Blog of Elder JT Lamoreaux

Monday, March 28, 2016

Quick Weekly Scripture

Dear Everyone,

I am sorry, I have no time this week, so I will just share a scripture and a picture from where we went today for Preparation Day.

Mosiah 3:5-10
5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.
6 And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men.
7 And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.
8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.
9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.
10 And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.

This is true! Love you all!
  


   
This guy leaves on his mission tomorrow! He goes to the Provo MTC and
then goes to the Tokyo South mission. He will do great!
  
These cups were for a lesson with our part member family with an 8 year old kid who we are trying to get baptized.  This is a lesson about the great apostasy and the Restoration of the gospel.  Written an all these cups are gospel principles or words that represent Christ's true church.  Very fun, easy to understand lesson.

Monday, March 21, 2016

心の変化: Change of Heart

Dear Everyone,

So, this has been a crazy week. We've had a lot of ups and downs; which I guess is a normal week on the mission. However, we've had a lot of progress with our main investigator!

This is the guy that has all of the problems and has been up and down for most of the time I've been in Osaka. This week, we came in with the goal to see why he actually wants to get baptized, whether to get more money and help, or because he wants to change his life, get closer to God, and all that jazz. So, we asked him that and he sincerely said, "I want to change my life and I think that baptism will allow that to happen." He really has hope and faith that baptism will change his life and that Jesus Christ can take away his pain and his sins. He actually has a really good understanding of repentance. He understands that it is a change and you commit to never commit that sin again. I was quite surprised with his understanding of repentance.

We went over the qualifications of baptism in D&C 20:37 with him and he learned what needs to happen in order for him to be baptized. He has a problem with smoking and he knows the word of wisdom and that smoking is the biggest thing stopping him from being baptized. So during the lesson, we asked him if he would throw away all of the things that are related to smoking. He gave us all of his lighters, his remaining cigarettes and his ash trays and said that we could get rid of it! Wow, that was one of the coolest experiences of my mission. To see the change in this man is remarkable. His desire to change is something that I've never seen before and him throwing those things away was a symbol for how he is willing to do all it takes to change, even though it is really hard for him.

Addiction is real and it is really hard. It is almost impossible to quit. Because of an addiction, the body believes that it needs this substance in order to function. It becomes like the need for food and water. So, just because the substance is taken away from them doesn't mean that the desire to do so will go away as well. No, it is much harder than that. The only way one can overcome an addiction is through the Atonement and grace of Jesus Christ. The atonement will give us the power and strength needed to endure every hour of everyday. If we trust God, show him that we are willing to obey him, our decisions will be guided and we will have more strength to overcome.

In order to help replace tobacco, we gave him a couple church CD's and a few Liahona magazines. We also told him to call us whenever he is feeling vulnerable. So, Saturday, we get a call from him saying that he wants to smoke. When he called for that, I was so happy and proud of him. It takes so much faith to do that. I told him to take a walk and pray and read the scriptures. He did so, but the. A bit later, he said that he fell and smoked. But, his progress is so good. I was still so proud of him.

When I think of this situation, I think of a quote from last conference by Elder Larry R. Lawrence. "He rejoices every time we take a step forward. To Him, our direction is ever more important than our speed." It would be great if he got baptized when I'm here, but if not, I have the faith that he will get baptized sometime. He is facing the right way and he is doing his best. It's so awesome to see him beginning his change of heart.

One of the sad parts about this week was the investigator that we met last week. We visited him at the appointed time, but nobody answered the door. There were people inside, but they didn't come out. We also went again a couple days later, but the same thing. Pretty lame sauce, but 'tis is life.

I hope you have a great week! Love you all! The church is true. Take a look at Mosiah 2:20-24. Mind blowing!

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




This is called a "sanshin" 三線. Traditional Japanese instrument.


video
   


The district for this transfer!  We also had 2 members who are preparing for a mission come to it.  It was great!  It's a great district.





We had a farewell party for a member who is leaving on his mission next week.  It was way fun.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Staying another one in Higashi Osaka

Dear Everyone,

Transfer calls came last week and I am staying in Higashi Osaka. This
time, my companion is also staying so apparently there is still
something we need to do here. This is the first time both me and my
companion has stayed since my 5th transfer; almost a year ago. Let's
just say it was pretty weird not to have any changes on a transfer
week. But, the sisters here have a change. Omisaki Shimai transferred
to my first area, Nishiwaki! I'm not lying when I say I'm kinda
jealous of her. I would love to go back to Nishiwaki. There is now a 3
person companionship of sisters here. It will be a fun transfer.

We found a new investigator this week!! Yes, I said it! We found one!
(Finding new investigators have been a struggle here..) it was way
cool. So, on Thursday, we went to go visit a Potential investigator
that we had met a while ago to see if she was home. She wasn't home
(or didn't answer the door. We saw them and heard them but... Story of
my life haha) so we decided to knock on all the doors of the complex.
I was thinking (great, housing. I haven't housed since Maizuru.) but,
the first door that we knock on, somebody answers and talks to us. He
is a 19 year old guy from the Philippines and he was speaking to us in
English. We talked about God and Jesus Christ and heard his beliefs in
that. We also talked about prayer and how to receive answers to
prayers. He said that he prays to God everyday. We asked if he had
ever received an answer, and he said that as he reads the bible,
answers to his prayers come. Then we introduced the Book of Mormon and
he wants one! So we promised him one in English and Tagalog next time
we meet and we set up a next appointment for this next week. That guy
was super nice and he seemed super prepared to hear the gospel. I am
beyond excited to teach him more and to become his friend. I haven't
had an experience like that in a long time. It strengthened and
reawakened my faith that yes, God is preparing people to hear his
word, even in Higashi Osaka.

It's pretty hard to be positive and motivated as a missionary when
immediate success is hard to see. We just need to keep acting on our
faith and not let the lies of the adversary affect your diligence and
your obedience. If we continue to trust in God and be perfectly
Obedient and always desire the salvation of those around us, God will
bless us and will empower us to do all the things that he has
commanded.

Missions are the best. It's hard at times, but there is also a great
joy that comes when you are in the service of your fellow beings. The
growth a missionary experiences in themselves is incomprehensible.
Although my English has gotten worse and worse, my dependence on and I
understanding of the gospel and the atonement has grown so much.
There's still so much that I need to learn. The mission changes lives;
those they teach, and the missionaries themselves.

Other than the new investigator, it was a pretty slow week. We have
been trying to find different ways to find and different things to
focus on for this transfer. I have been here for a long time now and
will be here for another 6 weeks. Something different has to happen
here in order for the area to progress. If any of you have any ideas,
please email me. I would love to hear anything that you have to say.

I am now officially an "old missionary". The sisters who were with me
in the MTC are now finished with their missions. It's so weird to
think that it's over for them. I can't believe how short a mission is
for Sisters. I am grateful to have another 6 ish months left. Well,
enough of my babbling. Y'all have a great week! Love all of you!
Scripture of the week: 1 Nephi 3:7.

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


   


 We went to a place called Namba for preparation day last week.

We bought these Osaka Nike hats!  They are awesome!

Eikaiwa in Habikino





Trying to get a good picture from Eikaiwa in Higashi Osaka.  It was Sister Omisaki's last day in Higashi Osaka.  She transferred to Nishiwaki, my first area!

Monday, March 7, 2016

What a "Wicked" week

Dear Everyone,

Transfer week! Well, we don't know anything yet and might not know
until Wednesday morning whether or not I or my companion is
transferring, so you'll have to wait until next week to find that out!
(Let's just say I am dying and every time the phone rings I have a
mini heart attack.)

This week was.... Well, if you are familiar with Lagoon, let's say it
was like the "Wicked" roller coaster. There were ups and downs and
twists everywhere.

Our investigator with a baptismal date was looking really good. We
taught him a few times this week and he really understood what we were
teaching and it seemed like he was excited about it. I've really seem
a change in him since I've started teaching him. We've talked with him
on the phone just about every night to follow up and read the Book of
Mormon with him. He is currently at 2 Nephi 3. This week, we taught
him about the Plan of Salvation, the Fall of Adam, and the Atonement.
He understands that Jesus Christ has suffered for us and only through
him can we make it into the Celestial Kingdom. One of my favorite
parts of the mission is bearing testimony about the Atonement of Jesus
Christ. It's real. Period. Anyways, it was going really well. He also
asked "what are the specific things I need to do in order to get
baptized?" So we taught him more in depth about the Word of Wisdom and
Law of Chastity and why we are given commandments. He understood it.
In his prayers to end the lessons, he specifically asks Heavenly
Father for strength to follow these things. He has a couple
addictions, but he knew that through the atonement, he can be able to
overcome those over time if he acts and puts in the effort. So, all
great and he has a great desire to be baptized!!

Then Saturday comes... Uhhh... So we get a call from a member who is
friends with this investigator. (Background story: our investigator
gets money from the City Offices every now and then in order to help
with rent and essential things.) this member says "he got the money
from the city yesterday and he spent it all on tobacco and Pachinko
(basically like a casino, like the "Game Center" in Pokemon.) He
literally threw it all away and called me begging for this member to
come to his apartment the next morning and help him out." Then the
member finds out that recently, a Less Active sister who lives close
to our investigator has been spending multiple nights in our
investigator's apartment. So basically everything that has been built
in order to help him get baptized has all come crashing down. But,
there is still hope. This member was going to get a council together
to talk with the investigator to help him get his life back in order.
So, hope is still there.

However, that night, we get a call from the investigator and he tells
us that he wants to stop investigating. He wants to quit Mormonism. He
came up with a lot of excuses like, "your commandments are too strict.
My situation hasn't improved, I have no money." Stuff like that. I
admit, when I answered him, I was pretty bold, but I feel like I was
loving as well. We testified and testified that things will get better
and that this gospel is what he needs. After that talk, he said he
would think about it. However, things are not looking good and for
now, he isn't getting baptized anytime soon.

It's frustrating how this happens to people that you have grown to
love. You know what is best for them, but they just don't understand,
aren't patient enough to keep going, don't trust enough to be obedient
and they choose to go against the things that you have taught them
about. I feel like that is a lot of what parenting is. You love your
kids so much and you want the best for them, but despite what you do,
you can't control their choices.

But, despite all this, things are okay. I have come to realize that
true joy is not the result of your circumstances. We can experience
the true joy that comes from the gospel even though we go through
trials and hard times. Some of the happiest people in the world are
those who are in humble circumstances. Did Jesus Christ have an easy
life? Did he have money to spend, the newest technologies, and all the
food he can eat? No. He had a hard life. But, I cannot picture our
savior in this life depressed and complaining about his situation. I
can guarantee you that he walked every single day with his head up and
he was happy. Why? Because he understood the gospel and he lived
perfectly following that gospel. Joy comes when we follow the gospel,
not by the way the world thinks joy is.

So, stand up for what is right. Follow the gospel no matter what. If
you do, you will be happy. Simple as that.

This was the week and I am out of time! We'll see where I am next
week. Transfer or not transfer? That is the question!

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


   
Group picture after Zone Training Meeting.  Some cool people.

Udon at a restaurant.  Pretty yummu!

My district, the zone leaders and Takahashi Choro, one of our AP's.




My twin!  My first Zone Leader and our beloved AP.  He finishes his mission this week.  I have learned so much from him and he has been such a great example to me for my whole mission.  Eternally grateful for this man!  Don't be surprised if he becomes an apostle someday.