"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

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

8/1/2016 Power of the Book of Mormon

Minnasan konnichiwa!
Sorry I missed you all last week, promise I still love you all! This week has been good to us, and we are still alive and healthy. My companion, Allen choro, is getting used to Japanese culture and food (mostly), so that's good too. This last week we were able to have some good lessons with investigators, and with some less-active members, too.

There seemed to be one thing in common with a lot of those lessons, and it was clear that God was trying to teach me something important through this pattern. The first of these lessons was with a lady named Nagase. She loves meeting with the missionaries, and really enjoys hearing our message about God. But she has told us a few times now that she can't do some of the things we ask her, because it conflicts with her beliefs. Specifically in this lesson, we taught about prayer, and then invited her to ask God whether the things she had been taught were true. She had no problem with prayer, but she told us her concerns about asking God for things like that. She had always been taught that we were only to give thanks, never to ask for anything, because that would be selfish. Once we understood her concern, we were able to share some scriptures from the Book of Mormon on prayer. We shared Alma 34:17-28, and began explaining that God actually wants, and even commands, us to pray unto Him for the help that we need. But while we started trying to explain this concept to her, she glanced down at the page, read a part of one of the verses there, and exclaimed that this was an exact answer to her question. My mind took a second to catch up with what she had said, still trying to explain the meaning of the scripture to her, and it felt like the Spirit gave me a little kick, saying "she gets it, you can move on now!" I think I thoroughly learned that lesson, that the Spirit can answer people's questions much better than we can.

The next day we had a lesson with another investigator, Nakahara san, and he has been seeking to know whether what we are teaching is truly from God. We have invited him to pray and read from the Book of Mormon, which he continues to do. He is such a great example to me in that. He tells us that he doesn't always understand what is going on, but that he enjoys the things he is learning from the parts he does understand. When we invited him to church, though, he informed us that his schedule is a little too busy. We showed him a short video about doing all that we can to receive the answer we are seeking, and then shared another scripture from the Book of Mormon, this time from 1 Nephi 3:7. We promised him that if he has the desire to come to church, God will provide the means for him to make time. We asked once again whether he would come to church, and he said he would ask for time off from his work so that he could come.

The last experience I want to share came from a lesson with Shinya kyodai, a less-active member. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation, but there were some parts that he didn't seem to fully understand. We decided it would be best to teach directly from the scriptures, and we opened the Book of Mormon to a scripture that we thought would help him. I honestly don't remember what we shared, but as we read, he sat back and said that it answered a question he had about the Plan of Salvation in the past.

From all of these experiences, I have really come to see how the Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul. If you are desiring to strengthen your relationship with your Father in Heaven, or with your family members here on Earth, the way can be found in the Book of Mormon. If you want to know why God would allow us to pass through pain, trials, and heartaches, the answer can be found in the Book of Mormon. And most importantly, if you want to know more about our Savior Jesus Christ, and what His Atonement means personally for you, I can testify that this can be found all throughout the Book of Mormon. I know that this Book is true, and I know that God wants me to make a greater effort to study it daily and find the answers written by His prophets. I invite all of you to read this amazing book as well, and find what God has waiting for you. I love you all so much, but not as much as your Heavenly Father loves you! Hope you can all feel that love this week.

District meeting! Nohagi choro had the excellent idea to have us draw all of our faces, rotating the pictures every little while. Remarkably accurate, right?

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