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A Mission-Wide Conference

Elder Austin Rushton and comps

Elder Austin Rushton and his companions.

This last week was our mission-wide conference. It was the first one in 12 years for the Oregon Eugene Mission! After driving an hour and a half to Klamath Falls on Monday, we drove an additional three hours the next morning to Roseburg for the conference. The subject?
“Missionary Work in the Digital Age”.

What this is is the rollout of technology to 88 missions worldwide. Our mission having been one of 28 test missions, data was collected here and instruction booklets created in preparation for the rollout. It will occur in three phases.

First, the 88 missions will receive new iPads. Our mission is switching out our 16GB iPad minis for 32GB ones tomorrow. I’m having to transfer all of the data off of my current one because we’ll be handing these back in to never see them again. The 32GB ones have to be purchased by anyone going home after the August transfer, so luckily I’m exempt from that and will just be loaning mine. The 88 missions will familiarize themselves in the usage of these and then proceed to step two.

Second, the missions will begin using Area Book Planner—an application designed by the church to replace to old paper planners. We’ve been using this since February 2014, so this likely won’t even be a thing for us; it’ll probably happen simultaneously with the reception of the new iPads.

Last, online proselyting will be reintroduced here. That means Facebook and blogging will be back in action in the OEM. So I may be back on for a month or two before returning home. It’s kind of funny to me how many missionaries have demonized Facebook now that it’s been gone, and yet the church is advocating the use of it strongly. I guess it goes to show that the church thinks we’re stronger than we think we are.

Anyways, that was our whole conference. Besides that, it was great to see all my missionary buddies too.

Afterwards came another three hours of driving back to Klamath Falls where we again stayed the night. Then the next morning I went off to Medford—another hour of driving—for a district leader conference that gave us the information to teach at district meeting, which was all about mobile device safety and the iPad exchange. Then another hour of driving. Then Elder Campbell and I made our way back to Alturas. It all made for a grand total of about 11-12 hours of driving in three days. By the time we got back Wednesday night, we were glad to sleep in beds again instead of on pad-less floors.

The rest of the week proved pretty typical. Lots of people told us we could revisit them even though they weren’t particularly interested, we taught lots of less-active members, and we took the truck on a few ATV trails (safely, don’t worry!) just to spice it up a little. Oh, and Elder Campbell hit a deer in the face with a rock on accident (i.e., he wasn’t aiming for its face). He felt pretty guilty about it, and said, “Now I know what it feels like to stone someone.”

Well everybody that’s life in Alturas, where the funnest thing to do is chase deer and go off-roading!

Much love,
Elder Rushton – Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

1 comment to A Mission-Wide Conference

  • LeAnn Rushton

    Isn’t it great to just live in such a wonderful day and age with all of the new modern gadgets! I think that it is great that you and the other missionaries will have the ability to learn and use the materials that are being made available to you now. Good luck with the updates and with your missionary work. We love you and pray for you always!
    Uncle Darrel and Aunt LeAnn

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