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: ζœ€εΎŒ 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

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