"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." -Alma 26:12

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

7 Weeks Already! 9/3/2015

Konnichiwa Minasan,
I can't believe I'm leaving for Japan in less than 20 days! Time has flown since I've been here, but I am so excited to go to Japan. I'm still studying hard, and trying to learn as much Japanese as possible, but I'm sure I will be confused a lot when I finally get to Japan.
This Sunday we had a bit of a sad moment when we received news that one of the companionships in our district was going to be split up and switched with a companionship in another district that was having some struggles. We had never heard of anything like this happening before, and we were devastated that we were going to lose one of our brothers. We knew that it was for the best, though, and we were all prepared to do whatever it took to help the struggling elders. Just as the switch was about to happen the next day, we received word that the companionship had worked out their differences, and got permission from the Branch President to stay together. We were so excited to learn that our district wouldn't be split up after all. I learned that God may sometimes ask us to make sacrifices, but if we show our willingness to embrace a challenge, that may be all that is necessary.
At our devotional two days ago, we got to hear from another apostle! Elder Dallin H. Oaks came to speak to us, and it was one of the most amazing talks ever. He shared a lot about how we can improve ourselves as missionaries, but he also talked about what we can do to always feel the Holy Ghost in our lives. He stressed how important the Holy Ghost was; how it guides us, teaches, comforts, and especially verifies the truth of God's word. He said that by focusing on the sacrament and Jesus Christ's atonement, we can always have the spirit to be with us. To receive this blessing, we just need to follow the guidance found in the sacrament prayer. First, we must always remember Jesus Christ. This gospel is not meant to be lived only on Sundays and then hidden away for the rest of the week. We are supposed to emulate Christ in all things, letting our light shine forth to the whole world. This is the next part of the prayer, taking Jesus Christ's name upon us. Finally, we have to keep all of God's commandments. We are not told to pick and choose a few of our favorites to follow, exact obedience is required. If we do all these things, God promises that we can have His Spirit to be with us always. I know that this is a blessing I want in my life, both during and after my mission. Elder Oaks' talk was so inspiring, and it made me want to improve my efforts in following these counselings.
Those were definitely the two most eventful moments of my week, but there were so many other awesome experiences throughout the week as well. We got to skype with church members in Japan for the first time yesterday, and we had a "doctrinal deep dive" with our Branch President. I was amazed by how much we learned from the scriptures, and in such a short period of time. I'm definitely going to have to step up my scripture study if I'm going to get to that point. Finally, Kyle Collinsworth came to the MTC again. This time he just ate dinner and hung out with us, which was awesome. I told him that he should come play basketball with us one morning during our gym time, but I'm not sure if he's going to follow through. Of course, he's probably afraid we'd show him up, or something like that. As always, I miss you all so much.
Elder Winegar

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