Thought for the week:
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Obedience - 25 August 2013
Well hello family,
This weeks theme is obedience. If you don't want to read about my weeks obedience check out my analogy I learned at the bottom of the letter.
Last week the reason I only had like 30 mins to email was because we had a zone p day and went to Miyajima. (a small island a small ways away from Hiroshima that you get to by ferry) it was pretty neat. The deer are wild-you can straight up just ride those bad boys. They let anyone touch them and feel their nice antlers. One of them got a little too excited though and started eating my bag so I had to let him off easy. We weren't there too long because it is a 2 and a half hour train ride to get back to Saijo so we had to leave early (the only companionship that did), It doesn't take everyone that long to get back but p day ends at 6 and were pretty sure most weren't out of the apartment by 6 like they were supposed to.
Travis and his companion, Elder Dolbin at Miyagima
The deer that you can ride at Miyagima
Entrance gate to Miyagima
View from the back of the boat
Living Quarters from Ancient City
These last few weeks have been pretty rough on new investigator stand point (Satan works hard to ruin the work we do with our investigators). We went from 6 investigators with a baptismal date to only 2 a couple of weeks ago. They all just straight up disappeared. They never answer when we call and aren't home when we bike out to them, Within just the first hour of streeting on Monday we found 2 new investigators, one of which we established a baptismal date on our first lesson. He's a way cool dude. He is 19 and swims at the Hiroshima Daigaku (college) and we found out his teammate is actually a member as well. You ONLY find success when you are obedient, we have companionship's in our zone that haven't found a new investigator at all this entire transfer and we know it is because of their obedience or lack of. This morning Elder Dolbin and I (we sleep in Hikari Sunday nights) were the only ones up and exercising by 6:30am and we had a run up this massive hill to a shrine and on our run back we met a way cool man who wants to learn more English from us and we know there is something special about him and we got his number and address as well. When we got back to the apartment some of the elders got up and exercised but some didn't and they weren't even dressed yet when we left the apartment at 8am. There are tons of prepared people in Hiroshima that would be trusted with these elders if they would just be obedient! Every time we have found success in our dendo (missionary) work there was obedience that can be traced as an sure cause for this. If you are living right and doing the best you can God will provide.
Sooo we were pretty bold with Jay and basically just straight up told him he needs to come back to church. He is the less active Tongan that served his mission in Africa and is here playing professional rugby. He never comes to church but will always help us joint and such like he knows he is obliged to help the church how he can and we told him straight up that we need 2 priesthood holders in Saijo to get a branch and that we needed him to start coming to church on the Sundays he doesn't have rugby. He was a lil bit hesitant but agreed to it so we'll see how that goes.
Gary (from China), Travis and Elder Dolbin
We taught the African man and that was insightful as always. He still doesn't quite understand that we have God`s true church. He still thinks it is just another religion made up by Joseph Smith. He sure does love God though.
Well that's pretty much all I can think of for this week, oh besides we're pretty sure a fly had babies in our apartment because there were a million flies and I would vacuum them up (it was actually pretty dang fun) and then 12 more would show up an hour later, haha.
Oh also here`s a fun analogy for you all. Your mom paid for your piano lessons so no matter how much you practice or don't practice, it doesn't pay the money back right? It has already been paid for in full. That is the same with Christ`s atonement. Our salvation has already been paid for, we will be resurrected no mater the life we live. however, our mom paid for that piano lesson and therefore has the right to tell us to practice right? Liken unto that, Christ paid for our salvation, so he can tell us to follow in his footsteps and obey his commandments. When we practice and mess up on a note playing piano, no one says that you are not worthy to practice any more. In our life when we make mistakes, when we feel we are not living up to Gods standards and we get frustrated, God does not expect perfection, so we can not expect perfection of our self, it takes practice. Too many less actives fall away from the church and their testimony because they feel that they haven't been good enough and feel ashamed that members or God is too disappointed in them to continue practicing becoming closer to Christ, but this is wrong. I encourage you to practice everyday, Read the scriptures, think of Christ, his grace is sufficient for all! We are not expected to be perfect so you can not expect that of yourself. I love you all and hope all is well in the things you are doing. I am loving Japan everyday.
Outside the Fukuoka Temple
Thought for the week: