Sunday, July 1, 2018

"To act for themselves, and not be acted upon" (February 5, 2018)

My bff Choco, he likes to sit on our
laps while we write emails :)

The exciting news of the week is that our mission now has smartphones! We got them at a conference in Bloomington this past week, and the rest of the mission will be getting them at the end of this month. We share them as a companionship, and it's so nice to be able to message people and stay in contact with them throughout the day even when we don't have wifi. We received a lot of trainings on this conference about the purpose of smartphones, and talked a bit about being pioneers in missionary work, or what I have dubbed, boldly going where no one has gone before. Using technology and facebook is still relatively new to the missionary force, and they are still working out the kinks. And there are some potential hazards and dangers, but there are also so many benefits.
Something I really loved that we talked about a lot is that smartphones, technology, facebook, etc., they are tools. And they are tools for each and every one of us, missionary or not. And because it's a tool, it doesn't always need to be on, because you don't need to use it for every task you need to accomplish. We are told to always think of our purpose and our need for turning on the phone, then turn it on, do it, and then turn it off, and put it away. Because many, many of us, myself included, have wasted so much time on our devices. One of the greatest principles of the gospel is our agency. We actually came to the earth to have our agency and to have the ability to make decisions. That is why we chose this plan and shouted for joy in heaven when we heard it. Our ability to choose, to act and not be acted upon, is one of our greatest gifts. "They have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon" (2 Nephi 2:26) And when we let our phones control our lives, we are being acted upon, and being controlled by this object that should only be a tool to help us carry out our purpose at the moment, not a distraction that monopolizes our time. So this is something I would like to invite all of you to try this week. Before you go to use your phone, stop and think for a second, why am I using this? And if it is because you are bored, or want to scroll, or another reason that is not necesssary, stop and think about something you could do to use that time and your time more effectively. This is something I am working on too right now, so let me know how it goes!

I think I talked about last week how we were working really hard to meet our zone goals, and we had some crazy miracles on Tuesday and Wednesday, and we were all inviting everyone we could to be baptized, and we were able to meet every single one of our zone goals. On Wednesday night we were really sad because we added up all the numbers and realized we were short one baptismal date. But as we counted them again and went over the names of everyone the zone had invited, we realized we had missed someone, and we had actually met our goal right on the nose and surpassed all the other ones! We really focused this month on setting realistic goals and making specific plans to achieve them and it worked! We are so excited.

Some fun adventures this week:
We gave service at an event called "Baconfest"... and you can probably guess what that was. We were helping serve food and definitely smelled like bacon the rest of the night. 
The night before our conference drove up part the way and were able to stay over with the Lakeville Hermanas and it was so fun to see them, and see the members we lived with there again. To this conference we were driving up a car of an area that was closed recently, and I most definitely managed to lose the keys in the 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave. But it's ok, we said a lot of prayers, and God helped us to find them and remind me that I had put them in my pocket for safekeeping. 

Have a safe, warm, wonderful week!

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