Saturday, June 24, 2017

Life is Busy, Busy, Busy, and I'm Grateful!

So far I have been here for over a transfer! It's crazy to think how much time has passed already. This past week has been extremely busy. We have been in the office most of the time making travel plans and figuring everything out for this upcoming transfer. I've learned more about Japanese travel than I ever thought I would haha. It has been pretty fun though, I'm enjoying all that I learn each day. Plus being around  the wonderful office couple the Hazelbarth's and the other elders is always a good time. Being so busy is sometimes difficult but I am grateful because it helps me focus on working hard till the end and not thinking about other stuff that may be going on. 

This next week is what I am really excited for though. With it being transfers we will get to call all the missionaries and let them know where they will be for the next transfer. That's always a cool experience. Then after that we will get to pick up all the new missionaries (there is only three coming in) which is a super small group but that's okay. Then we have 10 elders who will be returning home from their mission so that will be fun to talk and be with them. It's always crazy to see the stark difference in the new missionaries and those that are returning. You can just tell how much more mature spiritually they are. However, the new missionaries always come with lots of fire and determination to work hard so that is always helpful to see.

Other than that though, there wasn't much that happened this last week to be honest. Travel plans take up most of our time and you can only write so much about that haha. However, at the beginning of each transfer we have the chance to write a little news article that goes out to the mission with some other mission info we receive each transfer. As we were thinking of what to talk about we thought about Faith. Since my email is rather short, I will just attach the article we wrote below.

June FM Mini News: Assistant’s Article

"Throughout the scriptures, we read of prophets, apostles, and missionaries who have seemingly impossible challenges in their lives: David facing Goliath, Moses leading his people to the Red Sea, Nephi building a ship, Enoch preaching repentance to his people, Ammon and his brethren doing missionary work among a wild and ferocious people, Helaman and his 2,000 young men facing an innumerable number of men, Abinidai threatened with death by fire, 14 year-old Joseph Smith restoring the fullness of the gospel, and many more.

In the face of these seemingly insurmountable challenges in front of them, all of them approached them with full faith in the Lord. While most of them were able to conquer with the help of the Lord, Abinidai still suffered death by fire. Aaron and some who worked with him still suffered severe persecution and saw no success in their first couple areas. Joseph was still overcome with the power of the adversary in the beginning. And despite all this, they remained unwaverd in their faith because they knew in whom they had trusted.

When we face these kinds of challenges in our missions, do we meet them with fear of failure, or faith to succeed? Oftentimes, as many of us have experienced, we feel as though we had the faith to accomplish high goals that we set and are disappointed with not seeing the outcome we thought we should have. In these times, like those in the scriptures, we have a choice to become discouraged and believe that we are not good enough or that God simply isn’t answering our prayers and let our faith dwindle. Or, we can continue to put our faith in the Lord and do our best to improve because we know that God can only work miracles through our faith.

With that being said what does the Lord expect of us? To have faith in Him and His power to do miracles for us and our investigators. That is our part. We don’t get to choose the outcome of our work or the decisions our investigators make, but every single day, we can choose to have full faith in Him to work miracles for us.

The same God who helped David beat Goliath, parted the Red Sea for Moses, showed Nephi how to build a ship, gave Ammon strength to defend the king’s flocks and baptize thousands, strengthened 2,000 young men to beat an innumerable army, and appeared unto Joseph Smith in the Spring of 1820 is the same God who helps and guides us every day. He is the one who we pray to for strength and inspiration for our investigators countless times every day. We would like to invite you to deepen your faith in that same God to work miracles for you because after all, “is anything too hard for the Lord?”

So there's that! I'm sorry I don't have a whole lot to write from this week. We are about to head to a baptism the other Fukuoka elders have and both our investigators Kyousuke and Tashima are coming! It should be a pretty awesome experience and help prepare both of them for their upcoming baptism. Working here in Japan is such a huge blessing. There's nothing better than it! I hope you all have a great week and remember to trust in the living God who knows you each personally! 


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