こんにちわ，みんなさん！ How are you doing in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in Miyakonojo, Japan!
This past week has been super fantastic! Yesterday we watched General Conference (because of time differences we watch it a week later). It was great! Elder Perry fist-bumped Elder Bednar after the Priesthood Session, which was cool. 🙂 We watched the two Saturday sessions on Saturday and the Sunday and Priesthood sessions on Sunday, so we had a lot of sitting in the clerk’s office this weekend.
I quite enjoyed Conference (I always do! Conference is superb!). I love seeing and hearing from the prophet, apostles, and other leaders. I am certain that every speaker was inspired by the Holy Ghost in the messages they delivered.
I particularly liked the talk by Elder Aidukaitis (in the Sunday afternoon session). He and his wife actually spoke at one of the devotionals while I was in the MTC; they are quite hilarious. Elder Aidukaitis (along with many of the other speakers) directed his comments quite powerfully toward the youth and young adults, our generation who possess such great power at our fingertips in the technological devices that most of us use daily. I love technology! There is great power for good in its use. However, Elder Aidukaitis pointed out that Satan uses great tools, such as the internet, to distort truth and make us miserable. As Elder Andersen stated in the Saturday Morning session, as the work of the Lord progresses forward and strengthens His power on the Earth, so also will Satan’s power increase in a vain attempt to match the power of God. Even though we know that Satan cannot win, his power will grow and we will be overcome if we do not remain under the Lord’s influence so that we are protected by His greater power. Regarding the Satan’s technological influence, in his talk Elder Aidukaitis stated humorously but clearly that "one should not roam through garbage." There is plenty of garbage on the internet, but there is also plenty of good, clean, wholesome material. Choose wisely where you roam. As Jacob says in Jacob 6:12, "O be wise, what can I say more?"
There were so many great talks! I wish I had more time to talk about everything I loved from General Conference, but I only have a little time left and would like to talk about what I have been doing here in Miyakonojo!
Last night was a great night! It rained quite a bit yesterday, and was still sprinkling a bit when we went out to share the gospel last night (we had a couple hours left after conference and dinner). We had planned on visiting with Arima kyodai, a member with whom we often mogi (I forgot what that word means in English; all I can think of is "practice lessons"), but we talked to him after conference and he said he would be busy, but we could visit him tomorrow (today). His bike tire is flat, so we are going to fix it for him. Anyway, because we were not meeting with him, as I said previously we had time for knocking on doors and ringing doorbells. Near the end of the night, as we approached the time when we needed to begin heading back to the apartment, we knocked on a door and an approximately 70-year-old (I think) man stepped out, and he is quite 金人(literally "gold person", meaning he is a golden investigator)! His name is Ueno san.
We started by asking if he believed in God, and he said that he does and in fact had recently accepted Christ as his Savior! Unfortunately, though, he had lost the map to the church he had been attending. 😦 Fortunately, we had a map to our church! 🙂 We provided him with our chidashi (pass-along card with map) and invited him to church, and he accepted! Our zone is focusing on increasing baptismal invites this transfer, so we also discussed baptism with Ueno san and invited him to be baptized. He accepted, and then asked if he could be baptized after church on Sunday. We explained that we would need to teach a few lessons first, so he asked if he could go to church, receive the lessons, and then be baptized! That would be great, but we explained further that it would probably be at least three weeks before he could be baptized. After that we introduced the Book of Mormon and asked if he would read it, which he also readily accepted. I am so excited for Ueno san! He is great!
I am very grateful to be the Lord’s missionary here in Japan. This is the Lord’s work, and it is moving forward with greater and greater velocity! However, the adversary is also increasing his attacks; do not be caught with your guard down! Always have the whole armor of God, stand firmly rooted in the foundation of Christ’s gospel, and you will not fall.
Here is a teaser picture! (I do not have time today, so I will send some more pictures next week.) It is ghost Elder Madsen in the apartment:
Sorry, I didn’t really have time to read your emails from this/last week (so much to do and so little time to do it)! 😦
Happy Birthday Grandma Mooney and Adelaide!
I love you all! Have a great day, a wonderful week, and a very nice year!