Blog of Elder JT Lamoreaux

Monday, May 25, 2015

Another week in Kitarokko

Dear everyone,

This week was a pretty normal week. I'll start with an update on my investigators. The one who is going to get baptized in two weeks is looking stronger than ever. During the first hour of our teaching him yesterday, we just read in the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 4. While reading it one verse at a time, he learned why we need to be obedient. He read "For the Lord God hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence." He connected it to himself. "So, if you follow the commandments, life will be great! If you don't, it will suck." This strengthened my testimony on the power that the Book of Mormon has. You could read anywhere in the book and it will teach you something about yourself. If you don't believe me, try it for yourself. Flip it to any page and read it. Don't just read it, try to learn, try to apply it to yourself. I guarantee that you will find something. The Book of Mormon is "the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” Joseph Smith. It works.

During the second hour, we taught him the rest of the material. He understands and commits to doing all of it. We have now taught everything. All he needs now is the baptismal interview and then the baptism. It is so exciting and we can see a change come over him. He used to be addicted to tobacco, used to drink every night, but now he is changing. It has nothing to do with me at all. I did nothing to help him get here. It was all the Lord. He (the investigator) recently started reading the Book of Mormon every day and that is what changed him. If I learned one thing from this mission so far is that the Book of Mormon changes lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It was prepared by people anciently, but it was written for us now in these the latter days. It is for us. I invite you to study it at least a little bit everyday and notice the change in your life. Again, it works.

So the investigator with the mental problems. We haven't been able to contact him for the past two weeks. He won't answer his phone. He was going to have a thing with the bishop to figure things out, but we haven't talked to him for two weeks. It's pretty sad, but I trust that he's okay. You know, in the end, whether he gets baptized eventually or not, he will be just fine. God is so merciful and gracious that he provides for those who have problems like our investigator. I don't have any worries about people like that.

We have a very interesting teaching pool. I feel like my first two areas especially have super unique investigators that just aren't the same as any other area I've seen. Then again, I only really know these two areas. I am sure each area has their own uniqueness about them. I just think it is interesting haha.

Well, I know this church is true. The mission is the best way to learn and to grow and to experience the world. The Lord's hand is in all things. How could it not be? I mean, look at all the missionaries that you know. We are just a bunch of 18, 19, 20 year old kids. We have no idea what we are doing. None of us have a lot of experience. Yet, the Lord calls us and we go. He molds us everyday into true disciples of Christ. Miracles are wrought only through the Lord and our faith. Without the hand of the Lord, missionary work would not work at all. I know that the Lord is all powerful and all loving.

That's it for this week. I hope you all have an amazing week and that you will recognize the hand of the Lord in your lives.

Elder Lamoreaux

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pretty normal week. And I'm staying in Kitarokko!

Dear everyone,

This was a pretty ふつう (normal) week. Nothing too exciting, but there is a couple highlights that I will write about.

The first was our day on Wednesday. Before that day, things had been going pretty slow. We haven't found any new investigators in a while and most of our time was spent finding, which is always a drag when you are finding all day. But, we had a couple people planned that we were going to try to visit. The first was a less-active member who we had been trying to contact every single Wednesday since I've been here. We decided to try visiting him at 12:30 instead of the night, which we usually do. We went there and there was a car in the driveway! We were able to catch him right before he was leaving. We were able to talk to him for a little bit and drop off something for him to read. It was a quick little meeting, but it was also a quick little miracle. Next we went to one of our investigators houses (the one with the pictures of missionaries) for a lesson which went pretty well. He is progressing a little bit. Then, right after the lesson, we get a call from a Potential Investigator who didn't really show interest, but gave us his phone number. We called him probably 4 days before and he didn't answer. He decided to call us back finally and he wanted to meet but he said he was at the place for only a little bit before he had to catch his train. So we ran to the train station and got there in time, then went to the other train station where the Potential Investigator was. We were able to talk to him for longer than what he said. He has interest in us being from America, but not too much interest in the church, but we were able to schedule another meeting with him, so he is a new investigator! We will see how far his interest will go, but that was again, another miracle. There were other small miracles that happened this day, which was really refreshing for me. I know that God will never leave us alone. Sometimes he lets us go without much success so that we are able to better appreciate and recognize the small and simple things that he does. I invite you to seek the hand of the Lord in your everyday lives. Sit down, take a short break, and count the little "tender mercies" that the Lord places in front of you everyday. You will gain a greater appreciation for life and a greater appreciation for the Love that Heavenly Father shows you every single day.

The other highlight of the week was on Sunday. The investigator who is so close to being baptized but spoked us at church last week came this week! So at the lesson that we had after sacrament with him, the first thing he said to us was "so I'm getting baptized on June 7th right? What do I have to do for it?" My companion and I were stunned! So we went to get the Ward Mission Leader (he is the best by the way) and we were able to set up the whole program and everything. So, he is for sure getting baptized on the 7th! (Well assuming he passes the interview) It is so exciting and his testimony is growing right before our eyes. I love it! This is what missionary work is supposed to feel like! So we taught him all of the commandments and he accepted and committed to follow all of them. So all that's left is Lesson 5 and a review and the interview. I am so excited for him!

So, those were the highlights of the week. Also, transfer calls came today and I am staying in Kitarokko! I'm happy about that. My companion, Elder Isaac is now the District Leader so I am a district leader's companion again. This transfer is going to be great!

Well that's it for this week. Here's a quick scripture, one that I read today. Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Jesus Christ is knocking on our door. He is begging to help us. Are we going to listen to the knocking and open the door Are we going to let him help and heal us? Or do we have to many distractions that drown out the knocking? Let us all hear His voice and let him in. We are not knocking on his door, he is inviting us to come unto Him and be saved. I love that scripture. Jesus Christ wants to help us, we have to be humble enough to let him in.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week!!
Elder Lamoreaux

I think this is a video... Hope this works. Our fail attempt at a picture

Monday, May 11, 2015

Quick little email

Dear everyone,

I don't have a lot of time. I will share a quick scripture. 2 Nephi 4:34 "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." Trust in the Lord because he knows all and he loves us all. No matter what trials you are going through or what triumphs you experience, always rely and trust in the Lord. He will make everything better. Trust him.

Here are some pictures! Have a great week!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Really fast week.

Japan is so weird! If you can't read it, it says, "All work and no
play makes Jack a dull boy!" What the random thing to put on a bus!?!
Dear Everyone,

Hello from Japan! The weather is getting hotter and hotter everyday. I can now comfortably wear short sleeve shirts now! It feels great. I can tell that by the time the summer is over, I will be a whole different shade of brown. It will get super hot though... Not too excited. I've heard that you need to carry some sort of rag with you everyday in the summer to wipe off sweat. I am probably going to die, but it will probably work out.

Anyways, nothing very important to the work happened this week. I feel like just yesterday I was writing emails. This week flew by. We had one cool thing though. An investigator who we had been trying to meet and teach a lesson with finally came to church yesterday! We taught him yesterday and if everything goes well (which my companion, our Ward mission leader and I are confident will happen) he will get baptized in the coming weeks. He is an awesome guy, has a couple minor issues and a little changing to do, but he will be a great member of the church. I am excited for him and I am confident things will work out. Other than that, not much else to report on the work.

So, since this is a "not much to report" week, I will share a couple things about what I have been learning in my personal study recently.  I love personal study. I wish that we had more than just an hour of it. There is just so much that I want to read, study, ponder about and learn that in order to do that, I would probably need all the hours of the day. Especially recently, I feel that Heavenly Father is guiding my daily study. It feels that everything I read, come across, or learn about is all connected in some way and it makes sense. It is so fun when concepts and principles and doctrines come together like a puzzle. I know that that Lord is watching over me and is guiding me to certain passages of scripture, conference talks, magazine articles, and training from mission leaders that all directly apply to my life.  It is awesome! I promise that if you set apart a time to study the word of God, through the Book of Mormon, the words of the prophets or other church materials each day, your life will be blessed and you will learn so many cool things! It truly is amazing!

Anyway, enough mumbling. I was reading the Book of Mormon one day, continuing my progress from the beginning of the book and came across 2 Nephi chapter 2. There is so much there that I have spent the last week and a half stuck on that chapter. The biggest thing that I have found from that chapter is that God gives us agency, the freedom to choose. Our choices in this life determine our eternal lives. Every choice we make has its own consequences. We are free to choose, however, we are not free to choose the outcome. Also, the righteous use of our agency allows us to have more freedom, while the unrighteous use of our agency leads to "captivity and death." As I was pondering about agency, I was reminded of a few talks given this past conference about eternal perspective. I read over those talks and determined that if we have an eternal perspective on things, we will realize he importance of each of our choices in this life. When we come at an important decision in life, we can think, "is this going to bring me closer to God, or will this take me away from him?" We can realize the importance of protecting our agency. Our choices are so important, so it is also important to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and the ability to listen to its Promptings, because it will guide us in the choices we should make.

Also, with eternal perspective, we can look at trials and setbacks as stepping stones to a better life. I read an article in the April 2015 Liahona/Ensign entitled "It isn't a Sin to be Weak" and there were some powerful things in there. It all connected to my study. I realized that we all have weakness. Weakness is given to us from God so that we can learn to rely on him. When a test of our weakness comes, we have two choices; succumb to he weakness by falling into Satan's grasp by choosing to sin, or to recognize that you have weakness and turn to God to help you overcome. Through the enabling power of the atonement, we can access the strength needed to overcome weakness. Through Grace, the Lord can "make weak things become strong unto them." It is our choices that determine our eternal destiny. This along with reading my patriarchal blessing, allows me to understand the importance of following the Lord at all times, in all things, in all places. This is just a little bit of the things I am learning. I learn everyday, and I am so grateful for the Lord blessing me with 
this chance to learn and improve.

I never realized how much personal study of the scriptures and words of the prophets can have an impact in life. I invite you to set apart a period of time each day to just study the words of God. If you do, you will find a greater purpose in life and the Lord will see your sacrifice and will bless you with the needed knowledge and strength to get you past each day. I know that is true.

Well, I hope you made it through that email without falling asleep. I feel like sometimes I bore you with the things I write. My English isn't the best, so have patience with me please. Have a great week this week and remember that the Lord is always on your side, no matter what.

-Elder Lamoreaux