Monday, February 16, 2015

JT - What is Love?

Hello Everyone!

A Little Valentine's Day party at the Church.

I hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day. This was probably the most uneventful Valentine's Day of my life. Not worrying about trying to impress a girl haha! Oh mission life...
We were able to teach a few of our investigators this past week. We have one investigator who has been investigating the church for 15 years (he's 28 years old). He has been taught everything and he knows everything he needs to know, but for some reason, he is pushing off his baptism. He is very close and he will get baptized, but he wants to choose the date himself and still has some concerns. He is a very deep thinker and the lessons are very hard for me. First because the content of the lesson is very deep and frankly, I am not much of a deep thinker. The other reason that it is hard is that it is in Japanese. These lessons would be very hard in English let alone Japanese. Luckily, I have a great companion who is also a deep thinker and good at Japanese. It is always fun to meet with him though. On Wednesday, we went over to his house and we had a lesson, then made Kimchi Nabe, which is basically a boiling pot of Kimchi, meat, tofu, and other vegetables. It was so tasty.
I was also able to go on a short Kokan (companion exchange) in Fukuchiyama again. I left my backpack with my extra clothes, my study things, and my bathroom things in the Church so that I wouldn't have to carry it around while we Dendo (Proselyte) but, we taught a lesson and had to hurry to catch the train back to Nishiwaki, so I had to leave the bag in Fukuchiyama. Pretty frustrating, but I will be able to get it back on Saturday this week, so not too big of a deal.
Anyway, on Thursday, we had the great opportunity to be taught by a member of the quorum of the seventy, Elder Aoyagi. He came to the mission and did a conference for the missionaries. So, we went over to Kobe to be taught by an incredible man and his wife, and President Welch and Sister Welch. Elder Aoyagi actually has an article in the January 2015 "Liahona". It is very good and I invite you to read it.
Anyway, the Conference was great. I learned a lot regarding Missionary Work, My personal relationship with Heavenly Father, the importance of being happy while serving and about Love. I learned a lot about Love and has lead me to study a lot recently on that subject (hence the title for the email.) Love really is the motive for anything you do. Love is the reason we are on this earth. Love is the reason that Jesus Christ suffered the Atonement for us. John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Love is the motivating force for good in the world. A lack of Love, or Love in the wrong things, lead to wickedness and destruction. I think that is why Love is the first and second great commandments. "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matthew 22:37-39) I realized that a mission is all about love. We do missionary work because we love the Lord, and we love the people we serve. The reason we do what we do in the church is because of love. Elder Aoyagi shared a scripture that which had an impact on me. Moroni 8:16 "Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." Perfect love casteth out all fear. I thought, "What is Perfect Love?" The answer is Charity. Charity is the pure love of Christ. Christ is perfect, so he has Perfect Love. I feel like, so far on my mission, everything that I study goes back to love and charity. Charity is always that one thing that I have tried to develop. Charity never faileth. Also in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." Without Charity, you are nothing. That also means if you have charity, you have everything. Everything stems off of the concept of love. This has been my thinking recently. I am striving to understand it better and I really want to develop charity in my life. It is funny that it happens to be on Valentines Day that I am thinking about it, but I need to understand it better in order to be a better missionary. Please, if any of you have any ideas or things that could help me on this subject; love and Charity, please share it with me. I would love your opinions and views. What is love???
Anyways, that is me. I am learning and growing everyday, both spiritually and physically. I realized that is what a mission is for; growth and development. I always looked at missionaries as perfect people who already knows everything and is able to share it. But now that I am a missionary, I realize that that is so not the case. I realize that there is so much I need to learn and so much I need to apply in my life. But, the Lord loves us and works through us still. It is through teaching and serving others that you can learn the most. It really is funny how the Lord works, but I testify that he does work.
I love you all so much. Have a great week! Next week is the end of my 3rd transfer. It will be interesting to see if I transfer out of Nishiwaki. The news will come next week! Love you all! The church is true!
Elder Lamoreaux

With an awesome Investigator eating Kimchi Nabe. Very fun!

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