Monday, January 13, 2014

5 January 2014 - Lesson on Faith

7 months baby!   Saijo is in for round 5, which is way cool because there are going to be many many miracles this transfer.  I think Kaicho (mission President) could feel that as well because for almost the 3rd transfer no one changed in all of Saijo again which is pretty unheard of and pretty cool.  

This week, I shall start off with New Years - first off, Japan is pretty lame when it comes to New Years.  No fireworks, no nothin!   Just eating expensive foods in which you have no clue what any of it is. I'll send a picture of what we ate.   Tohma Kyodai had the Elders over for dinner and treated us to the traditional Japanese New Years dinner.   He would pick out from all the foods what he wanted us to eat as well.  haha   So there was no scraping by on the stuff that looked somewhat edible.   It was pretty funny.   A couple of the things he gave me (it was like a rotten green plum), he started laughing and was like this one is for Elder Bloomfield and I asked him if he liked that food and he was like "oh no I think it is disgusting."   haha   Funny man... but it wasn't too bad.   I was able to handle pretty much all of it.   It wasn't delicious but I ate it all.   Poor Elder Henderson was struggling though. Tohma gave him a pretty hard time about it.  He would just push the food around on his plate and pretend to eat and stuff but couldn't do it.   To top off the expensive meal Tohma even bought us a taxi back to the eki because we were going to be late getting home if we just walked.   Oh eki means train station.   The man is too kind. not to mention, because it is custom in Japan to give money to your children and grandchildren on New Years, Tohma said we are his kids and gave all of us g-shock watches which aren't cheap.   Especially mine!!   I felt pretty bad,  I think it was pretty expensive.   It tells me the crescent of the moon and high tide low tide and other fancy things of the 21st Century. That was new years. 

Sho was confirmed on Sunday and is just loving life.   I didn't notice how much of my English he has picked up but on Sunday, he fasted for the first time, and when we were eating dinner, one of the elders was like Sho! that was your first time fasting and you lasted until 4, good job! and sho said "yep! nailed it!" haha  It was pretty funny.   It is amazing how much his happiness has risen in just the past few weeks. He is just genki (happy) all the time and loving keeping the commandments.  Seeing this change in him is truly a given joy incomparable to any other.   

Well life is good and we are excited for the many miracles to come from our faith this transfer.   I have been doing a lot of studying on faith lately and it is directly from faith that missionaries are given power.   Faith is power.   Faith is success.   Faith is our growth in life.   There are simple steps to faith and having the success of anything you put your faith in from the Lord. 

1. You first must just simply believe.   It is the start to all things.   Ether 12:18  "And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God." 

2. Next you commit yourself.   Commit yourself to giving effort in this thing you need help on or wish to accomplish. 

3. Do your part.   How can you expect to receive help from your Heavenly Father if you are not doing your part? The Wright brothers never invented the airplane by sitting on their thumbs waiting and your success will never come doing the same. You must do your part. 

4. Pray.  Pray for strength!   Tell God what you are trying to accomplish, set this goal with him, and continue to pray for his help and guidance, and in time and faith his will will be done. 

5. Expect trials of your faith!   How are we expected to grow if we never struggle a bit. In the movie 17 Miracles, yes those miracles were pretty miraculous given to those pioneers, but do ya think they didn't deserve it a little? Their faith was tried, measured, and proven to be far beyond what many of us may have been capable of.  The apostles of the Book of Mormon time didn't simply perform miracles all day and have all the success they wanted, they were stoned, thrown in prison, thrown in fire, thrown in cages with beasts; it is safe to say we can expect a little trial of our faith before we find that success and happiness.   If you are having that trial, love it! Because it means through the Lord and your faith in him you are just that much closer to his mercy and love. Ether 12:6  "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith"
D&C 54:10 "And again, be patient in tribulation until I come; and behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, and they who have sought me early shall find rest to their souls.  Even so, Amen."
D&C 58:3-4  "Ye Cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design og your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after tribulation.  For after much tribulation come the blessings.  Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand."

6. Last and most importantly, expect the Lord to act.   He has promised over and over again he will provide.   He will give an answer.   He will help, so expect it to come. 

One of the saddest things for me to see in the mission is the many people whose lives are too busy, too hard right now, too stressful to have time to meet with the missionaries when this is their answer.   If we will put our faith in God, through his strength we will overcome what trial we may be in.   The simple answer is Trust.   Just like the last two goals Elder Walton and I have set, (finding a couple by Dec. 1st., having a progressing couple by Dec. 25th) we have prayerfully set another goal for a couple to be baptized by the end of this transfer.   Heavenly Father has helped us to reach those goals and I know if you need help, if you will prayerfully set a goal with your Heavenly Father as well, just as he has done for many others, he will help you to rise up to whatever it may be. 

I hope all festivities were safe and fun!  Also Stevo try not to scrape up that snowboard too much eh?  You have talked it up so much, I'm so excited now! :)

Elder Bloomfield

The G-Shock Watch club

"Let the Games Begin"  Layers of New Years Dinner

New Year Dinner all Spread Out

The New Year's Party Crew!!

"The Performance"

Thought for the week:

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