So this week has been very good. We had a mission wide conference in anticipation of receiving Ipads (don't have them quite yet). It was so good and I learned so much about topics that go so much further beyond a piece of technology. I learned a lot more about how we really can apply gospel principles in every part of our lives. What a blessing the Lord has given us in our days to have access to so many wonderful things. Like with any powerful tool though comes the responsibility to learn to be an agent, acting to use that tool to further the work of the Lord and not an object that allows the tool to act upon us. I think about before my mission and how much time I sometimes wasted on the internet because I felt like I had nothing better to do. One thing I am learning though is that if I feel like there is nothing better to do then there probably is but I have to be willing to actively go and seek it out. Before the conference we received a manual talking about the safeguards of technology. I love this manuel, and although there may be some things that people may laugh and roll their eyes at, there really is so much that will be useful after my mission. One of my favorite things that it talks about is that before we get on our mobile device (this can apply to computer, tablet, cell phone, etc...) we should first think of what our purpose is of getting on the device. Once our purpose is established then we can get on and get to work with whatever it is that we planned to do. It then says that if at any point when you are on the device, you can't remember what your purpose for being there is, then you should immediately stop, turn of the device and either reestablish your purpose or go do something else. I think this is something that all of us could apply in this world filled with technology. If we don't know why we are using technology then in reality it is using us to fill our time and minds and take us away from all of the good things in the world such as our families, friends, and service. I'm excited to be able to begin to apply and practice these principles on my mission and after as well.
Another thing I have been focusing a lot on this week is why I am doing the things I am doing here on the mission. As I approach my half way mark on my mission I really want to be sure that I am doing all I can as a missionary to find and bring God's children to Jesus Christ. I want to be able to say that I served my mission with purpose and that I did all that God intended me to do. That being said I have been studying preach my gospel a lot and trying to evaluate what I am doing as a missionary and whether or not it falls under what the Lord expects of His missionaries as outlined in preach my gospel. As I, and my companion have done this, we have started to realize that there are some things that we have been doing all our missions that really are more of a tradition amongst the missionaries than actually what it says in Preach my Gospel. We do them because that is what our trainer did, and what their trainer did, and so on. Even though many of these things aren't necessarily bad things, I have tried to ask myself if it is really what the Lord would have me do to be His missionary. Somethings I have actually wondered about for a while but when brought to the attention of other missionaries were quickly dismissed by comments like, "Oh yes, well it's different in Spanish work" or something like that. Is it really any different though? I would assume to say that if it really was all that different then the Church would have come out with a Preach my Gospel especially for Spanish speaking missionaries. I have thought about this and how it applies to us in real life as well. How many things do we do in life that are traditions that really have no secure root? Maybe they aren't bad things, but are they traditions that are helping us to grow and to become the person the Lord want's us to be? Are these traditions a reason maybe we don't follow the words of the prophet or the scriptures with exactness? To we sometimes say to ourselves "Well that is really nice and I'm sure it has application to someone else, but I have been doing things like this for years and it's been working for me so why change?" If we find ourselves saying things like that then it may be time to reevaluate why we are actually do it and what it is the Lord would have us do. I know that this life is about continually growing and bettering ourselves and many times that is going to mean we are going to have to break out of our comfort zones and break traditions. At times this may be difficult but I know as we do it we are able to humble ourselves and receive the spiritual growth that comes as we follow the Savior. I am excited for the time I still have left on the mission to continue to work hard and do what I need to do to be a faithful servant of the Lord. I love this work and I love being a missionary!
Everything is going well with our investigators. We had four of them at church this week which was awesome! I love them all and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to work with each one of them on their path towards baptism.
I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!