"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

Friday, October 23, 2015


This week has been filled with fun experiences, and punctuated by one amazing miracle. I want to save the best for last, so I'll start with the fun stuff. We had two opportunities to kokan (go on missionary exchanges), first with our zone leaders and then with the other elders in our apartment. Our zone leaders are amazing, I wouldn't hesitate to say they are the best zone leaders in the mission. Their names are Dos Santos chourou and Ahmu chourou. Dos Santos chourou is Brazilian, speaks like 6 or 7 languages fluently, and is the iPad technician over the entire mission. Ahmu chourou is one of the most lovable missionaries ever, he just has an awesome personality that everyone talks about. He served in Kouchi almost 5 months ago, and the members still talk about him. I got to kokan with Ahmu chourou, and we basically got to spend the day visiting with members and old investigators that wanted to see Ahmu chourou again. I had a lot of fun, and I also learned a lot about loving the people we serve.

Later in the week, we went on a kokan with the elders in our apartment, and I was with our district leader this time, Bahr chourou. Among other things, we visited a huge apartment complex that was way sketchy. It was a huge white, sprawling building that looked like every once in a while a new layer had haphazardly been added on. None of the layers were straight, or even in line with one another. There were ramps that led from layer to layer, and some that led into a deep basement garage that looked like it was used more for serial killers' hideouts than cars (it only looked like it though, obviously there weren't any serial killers there). There were strange dark alleys between rooms, and junk everywhere. I think you get the picture, but it basically looked like something straight out of a horror movie. I was wondering why there would be anyone here that would want to hear our message, but by the end of the night we had found 3 awesome people that wanted to hear more about what we had to say. There was a mom and her son who live alone,'and the mom has her own stain-glass window "company". The "company" consists only of her, and takes up a small table in their small one-room living space. It was obvious that she loves her son very much, and works hard to support the two of them. We had a good talk with them, and got a return appointment. The next man we visited was a devout Christian, but was way open to us. We both pulled out our scriptures, he with the bible and us the Book of Mormon, and we spent some time talking about God and our favorite scriptures. We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon at the end, and from his response, I actually think he is going to read the entire thing. If he allows it into his heart, I know it will change his life- the Book of Mormon is absolutely amazing, and I've heard countless stories of conversion through it. The last guy was just a quick contact. He said he was busy right then but asked us to come back tomorrow at the same time. These three people were testaments to me that God is preparing His children everywhere- there are no requirements of money, fame, or any other worldly standard. He desires to share His love with each one of us not because of what we have, but because of what we are. We are His children, and He would do anything to help us.

Besides the kokan, we also got to do something special for P-day today. We woke up at 3:30 this morning to bike/hike up a mountain to have a great view of Kouchi and the rising sun. It was way early, but well worth it. Our dendou shunnin kaicho (ward missionary leader) even woke up to come with us. It was great to spend some time with everyone as we enjoyed the amazing scene of God's creations. I don't know how people can look at the beauty of the world around them and say that no one is responsible for creating it. After hiking back down the mountain and doing a few chores (shopping, cleaning, etc) we all crashed for a few hours for a nap. (Actually, the other three elders are still asleep right now)

Now comes the best part of the week. On Tuesday night we taught Yan san again. This was only our second lesson with him, but we could feel his desire to learn of God and Jesus Christ, and to follow him. We decided to ask if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized, and he immediately agreed! We still have a lot to teach him before he can get baptized, but his faith is a great example to me. I am so excited to see the joy that this gospel will bring to his life. I also know that he was another person that was prepared to hear our message long before we met him. We didn't do anything to instill in him the desire to follow Jesus Christ, nor can we. We can only follow the power of God's spirit and open opportunities for people to feel that spirit as well. I have come to know that this is absolutely not the work of men, but the work of our Heavenly Father. I am so thankful to be an instrument in His hand, and to serve these amazing people of Japan.


Our morning hike to see the sunrise

Kouchi is actually a dangerous place - this week alone I got chased by a dragon and almost eaten by a shark

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