"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

7/3/2017 Meeting new mission president

Hey there!
Nice to see all your smiling faces! You're looking especially good today. Yeah, you. You know who you are. Anyways, it has been another awesome week spent in Uwajima, and now we find ourselves back in the same place we were last week, on a bus going to a far away place. We will stop in Imabari tonight and tomorrow to have companion exchanges with the missionaries there, and then continue up to Okayama again, this time to meet our new mission president, President Smoot!
I can't believe the Welch's are gone, they have had such an impact on me and so many others the past several years, and we will all miss them. In our last meeting with President Welch last week, he took us through 13 steps that if we followed faithfully throughout our lives, we would be disciple of Christ and never lose our testimony of the spiritual truths we have learned on our missions. If anyone wants to know those steps, the best thing to do would be to have come to Japan last week and participate in the meeting with all of us. If that isn't looking possible and you still want to know more of what President Welch taught us from what he learned in three years as a mission president, let me know and I'll do my best to tell you more! For now all I will say is that I love the Welch's so much for all they have done for us, and I will never be able to forget all the things I learned from them. My life has undoubtably been changed from knowing them.
We are super excited to meet the Smoot's this week as well, and I can't wait to see what we will learn from them.

I would just like to share one quick thought/experience from this last week, which is something that I learned in our church service on Sunday. Since it was the first Sunday of the month, any one who wanted to share their testimony of God and the Savior, Jesus Christ, were invited to do so. Many people bore their testimony, and I felt the Spirit present, confirming everyone's words to be true. But as the meeting was coming to a close, one Sister got up to bear her testimony. She talked very simply about how she hasn't been coming to church lately, but each time she comes back she is reminded of the thing that has gotten her through difficult years and trials- the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
This Atonement is so broad and so wide-reaching that it is hard to explain simply, and takes more than a lifetime to fully grasp, but it includes the suffering of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross in Calvary in suffering for all the mistakes, sins, and misdeeds of all mankind. It also includes His resurrection three days later, breaking the bands of death for us all. Words cannot describe the pain that He experienced, nor the joy that He felt, in saving all of us from physical and spiritual death.
As this Sister shared her thoughts on the Atonement, I felt a special spirit and witness that what she said was true. I felt peace in my heart, and I know that only through relying on the infinite power and mercy of the Son of God that we will be able to find lasting happiness in a world full of despair and heartache. I feel so blessed to be a representative of that same Jesus Christ, and to teach the same everlasting principles and truths that He taught when He walked upon the earth two thousand years ago. I'd like to finish with a scripture, one found in the Book of Mormon taught by the prophet Jacob. If any of you wish to find more peace in life, more surety of things to come, and more stability for yourself and family, I can promise that a study of the life of Christ, followed by applying those principles within your own lives, will lead to that desired result.
"And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?"

Good luck in your studies!
Elder Winegar

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