So, Friday marked 6 months since I've been out on my mission.... Wow that feels weird to say. Time flies when you are having fun right? It is crazy and I have had a great time, filled with many learning experiences and witnessing God's hand in my life everyday. I feel so blessed to do what I do everyday. I have also been out in the field for 4 months. I feel like I just got here haha. My Japanese is still not where I would like it, but I have totally improved. I can understand a lot more now which is really good. I still have so much I need to learn, but I am getting there. You know what they say; Line upon line, precept upon precept. In Japanese: 少しずつ。
So the big news of the week..... I am staying in Nishiwaki!!! I am super relieved! All day, I was thinking of the many possibilities that could have happened this transfer and I didn't want to leave Nishiwaki and say bye to all the incredible people here. So when I saw the email, I was ecstatic. 6 more weeks here is going to be great! And my companion is staying as well so another blessing. I am really happy about that.
|Nice view of Nishiwaki after a short hike|
|We were in a forest looking for the せんみん。 (The elect)|
So, this week, we decided to change our view on finding. We decided that instead of going out and housing on random doors all day, we were going to dive into the area book and visit/call people who had met with the missionaries before and see if they have a new found interest. We were able to go through all of the area book, which has people as far back as 2007. So, we looked at each of the records and chose the ones that seem like they would have interest, who had been taught a lot, and those whose addresses or phone numbers were written on the record. We were able to find a good stack of people that we could try to contact. So now, we are going through them and calling/visiting the list and so far, it has gone pretty well. We were able to find a few former investigators who might want to hear more, and we are still in the process of going through the list. We were also able to find some maps which some older missionaries had put circles to some of their potential investigators that they had found back in 2009, so on Wednesday, we went to one of the areas and started going through all of the circles. We were able to talk to just about all of them. They remembered the missionaries, but they still weren't interested. But, we were able to plant more seeds and we were able to speak to each of them, which was a lot better than housing and not talking to very many people. So, we are in the process of trying to contact everyone. It has been working pretty well. We were able to find a couple new (but old) investigators in that process.
This Saturday, we had Zone Conference in Fukuchiyama and I was able to get my backpack back! It felt like reuniting with an old friend because I had gone a week without my Quad scriptures and my journal and every other study thing I had, which was a little frustrating, but I managed. Anyway, the conference was really great. I learned a lot more about what I guess Heavenly Father really wants me to learn about right now. And again, that it about Love. Love really is so important in everything that we do. Love is the motive of everything. I thought this was really interesting: We were talking about how to more effectively learn Japanese by working on receiving the Gift of Tongues. We watched a few videos made by the MTC about principles of the gospel that help you develop the gift of tongues. One of the principles was Love, Charity. They said, with Charity and Love towards the people you serve, the language is going to come so much faster. I think it is crazy that everything comes back to love, even learning Japanese. Everything is much better if you have charity. I really think Heavenly Father wants me to have a good understanding of this concept, so I am working hard on doing that.
So, as far as our investigators are going, we are having a hard time with getting people to progress. We have quite a few investigators, but their desire is not there. We are trying to find ways to help our investigators have a desire to learn about the gospel and to have a desire to change and accept the gospel. We also have investigators who love meeting with us, but don't keep their commitments which is really frustrating. You just want them to do what they have to do and when they don't do it, it hurts because you know that this is how their life can be better, and there isn't anything else you can do for them besides love them. We are trying different approaches to lessons and our contacting so that the people we teach will have more interest in learning more and eventually to enter into the waters of baptism. It starts with desire on the investigators part, and a Christlike showing of love on the missionary's part. Ahhh there is so much associated in the work of Salvation that is so hard to comprehend! That is why the Lord is the true head of this missionary force. There is no way we can do it on our own.
Anyway, I am still enjoying the work. Some days are harder than others, but in the end, as long as you do your best, that is all that matters. There is no other way to true, never-ending happiness without this gospel. Jesus Christ is truly the only way for us to achieve eternal happiness. I long for the day that we can live in the Celestial Kingdom, with no cares in the world, and our loved ones by our side. There is no better happiness than that. I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week!
|This looks a lot like my seminary teacher Brother Frost.|