Ahhhhh, I am in Japan, doing the best work in the history of the world, eating rice, laughing, planning lessons about the first prophet of the Restoration and about Jesus Christ, finding people whoa re ready to hear, seeking every day to have my actions be a little more like my Savior's, Jesus Christ. I love this work!!!
I forgot to say last week that... we had a talent show! Ha ha. I tap danced!!! I figured no one really knew tap so it was safe... my doryo has a video I will show you one day (maybe) ha ha.
We are in the midst of some of the sweetest people on the earth. I love Takamatsu. I love the Lord. I am so grateful to have the chance to labor here. Can I tell you something amazing? The sweet family that would buy the groceries for the missionaries in Tokushima came to the stake conference on Sunday (yesterday). The sweet sister came to me and asked if we were going to go shopping tomorrow. I told her yes, and she said to call Tashibu Shimai (in our ward), before we did. We came to the church to find FIVE BOXES OF FOOD they had bought as a Thanksgiving present. We will not need to shop for SO LONG.
They are so sweet. I can't believe how like the Savior these sweet Saints are. We are in the midst of heaven, my Japanese brothers and sisters have taught me so much about Him. I almost couldn't help but cry looking at that pile. The sweet man who works at the Church, brought us a little snack for lunch as we email, the members constantly are asking how they can help. They are so incredible. Our ward mission leader stopped by to show us the Marugame Castle before we went home yesterday, and the huge bridge that connects Okayama to Shikoku. Amazing!
I am in awe at this little piece of the world, and so in awe at the workings of Heavenly Father. Let me tell you a few more things that happened this week.
We've had kind of a hard time teaching the family that is deaf so far. We stopped by to visit them because we were close, and she started talking to us, saying that lots of missionaries, even Christian missionaries come to her door, and they say “God this, God that...”, but it's kind of like there is a wall there, she says she's busy, they can be scary, etc. But when we came, she held up her hands and pushed them toward her face. She had felt we were different. That is the power of the Holy Ghost. Now she wants to know why, and we are teaching the Restoration tonight. That is all such a testament to me that, as the scriptures say, the Lord CAN do His own work. We went to another appointment where we weren't sure how much she was understanding, and she had read 8 chapters from the Book of Mormon when we haven't even asked her to read, and was studying the pamphlet, referencing the definitions a lot. She didn't understand a lot of it, but she wanted to know more. THE SPIRIT IS AMAZING. We cannot succeed in missionary work unless we have the Spirit, and when we have the Spirit—miracles happen. We could not have been there, we did all we could to help those two, but in the end, it wasn't much more than us being there, passing things, then the Spirit worked miracles in two of our investigators this week. Wow, what a testament to me.
So my cute companion decorated our room for our weekly planning session and i find chocolate leading to my chair, where it says "senkyoshi of the transfer."
So fun, huh?!
If you talk to her parents tell them thank you for raising such a great daughter! She is so wonderful and a great example. I just love her!!!!!
I have realized how important it is to the Lord for us to WORK. I used to feel like work sometimes was just to work, and then the Lord would give miracles, etc... but I am starting to realize more of the Plan of Salvation in my heart. Heavenly Father wants us to become. We are here to grow. That is why we have the Gospel of Christ, chances to use our agency. Without good and bad, we wouldn't be able to exercise our agency. What we DO have control over is WHAT WE CHOOSE. Isn't that amazing? We are expected to “do many good things of our own free will and choice.” Heavenly Father wants us actively GROWING, helping that cyclical process move UP, but we can't do that without the Savior. That is the other part of the Atonement, as Elder Bednar quotes, “to make bad men good and good men better and to change our very nature.” It is all about what Brother Wilcox says about how we are here to learn heaven, not just earn heaven. Our work matters and is sufficient to Him as we are giving our all to Him, our full heart, devoted work. He is aware that it won't be perfect, that is not the objective. The objective is to craft a people who can live with God again, return to Him. Isn't the Gospel amazing? Not only will the Savior make up the difference, He is the difference! He stood in our place to become our creditor, so as we meet the terms He has set, we can qualify to access His power in sanctification. The Gospel is so beautifully simple and incredible. I am learning more and more what a message of love it is. And, to help others come! To become and help them become, to help them become closer to Him. I love learning. Wow.
Dear friends and family, the Lord wants to work miracles in our own lives. What keeps us from that is the use of our agency. As we turn to Him through action, choice, active faith, He will work miracles in our behalf. This is obedience. This is faith. Why are these important? Because He loves us enough to want us to grow. I love my Father in Heaven. I love my Savior. I am so grateful to love many more years on this beautiful earth. We have the truth. As one of our sweet investigators said when we told her that we could live with out families again after we die, “Then it isn't scary, is it?” We have the answers, because we have the Restored Gospel. I know it is true.
I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers and your examples of turning your life to Him through choice and action. I love you! I am grateful for this work.
P.S. loved all the pics and updates!! Thanks everyone! I hope Chuck is doing better, I have been praying for him. Looks like the wedding was so fun, tell Alicia congrats! Happy birthday to all who are celebrating this week!!! So glad the YSA stuff is wonderful! For Christmas, I might just buy those few things here... packages are expensive, no worries at all! If I buy boots I'll buy them here... the weather hasn't been super bad recently, it gets bad sometimes though ha ha. Shoes...they are still holding in there! I'll let you know ha ha. I'll check out boots here maybe... let you know... we are running to a store today. YOU ARE THE BEST!
The pumpkin pie looks lush! I love you all so much, thanks for your prayers and support. Congrats to Chae and Josh and Tay and Kara! So great. The Gospel is true!
AND I LOVE MY HAIR!
MY BROTHERS! MY SISTERS!
MY NIECES AND NEPHEWS AND AUNTS AND UNCLES AND COUSINS!
MY GRANDMAS AND GRANDPAS!
MY MISSION! MY COMP!
MY JAPAN! MY INVESTIGATORS!
I can do anything good!
(but it's all true) :)
Love you, time is flyin!
a pic from zone taikai with two of my doki... dont we look good?
PS Reference to the above:
Jessica's Affirmation (so like Sister Jen in Japan!)