Nooooooo, not THEM. Though they are distinctly cute. I always wanted twins just so I could dress them up as Thing 1 and Thing 2. (Okay. I wanted twins UNTIL I HAD CHILDREN. Now I just think all mothers of twins are saints. And I'm glad I'm not saint material.)
Anywho. Two things. Sunday-ish Things, it being the Sabbath and all.
This week I went to a CES training meeting - that stands for Church Education System. It is for all the seminary and institute teachers - essentially gospel, scripture based classes for teenagers and young adults. (Including my Marriage Prep class. Good stuff, people.)
This is Sergio. He is THE most incredible teacher in the world. (Sorry folks, he's here in Brazil. You lose.) He teaches with such power, such faith. He has us laughing one minute and crying the next.
I've been to Teacher Improvement meetings plenty of times, but for some reason this week's training really hit home. He drilled into us that GOOD teachers let the students teach. GOOD teachers let the Spirit teach. GOOD teachers leave the students thinking, "I felt the Spirit so strongly today," rather than, "she's a really good teacher." GOOD teachers don't teach at all.
And one of the secrets to inviting the Spirit is to ask good questions.
We learned that there are three types of GOOD questions:
1) Questions that force the students to look up the answer (in other words, questions that have no obvious answer, nor simply yes/no)
2) Questions that cause the students to reflect and ponder
3) Questions that cause the students to apply a principle to their life
I really loved that last one. So instead of, "Why do we need prophets?" (rote, by-the-book answer) we ask, "When have you already felt that President Monson is a prophet of God?" (causes the student to think about his/her life personally.) It is when the STUDENTS bear testimony that the Spirit thrives.
Before attending the training, Sergio asked us to prepare a 5-8 minute lesson on a few verses in Mark - about Jesus curing the blind man. I (of course) procrastinated, so I had to wake up early the day of the training to prepare. I was proud of the results. I really studied those five verses. I learned a lot. And I was eager to share it.
But Sergio never asked us to show our "homework."
And I was annoyed - after I went through all that trouble, I didn't use it.
Or so I thought.
The truth is - I came to realize that THAT is how we should truly study the scriptures. As if we were giving a lesson on it. I took those five little verses and thought up enough questions to keep me pondering and looking up answers for almost an hour. I got more out of a mere 1/4 of a chapter than I often did in my daily reading.
So Thing 2 - this is Daniela and my teeth. Daniela and her husband Rodrigo were sealed in the Campinas temple yesterday for all eternity.
They've come a long way. A few years ago, they were living together - but more for convenience than for love. They drank. They smoked. They fought. They hit. They were seperated more often than they were together. They have two children, but had much to learn by way of parenting.
Witness the gospel changing lives.
Now they are legally married. They hold hands. They speak softly to their children. They love one another. They bear testimony of a living Christ who heals and cures and purifies and perfects.
I got to accompany Daniela yesterday. I was so honored. It was an awesome thing to watch her cry as blessings were poured upon her head and as she made sacred covenants.
I love the temple. It hurts me when people make that sacred place out to be something ugly, vulgar or unnatural. It is a beautiful place. I feel the Lord there. It is a sacred place. A place where I start to feel like the Becky He wants me to be.
So keep going to the temple, Daniela and Rodrigo. Return to that place as often as your life permits. Make it the center of your purpose on this earth. It is where the fluff falls away and our perspectives become clear again. It is there we gain greater understanding of who and why we are. It is there we concentrate on the most important things - on the Lord, on our families, and on love.
Not bad for a couple of things, if I do say so myself.