I will try to be quick this week because we are going to a famous temple in our area today, Izumo Taisha. I'll actually be able to send some pictures next week! (unless I forget, of course). This last week we had interviews with our mission president, President Welch, and it was awesome! I learn so much from our leaders every time they speak to us. In my interview, Welch kaichou asked me what I had been learning about the way Jesus Christ taught from my study of the first four doctrines in the New Testament. I was able to summarize my simple understanding of the doctrine into a few sentences, how Jesus Christ always taught using parables in order to allow those he taught to apply the teaching to themselves and only receive the knowledge they were prepared to receive. He also frequently taught through questions, again allowing others to come up with answers for themselves rathe than teaching them something they weren't ready to receive and wouldn't apply or use. Finally, I noted how Jesus went around performing miracles for al those that believed on His name.
After I had finished my simple summary, Welch Kaichou expounded upon the things I had said, teaching me much more than I had learned on my own. It would take too long to write everything, but one thing that stuck out to me related to the final point, that Jesus performed so many miracles. The miracles were truly amazing, but it doesn't mean much to us now unless we can understand how those people qualified for those miracles. In order to teach this principle, Welch kaichou shared a story in Luke 18:35-43. Jesus came upon a blind man sitting by the road, and the first thing he did was to ask the blind man to come to him. This gave the blind man an opportunity to exercise his faith in Christ, even though he could not see him. Then, Jesus asked what the man desired. The man responded without delay, "Lord that I may receive my sight". Jesus knew that the man was blind, just as He knows all of our struggles and trials, but He first asks that we verbalize or make known the help that we need. After the blind man exercised his faith by coming unto Jesus and made known the desires of his heart, Jesus was able to heal him through his faith.
I know that God still performs miracles in this day, just as He did when Jesus lived on the earth. If we can understand how these miracles are performed, we can truly begin to call upon the powers of Heaven. I have seen this to be true time and time again, and I know that anyone that exercises faith through prayer and then acting on the promptings they receive can see these miracles in their own lives. If any of you have a challenge in your life that you want to overcome, or a question that you want answered, I challenge you to try these things and see if they are not true. Bring your concerns before God, and see how through your faith, He can begin to change your life. I love this Gospel so much, and I testify that it is true. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.