Monday, March 23, 2015

Mission Reset

We had our combined mission conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson
last Wednesday.  It was for the next phase in testing technology for
missionaries.  Elder Evans (the member of the Seventy who's in charge
of the missionary department) was with him.  He said that when they
were coming up with the title for the conference, they figures they
couldn't just call it "Mobile Device Training" because Elder Nelson
wouldn't like that.  So they came up with the title "Missionary Work
in the Digital Age" and took that to Elder Nelson, and he in effect
said, "If that's what you're doing, I'm not going."  They ended up
settling on the title "Disciples of the Lord in the Digital Age".  The
reason for that is, it's not just about doing missionary work more
effectively; they want to help us develop good technology habits now
so that we'll have them for the rest of our lives.  That was more of
the focus of the conference.

As far as the test goes, the Tokyo Mission and the Tokyo South Mission
were given test iPads last year, and then a few months later we
started using Facebook.  Now they're rolling iPads out to the rest of
Japan, and they're doing a "reset" on the Tokyo missions and giving us
the same training that they're giving to the rest of the missions.
Half the mission (including me) traded in the test iPads (white 16GB
iPad Mini) for new ones (black 32GB iPad Mini 2), and the other half
is trading theirs in at another event this week.  The training is
going to be in three phases: teaching & learning, planning &
record-keeping, and social media.  To start with, the other missions
are just getting the apps that help with study and teaching (they're
still using paper planners).  We still have the Area Book Planner app
(because otherwise we'd lose the records and reporting mechanisms
we've been relying on for the past year), but they disabled Facebook
for now.  We heard we'll probably get it back around May, but that's
not for certain yet.  The Quorum of the Twelve is overseeing the
training schedule.

Also, apparently the Church decided that only missionaries in Canada
and the United States will be paying for their iPads, and they have
the option of taking the iPads home with them.  Other missionaries get
to use them for free and they don't get to take them home.

Aside from that, we got some new apps in the past few weeks.  They
made Quizlet (a flash cards app) available to us the other week, so we
can use that in studying Japanese.  It's actually really nice.  The
Church is also developing a pamphlets app.  It has interactive
pamphlets for all the missionary lessons.  :D  It's up on the App
Store already (under the title "LDS Pamphlets").  I don't know if it's
up on Google Play or not.  They've only got them in English currently,
but they're working on Japanese.

On a lighter note, I found this funny sentence in my dictionary:

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