I want to share a really cool experience that I had this past week. So we have an investigator who has been investigating for a couple years now. Right now, he is the one who is progressing the most out of all of our investigators. Last week, we had a lesson with him and we planned on inviting him to be baptized next month. We had the Branch President and his wife there sitting in on the lesson. We talked about baptism and asked him questions, but he would always give vague answers to the questions, for example, we ask him, "why is it important to pray?" And he says, "so we can return to God", really superficial answers and when we try to have him expound, he doesn't do anything. So, we get him to kind of commit to a baptismal date and the lesson was over. We talked with our BP and his wife about the investigator. He clearly has some kind of problem that is out of his control which he can't retain information or recall it. We all were wondering if he is even mentally capable to even need baptism. So after talking about it, we came to the conclusion that we would pray about it, ask our mission president for advice and see what happens.
The next day, I emailed President Welch and told him the whole situation and he replied with words of advice such as "can he reach the qualifications for baptism as stated in D&C 20:37 or is that a challenge for him?" So, I was thinking of that for a while, not completely sure what to do. Can he be baptized, or does he even need baptism? Is he saved already? Questions I was pondering that day trying to figure out what to do.
The next morning, I was having a hard time sleeping. I remember that it was around 5:30 in the morning and I was about 75% asleep when a number started wandering around in my head. The number 8 was just lingering there for some reason. And then I remember 22 as well. 8:22.. Then after a bit of trying to sleep some more, for some reason I randomly thought of the book of Moroni. So in my mostly asleep state, a scripture reference popped in my head, Moroni 8:22. At the time, I had no idea what that scripture was or even if it existed at all. I turned over in my futon (we don't have beds in Japan) and wrote the reference down in my little notebook that I have next to me and went back to sleep. I woke up half an hour later, went to the bathroom and then remembered that scripture, so I opened to it. I almost had a heart attack when I read it. The scripture exists and it blew my mind.
It says "For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing" Well, if that wasn't an answer, I don't know what is! That was by far the most direct answer to anything that I have ever received in my life. I learned that our investigator is one who is "without the law" and because of that, he is redeemed by the atonement, and thus does not need baptism. The answer was clear as day. I was amazed by that and I know now that Heavenly Father is truly right here beside me looking out for me. This is his work and I know that he is mindful of each of his children. One of the coolest experiences of my mission.
I've said this before, but our mission is striving to teach at least 20 lessons a week per companionship. So, our district has been working hard the past few weeks to reach that. I am proud to announce that after much work and a few miracles, each companionship in my district reached the 20 lesson mark this week! All 3 companionships did it and I am so proud for all of this district! It was so great to hear that it happened. God truly answers our efforts. Not only answers, but He always goes beyond that. Our district experienced that reality this week.
It was a great week! Lots of miracles, lots of cool experiences. It's hard to believe that this week is my 1 year in Japan mark. I've come a long way and hopefully I have changed a little since then. Cheers to 10 more months as a full-time missionary.
Love you all! My ponderizing scripture of the week is 1 Nephi 10:19. Have a great week! Thank you for all the support and prayers in my behalf. Love you!
Elder Lamoreaux ラムロー長老
Japan Kobe Mission 日本神戸伝道部