Apparently, you're only supposed to have 2-3 teachers at the MTC. Guess how many we've had? 8. Bro. Taylor, Bro. Fairclough, Bro. Makahilahila, Bro. Perfilly, Bro. Hilton, Bro. Hale, Sis. Lauhata, and Bro. Sebesta. It's perdy much awesome. It's been really cool to analyze each of the teacher's methods. I've actually learned a lot about teaching from watching them teach us. The biggest thing I've learned, is to teach with care and love. If you love the people you teach, and make them feel like a million bucks, they're going to be so much more receptive to what you want them to learn. Our district loves all of our teachers, and we decided to write a big letter to four of our favorites. I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you who, they could be monitoring me right now!... ;) I'll send you some sort of coded message. I hope you're good at puzzles.
Another thing I learned here is that I already know all the basic doctrine. I've been going to church for 18 years, seminary for 4, and I've lived in Utah most of my life. I've noticed that the teachers' responsibility isn't to train us to be master scriptorians, they're here to show us how to help people come closer to Christ. It's such an interesting perspective, and it was hard for me to grasp the first week I was here, but I think I'm beginning to understand.
I've also learned that a big part of being a good missionary is being social. I thought that would be a big obstacle for me to overcome, but it hasn't been at all. 1 year ago, I would've been frightened to talk to someone who sat next to me on a plane, or at the dentist's office. But I'm starting to overcome that fear. We practiced contacting last night, which is a fancy word for "talking to complete strangers about Jesus." For our whole district, it was actually a lot more difficult than we expected. Even when the potential investigator was our teacher! I did alright, I didn't feel socially retarded or anything. It's just about being friendly, getting to know them, then telling them that you can help with anything they may need.
Sorry if this information is nothing that you wanted to hear, it helps me to type down everything that's running through my mind. I remember it better. It helps me to organize my thoughts.
The greatest thing I learned was that I need to be more Christ-like. Last sunday, we listened to a recorded talk from Elder Bednar's "the character of Christ." It was beautiful. The Spirit told me that I need to be less selfish, throw out the natural man, and love others. Whenever I'm down in the dumps, I need to get into the habit of thinking outward, not inward. Applying that to my teaching helped me tenfold. That doesn't mean I'm a great teacher/missionary yet. I just feel like I'm on the right path to becoming one. I hope and pray that the Lord will help me to do so.
The fourth of July was so good!... I don't really remember what we did exactly, all these days are blurring together. I remember we studied and had class (as usual), we went to a devotional, watched 17 Miracles (I couldn't help but think of Ozias Kilburn Jr.), and then we watched the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire from the MTC. The fireworks were kind of lame considering how far away we were. Elder Clarke couldn't pull away from them, though. He snapped picture, after picture, after picture... it was funny. I had a good time, though with the other Elders in our district. We photo bombed, quoted Hot Rod, and ate ice cream. Only bad part is that watching those fireworks reminded me of going to Stadium of Fire last year with Justin, Madeline, and Emma. I got a little homesick, but I got over it.
I took some pictures, you'll be happy to know! I'm just struggling with having my camera with me at the computer. I'll try to send you some pictures by the end of the day. If not, Look foward to next Wednesday. :)
Last Saturday, we did this big "Oreo Relay Race," in the dorms with the other districts in our zone. (We have 3 districts total, each holding 11 Elders). It was pretty much the coolest thing ever. There're four floors in the building, with staircases on the north and south sides. We put two missionaries from each district on each floor, (except for the bottom, we only had 1), and gave the first runners a handful of oreos. As you ran, you had to eat one oreo before you ran downstairs to the next competitor. Our district won, of course. :)
I love you! Email me soon!
Elder Hansen.I love and miss you, too! I'll call you tomorrow morning, I hope you're awake!!
Love, Elder Hansen.