too.

We introduced this formula: if there is something in your life you don’t like doing, consider whether or not this is a good thing to do. Obviously, stop doing it if it is not. If it’s good, and you are sure of it, do it in a different way to make you love it. If it comes to the point that you just have to square your shoulders and do it, and you can’t do it any differently, and you’re supposed to do it, and you are still unhappy with it, then the only thing left to change is your attitude.

Example: You don’t want to go Mutual, because it’s boring and your friends aren’t there. You know you are supposed to go to Mutual. Instead of griping about it every Tuesday, suggest activities you actually want to do, and bring. your. friends.

Another: You hate going home/visiting teaching. It’s awkward. It’s boring. Your families see it as a much of a chore as you do. Step 1: You must do your home teaching. You promise in your temple recommend interviews that you fulfill your callings, after all. Step 2: Try planning lessons in a way that is engaging for you and the family. Plan specifically for each family. Look for chances to serve. Step 3: You still aren’t enjoying it. Ask yourself, “Why am I asked to do this?” Gain a testimony of home teaching. Study about, pray for, and develop charity for your families. Take interest in their lives. Eventually, I promise that the Lord will help you actually enjoy it. We can be like the people of Nephi in the time of Moroni, surrounded by war on every side, arguably one of the most difficult times in their history. In Alma 50:23, it says that there “never was a happier time among the people of Nephi”. This is the blessing that comes to those that are “truly humble seekers of happiness”, as was Ammon.

Saturday was eventful. They asked us and the other zone leaders up north to come to a stake training day. We were there to answer questions about missionary rules and policies which was not fun because the members don’t like some of the policies. You know what’s great though? The Spirit. The Spirit is great.

In other news, Elder Weber is getting transferred, which is super lame. We didn’t see it coming at all – actually, president told us we would stay together. I’m really sad. I enjoyed serving with him a lot, and we were really hitting our groove.

But it was a good time with him. This new companion is named Elder Wiersdorf – he’ll probably be my last one.

Sorry, I didn’t talk about people all that much this week, but they are all doing great.

Have a great week!

Elder Greaves


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