Blog of Elder JT Lamoreaux

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas full of service

Dear Everyone,

I hope you all had a great Christmas!! I had an awesome one, but it was completely different than any other Christmas I've had. I was able to Skype with my family!! It was so great! I love any opportunity that I have to speak to my family. I love them so much.

I don't have a lot of time; we are going to go to Osaka Castle for Preparation Day today and I wrote a fairly long email to President Welch.

This week was filled with service opportunities! We had a couple Christmas parties on Tuesday and Wednesday that we were in charge of. There was a few people there, but we talked, ate some food together and just tried to share the Christmas spirit with the people of Japan. We had this really special opportunity to go to a hospital on Christmas Eve. A member in this ward is staying there and the missionaries were invited to participate in their Christmas program. This is a hospital where older people with disabilities stay; kind of like a retirement home, but with people who need more help than normal. So there, we sang Christmas songs to the patients; "we wish you a merry Christmas", "White Christmas" (because that is popular in Japan??) and "Silent Night". Then, my companion, because he is tall(ish) and American, played Santa Claus for these patients. There were probably about 60 people there and they all loved Santa Claus! It was so cool to see the look of Joy in each of their faces. It's really humbling and touching to see a couple 80 year old men shedding tears of joy as they receive a present from Santa Claus. It was like they turned into a little kid again. Wow, I was just so amazed at how happy each of them were. It was just a simple little gift that we gave to them, but to them, it meant the world. It was a humbling experience for me to witness this.

On my mission, and especially this past week, I have come to understand better the famous scripture Mosiah 2:17 "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." I testify that it true. As you give of yourself, the Lord will notice and he will bless you accordingly. It was a really happy Christmas for me. I didn't receive much at all, but I tried to give, and because of that, God blessed me. And he is continuing to bless my family back home. I marvel at how much the Lord gives to us. We are always and forever indebted to him. He has given us life, our salvation, and he gives us the chance to have eternal happiness. It is up to us to make the most of our life and to live worthy of those blessings. God is so good. Put your trust in him and not in the arm of flesh. God loves you immensely and as you give of yourself, you will gain more than you could ever imagine.

Sorry it's short! It was a great week! I hope you all have a great week and you celebrate the new year safely. Next time I email, it will be 2016!!! Holy cow!! Time flies. Love you all!

Elder Lamoreaux ラムロー長老
Japan Kobe Mission 日本神戸伝道部

We had a Christmas Conference on Wednesday!  This is the Osaka, Kyoto, and Sakai zones!

More than half of the MTC district reunited!!  Sister Arnold, Sister Madsen, Elder Otani, and Elder Pinero!

Yes.  'Tis my first burrito in about a year and 4 months!  I miss Mexican food...(Never thought I would say that)

Santa selfie.  Way to be Elder Parkin!

Skyping the family!  Sorry, I only got this screenshot...

Christmas dinner at a member's house!  Look at how American this is!!!  Holy cow, it was so good!  This year's Thanksgiving and Christmas feast combined.

#unity! The bishop and the missionaries with matching ties given to us
by President Welch!
共に歩まん Walk with me.

Monday, December 21, 2015


Dear Everyone,

#って、何?What is this # business? Is it something the kids say nowadays? I don't even know what a hashtag is anymore.. I've been out for a while...

Anyways, yes, this week is Christmas 2015!! I can't believe it's already by second Christmas in Japan. Christmas on a mission is really weird. Nothing like it is back home. It's really just another day, but we get to open some presents on Christmas morning. However, I am so excited and no matter where you are in the world, Christmas is the happiest time. I love it!
While Elder Parkin and I were looking for a member's house, we ran into a beautiful sight!  I felt we were in America again.  oh Christmas lights:)
Well, this week was pretty busy. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we said bye byes to some members and investigators for Elder Wharton. They are good days. The days before transfers are always the busiest because we want to say bye to everyone that we can. On Wednesday, we went out to eat Indo Curry with an investigator that Elder Wharton found. After that, we had a BBQ at a member's house. That was so fun and it was the first time I've lit a fire since before the mission! I forgot how cool sitting by a campfire really is. It was a tasty Korean style barbeque with the nicest family ever. Fluent in English, so that makes things that much more fun.
Elder Wharton's last day in Higashi Osaka with one of our
Thursday was transfer day. It's always fun to talk to all the missionaries at transfer point. After a while, I said bye to Elder Wharton and picked up Elder Parkin. He is actually from Orem Utah! He moved there after he graduated though, so he doesn't know too much about Orem. He is originally from Santaquin. He is an awesome guy. He is 6th transfer, so I need to help him out with Japanese and some mission stuff. It will be a fun transfer.

Elder Parkin and I are really trying to get this area moving. Right now, we are working hard to get good relationships with the members as well as getting our investigator pool moving. We ran into a couple problems this past week with one of our investigators. He is actually our most progressing investigator at this point, but I get a text from him last night at around 6:30 saying "hey Elder Lamoreaux, do you have any food to give to me? I haven't eaten anything all day." Well, I stopped what I was doing and sat down and thought about what to do. He doesn't have a job and for the past little while, he has been mooching off some people because he just doesn't have money. I have ran into a lot of investigators who are in this same situation since I've been in Japan. It really makes me wonder how that happens. Well anyway, I called a few people asking what I should do with that, and we ended up telling him that we can't give him food. But, there is someone in the ward who can help him find a job. However, our investigator has to be the one to reach out and ask for help and be willing to act and work. So we communicated that to him. I also asked him to pray to Heavenly Father because he will give him the power he needs to overcome this big trial. I followed up with him later that night, asking if he prayed. He told me that he did and when he did, he felt something that basically said, "this will be solved some day, you don't need to worry." みたいな感じ。 People, the power of prayer is real and it brings needed comfort and blessings. We just need to be humble enough to let Heavenly Father take us where we need to go. If you are lost and you don't know what to do, pray. That's all there is to it. If there is one thing that I have learned on my mission, it is the importance of establishing a good relationship with your Heavenly Father through prayer and action. Something that I read in PMG recently that stuck out to me was this phrase: "The attitude you have toward your mission experience is a reflection of your love toward your Heavenly Father and His Son and your respect for the priesthood." (PMG pg. 151) That can apply not only to full time missionaries, but to everyone. The attitude you have towards life in general is a reflection of your love to Heavenly Father and His Son and your respect for the priesthood. You display that attitude through your actions, both publicly and privately. I am still trying to figure out how to pray more fervently and to have a better relationship with Heavenly Father. I invite you to analyze your relationship with Heavenly Father. Are your actions reflecting your love and gratitude towards them? I also invite you to pray with all your might to establish that relationship. I know that great blessings and peace of mind will come to you if you humbly do this.

Well, I hope that made sense. I kinda went on a rant at the end there. Anyways, I really hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Remember the reason for the season. My ponderizing scripture this week is Luke 2:10-14 "Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy, For unto you is born his day, a Savior which is Christ the Lord." He was born so that we can live without fear. On this day, show the Savior your gratitude for him by serving those around you. Even small things bring a big difference. I love you all!

Merry Christmas to all!
Elder Lamoreaux ラムロー長老
Japan Kobe Mission 日本神戸伝道部

Monday, December 14, 2015

Big week! And I'm staying in Higashi Osaka!

Dear Everyone,

What a busy week! We had a lot of this happen this week, but first, an update on transfer calls. I am staying another transfer here in Higashi Osaka! My companion is transferring, which is sad, but my new companion is Elder Parkin. He is going to be 6th transfer. It will be interesting here, because our investigator pool is really weak and most of our efforts are going to be centered towards strengthening the ward. So, we'll see how this goes!

So, Monday we went to the Sky Tower in Osaka with the district. It was such a pretty view and we got there just in time for the sunset. I love Japanese sunsets! Land of the rising sun or Land of the Setting sun?? Anyways, it was great. Afterwards we went with the Ward Mission Leader to visit a member in a hospital.

Tuesday was a special day because we went to Kobe to have District Leader Council. We learned so many great things from President Welch, Sister Welch, Elder Dos Santos and Elder Takahashi. Recently, the mission changed their standards to 4 baptisms a month. We talked a lot about how we can do that by focusing on the Youth. They had a scary statistic that said if the church in Japan continues the way it is, it will die in 20 years because the youth are not very strong right now. So, as a mission and as the Asia North Area, we are focusing on strengthening the youth that we do have and striving to find youth who are prepared. Also, the Asia North area is really looking to unite the missionaries with the ward. They have a lot of plans that are going to be launched in the new year, so these things will really help missionary work in Japan. It's exciting! I kinda wish I could have gotten to the mission now rather than last year because things are truly going to change in Japan. We are just starting to kick off the prophecies that are in store for Japan. Tuesday was a fun day. I got to see a lot of my missionary friends. The Japan Kobe Mission is the best!!

Thursday I went on exchanges with Elder Racker in my area. We had an appointment to help the sisters clean a room in a less active member's house. So we went, only expecting to be there for like an hour and tidy up a room. Boy was I wrong..... It was the most disgusting thing I have ever done in my life. This room was worse than a dump. Remember back in Kitarokko when we helped one of our investigators clean his apartment? Well, this room was exactly like that one but, with one extra twist. This room was the room of their dog. I don't think that dog has been out of that room for two years. Because of that, everything in the room was littered with.... You guessed it..... Poop.... Most of it was like the little dried up dirt clods you see when you aerate your yard. It was the worst smelling thing I have ever smelt. Holy cow, just thinking about it makes me sick. That poor dog; if it was in America, it would probably be in a shelter because of animal cruelty or something. It was not being taken care of at all. Needless to say, we filled up 8 garbage bags filled with garbage and poop. We also used all of a big can of air freshener and I'm sure we lost a few brain cells. It took 5 hours. Oh another thing, I am now 75% sure that I am allergic to dogs... The whole time I was coughing and having a hard time breathing. After we finished, it actually looked alright! We cleaned that place pretty well for what it was. Still not even close to livable, but for that poor dog, it probably feels like heaven. Such an unpleasant thing to do, but we did it and it feels good now. Good service opportunity to someone who really, really needed it. It also makes for a memorable experience.

Friday was district meeting and I really felt good about this one. The zone leaders were there so there was a little bit more pressure than usual. We just discussed about the things we talked about in DLC and about how we can hit "The Next Level". I came up with four keys to remember if we are to hit that next level as a mission.
1) Teach People, Not Lessons
2) Faith
3) The Spirit
4) Members
I know that this mission and all of Japan is going to explode really soon. Now is the time that Japan will come to accept the gospel. Now is the start of the fulfillment of the prophesied for Japan. It is so exciting to be a part of it and to help the members here realize that there is more joy that can be felt through sharing the gospel. Ahh! It's exciting.

After DM, I went on Kokan with Elder Eccles, the Zone Leader in his area, Abeno. Another beautiful part of Osaka. There we taught one of their golden investigators that they found a couple weeks ago. Right now he is preparing for baptism for next month. It was really refreshing to teach someone who has the desire to change and to be baptized. It was a nice chance for me to teach a solid, planned lesson. I haven't been able to do that in a while.

On Sunday, we watched the Christmas devotional. It was in Japanese, so I read the talks on my iPad while listening in Japanese. I loved the talks so much! It really got me excited for Christmas. The shots of the lights at Temple Square really made me want to be there, but I know that I am supposed to be in Japan right now. Christmas in Japan on a mission is much, much different than Christmas at home. But, the reason for Christmas is Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to be reading the bible and learning about our Savior. Because he was born, we can be comforted, because he is the Light and Life of the world. He is our rock and our salvation. Because he was born on that special day, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and our beloved family and friends in a state of never ending happiness.

The mission is exciting! There are so many challenges and so many opportunities to grow. Of course it isn't easy. There are things that you have to do that you don't want to do, but you do it anyway because you know that because of that thing, you will grow. The mission is filled with this. I know that this church is true and that our Father in Heaven has a plan for each and everyone of us. He loves us and desires our salvation and happiness. I know that these hints are true. I love all of you! Have an amazing countdown to Christmas and I hope that the Christmas spirit will touch all of you. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Elder Lamoreaux ラムロー長老
Japan Kobe Mission 日本神戸伝道部

Ps. GO BYU!!!!!!!!!! I'll be wearing my BYU gear on Saturday!

We went to the top of Sky Tower in Osaka last Monday as a District!  We got there at the perfect time and was able to see the perfect Japanese sunset.  Osaka is such a beautiful city! 
Merry Christmas from Osaka!  There was a huge "Christmas town" type thing under the Sky Tower with a huge (box) tree. 
Tuesday was District Leader Council, where all the district leaders came together in Kobe and received training from President and Sister Welch.  Also, the sisters in my district as well as sisters from our zone came and presented a training because they are amazing missionaries.  It was such a great opportunity to go.

These are some of the coolest missionaries in the Japan Kobe Mission.  We hung out for a couple of minutes after the meeting.  The past three AP's are in this picture and they are good friends of mine.

During service on Wednesday at a member's house...

This is after we did the most disgusting thing I have ever done...

Such a great District!

District Meeting on Friday!  The Zone Leaders and a member who is preparing for a mission came.  It was a way good District Meeting, the last of the transfer.

Monday, December 7, 2015

It's Christmas time!

Dear Everyone,

I don't have a lot of time this week to email, sorry about that. Let's just say that this week was a lot of finding time. Recently our current investigator pool has plateaued and none are making any progress, so we are trying to find someone who is prepared to hear the message now. We spent most of our days outside trying to talk to people. We talked to many people, but not many seemed interested in what we had to say. However, we are working hard and we know that miracles can happen if we show our faith through our actions.

This week, we had Zone Training Meeting in Abeno. The AP's were there and it was a great time. We are now starting a really cool challenge as a mission. We have been asked to read the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and study about how Jesus Christ did missionary work and how we can apply it into our lives. I am so excited to start this challenge! I've been wanting to study the bible for my whole mission, but never had the opportunity to. So, I will take this challenge with open arms. We are going to finish the 4 gospels by the end of January. Also, the mission has a new goal. We have been focusing on teaching 20 lessons a week and most of the mission has accomplished that. Now, they (the whole Asia North Area) wants the Japan Kobe Mission to be the example for the whole area. We are now striving to have 4 baptisms every month as a zone! That is a huge goal that requires 1 baptism per week per zone. In order to do that, it requires a lot of Faith and Obedience, so as a mission, we are trying hard to accomplish that. I am so excited to reach that goal. This mission, in fact all of the Asia North Area is going to explode with baptisms and strong members!

I think it is really cool that we are studying the bible during Christmas time. If you haven't been to yet, please go there and watch the video! It is awesome. #asaviorisborn. Interesting thing about that is what it is in Japanese. In Japanese, the hashtag is 

#リスマスの本当の意味. (The real meaning of Christmas). People in Japan celebrate Christmas, but they have no idea why they do. Simply a holiday where they give presents and eat cake. Some know that it is Christ's birthday, but that's as far as they know. So, what we have been doing with people is introducing the real meaning of Christmas to them. We testify about the Savior and we try showing them the video "Why We Need a Savior" which is also found on Please watch that video! It is a powerful statement of why the whole world needs a savior. It has been pretty successful in bring the spirit to these meetings.

I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that through him, we can be changed. With Faith in him, we can do all things, even to gain Exhalation. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." I love you all! Have a great week!

Christmas in Japan!

The new Star Wars movie thing in Abeno.  This was after ZTM.