Hello, everybody! How are you doing in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in Shimonoseki, Japan!
This has been yet another quick, wonderful week. Elder Colton and I are doing very well together, and I continue to learn so much from him! He is very dedicated, very obedient, and a very good missionary.
This week as we met with Fukatani she was having a bit of a trial of faith and didn’t feel like being baptized anymore. However, when she came to conference with her husband – and she came to all five sessions (including Priesthood) – she said that she does want to be baptized now. We have been praying a lot for her and will continue to do so, and this week we are planning on taking a day to fast for her as well. It will take a bit of work teaching and helping her prepare this week, but I am certain she will be ready for baptism on the 24th as long as she continues to move forward with faith.
Tanaka is also doing very well. We taught him various commandments this week; most of them he is already keeping, but a couple he said would be difficult. However, as we have followed up with them he has been keeping them perfectly, even though they are still difficult. We will continue to help him toward baptism on the 24th as well.
Yesterday we met a 60-something-year-old man named Tsuru. He was very nice, and invited us inside. Apparently he did a home stay in the Phillipines and plans on permanently moving back there next year. We had a very nice conversation with him. He said he is not very interested in religion, but lately has been thinking about what comes after death, so we talked a bit about that. We gave him a "Plan of Salvation" pamphlet (I tried to give him the Book of Mormon, but he didn’t want to take it for free; that’s actually the second time that has happened in two days), and he said he would be willing to talk with us again, so we will definitely go back and teach more of the Plan of Salvation. He told us near the beginning of our meeting with him that he had a Christian friend in the Phillipines, and when I pulled out the Book of Mormon he recognized the name and said that his friend was Mormon! Hopefully he will develop greater interest in Christ.
As usual, General Conference was wonderful! I learned so many things that I can do to improve. I especially loved Elder Holland’s talk on mothers. I am so grateful for my own Christ-like mother! I know that without her I would not be where and what I am now. Thank you so much, Mom!
I also will definitely start weekly "ponderizing". I am certain that in addition to my daily scripture study, "ponderizing" a weekly scripture will provide great additional insight and knowledge. This week I will be "ponderizing" this very well-known, oft-read scripture:
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. – 1 Nephi 3:7
I love this work and am grateful to be serving the Lord as a full-time missionary! I know that in addition to the miracles God gives us, as we rely on Him we can also "do miracles for the Lord". (Ezra Taft Benson, PMG 176)
I love you all, and hope that you have a wonderful day, a superb week, and a fantastic year!