こんにちは！ How is everybody doing in their various locations? I am doing quite well here in 清水、日本 (Shimizu, Japan)!
This week has been wonderful! We met with one of our investigators, Daichi, on Saturday night. That evening he shared with us that right now he has some big decisions to make, and wants the guidance from God that we have been promising him. He is a graduate student and has been studying some type of medical field, but has been focusing on medical research and is thinking of changing his focus to medical practice (or something like that; there’s probably more to it, but that’s what I got out of my not-so-good translation). Anyway, he has been praying (yay!) but does not feel like he has felt the Spirit yet. So, we are working hard on helping him recognize and understand the Spirit; on Saturday we discussed with him what the Spirit feels like, and shared some scriptures from the Book of Mormon to hopefully help him understand it better (and hopefully help him feel the Spirit). We also want to share some videos with him (particularly Because of Him and He is the Gift), but he does not have a DVD player and his laptop was still not available to use (which I think I mentioned last week). Yet another great thing about mobile technology in missionary work! (During our training yesterday we got a bit more of a glimpse as to when we might be receiving such mobile technology in our mission, but there’s no concrete announcement yet; we shall see). However, we received a great training from Brother Heaton yesterday, in which I definitely learned/remembered various things that I intend to better implement in my missionary work.
Speaking of Brother Heaton’s training…it was great! I learned so much about how I can become a better missionary! He did not necessarily say anything new, but rather I feel like he laid out plainly the things that I have been wanting to do as a missionary, but had not really formed a concrete idea of what those things were. In other words, Brother Heaton flipped a light switch and illuminated a subject about which I have been thinking quite a bit. That subject being: how we do missionary work! One thing that Brother Heaton said that kind of sums up what everything was about is this: The most important time for measuring an investigator’s progress is not what they do and say during a lesson, but rather what they do and say between lessons. During his training we discussed a lot about what we can do to improve our time with investigators between lessons (I say investigators, but this applies to nonmembers, members…anybody we meet!). I don’t really have time to go into all of it right now, but essentially what we need to do for investigators is simply love them, and really show them that love – and through seeing and feeling our love for them, they will see and feel God’s love.
What I learned from this training does not necessarily mean that I have not previously been a good missionary. It simply means that I can still become a better missionary, a better person, a better disciple of Christ. That’s really what life is about: becoming better, little by little.
That doesn’t really do the subject justice, but I have no time to expound further. Needless to say, it was a superb training.
I love you all, and hope that you have a wonderful day, a superb week, a festive season, and a great rest of the year!
p.s. Grandma: Yes, I have actually seen quite a few different lights as I’ve been bicycling around our area. It’s interesting to be in an area of the world where many people celebrate Christmas but most do not know the purpose for the celebration. It definitely provides a great opportunity to talk to people about who Christ is and why He is so important! It is nice, though, to see Christmas decorations around the area and have that reminder of Christmases spent together with family.
p.p.s. Mom, I still do not yet know whether we will be google chatting or talking on the phone. We are hoping to be able to google chat, but I will let you know next week. In the meantime, just let me know when you will have time available to talk on Christmas (and if possible, when Kyle is going to be doing it, depending on whether we need to work around each other or can still do it at the same time; he mentioned last week that he might not be able to do it at the same time as me, per mission rules). Oh, and yes, I did open my Christmas package. The pictures are perfect. If possible, whenever you (or anybody else) has time, can you email me some of the history for the people in the pictures so that I can write it down? Thank you! I love you!
p.p.p.s. Dad, thank you for the recipes! I will definitely use them. I love you!