Hello, everybody! How are you doing in your various locations? I am
doing quite well here in Shimonoseki, Japan.
Yes, I did not transfer! I am privileged to continue working in this
wonderful branch! Yay!!! I am still with Elder Whisenant, which is happy. Elder Gass is also still here, but his trainer Elder Johnson transferred to Beppu and is now Zone Leader there (he was quite surprised when he found out he was becoming Zone Leader). Elder Gass’s new companion is Elder Flippo, who actually was here in Shimonoseki for about 4 1/2 months at the beginning of this year.
This week has been fantastic! Miyamura was baptized on Saturday, which
was wonderful! She is such a great lady. Since we had District
Conference yesterday we have to wait until this coming Sunday for the
confirmation. We are very excited for her! I also still need to get
the pictures from one of our members, so I will probably send those
Yesterday’s District Conference was also quite superb. It was all
about how to be unified as members and missionaries. Our Branch
President was also called into the District Presidency, so apparently
we will get a new Branch President this Sunday. We are definitely
grateful for President Saito and all that he did for our Branch. He
will be great in the District Presidency!
We also went to 花火大会 (a fireworks show) this past Thursday. There
were a lot of people, and a lot of quite interesting fireworks. It was quite
fun, and we had some nice contacts there.
I am grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and his children
in diverse ways. Missionary work is hard work, but I definitely
believe it should also be fun! Sometimes as missionaries I think we
forget that part of the work – enjoying it. It is rather strange to go
around telling people about the great happiness that we have found if
we cannot smile about it! That’s something that I have realized is
very important not only as a missionary, but as a human being in
general. Always find something to smile and be happy about! The Lord
blesses us so much that we never have to search very hard to find
those things. Elder Whisenant often mentions how outrageously blessed
we are to live in Japan for two years without having to work and/or
pay extraordinary sums to be here. When we think about it a bit,
missionaries really do live a very simple life. We have hours of study
time each morning (I’m sure there are plenty of college students who
wish they had as much time to study as we do), most of our expenses
are pre-paid, and the only work we do is walking and biking around the
cities of the world talking to people about their lives. There are
hard things about missionary work, but the things that are really
difficult are usually different than the things other people would
assume are hard about missionary work. The things that I find most
difficult are not the weather or any other external cirscumstances. To
me the most difficult things about missionary work are when
investigators decide that they don’t want to meet anymore, or when
they choose to do (or not do) things that I know are making them
unhappy by doing (or not doing) them. However, even then I just take a
step back and remember that this is the Lord’s work and He will take
care of His children. As long as I just remain worthy and do as He
tells me (through leaders, etc.), then I don’t need to worry about
things. God is so smart. I am simply grateful to be an instrument in
His perfectly skilled hands.
I know this is the Lord’s work, and I love it!
I hope that you all have a wonderful day, a superb week, and a fantastic year!