こんにちは！ How is everybody doing in their various locations? I am doing quite well here in 日本 (Japan)!
This week has been superb! We were able to meet with Satoru san again. He is doing quite well! Interestingly, he had prayed about baptism and decided that he should not be baptized right now. He gave us two reasons: one, that because of work he is unable to attend church on Sunday; and two, that he is concerned about what his family may think if he becomes Christian. They are both quite valid concerns, but they both can definitely be overcome, and I am certain that through the Spirit we will be able to help him overcome those obstacles and any others that he may have.
We also met with Mitsuta san this week, and he is also doing very well! Last week I mentioned that we were concerned about whether he would be able to understand what we are teaching him. This week we had decided to read the Book of Mormon with him, and when we did so and explained what we were reading together he understood it very well and asked some great questions (such as, "Why did the Jews want to kill Lehi?" after reading the heading to chapter one). It was a great lesson.
Two of the sisters in our district had a very difficult week last week, and I recently had the opportunity to give each of them a blessing of comfort. Afterward I shared with them one of my favorite scriptures. I am sure you will recognize it, as it is very well-known: D&C 122:7-8 (the entire section is great). I love this scripture so much! Every time I read it I am reminded that anything that I am trying to overcome, the Savior experienced and overcame first. I know that through the Savior’s Atonement I can repent of any sin, overcome any weakness, and bear any trial. I love the Savior!
I mentioned in the last email that we were going to have a conference with Elder Nelson. We did, and it was great! I had the opportunity to sing in the choir, which was wonderful. I learned so much from the conference, which was with both Elders Nelson and Ringwood (of the First Quorum of the Seventy; also the President of the Asia North Area). One of my favorite things from Elder Nelson (there are many; this is one that stood out) is that as Latter-Day Saints we should be more well-informed about Jesus the Christ than any other people. We need to know our Savior so that we can help others come to know Him!
I don’t think that I mentioned last week that the primary purpose of this conference was to train us for an upcoming change in our mission, one which has been rumored for quite some time. That is the introduction of the use of digital devices (aka iPads) into our mission. A large theme of the training, of course, was personal safety and responsibility. Prior to my mission I admit that I did not think that missionaries should have such access to technology. I had this outlook for various reasons, but probably mainly because that was not the image of missionaries that I previously had. My previous image was that missionaries were completely cut off from things that I had considered to be "of the world". However, I have realized that those things which I once thought to be "of the world" – mobile devices, etc. – are not. Satan did not introduce technology into the world. God did. Certainly – as with everything that God introduces into the world for the purpose of hastening His work – Satan will try to prevent that work from going forth by tempting us to use the those things contrary to the Lord’s purposes. However, we need not give in to such temptations. Some of the most interesting things that I learned from Elder Ringwood concerning technology use are that quarantine is not the best way to prepare for the future, and that the Lord is placing technology into the hands of missionaries because He trusts us to use it properly to do His work. One scripture Elder Ringwood referenced was Alma 57:25, concerning the 2,000 stripling warriors, which says that "there was not one soul of them who did perish; yea, and neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds." In technology use there may be wounds, many of which may be very severe. However, those wounds need not be fatal. Through the Atonement we can be healed from any wound, whatever its nature may be.
Well, I learned many more things from the conference, but unfortunately I am out of time.
I am grateful for this opportunity to be His servant. I love this work! Even though it is oftentimes quite difficult, it is of eternal worth.
I love you all! Have a super day, a great week, and a fantastic year!
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