Like I said in my last weeks email president Griffin has challenged Elder Bunn and I to go on exchanges for the day with each member of our zone in 8 weeks. We have 16 missionaries which makes for 2 exchanges per week! It sounds like a ton and it kinda is but at the same time it is really awesome. We are having the opportunity to go to other missionaries areas and learn from what they are doing as well as share our insights on what they can do better. Since I have been out quite a bit longer then most of the missionaries in our zone President Griffin wanted me to share my experiences with the younger ones and help them to not make the same mistakes so they can become better missionaries earlier. It's a dang good idea haha. This week I went with elder Rodriguez into their Spanish area and got to hear nothing but words I couldn't understand but feel a spirit that is real. It is incredible that even though I have no idea what is being talked about I can feel that the words are genuine and Christ is at the center of the conversation. It is a really cool experience. I also went with an old companion of mine Elder Zaugg. Remember him from forever ago? Well he is back in the same area where he and I served together so it was like a mini reunion. It was a blast. The best part about it was seeing the changes that were in him and then hearing the changes that he has seen in me. It's weird but you don't feel like you change a whole lot and then you see someone from your past and they can point out everything that's different in a heart beat.
I had an extremely uncommon experience on Friday. The assistants to the president told me that they and president Griffin had made a choice to have me and one other missionary go down to Scottsdale and help the missionaries in that mission to better understand how to use the iPad for missionary purposes. I really didn't know why they were choosing me but went along with it. The Scottsdale mission just got iPads like two weeks ago and are still trying to figure out how everything works. Well my mission has had them for just under two years so we have learned from our mistakes and have quite a bit of knowledge as to how to be productive and use the tools properly. I just got up in front of everyone and felt like I vomited tons of information onto these missionaries and they just almost couldn't handle it all. Haha I slowed way down and went to the very basics and helped them understand the importance of keeping everything complete, correct and doing it timely. Overall it was just one of those times when I was really great fun for people who had taught me and made it possible for me to teach others.
Each month we have a mission leadership council on Tuesday and then the following Friday we relay all the information that we learned to all the other missionaries in our zone meetings. This month President Griffin really focused on the importance of planning and also working on Facebook. It is great for me to be able to learn to use social media appropriately now because I know the temptations to goof around on it when I get home will be so much higher. The lord really is hastening his work and all of the tools that we are receiving are evidence of that. I am blessed to be in a mission that has been able to use these to move the work forward in a way that isn't traditionally used by the church. It has been a great experience so far.
Well thank you all so much for everything you do. I really appreciate it and will talk to you next week!
Elder Cole Safford