Monday, June 15, 2015

JT - Hanging out with old ladies!

Here's a story for you. So one of our investigator's mom wanted us to meet her friends, so that day, she took us to a coffee bar. It looked a little sketchy, but we felt like it was fine, so we went in. It seems like it is the old lady hang out of the city. There were only old women in there. It was very weird. Eventually her friends showed up and they were talking to us; asking us where we were from, what we are doing, how many people in our family, things like that. They were super nice. Then, one of the friends got up and started calling someone. 
Didn't think anything about it. Then someone else showed up and we started talking about normal, introductory things. Then she started talking about stuff. Turns out that she is a leader in one of the big religions in Japan, Sokka Gakkai (SGI). Turns out they are all SGI. So they spent like 10 minutes showing us their magazines, telling us how good SGI is and how it relates to Mormons. We just smiled and nodded our heads the whole time. They were still really nice. We ended up leaving with two SGI magazines, some candy and little souvenirs. That was a really interesting and memorable experience. Hanging out in the Old Lady hangout with a bunch of SGI missionaries. Good times.

Investigators are still the same. We had to drop a couple because they wouldn't ever answer the phone, or in never home when we meet, and they drop us.  Various reasons, but the same result. The investigator who didn't pass his interview hasn't been answering us. Last time we talked to him was last week when he came to the conclusion that he didn't need baptism. He was reading the Jehovah's Witness bible and said he had received revelation saying if he believes in Jesus Christ, he doesn't need baptism. We then asked if he believed in the Restoration and Joseph Smith and the 
Priesthood and he believes and has a testimony of all of it. It is pretty interesting, but because of his testimony, he will soon come back to his senses and come back to church and strive harder to be baptized. I don't really have worries about him, but it will just take time.  We have a new investigator. A High School kid who is from China who can speak Chinese, Japanese and a little bit of English. He moved here with his mom and it seems like he doesn't have a strong father figure in his life, so we taught him about how God is our Heavenly Father. It worked really well. We showed a Mormon Message called "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" and he couldn't stop smiling while watching it.  However, he is a High School student in Japan, so he is always busy with school, homework and club. But, we pray that he will be able to find time to meet us. Other than that, our investigators are he same as usual.  We have been meeting with more and more members recently. It has been great. We as a mission are making members a bigger part of our time.  We are working on what they call "Full Purpose Missionary" "すべての目的お果たす宣教師" The mission is helping us be focused on all 5 phases of missionary work; Finding, Teaching, Baptizing, Retaining and Rescuing. Missionaries tend to focus on the first three; find, teach and baptize, while forgetting about the retaining and rescuing. So, if we work more with the members, we can build their testimonies and they can help in the Finding, Teaching, Retaining and Rescuing. Then we can establish the church. I don't know how other missions in the world are, but for Japan, the members really need to up their testimony and their drive for missionary work, and by focusing more on the members, we can do that and the church will be established in Japan. It's going to be great! I love meeting with the members!  When we meet with the members, we try to help them have spiritual experiences. In order to do that, we are going to be testifying about the Restoration. So to prepare for that, I read the first 20 verses of Joseph Smith History. Every single time I read that I feel the Spirit confirm to me that all of this is true. Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. Through Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ restored His true church and true gospel to the earth once more, the same as when Christ was on the earth. For me, my testimony of the restoration is so important. When I think of that, I remember why I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It reminds me that this is the only true church of God. I invite you, in order to find your testimony again, to read Joseph Smith-History 1:1-20. I promise that you will come to find that this church is true and you will remember why being a faithful member of the church is important.
Well, that's about it for this week. It's hot in Japan in the summer. Anyways, have a great week! The Lord is always on your side.
Elder Lamoreaux

My first attempt at making Sinigang! - my favorite Filipino dish

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