"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

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!


Minnasan konnichiwa, and Happy Valentines Day!

First off, I have to share an experience from yesterday. It isn't spiritual at all, but I'm sure if you want to, you can find some deeper meaning in it. Anyways, one of the members called us before church and told us he would be bringing chocolate fondue to the church, and we were welcome to eat as much as we wanted. After church, the member put chocolate in a pot, and melted it with a hairdryer. I thought that method was a little strange, but it worked pretty well, so no complaints here. I really became surprised when he handed me a clove of garlic on a stick, and looked expectantly at the pot full of melted chocolate. My heart sank as I saw that there was no dignified way of weaseling out of this situation, and my previous thoughts of delicious chocolate-covered strawberries were dashed to pieces. I tried to cover the garlic in as much chocolate as possible and bravely (or so I imagine) popped the whole thing in my mouth. I could see the other members' sympathetic faces as I and the other missionaries finished off our tasty treat. After that, we ate only bananas and pieces of french toast-like bread, so it wasn't too bad. I am still alive today, so I know that the promise offered in D&C 84:71 is true.

That was by far the strangest part of my week, but definitely not the best. We were able to have Zone Conference, and to learn directly from our Mission President, President Welch. He gave us some truly inspired counsel, and the entire meeting was focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I feel like I have a much deeper understanding than I had before, but I also know that I have a lot more that I need to learn. After Zone Conference, we headed to Matsue to have companion exchanges with our district leader, Elder Tsuchiya. My companion was with Elder Tsuchiya for the day, and I was with Elder Vui, one of the members of our MTC district and one of my best friends, and Elder Peacock! I spent the day pretending to speak Japanese while Vui chourou led the lessons that we taught, and we had so many amazing experiences together. One of the best experiences came as Peacock chourou stopped a man on the street, and we proceeded to talk to him for almost 20 minutes. At one point of the lesson, we had to move to a new spot to get out of the way of a huge group of bikers, and instead of taking the opportunity to dart away, the man quietly waited with us for the group to pass. We were able to teach him about prayer, and how we can speak to our Heavenly Father and receive help for our trials and problems. I felt the Spirit testifying of our words, and I know that God hears and answers our prayers. He knows what is best for us, and when we have the faith to ask Him for help, He will provide it.
Finally, on Saturday, we went to Yonago for a special concert for anyone who wanted to come. Irie Kyoudai, a professional singer that is a member in Osaka, put on the concert for free. He also asked the missionaries that came to join him in one of the last songs he sang, and it was a powerful experience for me. Throughout the concert, he told stories of his conversion and how he became a member of the church. He shared such tender experiences, and I could tell that he has amazing love and trust for his Father in Heaven. I know that God loves each and every one of us, and that we are all His children. My knowledge of this grows each and every day, especially as I see the joy of people changing their lives through the power of the Atonement of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I love all of you, and I hope you can feel the love of your Heavenly Father. I promise He is there, and I say these things in the name of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love these Elders!

Mmmm, french fries

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