Saturday, June 11, 2016

June 11, 2016 - Aaaaand this week went all down the drain...

Well. What do I mean by that unfortunate subject line? I mean that all of the work that I did on the Mission Histories this week is gone. Completely. Without recovery. Sigh.

I had a problem earlier in the week with the document being too large, too corrupted, or something. Every time that I tried to make multiple changes, then save, the server that it was on wouldn't accept it. If you tried to "save as" to any other place, it would save it all corrupted, if at all. Sometimes it just blocked the "save as" feature. So, in order to prevent me from loosing lots of hours of work like earlier this week, I made a copy saved to the desktop.

Yeah, that didn't fix anything.

I'd gotten really paranoid about keeping my progress saved, and was saving after nearly every edit that I made, at least saving after formatting each individual conversion story to be in line with all of the others.

It didn't help.

After finally finishing the whole editing and formatting of the last of the conversion stories in 2015, I triumphantly pressed "save" one final time. At which point the document froze, and then renamed itself to something like ~WF77019. I stared at it in shock. I tried to save again, press "save as" - nothing. No response from this imposter document. I scrolled throughout it, and it was entirely glitching up. Pictures were jumping all over the place. Formats that I fixed were blending together again. It was a nightmare. I closed it - the only thing that it actually responded to. The files were on my desktop. I could only watch as this weird document and its temp-file next to it blinked out of existence. Thinking that perhaps, it was just a weird, isolated little problem, I attempted to open up the actual Mission History 2015 document, cleverly labeled "DON'T CRASH" after the initial title. To my horror, the same problem happened as I had seen before - it said something about a corrupted file, and gave no way to recover my work. I couldn't restore a previous version or anything. It committed suicide on me. I had no choice but to haul it all to the trash bin, and look back at the original document, still mocking me from the initial deletion that it had done earlier. I'm back to the same exact document, with no changes, that I had at the beginning of this week. And I did a LOT this week. Sigh.

Well, it's not so bad. I'm sure that I will never forget any of these conversion stories that happened in 2015. I'm afraid to break up the file to more manageable sizes, 'cuz we had problems before trying to do that, since it reformatted everything on us when I tried to do it before. Also, if there are any page additions (since the thing needs to have page numbers), I would have to change every little piece of every document, and might not catch it in time. Too many moving parts and all that. I can't pull out the conversion stories, edit it, format it, and drop it back in - I've already tried that too, and the very specific formatting changes (specifically space differences in between paragraphs within and between different topics) all go kaput when you try to merge it back into the original document from another source. Sigh. I'll just have to get really good at pressing "save as" instead of "save", so that I can have a step-by-step better-and-better document on hand at all times. No more resets!

Hey, at least the whole document didn't delete itself.

Nothing else really interesting happened this week, besides what will be in the answers below.


What did you learn this week?

This week, I was going through how in the Book of Mormon, Aaron taught King Lamoni's father. Essentially, King Lamoni's father was contacted, became a potential investigator (Ammon was quite disarming ;) ), sent as a referral to Aaron, and then became an investigator in Aaron's stewardship, if you will. Just as a missionary equivalent of how he started meeting with the missionaries. So.

I have always found it interesting how applicable the questions were to King Lamoni's father's understanding. They were good questions that took what he knew and expounded upon how what he knew was a bit bigger and more important than he thought. He had an idea of religion, yes, but it held so much more in store for him than he initially thought. The Plan of Salvation and the gospel of Christ was put simply before him, and he reacted very well to it, desiring to learn more and act upon it to become fully converted. It was a really cool experience for everyone involved, I'm sure.

I started to think about how I can specifically answer questions in a way that the people I meet have the same opportunity as King Lamoni's father. Maybe they won't react the same way, maybe they and their family won't all convert in a single day to the church, but I want to give the gospel to others in such a way that they have the ability to understand it and act upon it, so long as it really is their decision to do so. It's been fun - we've done a couple role-plays of it as a companionship, since when I was explaining it, Elder Hoggard brought up that sometimes, the questions they ask or want answered don't really fall in line with anything we teach as missionaries, or at least want to teach at that time. With some questions asked, it's like the people are asking questions over why can't we add infinities together when they don't yet understand what addition even is. Regardless of how much good it could be to talk about how you can't really add infinity to itself, if they don't understand addition, it's no good to talk about that in any more than very vague definitions and concepts. Likewise, if people don't understand how to do things like pray and read the scriptures to find answers for themselves, it does us almost no good to answer things like, "did Moses hear a physical voice or a spiritual one?" If they don't understand that God can answer questions and concerns, it doesn't help much to try to figure out how one specific person in a specific instance received an answer. Can it help? Maybe. Not much. Just gives precedence for it happening before. Just like explaining that infinities not being able to be added together opens the door to actually talking about addition. So that's the way to teach, really - show people that in order for them to understand what the answer to their question is, they have to understand why another thing works. Generally, then, they end up answering their question themselves, and that often is best for someone trying to find out if the Gospel is true.

Anyways. I ranted a bit, but I really enjoyed studying how to ask good questions.

What did you teach this week?

This week, we have taught three lessons so far - we are actually really happy! It resulted in two new investigators, and we also have a few potential people to follow up with. We had exchanges with our District Leader this week, which really helped.

What did you share this week?

Today, we will get to share the Todistus Pallo lesson with a really cool guy! He is a student from Vietnam that just moved into the ward, and lives in the apartment across the street from us. Very close. His story is so cool - he was traveling on a train in this area 10 or so months ago, ran into missionaries (I know which missionaries were there, too), and sat behind them in a train. The missionaries talked with a woman who was not very interested. He was, though. The missionaries left the train after giving a card to the woman, and she soon left the train with the card still on the seat. He took the card and put it on his desk, not sure if he should call or not, because he wouldn't know what to say. He ended up not calling, and went over to Britain for an exchange-student program. There, he ran into the missionaries at a crossroads - but they walked right by him. So he followed them. Eventually, the missionaries realized that they were being followed and talked with him. 6 months ago, he was baptized. Now he's back in Finland! He is such a great guy - he joined us on a lesson in English yesterday. First time I've had a lesson in English in a LONG time. Like, over a year ago. Wow. It was great, though - he bore fantastic testimony! I gave him pieces of a Todistus Pallo last Sunday, after he saw one of them and thought it was the coolest thing ever. He will meet with us again today, and we will talk about all of the different parts of his testimony! It's bound to be good as he shares with us, and we share with him, things that have given us hope and happiness.

Did you see the picture of us and Vanhin Jensen's parents the Jensen family sent to him? (they came to our ward and Sister Skinner took a picture!)

Yeah, I saw that - Wow, that was weird to see a picture of my parents again! I haven't seen a full-body picture in a while. Then again, I haven't sent a picture of me also in a while. Hmm... you get what you give, I guess... I should try to attach more photos, but I rarely take photos anymore! Sigh.

Do you have to write a history of your missionary service for the Mission History? (Dad had to write a letter to his Mission President about his mission service at the end of his mission, so he is wondering if your Mission President does that, too.)

No, I don't - but that could be a good thing to do, regardless. It'd be fun for the contemplation, as well. I'll think about setting apart Preparation Day time to do that!

If you could pick a scripture for your missionary plaque today, would it still be the one you chose at the beginning?

I still think so, yeah. I chose 1st Timothy 4:12, which is still probably one of the best scriptures that I could pick for encouraging myself to keep putting myself out as an example in the capacity as a missionary serving others. If not that one, though, I think I'd pick 1st Nephi 11:17. It's cool to think that as long as I remember that I have a loving Heavenly Father, it's okay if I don't know the meaning of all things. That knowledge, if I really let it change me, can aid me to being able to endure all things until I can understand them, even if that understanding doesn't occur until after I've gone a long ways past the problem. I like that!

As an interesting side note - in order to confirm that I was indeed thinking about 1st Nephi 11:17, I quickly picked up the nearest Book of Mormon and flipped open to the verse. After opening it to the right area, I discovered that I had an Estonian Book of Mormon in my hands. No worries - the words were recognizable enough to confirm that it was the verse that I was thinking about. Just had an 'o' that I've never seen before and quite a few more 'b's than I think I'll ever see in a Finnish sentence. :)

Well, that's all, family. I love you all - I hope that everything is going well for everyone! This next week, I will work on that dreaded Mission History 2015 editing and formatting again, and we may need to take a trip up to Joensuu for apartment needs... That'd be long, again. We'll find out soon, though! Be safe, all, and have a good week!

Vanhin David Milligan
The two of us in our now-natural habitat... ;)   I'll try to take better pictures!

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