Monday, April 11, 2016

Many Blessings and iMessage Lessons Learned

I can't even explain how blessed we were this week! Coming off of conference with the many messages we received and the answers to our questions was awesome. Every time, I am shocked at how fast the brethren answer the questions that I prepare.

This week we have been extremely busy and we were able to witness many miracles. We had one investigator that completely changed her life around and was baptized this last Friday. A month ago when we would go over to teach her sister, she would go to her room and smoke pot while we were there. And then out of nowhere she started sitting in with us during the lessons. And even when her sister didn't come to church or FHE, she did. Where as in the past, she only came with her sister. She started reading the Book of Mormon and gained a testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel and she committed to live the commandments and she made a complete shift in her life. Being clean before her baptism was the longest she had gone without smoking since she was a young teen. It was amazing the day she was baptized and the transformation she has had. Her sister, who is also investigating, was hit super hard by her conversion. And she asked me to baptize her! Afterwards when I was changing, I realized I had forgotten an extra white shirt as mine was soaked. I was beginning to get a bit worried as I had no shirt to wear back out and everyone was waiting for me to change. So it came down to two options, wear my completely soaked white shirt and just come out sopping wet, or, as I frantically looked around and prayed for a solution...I saw a dry baptismal suit which had been left behind, hanging up. I hurriedly put that on and then put my suit on over that. The baptismal suit was a bit small and the pants hit me at and the waist line was around my belly button, but it was an old one and had a collar and a pocket! It was a bit puffy under my suit, but it did the trick!

Then this week we were just blessed to get so many member referrals. At a dinner we had a member bring a friend who is super interested in the gospel, then a member from out of town met a guy and we started teaching him today, and then our dinner tonight sent us to her neighbor who is a less active family with a 19 year old son who is not a member! My prayers have been answered in full as I plead with the Lord to put people in our path who are ready for baptism, as this ward can retain everyone we teach! And then tonight at our last stop, we met two Filipino girls who were super nice and interested and accepted the invitation to be baptized. We taught them the whole first lesson all from their doorstep! I knew as we began talking that they would accept the gospel! It was a cool experience.

In the mission there has been an iPad crisis! Missionaries are coming out with terrible habits. When I came out on my mission we were lucky to have a "fast" from technology for over a year. And so we learned independence from texting thumbs, and gained the desire to read papers scriptures! We actually carried paper scriptures with us! But these new young missionaries are getting caught up in bad habits and are even falling prey to being disobedient and using the iMessage capability in an inappropriate way. As the crisis has come to our attention I have learned many valuable lessons from other missionary’s mistakes, my mission president and the missionary department. 1.) I never want to be a slave to my device. I have to catch myself on this one all the time! But when I come home I want to continue good habits with technology. We can't let them control us, and before my mission mine totally did! But it won't when I come home. Put it down for a moment, read paper scriptures, do something else, have a face to face conversation. Don't be caught scrolling through pointless social media! 2.) Don't make haste decisions and actions. Our first reaction was to shut down iMessage.  My comp and I compiled a pros and cons list, and there were plenty of both, but one of our biggest concerns was taking away the agency of the missionary's and how they use their devices. Our president talked with the mission department and we learned of many missions who have shut down the iMessage. We were advised to do all we can to teach correct principles and help them want to live the law for the right reason; in other words, to fix the root of the problem not just the symptom. And so our president asked has to create a roll out plan to better teach the missionaries coming in and also the current ones on how to better use technology. Where my first instinct was to shut it off, I now want to invite all of us to be better at using technology!

Have a great week!

Elder Clark

P-Day Hike

Elder Clark and the Puffy Suit


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