|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!?!
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.