"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 30, 2016

8/29/2016 Staying in Kurashiki!

Minnasan konnichiwa,

I am again suffering from chronic "I-don't-know-what-to-say" itis (I'm not sure why this only seems to happen on Monday's), so here come some highlights of the week again!

First off- transfers. Every companionship in our zone had at least one person transfer, except for us! My companion and I will both be here in Kurashiki again this transfer, and I am so excited to see some awesome miracles. But that also means that this is my fourth transfer here, which makes it almost a sure thing that I will be transferring next time. Better make the most of my time here.

Since we didn't have to do any packing or traveling for transfers, we had a full week in our area to work. It started out a little slower than normal, but picked up towards the end. We spent a lot of that time in the beginning of the week trying to visit less-active members to find out if their addresses are still correct, and if they are still open to visits from missionaries. Most of the time we weren't able to get in contact with anyone, but as we were searching for an address, we were able to talk to the father of one of those members. He was sitting outside the house when we approached him, and we were almost expecting him to quickly turn us away, but he greeted us warmly and proceeded to tell us stories about his life and his experiences with church. He had never been to our church before, but he had been to some other Christian church when he was much younger. He also told us some harder things in his life, like how his mother had passed away when he was a young man. We then had a really special opportunity to teach and testify of eternal families, and how he can see his mother again through the power of Christ's atonement. He was excited by this, and told us he would like to come to church sometime. We couldn't believe our ears!

Around this time, his wife came home, and told us off for talking to her husband. She said that he didn't have a very good memory, and that there was no point in talking to him. When we asked about her son, the less-active member, she said talking to him would be useless too. I felt saddened by her desire to stop others from receiving help from God in their lives, but her husband once again cheered me up by his actions and mannerisms. His wife called him into the house, demanding that he stop talking to us, and he immediately cut her off, petulantly crying, "we'll be done in a minute. Just let me finish!" He probably would have stayed out all night and talked to us if we had wanted, but we thanked him for his time, and invited him to come to church if he ever has the chance. I felt so much of God's love for this man, and I know that he had been prepared to receive our message
that night. Even if his wife may not allow us to continue to visit him, he had a seed planted in his heart that day, and I believe that he will come to know the truth of our message, and that God loves him and cares for him.

Later in the week we had several opportunities to teach people on the street in a first contact, and we ended up having some really good discussions. We met one young man named Seiya, who talked to us about trials and pains in our lives. When we asked him if he had felt those things in his life, he replied that he definitely had them before, but now that they are over, it doesn't bother him any more. We were able to testify that this is how God works to help us grow- that through our trials, we gain experience and become the type of person that He knows we can become. He really liked the discussion, and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon and exchange phone numbers with him to set up a time to meet again.

I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of these two truths- of the love that God has for us, and that families can be together forever. This knowledge has power to change lives, heal hearts, and overcome weaknesses. I can testify to that, because I have seen the changes it is making in my life and in the lives of those we come into contact with. I hope that you all can feel that love from God in your lives as well. If you don't think you are feeling it, or you want to feel more of it, I would invite you to kneel down in prayer to God, and just talk with Him. Tell Him how you are feeling, what you are struggling with, and especially what you are thankful for. I can promise you that He is listening, and will respond through bringing peace to your mind and heart. Prayer has definitely become that source of peace for me when my heart is troubled, and the way to bring me up to the next level when I am already feeling good. I love my Heavenly Father, I love this work, and I love all of you as well! I hope you have a wonderful, prayer-filled week!

Last week's P-day.  We may not be allowed to swim, but we still enjoyed the beach!
Eikaiwa class

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