Friday, August 24, 2012

Precision and Accuracy—email from 08-20-12


Oh gracious, all I hear about is how hot it is out west. And I can promise...I know how you feel! It is quite hot here too. But still as fun as usual. :)

We went to the zoo again Monday. It was fantastic! I got to see gators wrestle! And boy are those beasties vicious. They were both so bloodied by the end of it I couldn't believe they were still going at it. They tore each other apart on land, and when that got old they took it into the water. The kids around thought they were trying to drown each other. Which it did look a bit that way. On the way out Elder Draper went to the gate people and said "You have some pretty beat up gators in case that's a concern." It made me giggle. Gators are as frequent here as deer are there, I doubt they worry too much about beat up gators.


We had some interesting occurrences this week. We had this man that we had been talking to a little bit and had left a copy of the Book of Mormon with him. We went back to see what he thought. He came out and immediately started to tell us how it was horrible, evil, that the stuff we believe is terrible and that we are following the plans of Satan. He was coming at it from every direction. I was getting more and more anxious by the second. I tried to talk reason with him about some of the things he was saying but he wouldn't have it. So Sister Heckel too the better approach and bore simple testimony that she knew it was true, she knew for herself by the power of the Holy Spirit that the Book of Mormon was the word of God. And he paused for a moment and finally said "Well, I'll do this for ya, I'll read the whole thing, you can't believe it as passionately as you do and have it be a complete lie. So let's figure this out." It was amazing! I was so proud of my companion and so amazed that he decided to still read the book.

So Dad, you asked about precision and accuracy, we have actually talked about this a lot as a mission. President Barry uses two examples. Pole vaulting and landing a jet on a carrier. Now since I know you like planes better, we'll discuss it from this aspect. Think about how these jets have 85 feet to make a perfect trap. Drop too low too soon and they will fly right into the carrier. Don't drop low enough soon enough and they will got right off the other side of the ship to a watery grave. Now, landing an f-14 on an 85 foot runway is scary! One of the last things they do is fire their engines up to full throttle so that just in case they don't catch the wire they will have enough momentum and thrust to take back off again. We watched video after video of near misses and perfect "traps". Also this whole thing happens in a matter of seconds from when they make their last pass and start their final descent. A commercial pilot is accurate, he can land his planes on huge runways every time with slightly different results, but still success. A navy fighter pilot is precise or it means death. Interesting right?! So the questions posed is, are we living our lives with accuracy or precision? Accuracy allows for slight deviations and will still result in success. Precision on the other hand has no other options than to be exact every time. Mathematically accuracy is defined as a range of results that are not exactly the same (or are) but can be recreated enough times to show an "accurate" result. Also accuracy is used in "rounding" numbers. Precision on the other hand is a perfect result the first time. Not even the slightest deviation can be allowed. And also goes to the farthest decimal possible in mathematics. So as missionaries we have to ask ourselves, are we being exact and precise in following rules and such, or are we accurate. In living the gospel of Jesus Christ we should strive for precision over accuracy.

Which leads me to my final thought. If a lack of precision results in death for a fighter pilot, what possibly does a lack of precision mean for us? GO AND BE THE CHANGE!!!

love y'all!
Sister McCracken


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