I don't know if I have a lot to say this week, other than that we are still working hard to bring the people of Japan unto the kingdom of God! Our mission has been focusing a lot of trainings on changing the culture and the beliefs we have as missionaries. Right now we simply aren't fully tapping into the divine potential that lies within all of us, and we are all working to become more obedient, more open to the promptings of the spirit, and especially being able to find and teach more people in order to prepare them for baptism and making those sacred covenants with their loving Father in Heaven. As I realize how far I need to go in order to become that powerful, spiritual missionary, I am reminded how thankful I am for the chance I have to repent each day and move closer to the person that God wants me to be.
One of these things that I need to change and improve was made poignantly clear to me during a visit with a less-active member. This member has a few of his own problems and doubts he has to overcome as well, but he showed us something that expressed very clearly his love for God and Jesus Christ. He first started to explain about his job, working in a factory for 12 hours a day, with an additional part-time job on the side. Almost everyone around him complains that the work is monotonous and incredibly boring, but he doesn't think of it that way. Each month when he changes his work gloves, he writes around the base of the gloves scripture references and names of people he wants to pray for. By reciting these scriptures and praying for these people while he works, his heart is turned towards God, and his spirits are lifted. After he shared this experience, I started thinking about whether my thoughts are turned to God as often as they should be. We talked about the same subject in Priesthood meeting during church, this time from the manual "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church- Howard W. Hunter". Within the manual, President Hunter states that we must unconditionally surrender ourselves to the Savior in order to receive the peace and happiness He can give us. I know that this is true, and that when we give ourselves and our talents up to the Lord, He can make so much more out of our lives than we can on our own.
I am so grateful for the prophets and teachers we have been given to guide us in this life, and I know that we are all so blessed to have the knowledge that God lives and loves each one of us. I know that it is also our responsibility to share this knowledge with those that haven't had the same opportunity to learn what we have learned. This truly is God's work and will, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39). I love each and every one of you so much, and I hope that you will join me in taking time to thank God in prayer for the wonderful things He has given us, our families, homes, friends, and possessions. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
|I went on a mission to Japan, but I think I ended up in Brazil somehow. This is a restaurant owned by Brazilians, and this lovely thing is called a Pastel. I highly recommend it, but it might be kind of hard to find in the U.S.|
|This isn't Brazilian food, but still fantastic!!|
|First sunrise of the year with Machado chourou- how cute!|
|Met a samurai.|
|Izumo Taisha- no one but the emperor and his family are allowed to enter, so this is as close as we could get.|
|And finally- a bonus picture: today's p-day trip, Matsue castle.|