This week has been full of blessings and tender mercies of the Lord. So many blessings, and always so little time to share them all. I'll just get right into it then!
As I said last week, I have been focusing more on my prayers lately, and we continued to see more miracles this week as my companion, Elder Kawajo, and I strove to put our trust in God more fully. There were almost two different, distinct types of blessings seen throughout the week. The first was a continual strengthening power, giving us energy to continue onward where we otherwise might have faltered and turned back from our planned course of action. One of those sources of strength was definitely Elder Kawajo. He fearlessly stops people to talk to them in the street, even when he doesn't know what he will say to them. He also is showing me how to love people more fully, caring about their individual needs more. And finally, he frequently just begins a task wholeheartedly when I am sometimes tempted to put it off until later, or wait for something until I am better prepared. He is teaching me a lot, and I am so grateful to have such a great companion!
The second blessing was one that had nothing to do with our own actions. Throughout the week on about three different occasions, random people began showing up at the church wanting to learn more or seeking some form of help or comfort. I know that our increased desire and efforts to show God how willing we are to work helped prepare us to see these miracles, but they really couldn't have been accomplished by our power and effort.
The first was a woman that lived nearby, and had always known the church to here, but never had any interest. A month or so ago, though, her youngest daughter passed away, and she remembered the church. She came looking to see if anyone was inside, and we happened to stop by just a few minutes later to look up an address of someone we wanted to visit that day. The guidance from God through the Spirit was so clearly visible, I couldn't even begin to deny it. We were able to testify that through Jesus Christ she and her daughter, along with the rest of her family, could be united together forever. She gave us her phone number, and agreed to meet again if she could get permission from her husband.
The next day we were studying in our apartment, when a phone call came from a member. He told us there was a man waiting at the church, and he wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon. We excitedly ran out the door and biked to the church as fast as we could, and were able to meet with the man and explain a little about the Book of Mormon before giving him a copy. He said he would read it, and contact us again soon.
Finally, as we finished church on Sunday, a man came in and began talking to one of the Sister missionaries. Many people had seen him at church activities before, and some even knew his name, but no one had ever taken much time to talk to him. As we sat down with him after church he told us that he was in a pretty tough situation with some people in another church. He wanted to get away from them, but each time he tried to sever ties with them they would become angry and almost violent. He came seeking our help, and asked over and over again if we would help him. We told him we would do everything we could, and he was so relieved.
All three of these meetings strengthened my testimony that no matter what problem we are faced with, the gospel of Jesus Christ can heal us and endow us with power to do things that we can't do on our own. We can find comfort from life's problems and unfairness, from infirmities, pains, sorrows, and even death. We can learn of the truth of our own potential and divine nature. And above all, we can learn of the love our Father in Heaven has for us. Truly, all things that are wrong in life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In the words of our Savior Jesus Christ,
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
I know that we can find this rest unto our souls, and that only through Jesus Christ can we find the lasting happiness we desire. I love you all so much, but not as much as you are loved by your Heavenly Father and elder brother, Jesus Christ! I invite you all to learn something new about them this week, and strengthen your relationship with them!