こんにちは！Hello, everybody! How are you doing in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in 都城, 日本 (Miyakonojo, Japan)!
This week has been very good. We had Zone Training Meeting last week, which was wonderful. There is a couple assigned to our zone named the Johnstons, and Elder Johnston told a story about accidentally shooting himself a few months before they came on their mission, and the miracles that occurred for him to live and then still be able to serve a mission just a few months following that incident. It was quite powerful, and is a very interesting story. I also learned many other things from Zone Training Meeting and continually work on applying those things and becoming better every day. I am far from a perfect missionary, and have much that needs work, but I know that through the Lord I will be the missionary that He needs me to be.
Today is transfer calls, so I will soon discover where I will be going (or staying). I know that wherever I go is where the Lord knows that I will be able to best serve His children. My time with Elder Jensen here in Miyakonojo has been wonderful! I love having him as my companion, and have learned so much from him. I know that I have become a better missionary as I have learned from his example. We have worked hard to build the branch in this area, and continue to work very hard to strengthen our investigators’ faith and desire to follow Christ. There is much that I can improve, but looking back on these past three months I believe that I can say that the Lord is pleased with my service thus far.
We already know that Elders Smith and Nara will be leaving, because they received a call on Sunday from one of the Assistants to the President that they will be "white-washing" from their area, which means that they both will be leaving and will be replaced by a completely new pair of missionaries. They will both be missed! They have been a great part of our apartment, and are both wonderful missionaries. Elder Smith has also been a superb District Leader.
We were not able to meet with Kuzuguchi san this past week because she still had a bad zutsu (headache). However, on Friday we dropped off a small box of chocolates and a note inviting her to come to church. She called later thanking us for the chocolates, but was unable to come to church because of a totsu-zen (sudden) schedule change calling her in to work on Sunday. Zannen! (Unfortunate!) However, we continue to work hard to help her come to church; she continues to read the Book of Mormon and is still praying about a baptismal date, but has not yet committed to it. We are praying hard for her!
We met with two other investigators, Taira and Alex, both Daigakusei (college students), on Sunday evening, and the lessons went very well! We taught Alex about the Spirit and invited him to pray about recognizing the Spirit, and then he prayed about that at the end of the lesson! I definitely felt the Spirit during his prayer, and have great hopes for his progression.
I know that this is the Lord’s work. It is wonderful!
I am sad to hear that Grandpa has passed away. He will be missed! But I am so glad for the knowledge that we have of the plan of salvation, through which we can live together forever with our families! I do not believe that there is a day that goes by where we do not testify about eternal families. Japanese culture is very much focused on families, especially ancestors, and we are constantly teaching and testifying of the importance of families and the ability to live with them again after this life. I know that there is life after death. This life is only a small part of our eternal existence! "We are immortal beings on a mortal journey." (Or something like that; I believe one of the prophets said something to that effect). Life may be difficult at times (and sometimes is very difficult). There is both joy and sadness. But through the gospel of Jesus Christ we have the hope and knowledge that we will continue living as immortal beings after we die.
I love the gospel! I love the Lord! I love my Heavenly Father, who has provided such a wonderful plan for us! He truly loves us more than we can possibly comprehend. Even though it is sad for us that Grandpa has finished his mortal journey, I am grateful for the work he is doing on the other side of the veil. I continually pray for our family, and I know that as we turn to the Lord we will find comfort.
I love you all! Thank you for your wonderful examples, prayers, and support! You are all wonderful children of our Heavenly Father.
Here are some pictures from the previous week. I don’t have any time left to explain, so I guess you have to try puzzling out what is going on in these pictures. Enjoy! 🙂
Well, that’s all, folks!