Dear Friends and Family,
This week was a great week. I'll share a couple experiences.
On Friday, we had the first District Meeting of the transfer. Since my companion is District Leader, he has to go on Kokans (Companion Exchanges) with all the elders in the district. (there are 6 elders in total) so after district meeting he went to Fukuchiyama (the other area in our district) and I stayed in Nishiwaki. I Kokaned with an elder who had just gotten to Japan last week. So we both are not good at Japanese at all and we were going to be doing missionary work together for a day and a half. Needless to say, I was freaking out. I didn't think I would be able to do it. I prayed a lot. Before that day, my companion showed me a talk in the former mission president's book of talks which shared about how 2 elders who both had only been in Japan for one month went on a Kokan and they were able to get many new Potential Investigators despite their lack of Language skills and experience. That gave me motivation and hope. We could do this. So the day came.
We didn't have any appointments planned for that day, so we went out to find people and to do housing. We went to an area where I hadn't been before and started housing. WE went for about an hour and we had nothing. I could barely understand anything and my companion, with him being here for only one week, understood less, but we could tell when they said no. We were about to head back to our bikes and go to a different area when we decided to finish a couple appartments before we left. Boy was I glad we did.
We did the first few appartments with no luck. Then we rang the doorbell and waited for a minute. He started talking to us through the door (many people in Japan do that instead of opening the door). We said that we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and then he said "Choto matte kudasai," which means "just a second" so we waited. We stood outside the door for about 3 minutes. We could hear movement through the door. It sounded like he was cleaning up. So he then opened the door and immediately showed me a ring he had. It had the Catholic cross on it with some writing that looked Spanish or Portuguese. We then started teaching him a lesson. Well tried teaching him a lesson. We talked about God and Jesus Christ. He said that he had been Catholic and he showed us a book, which I am guessing is a small version of the New Testament in Japanese. I wasn't completely sure. So we were talking for a little bit, apologizing for our inability to speak very well. Anyway, we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and after showing him the flyer with a map to the church, I asked if he could go to church on Sunday and he said that he will come to church. We had found ourselves an investigator! After that, we were so ecstatic! We said a prayer of thanks and then went to the next area that we had planned on going. I was on an adrenaline rush or something because I felt amazing after that. The Lord had totally prepared him and helped him endure our speaking abilities. However, he ended up not coming to church, but we can visit him again and follow up on that.
We found that all throughout the day, people were answering more than normal and were allowing us to talk more than normal as well. Later that night, we were able to find another person who became an investigator. We taught her a lesson about God and prayer. She already had a pretty solid knowledge about God, so she was prepared to hear us as well. That day, I saw the hand of God in all that we did. I have only been in Japan for a month and a half and my companion was only in Japan for a week. I didn't understand everything that they said, but when we saw those investigators, they spoke simply enough that we were able to understand. I felt the mercy of the Lord. I learned more about how the Lord prepares people and provides means for them to hear the word, if both parties are humble enough to allow Him to guide them.
The next day, we were still on the Kokan because of weird schedules, so Me and the first transfer missionary taught a lesson to the English speaker we met a few weeks ago. He again brought his deep questions. He asked about Spiritual Gifts and Angels. I keep thinking "dude why aren't you baptized yet?" Anyway, we answered those to the best that we could through the Book of Mormon. He then showed us a video that he said touched him. It was a preacher talking about prayer and God's ability or even inability to "interfere" with man. As I watched that video, I felt dark. I don't know how else to describe it except for dark. The preacher has a PhD in Theology and everything he said was logical and made sense. I can now see how people can come to believe in people like that. Like in the Book of Mormon with False priests or Anti-Christs like Korihor and Sherem. They use flattering words and logic to get to the people. Everything he said made sense and wasn't completely wrong, Except for when he talked about how God couldve stopped Eve from eating the fruit. The preacher said, "God could've stopped her and everyone on earth would have been well off." So we stopped it there and explained again about Adam and Eve and about the plan of salvation a little bit, because we had already taught him about that. And then I asked "Do you believe in the things that we had taught you so far?" He said he believed in a lot of it but didn't like some things including "giving too much praise to people like Joseph Smith" We then explained a little bit about the organization of the church and reassured him that it isn't like that in our church. He understood that more. Then we testified about the Book of Mormon and that he can know these are all true if he reads and prays about it. He needs to read the Book of Mormon in order to know for himself. We told him that we could keep telling him it is true but it isn't going to do anything unless he finds out for himself. We then asked him to commit to reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it and he agreed to that. WE also invited him to Church the next day. He said he would come. All in all it was a good lesson, and I am so grateful that I had been raised in the church my whole life and that I have a solid testimony of the teachings of this chruch. That video and people like those preachers can lead people away so easily with their logic. Don't listen to them! Stay true to your own beliefs and the teachings of the Prophets and you will be okay. Don't question your faith. "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith"
At church yesterday, we had four investigators come including the english speaker. They all had a good experience. We ended up teaching the english speaker after sacrament and got a more solid commitment from him about the Book of Mormon so hopefully he reads it. That's all he has to do.
Well, that was a long letter. A lot happened this week and I think it was the best I've felt so far. The Lord is working with all of his children. I felt his power this week. Pray, he is there. Speak he is listening.
Love you all! have a great week and remember the true meaning of Christmas!
Elder Lamoreaux (Japan)
I love how I have to clarify that now :)
|The District. Me, Monson Choro, Anderson Choro, Novak Choro, Kiki Choro, Harris Choro, Hood Shimai, and Cain Shimai.|
|another Japan sunset.|
|This is how we do S'mores in Japan|
|An awesome "mini niagara falls" we found. This statue was next to it|
|Pink Pepsi??? Tasted like raspberry or something...|