Wow I can´t believe that Smith is now gettig ready to leave. Super crazy how all of a sudden everyone is leaving. Since I have started my mission the number of missionaries has gone up a lot in our ward and that is super crazy cool to see.
Well we had a mission tour here this week in Barcelona so we had four zones get together. That way they only have to do 3 conferences. The general authority that came to do it was Elder Olson of the Seventy. He is Swedish and lives in Stockholm. He also is the temple record keeper there. It was definitely a very interesting conference and then afterwards President Pace asked him to have an interview with me. Wow was I scared! I was like what did I do? But it was super cool. During the conference he basically kind of shared with us an idea throughout the conference intertwined with how to become better missionaries and better teachers. He basically said that when we go home to keep living these high stnadards and keeping the commandments and to keep going down this path we have started. To never return to who we were before the mission.
It really makes a lot of sense. The reason for the lower age change other than revelation of course is this. Before there where about 50 thousand missionaries. Well when you lower the age you push out 85 thousand missionaries. That is an extra 35 thousand missionaries that go on missions that didn´t have the opportunity to say no because they went down another path between 18 and 19 years old. This is were the church will see more growth. Not because there are going to be 35 thousand more missionaries so we will se more convert baptisms. But that, that is and extra 35 thousand returned missionaries who have learned to keep their temple covenants. That is an extra 35 thousand missionaries who will get married in the temple and have kids with thier spouses and the majority of them will have active families, so in 20 years from now the 85 thousand missionaries gets huge. Bigger stronger families in the church. In 20 years from now when all of us that will be going home and have kids the number of missonaries will be lets say 85 thousand times 2 or 3 because of our kids who have grown up it the gospel.
The church has a cycle, born in the coventent, endowment, mission, sealed in temple, repeat. By putting 35 thousand more missionaries in the field that is like 35 thousand more members endowed. Which means have more temple marriages which means more kids born in the covenant which means stronger families in the church. Bigger growth faster.
Wow, that is why right now they are going so hard on us misisonaries that will be going home to keep living a higher standerd of living and to not go back to what we where before.
Aside from that I am still in the Domincan Republic. The other night we stepped into a house and I did not understand one thing for about the first 15 minutes. They sure have their own way of speaking.
Chas wrote me back. He said he is just trying to get into listening to that Anuclian accent. It really is something different. Even natve Spanish speakers have a hard time understanding them. But I think it is my favorite accent.
Well everything is good here. Just realizing the end is coming soon and I don´t want it to come.
Love Elder Blake Billingsley