Sunday, December 4, 2016

Not Just For Sinners

It's been a long time since I've posted much besides my missionary son's letters on my blog. He is now home! I have been wanting to take the time to share my thoughts on my blog again, even if it is just for me to have a place where my thoughts and the words of others that touch me are stored.

This morning as I was getting ready, I randomly chose a BYU devotional to listen to. As I was listening, I felt it was exactly what I needed today. It was Elder David A. Bednar's devotional from 2001 called "In the Strength of the Lord".


Directly after the sentence above, he goes on to say:
"We will become agents who 'act' rather than objects that are 'acted upon' (2 Nephi 2:14)." Elder David A. Bednar

For quite a while now, that idea has been in my mind because of counsel to me from a church leader to "act rather than be acted upon." This talk was another testament that we should not just hope that things get better when we have the power to change something. Elder Bednar gives examples of several people who prayed for strength to change the circumstance instead of just praying for their burden to be removed. We can pray for the enabling power of the atonement to strengthen us to do what we need to do when we cannot do alone. 

That is the part of Elder Bednar's talk that I was thinking about most when I again randomly chose another past BYU devotional. This time it was Sister Dew's talk "You Were Born to Lead, You Were Born for Glory". I have heard both of these talks before and I love SO much about her devotional address, but what I noticed as I was listening was that both of these devotionals stated that the atonement is not just for sinners, but also for daily use by faithful followers of Christ. I must have needed that reminder today.

"Brothers and sisters, do you know what I likely would have prayed for if I had been tied up by my brothers? My prayer would have included a request for something bad to happen to my brothers and ended with the phrase 'wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren' or, in other words, 'Please get me out of this mess, now!' It is especially interesting to me that Nephi did not pray, as I probably would have prayed, to have his circumstances changed. Rather, he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances. And may I suggest that he prayed in this manner precisely because he knew and understood and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement of the Savior.

"I personally do not believe the bands with which Nephi was bound just magically fell from his hands and wrists. Rather, I suspect that he was blessed with both persistence and personal strength beyond his natural capacity, that he then “in the strength of the Lord” (Mosiah 9:17) worked and twisted and tugged on the cords and ultimately and literally was enabled to break the bands.

"Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient and worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully."
David A. Bednar

"Until I was in my thirties, I thought the Atonement was basically for sinners—meaning that it allowed us to repent. But then I suffered a heartbreaking personal loss and began to learn that there was so much more to this sublime doctrine.

"My solution initially to my heartbreak was to exercise so much faith that the Lord would have to give me what I wanted—which was a husband. Believe me, if fasting and prayer and temple attendance automatically resulted in a husband, I’d have one.

"Well, the Lord hasn’t even yet given me a husband; but He did heal my heart. And in doing so, He taught me that He not only paid the price for sin but compensated for all of the pain we experience in life. He taught me that because of His Atonement, we have access to His grace, or enabling power—power that frees us from sin; power to be healed emotionally, physically, and spiritually; power to “loose the bands of death” (Alma 7:12); power to turn weakness into strength (see Ether 12:27); and power to receive salvation through faith on His name (see Mosiah 3:19)"
Sheri L. Dew

I am so grateful for how much I have learned about the gospel and especially about the atonement as I have used it in my life to strengthen and lift me. The enabling power has helped me get through times when I thought it was impossible to make it through. I am grateful to know Jesus, not just about Him. I am sure that as long as I live, I will continue to learn more and to learn how to better use the atonement to bless my life and bless the lives of those around me.




Thursday, October 27, 2016

Polar Opposites

This is my very last blog post sharing a missionary letter. Alex will be boarding a plane in a few hours and leaving behind the life he's none for the last 2 years. I can't imagine the emotions he's going through, especially since he hasn't talked much abut them. But he did send a pretty long letter this week compared to his recent ones. It'll be strange for me not being a missionary mom anymore. I'm looking forward to seeing him again, and I have no idea what wonderful things await him in his life now.

Most things done by the community of the internet in America starts
off with "First!" Today, and this week, I'll be saying a lot of
"lasts." Thank you to all of those who with patience read all my long
emails of detailed description of what I have been doing every week
for the last two years. I am sure that it wasn't the most
entertaining, but just the fact that you've read it makes me very
>happy.
Scripture of the week is Mathew 1:24 "Then Joseph being raised from
sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him
his wife." The reason why I chose this scripture for this week, is
because it shows how diligent Joseph was in obedience. He didn't care
about sleep, or food, or anything more than he cared about following
the instructions given to him by God. If we don't hesitate, we will be
blessed with more revelation from God; I don't think that this was
Joseph's first time following a prompting from God, but a righteous
habit formed throughout his life, one decision at a time.

Kanji of the week: 最後 pronounced "sigh-go" and means last.

District pday. These four "large" pizzas cost us about 100 dollars
total. That's crazy!
We had my last district p-day on Monday, and we all had fun, we were
able to relax, and prepare to work hard the rest of the week. Not much
happened in the evening though.
Tuesday was my last companion exchange of my mission, with Elder
Livermore. We had a good time talking as we went around Hirosaki for
my last time. We were able to meet a less active, and help him feel
the spirit.
Wednesday was my last DTM (district training meeting). We were asked
to consecrate ourselves again unto the Lord that we may be worthy of
miracles and helping others come to Christ. With that we were asked to
join together in fast, the previous day from lunch until lunch of the
next day (Wednesday). We then had a DTM where we all bore our
testimonies, and then offered a dedicatory prayer to reconsecrate
ourselves. It was a good experience, and a spiritual one. After that
we all went to a famous restaurant called Osaka Osho and broke our
fast together. That day we also had my last family home evening with a
member, and my last English class.
Thursday was a regular day, and we went around and housed with little
fruits. In the evening, we went and had dinner with the branch
president and his wife for my "goodbye party." It was just us four,
but it the food was great (very Japanese dishes), and we had a
spiritual time together as we shared a spiritual message.
My last sashimi before coming home. I also ate sushi at the branch
president home, but didn't take any pictures, sorry!

Friday was pretty uneventful, but for the sake of mentioning it, we
had my last weekly planning session, and then housed for a while.
Saturday we went up to Aomori for my last time (I wasn't even trying
to type that this time). We had my last stake conference in Japan, and
it was really, really good. We had the mission president and Elder
Hayashi, an Area Seventy, come.
Sunday we got a ride down to Misawa, a place I hadn't been to in a
year, from a member in Aomori. He was great, and I enjoyed talking
with him. The meeting itself was great, but I don't have much I want
to share from it. Before the meeting, as is natural from being in a
stake (district) that you've served in before, I got to see lots of
members from Hachinohe. I had lots of good conversations with the
members, but there was one in particular I want to talk about.
One year ago, I was in Hachinohe. That's not news. But while I was
there, I had only 1 investigator in the 3 transfers (4 months) I was
there. And even then it was an investigator that was found by other
missionaries, that I became the missionary to teach because the other
companionship left the area, and me and my new companion "inherited"
him. Don't get me wrong, I love this man with every fiber of my being,
but that is the background.
That Sunday, as I was talking with my companion, I felt an arm wrap
around my shoulder and heard "long time no see!" (In english) I turned
to look at who it was, and it was that investigator. We hugged, smiled
and laughed together. He told me that he had gotten baptized after I
had left, and has been strong ever since. As we caught up with each
other, I remembered a scripture. "And if it so be that you should
labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring,
save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in
the kingdom of my Father!" (Doc and Cov 18:15) I was not the one to
baptize him, I was not even that great of a missionary then (not that
I'm much better now), but how much joy I felt to talk with him, share
experiences, and just know that if nothing else happens from my
mission, I did my part in helping one soul come unto Christ!
A picture of two missionaries with the recent convert I was talking
about. I couldn't get in the picture fast enough, but I
was in the background!

Thanks for putting up with my lasts. I hope that you all know that I
love you, and more importantly, that I love you because I know how
much God loves you.
Have a good week.
Love,
Elde
長老

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rain

I just realized that I didn't post Alex's letter from last Sunday since this week was so busy. His letters seem to be getting shorter and shorter. I've been trying not to write him much about him coming home, but there've been things I have needed to ask him the last few letters. Hopefully, he's still working hard and wanting to make every minute count.


Halloween fries at McDonald's. Not the best taste, but not the worst either.



For those of you in Utah, I hope you get enough rain. You can take
some of ours if you want, because we've got a lot.

Scripture of the week is Alma 7:23 "And now I would that ye should be
humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of
patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being
diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for
whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal;
always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive."

Kanji of the week is: 芋 pronounced "ee-moh" and means potato.

Once again, there is so much going on, and I don't feel like I could
type it all up. Things are great here, and we are having a good time
teaching all those who will listen to us. I hope that you all have a
good week!

Love,

Elder

 長老
Our district was pretty tired, so we decided to take a picture that
looked like we were all tired.
A random place in Odate that has these cool painting.
 
Funny English on the back of a car        

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Good Luck

General Conference will be shown through all of Japan next Saturday and Sunday. The time probably differs depending on the ward/branch you go to, but it's all available by next week. Because of that and district(stake) conference on the 22nd and 23rd, I only have one Sacrament meeting before coming back to America.


Don't ask me why the subject of this email is "Good Luck." That's just
the first thing that came into my head when I was thinking of the
subject line.

Scripture of the week is 2 John 1:6, "And this is love, that we walk
after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have
heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it."

Kanji of the week is: 再臨 pronounced "sigh-reen" and means second coming.

Again, there is just too much to write about this week. Not to mention
that all the weeks are just blurring together now. I would just like
to share with you all, that I felt the love of my Savior this week. As
we try our best, and do everything in our own power, we are supported
by the love and Atonement of Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter what
others may choose, so long as we are doing the things we are supposed
to. So please, keep trying your best--even if it gets hard. You will
be rewarded more than you can ever imagine.

Love,

Elder
長老

I ate a salad of my own free will! It was pretty good, because I
put sesame seed dressing on it. Yum!

Sashimi (raw fish on top of rice).

A new Black Thunder bar that came out called "Dark Matter." It is
basically a normal size of the usually small "funsize" candy bar.

Some really cool sights we saw the other day -- this one and the next.


Ramen-flavored chicken nuggets

A really small apple I got off of a tree in Aomori (it was on
public grounds, so I'm sure it wasn't illegal).

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Elisa G Music

My amazing daughter Elisa has a YouTube channel to showcase her singing, and occasionally (not as often as I would like her to), she posts a new video. This is her latest one. She would LOVE if some people liked and commented on the YouTube video itself if you would like to.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Working Hard

Short email from Alex this week, but it came with a challenge to his family: 

I have recently been thinking a lot about temples, and how great they are. I am sure you are busy, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to all go to the temple together when I come back home. If possible, I would also like to do baptisms for our own family lines as a family. So I would like to challenge all of you back home to do family history work, and find at least one name each to take to the temple. I know that as you sacrifice time to save our kindred dead, your week will be smoother, you will have time to finish all that you need to do in the week, and the Spirit will be felt more strongly in the home. There is no better way of feeling the full blessings of the temple than to do work for your own family, no matter your age. We have the prophet's promise of that. A month should be plenty of time. :)
A picture we took because it looked cool, and we needed a picture to
send to Smith Kaicho for a Christmas project he's working on.

To Everyone:
This week has been tiring, but also very rewarding.

Scripture of the week is Job 5:17-18 "Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole."

Kanji of the week: 痙攣 pronounced "Kay-ren" and means muscle spasm/twitch.

To be honest there is just too much to write about from this week. I
would like to assure you all that I had a spiritual week filled with
many miracles, and we were able to help lots of people. I hope you all have a good week!

Love,

Elder
長老




A Japanese style pig in a blanket I got from a convenience store

A cool looking shrine

A drawing from English class that I drew as students told me body parts


Curry udon that I had for lunch while writing emails at the hospital
today (free wifi)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rather Slow Week

From Alex's letter to me yesterday:
The month mark is coming up really close. I already passed my 1 year 11 month since entering the MTC date this last week. I bet you'll be happy to see me again, as I'll be happy to see you all again. It will be weird to be the missionary returning after so many years of watching other missionaries come back home to their waiting and loving families.

(About his homecoming talk back in Utah) I hope I have enough faith to give a talk in front of the largest congregation I've been in for two years. And be able to put all I want to say from two years of spiritual experiences into a ten minute talk. If there's anything I'm used to doing though, it's definitely doing things while dead tired. Even though I sleep eight hours a night, I am still exhausted every day. Despite that, I am still able to do all things the Lord wants me to, because as Nephi said, "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way that they may accomplish the things which he commandeth them."

To everyone:

Takamatsu Lake, in Morioka
 This week was really slow. I don't mean it didn't have anything happen
in it, because it was really full, but it just seemed to drag on for a
long time. It's good, because I want as much time as possible here in
Japan, but was a really strange change of pace from the usual speed up
of time I've experienced my entire mission.

Scripture of the week is Mosaiah 4:9 "Believe in God; believe that he
is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth;
believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in
earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the
Lord can comprehend."

Kanji of the week: 伺う pronounced "ooh-kah-gah-ooh" and is a polite way
of saying "ask," "know," or "visit/come."

Monday was good, but I was sick all day. I had my voice back, but I
developed a fever that got pretty bad towards the evening. I was
feeling well enough to go visit an investigator, and so had one last
visit with him before Elder H left.

Tuesday was all travel. We went to Morioka, met Elder H's new
companion, and helped some missionaries get on their buses. One of
them was Elder A., my mission son, and it was good to see him
off to his new area, and probably where he'll be when I go back to
America. I also got to go a bit around Morioka before my companion
came and we headed back to Odate. Not much else was able to be done
though.

A really big spider, but you can't tell in the photo
Wednesday we went and saw a less active. He usually has a shop open,
but he's closing it soon for a little while, and won't be able to meet
until October. He was going to come to Church on Sunday, but he
couldn't make it because of the festival that happened. We then went
and housed a lot, and even had some people listen to us for a while.
They were really nice people! In the evening we went to a member's
house as always, and had Family Home Evening with him. English class
was also fun, but not too much new to say there.

Thursday we had weekly planning, and after that we housed. We had lots
of more good conversations with people, and lots of people were nice
to us. There were also some really big Akita breed dogs, and they
weren't very happy. But they were in a cage, so everything was fine.

Friday was district training meeting. Our district leader is Elder
D (I can't figure out the spelling for the life of me), and
he's great. He's going home with me at the end of the transfer. This
last district is really awesome, and everyone is spiritually giant! We
housed a lot that day, but I don't remember any specifics. We met with
an investigator in the evening, and he was awesome. He still has his
troubles, but he's overcoming them all at his own pace, and that's all
we can ask. He want's to get baptized, and so hopefully he can realize
that soon.

Saturday was a bit of housing with not much that I can remember. It
was still fun, and we got lots of people to talk with us. There was
one college student who was really awesome, and we got lots of people
telling us to visit a family in the neighborhood because they are
Christian. They were busy when we went the first time, but we'll try
and go again. Then we had a great lesson with a different
investigator. He is really busy, but if he's ever home he's willing to
talk. It was a good get to know him lesson, and I feel like we were
able to help him out. English class was fun, especially because we
played "telephone," the game where you whisper a sentence into your
neighbors ear and see how much it changes by the end. It was really
fun, and the students liked it.

Sunday was good as well. I conducted the meeting again (my second
time) and did a better job this time. After dinner, we were able to
meet another investigator that we couldn't meet with for a while. He
was happy that we have been trying to visit him (he's really busy and
his schedule is not set at all). He's really nice, and wants to learn
more. Then we went to a less active's house and had a really good talk
with him about prayer. At the end he said a prayer that was really
good, and really heartfelt.

That's my week! Things are getting harder to write all in a short
paragraph, but I tried to share the most spiritual things that
happened this week. I hope you all have a good week!

Love,

Elder
 長老

A sign I made for Eikaiwa (English class)

Some jelly stuff a member made for us


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Lots of Lasts

I have not been good at posting Alex's letters the last couple of weeks and breaking my computer didn't help. Here are his letters from the last 2 weeks.

To Everyone:
Sep 11 -- Last transfer call, last area, last companion, last transfer. Has it seriously been two years already?
Scripture of the week is 3 Nephi 16:13, "But if the Gentiles will
repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be
numbered among my people, O house of Israel."
Kanji of the week is: 喉頭炎 pronounced "koh-toe-en" and means laryngitis.
Monday was good, but nothing happened in the evening except for travel.
Tuesday was splits with Elder Livermore. He is a great guy, and is an awesome missionary. We housed a lot, and got not a lot of results. We did make a woman's day by commenting on her hair, and got told through an intercom to go away by a very angry and smart dog, so it was a good day. In the evening, we went an visited a family who's eight year old son just got baptized last month. We stopped by real quick to say hi, and to pray with them so that we could see success. The amazing thing is, that those few hours were more filled with events than the who rest of they day. God truly answers prayers. We even found a new investigator.
Wednesday we got back, studied, went to a members house for family home evening like usual, and then had English class.
Thursday was district meeting, and that was very spiritual. We had a
good training by our district leader, who left his departing words of
wisdom for us. (He goes home this week). I can't remember too much after that. We met with an investigator in the evening, and that was great. He's a good kid, and focused really well.
Friday we did weekly planning, and then once again my memory is fuzzy. In the evening, we met with an investigator (he came to church again this week!)
Saturday was mostly spent at a festival. We tried talking with people,
but not with too much luck. It was good for others to see us and have the open spirit to talk with us since it was a festival. We also saw a less active, who was doing announcing on one of the floats. I say floats, but they were like portable shrines. I forget what they're
called in Japanese. In the evening, we had English class. It was fun,
but my voice was really struggling. By the end of the night, my voice
was gone. (For those of you who have been following me for two years, I think it was the same thing that got me when I was in the MTC and couldn't talk).
Sunday was really great, because we had lots of people at church from all over the district (church district(like a stake), not missionary
district). I even saw some people from Hachinohe. I didn't have a
voice, but they all knew Japanese sign language, so we were still able to communicate. I am so glad that God helped me with that, because everything was so perfect. I lost my voice right when there were people who could still understand me that came to church. We also had a luncheon after church, and then a fireside that had to do with family history.
The rest of the night was studies, and packing. That's right, we got
the transfer call. I am staying in Odate, but my beloved companion
Elder H is going to go to Morioka. My new companion will be a 
Elder P. He is from Tokyo. He lived in tokyo for most of his life,
but he is not Japanese. He knows both languages, and a great person, from what I've heard.
I hope that you all had a great week. I pray that you will stay safe,
and that you will see God's influence in your lives.
Love,
Elder 

Sept 4 -- This week was really great. I really learned a lot about how much
happiness can come to you from seeing others progress in their
testimonies and in a knowledge of the Gospel. We had an investigator
come to church this week, his first time, and he even bore his
testimony.
Scripture of the week is Isaiah 44:21-22: "Remember these, O Jacob and
Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my
servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted
out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins:
return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
Kanji of the week is: 台風 pronounced "tie-phoo" and means Typhoon.
Monday was district p-day. We went to get King parfait's at a shop in
Odate (I may have told you already), and the rest of it was spent in
the church playing Jenga and other games. At night we went and visited
an investigator, but not much else happened.
Tuesday we went and did service, studied, and walked around for five
minutes before the rain started coming down and the wind got really
strong. So, since we were asked to stay indoors if it got too
dangerous, we did. The rest of the day was inside, because of the
Typhoon that came. There was strong wind, and lots of rain, but we
didn't get the worst of it. We were pretty safe. Just not safe enough
to go outside. So we did weekly planning.
Wednesday we went and got my bike fixed because the tire got messed up
somehow and we didn't know how to fix it. We walked to a less active's
and talked with him for a bit, and then walked back to the bike shop
to pick up our bikes (Elder H's bike's tires were a little weak).
From there we tried to do some housing, but no one answered. Then we
had a lesson with a member. After that was English class, and that was
fun. There were only two students and us, so at the end of the lesson,
we played scrabble. It has been a while since I've done that.
Thursday was a really hot day, and no one was answering their doors.
Then we headed to the church and did some stuff indoors. After dinner,
we went and visited two investigators. One of them was just about to
leave to eat at a local restaurant, and was scared by us because right
when we rang the door bell he came out wearing earbuds. We had a quick
talk with him, and then visited another investigator. We talked about
church a bit, and he said that he would come (and did!).
Friday we went up to Aomori for Zone training meeting. It was great
and very spiritual. I got a short chance to translate while the
English translator was giving a training (he did it in Japanese), and
that was a really spiritual training. Not much else happened that day,
because I messed up train times, and we had a two hour layover in
Hirosaki on our way back home.
Saturday was good too, but not too much to talk about. English class
was fun, because there were lots of students.
Sunday we had an awesome time with being able to teach a last minute
Sunday school lesson to our investigator and one of the sister's
investigators, along with a few other members who joined in. There's
not too much else that happened for a while, because of studies and
the like. Then we were able to meet with lots of people in the
evening, and that was very miraculous.
So many good things about this week, and I can't even tell all of
them. I hope that you all have a good week. Love you all!
Love,
Elder

長老

Elder H made some pancakes that turned out greener than he thought they would be, but were still good.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Quick Note Hello

Alex had a district p-day this week so he barely had time to write. Hopefully he'll mention what they did next week since they're usually pretty fun. This is all he wrote about the typhoon.

There is a typhoon hitting us tomorrow. We will be in the apartment all day tomorrow. Things have been dry so far though.


Hello everyone!

I don't have to much time, but want to testify to you all that this
church is true. Jesus Christ leads it through a living prophet, and
only wants the best for us. Through praying, reading the scriptures,
going to church, etc. you can feel for yourself the truth of this all
for your self.

Love you all!

Love,

Elder

 長老
Red bean paste with mochi in the middle. It was made by a English class student
or his mom. It's really good.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Nobody's Perfect

Alex didn't send a mass email last week, but did on Sunday. I'm just now getting around to posting it. I had asked him if they got to see the Saporro temple dedication via satellite. This was his answer:

We went to Aomori yesterday to watch it, but for some reason (probably the typhoon coming up, but I really don't know) the footage kept going in and out. We missed basically all of the talks, and the dedicatory prayer. We did get to do the hosanna shout though! It was also really fun to hear an Apostle speak in Japanese (for what I could) again. There was also lots of flooding in Hokkaido yesterday, so that could have affected it too.


Yes, I forgot to email you all last week, and I apologize. I don't
have any excuse for it. But this week was great! So was last week.

Scripture of the week: Isaiah 49:4-5, "Then I said, I have laboured in
vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my
judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God. And now, saith the
Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob
again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious
in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength."

Kanji of the week: 招くpronounced "mah-neh-coo" and means to invite.

Monday was not very eventful because p-day was very relaxing, and the
evening was all traveling to Hirosaki for splits with the other
elders.

Elder H. and a really big cat
I found a booster seat that reminded me of back home while we were housing.

Tuesday was good, although it rained for most of the time we were
outside. We did get to have good lessons with 3 less active members.
Also in the evening, we were walking and met a man who was not
Japanese. We tried talking to him, and he stopped to talk. We asked
him when he feels happy, and he said "I don't ever feel happy, I moved
here recently from India and my family is all alone back home." Elder
L. (my companion for the day) told him how in our church we
believe family can be together forever, and he smiled! He said he
wanted to hear more about that, and so we swapped information. The
best part was, the fact that he smiled, he actually felt happy. After
a seemingly endless night of storms, he found the sun peek through in
the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday was basically all traveling and waiting for traveling, as a
typhoon came and stopped all trains going to Odate when we wanted to
be going back. English class was fun though.

Thursday we went up to Aomori and had interviews. It was fun, and I
love President Smith and his wife so much. I also got a Japanese
temple recommend, because my old one expires this month.

Friday was weekly planning, and a lot of trying to visit people who
weren't home.

Saturday was good, although we didn't get too much done, because Elder
H. had a stomach ache for a bit, and then we went out to eat with
a less active and a member. They are both wonderful people (and not
related in any way). After that we went to get something for an
activity that night, and when we left the store it was raining super
hard. It was sunny when we walked in. So, we stayed inside the
building for five minutes or so until the rain ended, and then had to
walk all the way to the church, because the ground was too wet to ride
in. English class that night was fun, because we had an investigator
come. He says he wants to learn English so that when the New Jerusalem
is built he can go and visit. He also stayed afterwards to watch the
culture night for the new Sapporo Temple.

Sunday was mostly traveling, as we had to go all the way to Aomori for
the temple dedication broadcast. Then we came back home, and were able
to talk to lots of people, and find a really nice couple.

So much happening in the last little while of my mission. It's hard to
keep it all in a short email. I hope that you all have a great week!

Love,

Elder

 長老



Blueberry Cheesecake Crumb Cake

Bursting blueberries in every bite! I made this coffee cake that I found on  Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts  (even though it's not a ...