This week we had a mission tour with a member of the Asia North Presidency, Elder Choi. He spoke to us on a number of different topics, but the biggest message he had for us was that we needed to elevate our mindset as missionaries. If we want to see success on our mission, we first have to imagine that success. We must set our goals with God through prayer, and then report to Him on how we are following through with that goal. He also told us that we always need to strive to be more obedient than we are now. He promised us a lot of different blessings if we can do these things, but the biggest promise was that if we can elevate our thinking and become the most obedient of missionaries, we can begin to see baptisms every week! He told us that it would definitely not be an easy thing to do, but that it is possible if we learn to completely rely on the Lord. I came out of the meeting feeling so energized, ready to change whatever it takes to achieve this promised success.
One of the things I have been working on this week is stopping everyone we meet in the streets. Elder Choi told us that it doesn't matter whether the people are on their way to some activity or if they are in the middle of a conversation. It is our duty as missionaries to open our mouths to everyone we meet, and invite them to receive this restored gospel of Jesus Christ. If I wasn't a missionary, I don't think I would ever have the courage to stop a random person in the street, but as I have done so over the past few days, we have found surprising results. The first few people we talked to were polite and took time out of their busy schedules to talk to us for a few minutes, even though they didn't have much interest in our message. I just hope they were able to be touched by the Spirit for just a short time, and that they will remember that feeling in times of trials and disappointment. The most surprising contact we made was yesterday in a flurry of snow. There was no one around as we biked to an appointment at a member's house, and then we saw a single young man walking down the road opposite from us. We decided to go talk to him, but since it was pretty cold outside, I wasn't sure how he would react or how long he would want to talk. To my surprise, he warmly greeted us, and spent the next 10 minutes talking. When we asked if he had heard about our church, he told us that he had learned a little bit about Jesus Christ in school, but that he didn't know much about our church. He agreed to meet again sometime, so we will have to see where it goes from here!
Other than that,, it"s business as usual. I gave my first talk in Sacrament meeting, and I just pray that everyone was able to understand a little bit of what I said. I was only able to talk for a little over 5 minutes. Also, transfers are happening this week, but with the new change to transfers, we will only have about one day's notice before we travel to our new area. I won't find out until tomorrow or Wednesday if I am going to a new area, but I hope that I will be able to stay here for a little while longer. The members are amazing, and we are working hard to help the branch continue to grow stronger. Love you all so much, and I hope you are all doing well, I can't believe it's been 6 months since I've seen you all!
|Sleepover in Okayama|
|We got snow in Izumo! My companion looks a little cold, though.|