Sunday, December 28, 2014

JT - Christmas - A Spiritual time of year

Merry Chirstmas!

The finished Christmas tree from the Primary. Thank you Timpanogos Park 4th Ward Primary!
Dear Everyone,
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Here in Japan, we were invited over to Kobe to have a "Christmas Taikai" (meeting) where we played some sports, then had Costco hot dogs for lunch (Yes, exactly the same as in Utah, It was great!) Then there was a talent show. After that, President Welch and Sister Welch shared messages that were awesome. After that, it was about 5:00 so we took the bus back to Nishiwaki. It was great to spend Christmas with the other missionaries and with President and Sister Welch. Very Grateful.

Met up with my MTC companions Elder Ross and Elder Madruga.
The next day, we were able to Skype our families. That was such a good thing for me. I loved it. 40 minutes is way to short though. I wish I would've been allowed more time, but I am very grateful for the time I had. I can't believe we can easily, for free, talk and see others from the exact opposite side of the world instantly with clear video as well. It is awesome!
Pictures from calling home
That day was a great day, but at the same time a little disappointing. So first let me say, about a month ago, we were asked to find revelation for how many baptisms we as a zone could have before the end of the year. We came up with the number 9. So the year is winding down, only 1 sunday left, and we needed many baptisms. So our focus was on one of our investigators specifically, because he has heard most of the lessons and has been to church enough to be baptized, but he says that his family is against him being baptized. So after calling our families, we got to work on preparing a lesson for that investigator. We got many Book of Mormon Scriptures that related to baptism and we incorporated it into our lesson. The lesson happened and it went almost perfectly. He said that he wanted to be baptized. He wants to we could tell. Then we asked if he would be baptized that Sunday, two days from then. He was worried about his mom not wanting him to. We tried to comfort him in that fact. I shared Isaiah 41:10 and 13. "Fear not, I am with thee" He loved that. We then asked him to call his mom right then, bear his testimony and his desires to be baptized and we promised that the Lord will soften her heart and he will be baptized on Sunday. So, after praying together, he got his cell phone and called his mom. Ring..... Ring..... Ring...... no answer. Then he tried again. Ring.... Ring... (at this point I am praying so hard that she would answer) Ring..... No answer again. So we asked him to talk to his mom that night and he said that he would. That lesson was the most spiritual lesson I think I've had on my mission so far. It was a battle of testifying and scripture and pleading and it was great. We were so excited and I was on a spiritual high for the rest of the day. We were confident that he would talk to his mom and that he would be baptized in two days. So the rest of the day, we were looking at the phone for emails from him and praying constantly that he would have the courage to do it. But eventually he didn't have the courage. I was very disappointed, but I guess it was okay. He will still be baptized, just not before the end of the year. I guess I was more interested in getting him baptized before the end of the year than for him actually being ready to be baptized. He will be baptized, I know that, but it will be in the Lord's time and when he feels ready to talk to his mom about it. It might not be when I am still in this area, but I am confident that it will happen, on the Lord's timing. Despite the slight disappointment, I learned a lot, and had a very spiritual lesson in which I am grateful for.
Well that was the bulk of the week. Christmas was great, a little different, but great. Oh I forgot to mention that one of the Sister's investigators got baptized yesterday. it was so great to see my first baptism in Japan. He was so happy and I was able to be a part of the circle during his confirmation. The joy and excitement he had was contagious and I have so much love for that man. He was at the church at 7:00 just waiting in the parking lot. Me and Harris Choro were there at 7:30 to fill up the font, and he was so excited and nervous that he came so much earlier than he was supposed to. I loved that. He's not even my investigator but I am so happy for him. Anyway, It was a great week. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your holiday with New Year's coming up. Stay safe and have fun!
Elder Lamoreaux

The man that was baptized yesterday. It was a great day

Food at the Branch's Christmas party on the 23rd. Japan knows how to do parties.
They even had a Turkey!

The missionaries

Decorations at the party.

We were Santa san's reindeer this year

The Branch had a big play prepared and it was awesome, even though I couldn't understand most of it

Christmas Eve dinner at the Branch President's house

One of our friends had a concert and we went. It was really fun
I left cookies and milk out for Santa.

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