Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Disciples of Christ in the Digital Age

Dear Loved Ones,

Our mission has now been officially approved and will be receiving Ipads this next month. This last Saturday we had a special mission wide conference where Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to speak to our mission. The whole mission gathered in Fukuoka...except us in Okinawa. We gathered in one chapel to watch it. 

I was a little sad at first to miss out on this one chance to meet an apostle on my mission. But then I realized the real gift isn't to shake the hand of an apostle, but really it is to be taught by one, to have the blessing of prophets seers and revelators today to bless us with God's counsel. So I'm simply grateful for that marvelous gift!

The training we received on using technology for missionary work was powerful. I was especially hit by the trust the Lord has in us, and the vision of how focused they expect us to be in being completely focused on the work of the Lord despite possible distractions these could become. 

It is so easy for technology to distract us from the things that matter most, instead of enjoying face to face conversations with the ones we love we let phone calls and texts and games and music distract us from that which matters most. We let ourselves get caught up in hours and hours of watching meaningless entertainment or news or things that really don't matter. 

In our training one safeguard they taught us that I think will be really helpful for me after the mission as well was to always clarify what you purpose is before you use the technology and the internet, if you find yourself using it without a purpose stop. Clarify and think how what you're doing will either make you a better person or help others. 

I had a powerful experience right after the meeting that drove home what was taught. To return to our area we took a taxi, and us 4 elders in our district got in a taxi with a 40 year old Japanese woman drive. 

While we were driving back I started reading one of the books we received about using facebook and such for proselyting. I was reading it and then I heard the taxi driver start talking about her troubles in life and how she felt like she couldn't find real peace. Then it hit me, "What am I doing here reading about using the internet to help people find the gospel when there is someone right next to me that needs it right now!?" So I quickly closed the book, put it in my bag and began to teach and bear testimony to that wonderful woman about how the gospel would truly bless her life. 

She had 3 kids and was a single mom, working so hard everyday to provide. She was filled with stress and worries in life. She would go out once a month with friends to drink and her worries would leave a little just a few moments, but then the would come right back and she would never find what she called "real peace" 

"So how do I get it?" She asked us.

I bore testimony to her of the unending power  of Christ and the Atonement, how He loved her more than she could ever imagine, and gave His life for her. She told us at the end that she felt peace in her heart just from talking with us.

And also because she said my voice was so calm and relaxing, I think though that was just the spirit. We ended up exchanging numbers and hopefully will get to meet her again and help her. 

I know this gospel is the only way to find real peace. I know that the Atonement is real and will lift the burdens of all those who come and lay them at the Saviors feet.

Love you all,

Elder Walton

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