Friday, January 2, 2015

Mission Geocaching

Who Gives A Fig 4 a Cache?
S 36° 47.398 E 174° 45.733
This afternoon Elder Bennett and I decided to do a bit of one of our favorite pass times: geocaching.  What's that?   It is a game of looking for hidden treasure using GPS receivers to locate specified latitude and longitude coordinates.  Here is a brief introduction:

We've been playing the game since 2006 and have found a couple hundred of them scattered all over the United States during our various travels.  Now I have a whole new playground to go hunting in and I am quite excited about it.

I explained in more detail why I love geocaching over on one of my early blogs that is now archived.  You can see that HERE if you care to.

In visiting with one of my fellow senior missionaries I tried to explain a bit about why geocaching is so fun.  The question came up whether that was a suitable activity for a missionary to be doing.  Not missing a beat, I explained there are plenty of spiritual lessons to be learned from the hide-and-seek game.

The whole point of the game of geocaching is seeking.   As disciples of Jesus Christ, we seek after Him.  

In the game, we follow the ever shifting coordinates as we move to guide us in the proper direction toward our goal.  In living the gospel, we open our minds and hearts to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost who is the testifier of all truth.  He will direct us as to whether we are getting nearer or further from our goal of eternal life.  

When we get to the find in a geocache game we record our "name" (generally a pseudonym)  on the log to show we have been there.   

In Exodus 20:24 it says: "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. "

While it is the FIND that really matters, some of the geocache hides have little treasures in them.  The rule of the game is that if you want to take one of the prizes out of the container, you must leave something behind.  Many folks who play carry a stash of trade goods for making exchanges along the way.  In our callings as missionaries we give much in the way of service, but we also gain so very much in the blessings we find along the way.
Map of geocache hides in our area.

Ok, so maybe that's a bit of a stretch.   But my point is that playing this game is wholesome recreation, and it seems a great way to spend some of our free days.

There are LOTS of them to find pretty close to where we are.  So we are off to have some adventures.  The really great thing about geocaching is that it leads us to some truly beautiful spots we never would have found any other way.

Similarly, living our lives in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ leads us to a level of peace and joy that we never would have discovered by simply following the ways of the world.

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