Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Meeting Elder Aoyagi - Dad's (Steve) Mission President - 3 February 2014
Well this week was great. There are too many things to tell, so I will only tell a few. First thing, I have great news. Elder Aoyagi (Steve's mission President when he served in Sendai, Japan in 1984)still remembers you. Yoku oboete imasu to itta (he said he remembers him well).
So first we had an Family Home Evening activity on Monday which was a great success. It was way fun and we had a way good talk about faith.
Then Thursday we made dumplings with the Lee family that we became friends with through helping them move in. They are so cool and we are meeting with them this week to talk about God and the gospel. I'm way excited for them they are such a cool Chinese family.
I'd like to skip to Sunday. Sho has progressed so much in the last couple months it is amazing. Sunday we had Stake Conference in Takasu (about an hour and a half away) and Sho received the Priesthood after Stake Conference. The room we went into to do it was pretty cold at first and after the blessing he said, "wow I felt so warm! The room was so cold at first but when you guys gave me the Priesthood I felt so warm." Then later we had a fireside for new members and investigators with our Mission President and a member of the 70 which was Elder Aoyagi. Sho was asked to bear his testimony and I was pretty blown away. He wasn't sure what he was going to say even before he got up and he talked about how he was worried being baptized would change his life plans. He had plans for his life. He had been working hard his entire life, getting baptized would change what he already had planned for himself and he went on to talk about how his life did not change, only his heart did. He said he doesn't know if what his plans for his life is correct or not, but he does know that the plan God has for him is correct. The best part was (haha) - so our Mission President has a classic line he always says when giving experiences he will say "guzen? no, kiseki desu" which basically means "coincidence? no miracle". Sho heard him say it at Stake Conference and took the liberty in using it in his talk. haha So, in front of a member of the 70, Kaicho, and the Stake President, Sho copied Kaicho. He bore a pretty powerful testimony and then said "guzen? yap chigaimasu.. kiseki desu" and looked back at Kaicho. haha Everyone got a pretty good kick out of it.
Yesterday we had a training from Elder Aoyagi. Stevo he is a pretty humble man. I was surprised when I found out he was your Mission Presdient when he was only like 40 years old. I showed him your picture though and he asked him if he remembered you and he gave me a hug and told me to pass it on to you. His wife is an angel, she is so kind. When did you serve, was it from 84-86? Aoyagi Shimai said, "you were iisenkyoshi datta (a good missionary)". It was cool to get to talk to them. They sat at my same lunch table too. I got to have a nice chat with them. He is such a humble man. I wanted to talk to him more and they were asking more about you and the family but then time ran out. I gave her our address so maybe she will try to write you a letter or something. The training was all about the atonement and being the ideal missionary. The spirit was so strong the entire meeting and many answers to my prayers came through your old Mission President. That was pretty cool. He would always relate things we talked about to stories in the Book of Mormon and how we are just like them. I can understand why he told you to use the Book of Mormon in your housing contacts! Elder Aoyagi told some pretty cool stories that he may have told you (Steve)when he was your President. He told us how he wanted to go on a mission way bad but his parents wouldn't let him. So he was at college praying every night that somehow he would be able to serve a mission, then randomly one day he received a telegram from his parents telling him to come home. His dad had a financial problem come up and told him he could no longer pay for him for college so he is on his on. So Elder Aoyagi said, "okay father I will help you, "what must I do?" His Dad said "no you have your life, you need to tread your own path in life, basically, you can even serve a mission if you want to." Then Elder Aoyagi said he told his father, " well excuse me but I must go on a mission" and he was way excited. Another story was where he got his first job. He basically gave the people giving the interview a 40 minute lesson about the restoration of the gospel in the interview and despite never graduating from college and being extremely under qualified he got his dream job which payed a lot of money at a foreign trading company. He had other cool stories.
Well there's always more to talk about but I think my fingers are probably starting to cramp up so it is probably best to give them a break. They are needed for handing out chirashis (pamphlets) to old grandpa's who can't hear our message. Hope all is well and safe in the Americas. The church is true. God loves all.
Love you all,
Elder and Sister Aoyagi with Travis
Castle in Hiroshima
Hiroshima from far off
Thought for the Week: