"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, August 21, 2016

8/15/2016 It takes effort.

Minnasan konnichiwa,

This week has been pretty busy. I think we have spent more time traveling than anything else, though, so it wasn't as tiring as normal. On Tuesday morning we caught a train to the next area over for companion exchanges. I was with Abarca choro this time, and it was a great learning experience for me. They are seeing a lot of success in their area from the little efforts they started a few transfers ago. They now have a service project helping members in their yards almost every week, and they also started a free English class for young kids I was able to participate in both of these activities, and I definitely want to find/create similar opportunities in Kurashiki. After that, we tried to visit some of the people Abarca choro had visited before, but none of them were home. While we walked between houses, we were able to have a really good talk about change through the gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ. We reflected on the changes we had seen in ourselves, and it was a pretty eye-opening experience for me to see how God can take our small efforts and magnify them to accomplish much greater things than we could on our own.

The next trip we took was to Kobe, which was quite a bit further than just one area over. We had to go the night before and stay overnight, and I was able to see a lot of old friends from past areas and zones. Then the next day we had a training meeting for new missionaries and their companions. I learned so much from it all, so much that it will be a long time until I have learned to effectively apply all of those things. One of the focuses of the trainings given by President Welch was on patterns, and finding the patterns in the scriptures that will help us improve ourselves and our situation. God could obviously tell us exactly what we should do in order to find success in life, but He chooses not to. He teaches us how we should act, and allows us to experience successes and failures for ourselves. But when we rely on the words He has given us through His prophets and
through the Holy Ghost, we can be given that needed counsel and advice. Welch kaicho taught us that simply studying scriptures is not enough either. We first study to learn the principles, and then we have to put our own effort in. We do what we can to solve our problem, and as we do so, God provides the necessary assistance and strength to overcome the things we cannot overcome on our own. The example from the scriptures that he used came from Nephi, a righteous young man who was commanded by God to go back and get the record of his people from a wicked King Laban. Nephi went in faith, but failed twice in his attempts to retrieve the records that he needed to obtain. After he had exhausted all possibilities available to him, he prayed to God to help him in this task he had been given. He went a third time to retrieve the records, and God provided the way for him to do what he had been commanded.
I know that the same pattern that worked for Nephi applies to all of us today. If we are seeking to fulfill the commandments God has given us, it may take some effort and even some failure on our part. But in the end, God will always provide us with that necessary aid. We can always rely on His help, and on the power and grace of His son, Jesus Christ. I know these things to be true, and I invite you all to try them if you have something you wish to change in your life to align yourselves more fully with God's will. First, study the scriptures we have been given through loving prophets, and then commit to God through prayer what you will do in order to receive His help. I promise you that help will come. See you all next week, love you!


TTTM- Trainer Trainee Training Meeting

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