Thursday, November 16, 2017

Technology and its Purpose

A week of Service and Cold and Technology.
Tuesday we had zone conference. While there we received our new smart phones. We have a Samsung. That has been weird. But what was weirder was setting up our FB accounts. That was extremely weird. I won't lie I have been extremely timid about using it because I just don't want to look at it. Instantly Satan tries to distract and I'm not about that. Before knowing about this coming to my mission I was almost at the point of never using social media again after my mission so this has been interesting.

I will say that I am grateful for the blessing it is to learn how to use technology more appropriately. Every time I use it I have a clear purpose in mind of why. Never will I use it to just look at stuff. We have been taught "Safeguards" for using technology. The four safe guards are. 
1.     Be in tune with Spiritual Promptings
2.     Be focused on the Missionary Purpose
3.     Be Disciplined (choose to overcome)
4.     Be One (with companion)
There are also three steps to take if you are feeling vulnerable
1.     Be aware and acknowledge
2.     Choose to Act
3.     Learn and Improve

The teachings that further explain these principles can be found in the Gospel Library. Click on Missionary. Click on Safeguards for Using Technology. 
Not sure if this is mentioned in that document but we also conduct device audits once a week where we review the other's device in an effort to keep each other accountable. 

Over a year ago we had a visit from a general authority and I prayed in the days leading up to that conference that I would be able to understand and know why I was called to serve in the Missouri Independence Mission. My answer was that I was called there so that I could learn how to repent. While sitting at this last zone conference as we were trained on using this technology to fulfill our purpose the Spirit taught me more specifically that I was called here so I could learn how to repent of using technology in the wrong way. 
The reason I am sharing this with all of you is because technology is here for the sole purpose of moving forward the work of the Lord. While there are many other blessings of having this technology we should not forget that God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. That is his biggest goal and focus. Technology has not been invented so that we can surf the web for endless hours or scroll through the same social media feed that we have already seen 10 times in the last hour. Technology is here to help bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
I extend the invitation to anyone reading this email to go read through the Safeguards for using technology and personally commit to begin applying these teachings. I promise that if you do so you will be protected against the temptations of the adversary. You will be inspired of ways to better use technology to fulfill the Lord's will. You will begin to see as Lehi and his family did with the Liahona that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. These Safeguards and the other teachings are inspired by God and should be applied accordingly. 

Specifically to my family I will not be writing another weekly email until you have taken the time to read these safeguards and the teachings together and counseled about where you can improve. That includes Erika and Camden. I know you guys are all busy but this is seriously important. 

I have a testimony that the Lord's hand is in all things. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and is just as much a prophet as was Joseph Smith or Moses or Noah. I know that we live in this the dispensation of the fullness of times for a specific reason. God's plan is perfect and our Savior Jesus Christ is the only way that we will succeed in fulfilling that plan. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Kelly

Lots of Service

This week we did a lot of service. Which is always enjoyable. 
There is someone in our ward working on re-roofing their barn. It was originally built in 1871 and was added onto in 1920. Our job was to pick up all the shingles that fell on the ground and take them to the burn pit. We went two days in a row and the first day while we were there it snowed for a few hours. We had a lot of fun that day. They have apple trees that were near where the burn pile is. We would work until we were cold and then eat an apple in front of the fire to warm up. 

Elder Kelly and Elder Denney at the burn pit

We were able to have another lesson with Becky Leamer and Toby again. Unfortunatly Raegan was not there but Becky's kids were there. Hannah (14) and Zayne (13). Becky told us that after last visit she knows she needs to come back to church. Toby told us that he would be willing to start coming to church with her. We talked all about the need for the doctrine of Christ. At the end Toby asked for a blessing of healing. This was exciting because the first time he has shown any sort of faith.

We had two more lessons with John Swenson. He really seems to be digging in the heels and hardening his heart. So in our second lesson we took a different approach and tried to talk only about Christ and invite the most amount of Spirit as possible. Turned out E. Denney, Sister Swenson, and I were all fasting that his heart would be softened. The lesson went well. We read 3 Nephi 17 and watched a bible video. He is still reading the Book of Mormon daily. 

We were able to visit with Anthony Park again yesterday and he found a family name to take to the temple this week. 

Please don't forget to read the scriptures daily. We're specifically invited to read from the Book of Mormon every day. If we will do this Christ will be more a part of our life! It is the word of 
God with the Bible. There are no two better things to study and spend time in. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you guys! 
Elder Kelly

Their beautiful property

Elder Denney and Elder Kelly

Their son's awesome truck

Passing over the bridge at the same time as the train

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Stake Conference

Oct 30, 2017
Lots of good stories from the week!
Monday we taught Anthony his first new and return member lesson. Actually we didn't teach much at all. We had two priests come with us and they taught the whole lesson. That was rather fun. Anthony should be in the temple sometime this next week to start doing baptisms for the dead.

Crooked River Ward Halloween party

District meeting!
District meeting we were sitting there having a discussion on prayer. In walks this guy from off the street that slightly had a crazy look in his eye. He asked if he could join in so of course we said yes. But then he started to interrupt and not just participate. Eventually he pulled out sun glasses put them on.. then pulled out a camera and started recording. He said, "ok.. I have one question. You guys believe in Christ right? Only way to salvation is through him." We all responded with a yes. We then asked why he was recording us. His response. "Just need to make sure I do my job."  Then he asked where in the Mormon Bible it teaches that we become like God. We told him that it is taught in the New Testament. He was puzzled by that. He was just trying to catch us in our words or something. He eventually left after he did a solo on the piano. It was super weird. It was really uncomfortable. All of us expressed after how we were tense and thought he was going to pull a gun or something. So we are glad it was just a camera.

We taught John Swenson again. John feels that every faith as long as it is centered on Christ can produce salvation. We taught from the Bible and BofM that there is plainly a correct way and that not any idea made by man can lead one to salvation. After we explained he still seemed unsatisfied but did accept the challenge to pray to know of the truth according to God. We feel that he will indeed receive an answer because he has been reading the BofM daily for almost two weeks now. I would challenge you. If you can't tell someone what is required for salvation then you should probably find out because you need to know! I know I couldn't tell someone clearly and with certainty until I was a missionary. Not good. No man can be saved in ignorance.

This Sunday was also Stake Conference.
The Carnahan family didn't make it but we did meet with them. 
John Swenson made it to church.
Harry Cooperrider came to church for the first time in 6 months. We had a lesson with him spur the moment on Friday. All we did was ask him about his conversion and how he knew the Book of Mormon to be true. At the end he committed to come to church! He has told us no so many times prior to this. Harry is the father of George Cooperrider. The guy that has the long beard.

Bishop Causse, the presiding bishop of the church, was at Stake Conference. He spoke all about the power of the Book of Mormon. He also made a statement that I found very impactful. He said that he was asked to go to the Vatican and inform them about the temple being built in Rome. Well they asked what the differences of the church were. Bishop asked if they could instead focus on the similarities. Instead the man proposed that he come back in a month and bring the experts on the doctrine of our church and he would bring the experts of the doctrine of their church. Then they would have a discussion. Bishop Causse said that he was tempted to say he would bring his kids! They did not set that meeting up because he felt that it would not be productive. 
He went on to explain that it is not about being and expert on doctrine. It is about being a witness. We must be a witness. That has more power behind it than just knowing doctrine. 



I love you guys! Don't forget to make your head knowledge heart knowledge too! That is how we become a witness.
I know that God actually wants to further witness the truth to you through the Holy Spirit. We must simply ask, seek, and knock! I know that Christ is the son of God and that they gave us families so that we can be happy in this life and in the world to come. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Kelly