I'm going to keep it short today as a father's day gift to everyone. Happy Father's Day! Hope everyone did something special for their fathers, and hope all you fathers had a special day. Shout out to the best dad in the world (yeah, I am talking to you, dad), thanks for everything you do for me and our family.
This week went by pretty fast, and was packed with some pretty awesome experiences. On Tuesday, we were able to go on exchanges with the other two elders in our district from Fukuyama, Abarca and Olsen choro. I was with Olsen choro again, and I learned so much from him. He is such a great example to me in teaching through the Spirit, and really connecting with people through their interests and concerns. We also saw several miracles that day, some even following the same pattern. Throughout the day, as we called out to people on the streets or knocked on doors, there were three or four instances where people had met the missionaries before and had really good relationships with them. One lady confused us for the same missionaries that had talked to her the previous year, and we talked with her for almost 10 minutes before she realized that we were not the same people. We were confused at first why she was so friendly, but we just went with it. We eventually got it all sorted out, properly introduced ourselves, and had a great lesson with her. She invited us to come back sometime, and it was such a cool experience. The whole day was really just a testament to us that none of our work as missionaries is wasted. People see our actions, and remember the Spirit they felt as they talk to us. I am so grateful for the efforts of all the previous missionaries that allowed us to see some awesome miracles.
On Saturday we were able to participate in the young men's cycling activity and barbecue! No other explanation necessary, right? Just good food, and good fun. One of our investigators came with us, and loved it. We biked about 10 kilometers while stopping a few times to see some cool landmarks and take some pictures (I still don't have those pictures yet, so sorry, maybe next week). Then we went back to a park by the river and played frisbee and badminton, and had a barbecue. We left a little late, and were worried that we wouldn't make it back to the apartment before we were supposed to be back, but by a lot of help from Heavenly Father, we made it home with even a little time to spare.
Sunday was a special stake conference and satellite broadcast to all of Japan, which was so good! The highlight was definitely hearing from Elder Bednar, one of the 12 apostles. His talk was so straightforward, not leaving any doubts about what we should be doing with our lives. We should be 100% committed to God and our savior, Jesus Christ. If we are not, it is time to re-evaluate our lives. I felt that his words very much applied to me, and that I can do so much more with the things I have been given to build up the kingdom of God. One of my favorite things from this talk was what Elder Bednar said concerning faith. He said, "faith ALWAYS leads to action." If we truly have faith in Jesus Christ, then we will act upon that faith. We will use our skills and talents to help bring joy into our lives and the lives of those around us. And if we do so, we will continue to grow in light and knowledge, becoming like our Father in Heaven. I know that President Bednar is an apostle, and that he was called by God. I feel the Spirit confirm his words in my heart, and I know that they are true. I know that not all of you were able to see this broadcast, but I know that his words apply to all of us. I would like to invite you all to evaluate where you are in your lives right now. What do you value most? Where do you want to go from here? Are you becoming the person you want to be? Whatever you answer yourself, I know that if you rely on the Lord, you can take the necessary steps and make the essential changes to get where you want to be. That is God's promise to all of us. I hope you all have a great week!