"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

Monday, July 24, 2017

6/26/2017 Last week with President and Sister Welch

Hello everyone!
As I write, my companion and I are on our way to Okayama (I don't expect all of you to know where that is, but just to paint a mental picture think far), and we will be having a final meeting with our mission president, President Welch. He goes home at the end of this week, it is so weird to think that he won't be here anymore. It has been so amazing to learn from him and his experiences, testimony and advice. Because of that meeting, and other plans for the week, it looks like we are going to stay pretty busy!

Last week was also full of fun and miracles, and they really helped to build my faith even more in the ability for the Spirit to guide us in our lives, and to change the hearts of people that are willing to listen and act.
Some of the best experiences of the week came in Matsuyama on companion exchanges with Elder Dahl. We committed ourselves to talk to everyone in our path while biking to an out-of-the-way part of the area. We talked to a lot of cool people, some with more interest than others, but weren't able to find anyone that wanted to learn more about God at this time. We decided to stop and go door to door talking to people, and we started to find more people that we could tell were in need of our message.
The first lady we met didn't have any interest in our church at first, and was ready to shut the door on us, but for some reason continued to talk with us. She told us how her whole family had passed away except for two daughters that had moved far away from her. She shared how lonely she was, but how she felt obligated to continue in her family's religious practices because she was the only one left to do so. We then were able to teach simply that God has a plan for her, and that through the mercy of Jesus Christ her family can be together again. In the end, she told us that she wouldn't be able to come to church, but we felt that we had given her some much-needed hope.
We then talked to a young man that told us straight up that he had no interest in church. Elder Dahl and I taught about our purpose in life and how we can become more through the help of our Savior, and we felt and saw a big change come over this young man. As we asked what he thought, he responded "I think I'd better come to church now." We exchanged numbers with him, and agreed to meet again.
The last miracle came as we talked to an older man, who told us that he had retired and only engaged in things he liked to do. As we began to introduce our church, he told us that he had read countless bible-like books, scriptures, and religious texts. He told us very certainly that all the religions are the same and that we couldn't do anything to change his mind. All we could do was to share our experience with the Book of Mormon, but as we did so, we knew he felt the truth of his words. Unable to stop himself, he reached out to take the Book of Mormon we offered him, muttering under his breath that he only wanted to see it because it peaked his interest. We also agreed to come back and meet him the next week.
I have seen over and over again the power that the Spirit has to change hearts, and I can guarantee beyond any shadow of doubt that anyone who seeks an answer and confirmation of truth from God will receive it through the Holy Ghost.
I hope you all have a wonderful, Spirit-filled week!
Love from Japan,
Elder Winegar

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