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Sister Kaitlyn Beard "Now therefore stand
Washington Vancouver Mission and see this great thing,
2223 Northwest 99th St which the Lord will do
Vancouver WA 98665 before your eyes."
1 Samuel 12:16

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 58: Disciples in the Digital Age!!!!!

Dearest Family,

I hope you have had a wonderful week! It sounds like the cabin was cold but super fun! We have had a fantastic week here with a lot that's happened. 

So on Monday Sister Hansen got to go spend her night in the mission home. So I ended up having a sleep over with Sister Pope (who is currently in Happy Valley) and we got to work for the evening in Nehalem. That was pretty fun! We had canceled all our appointments because we thought we wouldn't be here so it's a good thing tracting is awesome right? 

On Tuesday we had the trainer-trainee meeting. It was one of the most amazing meetings I have ever been too. President Taylor told us the story of the Atonement. He spoke of agency and the Plan of Salvation. It was seriously an amazing meeting the spirit was so strong! I am so grateful I was able to attend that meeting.

We had meeting on Wednesday with Elder Neilsen and Brother Heaton. The meeting was called Disciples of the Lord in the Digital age. It looks like the Ipad and Facebook pilot is over. They've made a program now and are rolling it out to 88 missions of which we thankfully also get to be a part of (if we lost the iPads I'm pretty sure we would all be lost as many of us don't even have our paper scriptures anymore). Last year when we had the first Ipad meeting they handed us Ipads and pretty much said have at it and spend an hour of Facebook every day. Well this time we had a long meeting about HOW to use Ipads and WHAT to do. They've watched all the missions with Ipads closely and still will watch us closely. From watching they've come up with principles of how to work with technology and also safeguards for working with technology. I will try and write about all that we learned in a minute. We were all really struck by what an amazing privilege it is that we are a part of the small group of missionaries that got to pilot this program and then get to roll it out. God doesn't do random. OH and they also previewed the new Easter video for us and you should all be excited! It's AWESOME! 

So I think some of my biggest take aways were for one thing they talked about our privilege to use these tools and how they have been prepared to hasten the Lord's work and so they talked about how we are at the exact moment as the stripling warriors were in Alma 56 when they are acting as a decoy and then all of a sudden the Lamanites are out of sight and they don't know if it is a trap and Helaman asks them
"44 Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?"
He talked about how that was a critical moment and we are in the exact same moment. We are very much like the stripling warriors. The age has been lower for warriors/missionaries. We are being given the chance to do something that our fathers weren't able to do. We can use these tools. 
Well their response was that they would go and in verse 47 it say 
"47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them."
We talked about how this story applies to us. I liked especially the part that we talked about with "they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives" their purpose in coming to war was to protect their fathers. They were completely focused on their purpose. Well with the stripling warriors we know that none were lost though all were injured. 
I really liked that.

I also really loved learning about what we call 'the safeguards of technology'. We learned that we are all vulnerable. YES that means YOU too! ALL of us. Anyway being vulnerable is being bored, lonely, angry, anxious, afraid, stressed, hungry, tired and the list goes on. Isn't it ironic that's when we all use technology naturally? I think the biggest perspective I gained is that these things are tools not entertainment. When we use them when we are vulnerable we end up wasting time or viewing inappropriate material. I am really excited for the tools I am going to learn for technology for the rest of my life with this new opportunity to be a part of the hastening of the work with these tools. They also spent a decent amount of time talking about how many missionaries return home from their missions having been away from the recent technology and become immediately more susceptible to temptations and so it is the goal of the First Presidency to help the missionaries not only use these tools for the hastening of the work on a mission but also train us with safety skills for the rest of our lives. This is an exciting time! That was one of the most spectacular meetings. This is a marvelous experience to be a part of. I am so grateful for the privilege that has been granted to me by the Lord.

Anyway things are going well. Sister Hansen is really awesome! We are just way too similar! She will say something about her preferences or something about herself and I will just put my hand over my face and say "are you kidding? no way! Same with me!" Talk about friends from the pre-mortal life! We were probably super excited for like ever to come be companions and now we're living the dream I guess! Anyway it's super awesome! Way easy to be her companion though hopefully I'm a good trainer. Sometimes I forget that she is new until she starts doing something that is against a mission rule and I have to remember that it's my responsibility to tell her not to do that. So I definitely have a lot to work on as a trainer. But I am so grateful for the experiences that the Lord has granted to me to allow me to stretch and to grow.

Something I really have come to love is seeing myself change. Day one in the mission field you do the same type of work that you do on your last day. The work doesn't change. But YOU change. The way you see the work, the way you love the work, how much the work means to you- that all changes. That's why missions are 18 and 24 months. Because a God who knows us all perfectly knows exactly how to help us change for the rest of our lives. Of course not everyone chooses to let a mission change them but whatever. Which could lead to another tangent of it's own where we visited the home of a recent returned missionary who claims to have loved his mission yet has been inactive ever since. I'll spare you the tangent and just say we called them to repentance and hopefully something that was said will resound in their hearts and come back to them some day. Anyway moving on. 

The work is going well. Our zone is definitely struggling as far as finding the elect and helping them progress but we are praying and fasting and learning to rely on the Lord for help. Because it's the Lord's work not ours, though I KNOW that our faith and prayers DO make a difference.

So Sister Hansen and I switched bikes for a couple stretches this week. She always makes fun of me for how slow I ride. But hey now she knows how that bike requires a lot of effort! Haha we were both just kind of falling over and driving like crazies because our bikes are so different. It was a party! What an adventure.

Anyway I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I love you all so much!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Oh ya and we went to the temple!

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