Monday, September 21, 2015

Missionary Work for All

I recently read a quote from Elder Holland about the things that
missionaries are supposed to do from an address given at a school (I can't remember which one). As I have gone about doing things that missionaries do this week, I have really thought about what we really are doing. In missionary handbook "Preach My Gospel," there are many methods mentioned about how to find things to talk about with people. As I read them, and thought about the quote from Elder Holland, I came to the realization that another word for missionary is "friend." All the methods mentioned are things that you would use to try and find common ground with someone in a class room or some other setting. That's the real reason we go out every day: to find friends. I'm sure everyone would agree that the world needs more friends, true friends, and that's what we try and become.

This is very helpful in understanding the famous quote from
Presidents past, "every member a missionary." In other words, "every member a friend." Now that sounds a lot easier than becoming a missionary, yet they are exactly the same. I challenge all of you to try and be friends to those around you, no matter if they're friends to you right away or not. If you do so, I promise you that people's hearts will be opened, and you will become happier. Through doing that, we can all come closer to Christ together.

The kanji of the week is: 楽しい pronounced "tah-no-shee" and means "fun"!

Monday was a pretty normal day, and I don't have too much to say about the daytime hours. At night, however, we went to a restaurant called "bikkuri donkey" (it means surprise donkey, but don't ask me why) with a guy who helped us last week find a member's house. It was fun, and he asked a lot of questions about us, what we do, and even what we believe in. He seemed to have interest, and this week we're meeting with him again.

Tuesday we went to the church and had a lesson with a less active. It was really good, and I think he's beginning to have interest in the
church again, because he was asking lots of good questions, and
honestly trying to understand everything. After that we went back to our investigator Brother Yamamoto's house. We talked about how he thought church was, and he said that he is really jealous of how happy everyone at church looks. I really hope that we can help him feel that happiness more. We then went to a members house and had a practice lesson. I can't remember what the lesson was about, but it was really good--one of the best we've had this transfer.

Wednesday we went to try and go in the morning to a sign language circle here in Morioka. We can't be alone (as a companionship) with women of any number, and there were only women at the circle. So, we're going to go next week with the other elders. We finished our studies, and then Elder M. planned for our district training meeting until we needed to go to the church and prepare for English class. Class itself was fun, and the students are starting to open up, so I'm happy! They're pretty tired most of the time.
Pond right outside our church
Thursday we had district training meeting in the morning. It was fun, and I learned a lot (like how I need to work on my way of teaching missionaries). Shortly after the meeting, President Smith came and had interviews with us. I am always excited to talk with President Smith, and this time was no exception. At the end of our interview, he said a prayer that honestly made me feel like I was one of the Nephites at the time of Christ's visit: "And tongue cannot speak the words which he prayed, neither can be written by man the words which he prayed" (3 Nephi 19:32). Now, this was not necessarily the exact same thing, but I definitely felt something that I cannot describe from the way he prayed. After our interviews, Elder T. and I went to Miyako on splits. We had a lesson with a member's husband, and it went really well. He talked a lot towards the beginning (diverting from the topic quite a bit), but towards the end, he was quieter, and seemed to really be taking in the importance of what we were saying (it also helped that we had two members with us). After that we went to a Japanese class. That was fun, but unfortunately the only people we could have talked to that weren't the teachers left before we could talk to them. We still got to talk to the teachers a lot about what we do, and who we are, so that was good.

Friday rained almost all day. That morning, we also got a call from
President Smith regarding the earthquake in Chile. Because of that
earthquake, there was a tsunami coming our way, and we were in a city "on the border by the seashore." We called the branch president about if we were high enough, and he said that we were well above the 2011 tsunami elevation, so we would be fine this time. Shortly, the other two elders arrived, and Elder Mitabi and I went back to Morioka. We did studies and weekly for most of the day, but we did also get to go streeting bit, and also visited Brother Yamamoto again.

Saturday we went back to Brother Yamamoto's house with the other two elders and did some more service. We cleaned up the front of his house, and also got some of the inside of his house cleaned. He has two sibling kittens (a boy and a girl) that he hadn't named yet, and he told me that he named the boy "M____" after me. I was very surprised, and don't know what to think about that. As we continued talking and cleaning, he asked me if I had any siblings and their names. I told him that I had two sisters and said their names, and he said "Ah. Shall we name the girl cat 'Elisa'?" I wasn't sure what to say about that either, so now there's a cat in Japan named after my sister, and a cat bearing my family's name. We also went to a members house to practice teaching tithing. It went alright, and they had a lot of useful tips on how to teach it simply. After that we went and did some street contacting. While there, we found a senior high school student boy who had interest, and who wants to play ping-pong with us.

Sunday I gave a talk in church, and I was asked to talk about my
mission so far, and how my experiences have been. I tried to apply it to the members, not just members, and I hope that all that came got something from it--including our investigator who attended. He is struggling right now to understand some of the things we are teaching, so we're going to not move on until he understands it. After church and lunch, we went and visited a less active member, and read the Book of Mormon with him at a nearby park. It was really good, and I think that he's getting more interest in what the gospel has for him individually, and is curious about his relationship with God. Besides that, we just did studies and district leader stuff for the rest of the night.

That's my week, and I hope that you all could have gleaned something from it! I love you all, and pray that you can feel the spirit of the Lord, and desire to keep His commandments as they are the only way to true happiness.


Elder ________

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