How is everybody? This week, not much happened, but a lot happened... I'll try to explain.
On Tuesday, my companion went on companion exchange in Abeno while I went to Kobe with the district leaders and had District Leader Council. This was my third DLC, but this was the most fun because now I know just about everyone that was there. My first DLC was last September and most of them were "old" missionaries. This one however, I am one of the "older" missionaries, so a lot of my missionary friends were there, including just about my whole MTC district. Man I miss them. It was good to catch up with them. We had a two hour discussion about the atonement because of the new challenge that was released last week. President Welch got up and said "well, what have you been learning?" That was it. So we all talked about the Atonement. Recently, I've began to realize why the atonement is the central, most significant event in the history of anything. It is so deep. So far in the challenge, I have only read a couple chapters, but by looking at the Book of Mormon through the goggles of the Atonement, your understanding expands and you begin to recognize the importance of following the gospel and the significance of Christ's sacrifice. At the end of this letter, I'll share one of the things I learned about the atonement. DLC was fun. For lunch, I ate what was probably the best brownie I have ever eaten in my life. Sister Welch made it and I wish I took a picture of it. It was incredible!
So, Tuesday was all spent in Kobe. Thursday came and we had an exchange with the zone leaders in their area, Asuka (hence the title of the email). Asuka is in Nara Prefecture and it is INAKA! (Country side.) I love it!! I didn't realize how much I miss the beauty of the country of Japan. Not a lot of buildings, no loud cars, cleanliness. The air just feels happier there. Ah,mint was such a good Kokan! I love Osaka and all, but my heart belongs in the Inaka. I didn't realize how lucky I was to be in Inaka most of my mission. I miss it so much! Anyways, we had fun on this Kokan. Elder Eccles and I biked for about 40 minutes and then took a train into the mountains then walked to a less-active member's house. This house is literally a shack on the side of a mountain next to a Japanese shrine. It was awesome! See, adventures like this is what makes the Japan Kobe Mission fun! Anyways, we taught a good lesson to them in their shack and then biked for another hour to teach one of their investigators who is starting to recognize the power of the Spirit and is starting to believe in Jesus Christ. Fun Kokan. I really like our zone leaders that we have. Lots of respect for them.
Had District Meeting on Friday where we again had a discussion about the atonement. Then taught our investigator who is getting baptized next month. Now, this guy has changed so much. When I first met him, he was in a dark mood. He was depressed, always looked down, and wouldn't really speak much. However, meeting him that day I noticed a big difference. He is actually smiling, and having a good time with us. The best word that I can think of is he is bright now. Complete 180 from three months ago. I think of the scripture D&C 50:24 "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." This man is starting to receive the light of Christ and is in turn changing his life. He still has a few problems to work on, but I have faith based upon his countenance on Friday, that he will do it.
Saturday we had study and then went to Abeno for Stake Conference. I had the opportunity to attend the leadership meeting, where President Welch talked to the ward mission leaders about the Area Plan and how the members in Japan need to change their mindset of missionary work. Then in the Saturday session, they talked about finding Joy in the gospel. We stayed the night in Abeno with 9 other missionaries and had a blast. During the Sunday session, our Stake President gave a talk and talked about when he went out with my companion and I. We got a shout out in Stake Conference! Whoo! He talked about how fun it was and how every member can do missionary work by just doing small and simple things each day. I am always amazed when President Welch talks to people in Japanese. His Japanese is so good and the spirit is so strong whenever he speaks. I am so blessed to have him as my Mission President.
So, busy week, but nothing much happened in our area. I did learn quite a bit this week though. I am so grateful for the Atonement and for my Savior Jesus Christ. One thing that I learned was in 1 Nephi 21:14-16.
"14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me--but he will show that he hath not.
15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."
The Lord will never, ever forget us. He will never stop loving us. Why? Because he has literally engraved us on his hands. Imagine that. Whenever Jesus Christ looks at his hands, he sees those marks and he, remembers us and he remembers how much he loves us and wants us to accept his gospel. He wants us to return to live with our Heavenly Father. That's why he performed the atonement. He loves everyone individually. Incomprehensible, but I know that it is true. I love this verse so much now.
Have a great week everyone! Love you all!
Elder Lamoreaux ラムロー長老
Japan Kobe Mission 日本神戸伝道部
|Way fun to see the MTC district again! All except Elder Otani (who is ZL now) were here at DLC! Such a fun time! Love them all|
|And I saw Elder Wharton there! Seeing past companions is super fun!|
|After District Meeting Crepes! Hard to believe that was already the last District Meeting of the transfer...|
|This sister is from Nara Ward. She is leaving this next week to the Sapporo Mission. She wanted a picture with us so there ya go.|
|FHE last night! Good food and fun!|
|Crepes from last nights FHE! Super yummy!|
We had a Talent show last Saturday and my companion and I sang with Irie Noudai, the famous singer in our ward. It was so fun and we sang the song "My Friend My Brother" in Japanese.