Befuddled Brain: A Missionary's Dilemma

I am on the far left. Looks like food did the trick of putting a smile on my face. The elder in the center may have blinked or with that apple in his hand he is looking down just wanting to sit in his chair and finish.

We know that light is faster than sound, but what happens when thought is faster than speech?  Let's see:

Slow speech plus + fast thought = embarrassment.

Monday,  March 3, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

Well, it is good to know that I am about to lose one hour of sleep. My clothes are holding up. I was reading through the email, but I feel as though I was missing something. I know Mom goes to chiropractor, but she takes Chloe with her? (Chloe is a 10 year old Boxer dog and is receiving treatment from the chiropractor.) That is awesome, seeing as Chloe is the only one of the three dogs who could settle herself. 

It sounds like you are having fun with the missionaries and that the work is going along. Also, happy to hear you had Chinese food. Why? I had some too.

It has been one of those weeks. I have been a bit stressed, because this week has slightly been nightmarish. After nearly 8 months of no noticeable problems, my speech problems are back in full force. As you may remember, it was hard for others to understand me, plus towards the end of senior year, I noticed that I started to stutter a bit. In the Missionary Training Center, I had trouble with words as well until I discovered that I knew the material. I knew I what I was saying; I had a testimony. Well, now it is back and it is a bit of a trial. Slowly this past month, I noticed that people did not understand me as much and that I had to repeat myself. Then, this week comes along and I am tripping over my words. Even worse, my brain cannot seem to connect the words that I am about to say, so I cannot speak. It was bad to have during a lesson one of those moments where you know the material, you know what to say, but you cannot speak. Or even worse, when you are about to talk to someone to please pass this item of food to me and you are about to ask by gesturing, and you freeze, because your brain cannot seem to form the words. It has been one of those weeks. Plus, it brings up all those feelings that I am socially awkward and how dense I am at social rules. (What he doesn't know his dad had times of stuttering or stammering as well as his brother. Sometimes the brain works faster than our mouths. Seth had more teeth than mouth. He had teeth pulled and wore braces. He still needs to enunciate words where his lips need to completely close.)

Interestingly enough, this is a week where I was reading about grace. After all that I can do, then grace can help. My favorite scripture in Doctrine and Covenants, even starts with, "Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you...." Despite all of these nightmare problems, I am doing all that I can to teach and to speak. I can pray for help. I can practice my speech. I am doing everything that I can. (And I hope no more embarrassing moments happen again.) So, yes, it is back, but daily I will do my best. Trials and tribulations happen for only a moment.

On top of that, I felt that sense of pressure that there is not a lot of time for things. President Wilson is giving us material that he encourages us to read, but, of course and thankfully, it is not too mandatory as far as I reconcile and understand. But, still, it is heavily encouraged. One of these things were case studies about how to teach investigators and how to keep a commitment. This is in preparation for a zone conference that was moved from today to Friday. I just did not feel I had time for all of this, but, after some encouragement and resolve, I studied the material.

This week was filled with a lot of tracting. We had to drop some more investigators or at least give some investigators time (Some people have a lot of questions and want to study things out more which is okay.). It is coming more apparent that we may soon have to go south of our area to the Faraway regions. We are literally tracting a lot every day and the only places that will soon be left is the region far, far away.

I went on companion exchanges this week to the other area. I met a minister who was thrilled to meet us. He had not seen missionaries in three years. I am a slow thinker and when people talk incredibly fast and include sound effects, it becomes a bit difficult to follow. I did my best to address his points. Not sure he was listening. He was very excited to talk. That evolved into an interesting day for Thursday. 

Friday, we had a zone conference wherein we got the case study material. It went a bit long. 
I'd rather be knocking on doors. I can't feel my bottom anymore. I am on the far right.

We had a lesson with two of our investigators (husband and wife) who understand it quite well and was wondering about our standards. We told him to read the Book of Mormon. Then, I read the case study material for preparation for zone conference. In it, some missionaries gave their investigator a homework assignment to address his questions and how that was applied with other commitments and types of investigators. With that idea, we thought that it would not apply to these investigators who are busy, do not have much time, and go to bed early. But, we tried it with the investigators that we saw on Friday. We stopped by Sunday, because they went away for a day. We asked about how his reading was and he admitted that he tried, but could not get into it. Gave him a homework assignment. Hopefully, it will work for them. I am excited, because I believe it will work.

And yesterday, it snowed. Most of the day until 3. Then, we went out and helped people shovel. Not as deep as last time. And not as much to do. We were able to help out a few people and talk to them. 

Thanks for the picture of the back stretches. (he's complained of backaches which are probably due to riding a bike. Hopefully, they will work out. 

All is well.


Elder S. Todd