Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Grace and iPads!

Elder Muller was unable to get his pictures to upload :(. Sadly, there are no pictures to include with this letter, so I went through and decided to post some from prior weeks that didn't make it onto the blog! Okay, so maybe I'll post some of the same ones! Elder Muller's smile just makes my heart happy!

Elder Bryan Muller

Good friends doing awesome work
Elder Muller's apartment building...blue-gray one next to the red building

Rotterdam, Netherlands
Monday, May 18, 2015

Hoi iedereen, hoe gaat het met jullie? (Hello everyone, how is everyone doing?)

It´s been a pretty crazy week, lots of ups and downs. We had exchanges and Zone Conference this week, so we kept pretty busy.

For exchanges I was with Elder Shelton here in Rotterdam. (He was my old companion from Antwerpen.) We actually had a cool miracle happen. We decided to call up a former investigator we have been trying to get in contact with. She actually answered and wanted to set up an appointment for that day. Pretty cool. We were able to teach her part of the first lesson and just answer some questions that she has. She’s a pretty cool lady. She is originally from Azerbaijan. She is pretty much ready to be baptized, we just need to work through a couple things and she’ll be good.

We had Zone Conference on Thursday along with the Apeldoorn Zone (the northern part of Nederland). It was awesome, I learned a ton from President and Sister Robinson. President Robinson was just on fire as well. He had some great one liners. He was introducing a new Sister Missionary who was on her way to the MTC in London. She is from Gent, so they were letting her work for the day with the Zusters te Zoetermeer (Sisters from Zoetermeer, which is a city.) I guess they were going to teach someone that night. President was like, "She´s going to get a baptism before she even enters the MTC, why don´t you shove that down your pipe and smoke it." It was great, I love Pres. He just dropped stuff like that the whole conference haha. 

So the two main points of this conference were Grace (as Grace is part of the Atonement, and how does it work?) and iPads.... 

So GRACE!!! Whooo! So the entire discussion was based off of the talk His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox 

Here is a link to "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox:

Another item we studied was the talk by President Uchtdorf from this past General Conference. (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf is the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

Here is a link to President Uchtdorf's talk "The Gift of Grace", given in the April, 2015 General  Conference. 

We had a great discussion on how Grace works. I'll share a couple points that I really focused on. I would encourage all of you to read these two talks though, they are much better than anything I can say. 

Grace inspires change. That is its purpose. Many people are very happy that they have been saved by Grace. I am too, but something important to ask yourself is, how have I been changed by Grace?  Christ does not require perfection immediately. What He does require is that we do our best. That's it. Do our best to follow Him and keep His commandments. The purpose of this life is to set ourselves on the path to perfection.  

Grace is like a booster engine. A good comparison is an electric fiets (fiets is a bicycle). An electric fiets is a bike that is electronically assisted. You can set how much help the motor gives you. What is important though, is that no matter how much the motor helps, you still have to pedal. It's the same with Grace. We can choose how much we let it help us, but we still have to be trying, or nothing will happen. 

Cool beans, iPads! Whoooo.... So we will be getting iPads. President told us that. He doesn't know when. Ten out of the 30 European missions received them last transfer. We will get them probably before the end of the year. We talked about their purpose, how we are going to use them, and the safeguards that will be in place to help us protect ourselves from things such as pornography. 

So! What is the purpose of iPads? They have been given to us so that we can flood the Earth with missionary work. I think I spoke a little bit about this after Stake Conference, but oh well. Through the internet, we will be able to help and reach people we never could just by walking around and knocking on people's doors. It will also make it easier for those searching for the truth on their own to come across us, and contact us. This is nothing new, I think everyone understands the power of the internet. 

BUT!  I think there is a second and almost more important goal. We are being given these iPads (and free access to the internet) so that we, as a generation of Latter-day Saints can learn how to use technology for good. Right now the world is still rocking a bit from this sudden burst of information and communication, and honestly a lot of people cannot handle it. They get lost in the world of the interwebs. There is a lot of good on the internet, but also a lot of filth. Before, missionaries were sheltered from all of this. We were put in a bubble for two years. We were isolated from any temptation or challenge. This does not work though. Because sure, we are safe on our mission, but then we go home. Missionaries haven't been able to use technology for two years, so they go crazy and end up being sucked into bad habits, or worse, addictions. 
Having missionaries receiving iPads is supposed to help our generation overcome this challenge. Instead of isolating ourselves, we will learn how to keep ourselves safe by following the mission rules, but also learn to control ourselves, and exercise self restraint. When we will come home, we won't have to try to relearn everything, instead we will already be equipped with the skills we need to use technology for the right purposes, and in the right ways. We will be prepared to face the challenges of living in the Internet of Things but not of the Internet of Things. 

Anyhoo.... those were the two big things I wanted to talk about. I love you guys, and I hope that you have a great week. 


Elder Müller

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