Friday, April 21, 2017

Hello from Fukuoka!

The Assistants to the President 

Well I have a little bit of news for everyone, I transferred up to Fukuoka this week! Transfers still aren't for about a week or so but I was emergency transferred up here to get trained on my new position in the mission. I have been called to work in the Mission Home as an Assistant to the President. It sounds really fancy but really it just means I develop trainings for the mission and go around giving advice, looking for ways the mission can improve, and serving others. I was pretty nervous when the call was extended to me because I felt like there was much stepping up to be done on my part, however just like before I know the Lord is always mindful of us and always willing to help us and qualify us wherever we have been called to labor. 

View from new apartment!
Our mission home is located directly beneath the Fukuoka Temple. So not only do I get to see the temple daily now, I pretty much get to live and work right beneath it! Along with being so close to the temple as an a Assistant you get to work very closely with President and sister Egan which is probably what I am most excited about. They are the two hardest working missionaries in the mission. The experience and knowledge they have are just unparalleled. I feel like every time I sit down with them there is something new I learn. So needless to say I'm excited to work with them. Right now my current companion is Elder Strickland, who will be moving from the Junior AP (Assistant to the President) to the Senior AP as I finish my training. The current Senior AP and the one training me right now is none other than my beloved old companion Elder Colton! I was so excited when I found out I would get to work with him closely and be his companion as well for a couple more weeks until he transfers out somewhere in the mission field.

Also, some of you may be wondering why I am emailing on Saturday instead of Monday and that is because all the elders that work in Honbu (the mission home) have  P-day on Saturday instead of Monday. So you can expect emails from me on this day in the future. Today for our P-Day we don't have much planned other than a couple lessons and a couple errands we need to run. We just recently started the whole transfer process in which we as Assistants and President Egan sit down and discuss the mission and all the missionaries. We then counsel and pray about which missionaries to move where and for who to do what. We have been doing it for the past couple of days now and it has been such an interesting and strengthening spiritual experience. Deciding transfers not only effects the missionaries but it affects the people in that area they have been called to serve. So in other words, it's kind of a big deal. However, as AP's we do not make any of the final decisions, we just counsel and pray with President Egan and he is the one who makes the decisions. Today we will be using a majority of our time to finish up the transfer process for this next transfer. 

I was a little sad to leave Okinawa since I had been there so long but I am beyond excited for this new call to work in Fukuoka. All the lessons I learn here I know will help prepare me for so many things that lay ahead. Being called here was such a humbling experience and I know I will have to rely on my Heavenly Father more than every before as I seek to serve others and do His will. One scripture I really liked and kept sticking out to me this past week is found in 2 Timothy 1:7, it reads, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Even though I feel a little inadequate for the calling I have before me, I know Heavenly Father will help me become so much of a better missionary and person than I could ever become without Him. For His love and mercy I am so grateful. 

I love you all and wish you a wonderful week! 

Elder Sherrill 

Okinawa Missionary Zone P-Day

The Office Elders in the Honbu (Mission Home)
Zone Leader Tradition Picture

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Prince of Peace

Happy Easter everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter Sunday! 
Yesterday for Easter we were able to go to a dinner with an American family on the Air Force Base. When they invited us over they encouraged us to bring any of our Japanese investigators even though they couldn't speak any Japanese (just to help them have an Easter experience). It went really well! We invited our investigator Yuudai and a recent convert who is also 19 came along too and they both really liked it. It was a little fun because for sharing the message we had to hop in and out of Japanese for the investigator but then also for the family. Sister Jensen (the mother of the family) bore her testimony on Jesus Christ being the light of the world and how he helps us when we are in dark places and while we translated it, it seemed to have really resonated with Yuudai. He also invited his girlfriend who just moved to Fukuoka to visit with the missionaries too! He isn't even a member yet and is already doing missionary work haha. 

This past week has involved lots of training. Lots of training received from mission leaders and I also had the opportunity to give some of it as well. On Friday we had our Zone Conference so we received training from the Mission President and his wife as well as from the AP's. The training Elder Barker and I gave went fairly well (or so we think, you might have to ask someone who watched it). We discussed how we could determine Investigators needs and help best overcome them. We had a demonstration we did which involved tying our Mission President up so we all thought that was pretty fun. The next day on Saturday we have interviews with our Mission President and I was able to train for that as well and I focused my training on the Book of Mormon. I shared some personal experiences I have had with the Book of a Mormon and how my thoughts were concerning it as an investigator and now as a missionary. I'm really thankful I had the blessing to be introduced to this gospel right before a mission because I feel like it helps me as I try and teach/relate to investigators. I know it is true. It is the foundation of my testimony that Jesus Christ lives and loves us.

With it being the Easter Season and all, I wanted to share a video that the church has recently released. It is titled the Prince of Peace (one of the various titles Jesus Christ holds). In the video it talks about how in this life we can receive peace from the Savior Jesus Christ. Throughout my mission and even before hand I have always drawn from the peace that Jesus Christ so freely offers. I'm still very young and haven't experienced very much in life yet but I do know that we all struggle and we all have difficulties. Jesus Christ is there to help you, He wants to. To end off I'd like to share one of my favorite scriptures found in John, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." I love the Easter season! I hope you all had a great time with family and enjoy this upcoming week! 


Elder Sherrill 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Conference Weekend

This past week for all of us missionaries and members in Japan we had the opportunity to watch the church's General Conference. For those of you that don't know what that is, it is a bi-annual conference in which all members of the church (and non members) are invited to watch and listen to the leaders of the church. It is presided over by the Prophet, President Monson. As well as having the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along with a host of other church leaders. As you can  imagine it is an amazing opportunity to watch this conference and hear from the mouth of Prophets and Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

There were a couple talks I really enjoyed and I'll add them to the bottom so you guys can give them a look if you'd like! This week other than having conference there wasn't a whole lot that happened out of the ordinary. Elder Barker and I had to plan for an upcoming training we have this week and then we also went out to have missionary exchanges in an area a little south of us. We went there and my companion for the day was Elder Stucki, since he is injured we had to stay at the church all day, but fortunately they had set up some lessons for us to teach! It went really well too because a couple of the people we taught became new investigators, then there was this one guy who went off on how the whole world is brainwashed including us and him so that was a pretty funny lesson haha. 

Our main investigator right now, Yuudai is doing pretty good. We met with him just last night, gave him a church tour and focused especially on the baptismal font and he chapel. He really liked it, and actually this next week he is coming to a meal for Easter Sunday with an American family so that will be way cool. His English isn't to bad and he is excited to practice with more Americans. 

But anyways, we are about to go to a castle down in Naha today so I don't have much time. One thing I would like to share though before I end this is just how grateful I am for modern day Prophets and Apostles. We are so blessed to be able to hear from them so often. They are so guided with the counsel they give us. I know as we prayerfully consider the things they tell us we can become more and more like our perfect example, Jesus Christ. I know He lives and He loves us all. 

Have a great week! 


Elder Sherrill 

PS, here are a couple of the talks I enjoyed! Please give me a read! 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Beautiful Island of Okinawa

The weather has started to "warm up"! Kind of hard to say that since it never really got cold here haha. However the weather is absolutely beautiful here! Sometimes when we are out proselyting and knocking on doors it almost feels like I'm on vacation with the great weather, ocean breeze, and the view of palm trees/sea in the distance. I truly am blessed to have this opportunity to serve here in Okinawa. 

This past week was yet another amazing one! Our zone has started to turn around and see a lot more success which is awesome. My companion elder Woodhouse and I are have started to really work together well which I'm grateful for, it's always nice to have a companion that works hard and you get along with. 

Over the course of this last week we found a couple new people that seem pretty prepared to hear the message of the gospel which is really exciting. One of our strongest investigators though just moved up to Tokyo for college (he was 19) which was a real bummer. However we met up with his friend who is also 19, became good friends with him too and are now teaching him! He doesn't leave until next year but has a really busy schedule so hopefully we can work some things out. 

Other than a few lessons we had a couple service activities which was way fun! For any of you that don't know, doing service is Japan is pretty hard to come by so we don't really get the chance very often. However, we got to help one member move into a new house, and help another member with some yard work out on their Ocean view property. So needless to say it was a really good time. Elder Barker and I had the task of cutting down a bunch of little trees by his house obstructing his view of the ocean. His chainsaw ended up breaking before we even used it so we had to use little hand saws the whole time but we had a fun time. 

Overall the week went really well, I am excited for Easter coming up and for the chance to watch General Conference next week! The mission is such a great time to learn and grow. We have a few trainings coming up which might be a little stressful but I'm excited for all the things I will learn! I hope everyone enjoyed Conference and had a great week! Love you all! 


Elder Sherrill