So, as you might have already figured out, my life has changed dramatically recently. President Monson recently announced that all male missionaries can leave on the missions at 18 and all female missionaries can leave when they are 19. He said that being the prophet of God, inspired, and with the intention to save more souls than ever before in an increasingly perverse world. He also said it, I'm sure, without even bothering to consider the social impacts it was gonna have on BYU. Think about it! The guys won't be a big deal. All it means is that there are going to be a lot less freshmen guys living in the dorms these days. I mean, it's weird for return missionaries to live in the dorms and it will be weird for 19 or 20 year old pre-missionaries to be at BYU considering all of the "So when are you going on the mission?" questions they are bound to get. So I don't know how that will work out, but it will be a little different. The big difference will come with the girls. Before, girls were going to BYU with the idea that they were gonna be there for three years. Three years is enough time to get married, in the BYU world. It's certainly enough time to find a serious boyfriend. Three years, if you are motivated and driven, is enough time to graduate from your major or find a career. One year, simply put, is not. A TON of BYU girls will now be serving missions, which I have a sneaking suspicion was the Lord's intention. And who does that leave the return missionaries to date? Well, if you are me, none. Because I just so happen to come back just in time for these new limits to take full effect. This next year, the last of my mission, will be a year of adjustment and preparation. People will still be getting used to the idea. They will already have plans, already have signed up for classes, already have started classes, and most of them will not have the will power or the mindset to just throw all those plans and classes out the window in the first moment. Things don't change that fast. But, after a year of adjustment and preparation, all of those Utah high school seniors will have been able to change their plans and their mindsets. Girls will arrive at BYU with the same mindset that many men used to arrive at BYU with: I'm here to have fun, get a start on my career, and prepare for my mission. And it will change the social world. As my house companion Elder Allegretti bluntly stated, I'm scared of change.
Anyways, other than those fears, I think it's a great thing. I'm really excited to see what the new dynamic mission will be like by the time Colton gets there (for what it's worth (it's really his decision), I think he should take advantage of the 18 thing), the mission is gonna to be a lot more mixed. It's not going to be 95% elders and 5% hermanas and seniors. It's going to be a lot more mixed, probably still a majority of Elders, though. A lot of different talents, challenges, and changes. It's going to be, dare I say it, a modern mission. I think it will be really cool. And, after the announcement, we just had a ballin' conference. Sorry, mom, you missed the best part. Priesthood Session rocked my world. President Monson just dominated the last talk. I got so amped to just share my testimony after that and be a good person. There is a really good way to know that he is a Prophet of God, and I think Moroni said it best. Whatever persuades us to do good, whatever is uplifting, or edifying, whatever brings the Spirit into our lives, that is from God. President Monson does that. He doesn't need to expound doctrine like a scholar. He doesn't need social life changing announcement. He just needs to be the good person that he is and do what he does best: bring the Spirit. I love him so much.
Anyways, what I gathered, overall, from this conference, is that we need to be worried about spiritual apathy. The talks, while they very much were directed at non-members, were also directed to us. The basic, come unto Christ, faith, repentance, baptism thing aren't things that we, as members, have already done. They are things we need to do. I feel that we are spiritually apathetic in this day and age. Perhaps you and dad no because you are smarter, wiser people than us, but really, my generation. Justification has become so easy. Words speak louder than actions. We all just want to get along, so I better not do or say anything that could offend anyone. What I mean is that we are not in danger of being Cain; we are in danger of being sophisticated neutrals. How do we stop that? Getting back to basic and helping, boldly, our spiritual apathetic counterparts to do the same. We have had too many deep doctrine debates that have numbed the simple, quiet power of a prompting of the Spirit. The mind trumps the heart in nearly all people, myself included. We need to get a testimony by feeling the Spirit and become converted. This isn't a complicated thing. God works still as He did before cellphones and internet, before archeology, before universities, before reading. He works through the Spirit and while that may be boring, it is perfect. It is undeniable and distinct. We need to wake up and become Spiritual sensitive people, all of us, members and non-members, and feel the strength of a testimony that comes through the Spirit. It will help us with our very modern problems and lives, if we only let it. That's what I got overall. I'm so excited for the liahona.
Anyways, transfers are coming up next week. I think I might stay, but it'll be fun to see if I go somewhere. Still working, looking for that next baptism. I do have a request for my next package. I don't want to justify my actions, but, just to explain, recently I went a little crazy. Maybe I hit my head. Maybe the truck actually did more that scrape my elbow. Maybe I haven't slept enough. But, suddenly and unexpectedly, I have found myself in a charitable mood. I have given away a yo-yo, an umbrella, all of my pens, all of my hangers, an empty journal, and, most importantly, 5 or six of my best ties. While I don't need or want replacements for the other things, I would like to have a full complement of ties. Just so you know that that is becoming a priority.
Love you all. Times they are a-changing. See you in a year (by the by, on Wednesday of last week I officially had spent an entire year of my life living in Mexico. How many people my age can say that they've lived in Mexico for a year by themselves? Neat, huh?)!