Monday, June 1, 2015

JT - 忍耐 Patience: Truly a Christlike Attribute

Dear Everyone,

How is everyone doing? Summer is in the air, it's hot outside, the grills are firing up, it's a great time. I hope you all are enjoying the start of summer.

So summer in Japan... Where do I start... Well, let me tell you one thing.. It is hot. Not just burning hot, but it is humid and wet hot. It's gross. I have to carry around a rag wherever I go to wipe sweat that drips from me (gross I know. I hate it.) I'm hoping, however, that during these two summers I'm going to spend here I'll sweat enough that I will never have to sweat when I get back. Hopefully I'll be all sweated out by the time I leave. Sweating stinks...

But, one cool thing is that I am going to be so tan during this summer! I'll attach a picture of my watch tan line that I already have. It is crazy! There are also a lot of bugs and frogs around. Hopefully some time I'll get a chance to take a picture of all the rice fields that are being planted right now. It is pretty beautiful.

So this week for District Meeting, I was asked by my companion, the District Leader, to prepare a talk/training on "Patience." I learned a lot about patience; more than I thought I could learn about patience. Patience is directly related to faith. In PMG under patience, it says, "Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith--you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled." I thought that was a pretty good definition. Patience is complying to God's will rather than our own. Patience is even while going through trials, relying on God and trusting is his timing. A lot of times we want answers right away, we want things to follow our desire and our will. However, developing patience means that we completely turn away from "my will" and instead following "thy will". The best example of patience is that of our Savior. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, he completely fulfills his Father's will. He is suffering all the pains and sicknesses and sins of every single living creature! He is suffering for you and for me, he is suffering through unimaginable pain and yet he says "nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Patience is bearing trials with faith, hope and happiness. We could do well in following the example of Jesus Christ and exercising more patience.

So let's update my investigators, aka, the things I've been worrying about recently. So the investigator that is supposed to get baptized next week... He isn't gonna get baptized next week... We had the baptismal interview yesterday and the zone leaders decided that he needed to be more prepared in order to get baptized. So we have to postpone his baptism for about 2 or 3 weeks from now, which is a bummer. It's funny that I spent a couple days this week studying about patience, because I know and feel good about him not being able to get baptized right now. This is for the best and I trust that God knows all and that he knows what is best for my investigators, for me, and for all of you. So, now it's time to put my patience and faith to the test. I think I can wait a couple weeks. I'm just a little worried about my investigator. It was us and the ward mission leader's fault, but before the interview, the ward announced his baptism for the next week, we filled out his baptismal record and we did a whole walk through of the program and baptismal service. So, now all the members are going to be asking him about his baptism that isn't going to happen yet and things like that. I hope and pray that he can be comforted and not be discouraged and that he too can have patience. However, I am pretty confident that he can handle it. He is a man. Like the talk by Elder Christofferson called "Let Us Be Men", our investigator is a man. He will be able to overcome this attack from Satan. He will be baptized this month I am pretty sure.

Our friend who almost committed suicide a couple weeks ago is doing great! He is really progressing now. He began reading the Book of Mormon for the start  a week and a half ago. When we talked to him on Saturday, he is on page 620! Wow that is insane progress! We were so surprised. When we asked him what he learned from it, he gave a good testimony of Jesus Christ; how he never committed any sin, never did anything wrong, was perfect, and yet he chose to suffer and die for each of us. It was a great testimony coming from him. I was stunned. It truly strengthened my testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and it truly does what it says it does; testifies of Jesus Christ. Anyone can change just by reading it and abiding by its teachings. It is starting to change this man who has been and done just about every bad thing in the world. It is changing our other investigator. It is changing me. I know that it is true. If you need any guidance in life at all, if you want to change your life for the better, I have one piece of advice. Read the Book of Mormon. I know that is true.

In closing for this week, I want to share a poem that I found while studying for patience. It has helped me understand more and become more at peace with myself. It was originally quoted in conference by President Ezra Taft Benson. It is called "Prayer" by Eliza M. Hickok.

"I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know, God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His Word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard,
And will be answered, soon or late.
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought;
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blest."

I know that is true and that by relying on the Lord's timing, all will work out. All things are done for your benefit. Sometimes, things don't go the way you want, but God knows what is best for you and he will bless you far greater than you could think. He loves you and He is your Father in Heaven. I testify that these are true. Have a great week everybody!

Elder Lamoreaux

I'm getting much better at these paper cranes I think.

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