Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Week #30

Dear Family,

Prepare yourself, because I think I've cracked the secrets to the human mind, and by extension, the entire universe.  I do not exaggerate, so if you have heart problems, make sure to take it slowly.  Alright, maybe it's not so fantastic as all that, but I did have some pretty cool insights this week, some of which came from stuff I've been thinking about but it all kind of came together during Conference weekend.

So I had this thought about thoughts, and was thinking about the way we think.  All the companions that I've had so far have been different from one another and approach things differently and I understand a little bit better why.  Ask yourself this question: When I think to myself, what form do my thoughts have?  Are my thoughts more related to science or to art?  Do I think in shapes and colors, or numbers and lines, or words?  For me, I think in words, especially since I've been on my mission.  But Elder Burnett thinks like a movie, with all the elements of sound and visuals.  All of Elder Buchanan's thoughts have numerical values attached to them, and Elder Musgrave doesn't have any colors but thinks in designs.  That's something that I've never really thought before, that people not only see things in a different perspective or have different thoughts but literally the way that they think them is different.

Layer #2- The way we think is not always the way that we communicate.  Thinking and communicating are completely different things.  For example, an individual might think completely in images, but not be able to illustrate in the least, so must communicate their images with words.  Imagine how much information is lost in the translation!  Trying to send an image through an entirely different communicative medium.  It's madness!  The way that the think and the way that we communicate are completely different.  The information may not always directly correlate to its presentation.

Third Tier- Reception of the information.  If it weren't already bad enough that we had already lost so much information, you have to add into the formula the person receiving the information.  Imagine trying to explain chemistry using words to someone that thinks in shapes.  If you do not understand the way that an individual absorbs knowledge, it would be like speaking German to a Bushman.  

Now of course, no one thinks in only one way; the mind is terribly complex and has the capability of absorbing and retaining information by various means.  But it is my personal opinion that each person either has one dominant way of thinking or at least their own perfectly unique combination of multiple ways.  A person that can understand another's way of thinking and then either adjust his idea formulation or the way in which he communicates to meet their needs can have the most meaningful influence on that latter individual.  Making the connection between formulation, communication, and reception makes all the difference.  This can only come by the power of the Holy Ghost.  The gift of discernment is real!  That's exactly what it is, knowing with what people are struggling and how they perceive it.  

Super nuts, huh?  I hope it made sense, but this is a realization that I had this week that sometimes things that in word form sound perfectly clear in my head may or may not easily translate into the images of Elder Burnett's mind.  And vice versa.  But if you learn to think in all modes, as our Heavenly Father does, who sees both how we think on the inside and the way we act on the outside, and understands the information that was lost in translation, we can more fully learn to love everyone around us.  

Conference was super good this weekend.  I can't wait to go over the talks again and review them, because I know there is still a lot to be gleaned from them.  I'm not sure which one was my favorite over all, I need to go back and review.  I definitely felt the Spirit and was super excited to hear what the prophets and apostles had to say.  There were some throw down talks, especially Elder Oaks and Elder Christofferson.  

Well, there weren't really any events other than conference that stood out this week.  We did get one of our videos finished, and have plenty more that are currently being edited.  You can take a look at this first one, it was from when we went down and picked up trash in Crawfordville.  

Love yall,