Monday, June 22, 2015

JT - "The Song of the Righteous is a Prayer unto Me"

Dear Everyone,

This was a pretty slow week. We weren't able to meet with any of our investigators this week because of various reasons; cancelations were many, empty houses/not answering the door was a plenty as well. That was a bummer, but we were able to do some finding and visit a few ward members. We love meeting with the members and bearing testimony about the restoration. There is always a special spirit that fills the room when discussions of the restoration is had among family.

A couple of days this week, I was on Kokan (companion exchange) with the Office Elders in Kobe. They are in our district and my companion is district leader. It was pretty cool to spend time in the mission office as a regular missionary. I now basically know the ins and outs of the mission office. We were able to do missionary work though. We rode the bikes through Kobe for about an hour and a half looking for a less active member's house. It was so nice biking there; all flat, no hills, Perfect weather and so beautiful. Kobe is a beautiful city. Busy, lots of people, but so beautiful. I was able to see the ocean! It was nice haha.

So this past week, I made a goal so that my thoughts could be more centered on my missionary purpose and on my savior. I watched something where Elder Bednar shared a story of how he controls his thoughts. He said that something that helps him is reciting a hymn in his mind throughout the day. He stated that in order for that to work, you have to know many different hymns because if you only have 1 or 2 hymns memorized, eventually those will have no filtering effect in your mind and your thoughts will wander so easily. He said he never has to use a hymn book because he has most of the hymns memorized. I decided I wanted to do that as well. I have this vision where I can one day have every hymn memorized so that I don't have to use a hymn book. I think that would be so cool! So in order to do that, I decided to have one hymn that I would focus on each day. So far, I have 6 different hymns now memorized (I started this past week). It has really helped me stay more focused and have the spirit with me throughout the day. I would like to testify about the power of the hymns. Songs are a great way to bring the spirit into your life. Like the scripture I have for my title today, D&C 25:12 "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads." The hymns are powerful and they each have a powerful message to share. I love the hymns! I want them to be a big part of my life.

Here is a pretty cool story. On Saturday, the Elders Quorum of the ward had an activity planned where they would gather, do some service and play ping-pong. I was super excited for this activity because who doesn't like to play some ping pong? But, as my companion and I were figuring out what to do that day, we prayed about whether or not we should go to the activity. It was a good activity. If we would go, we could make good relationships with the ward and strengthen their testimony and desire for missionary work as well. So, as we were praying, in my head, I was pleading with Heavenly Father, "please say yes! I want to go to this activity! Please say yes!" And as the prayer kept going, I had this feeling that I didn't want to admit to myself which kind of said, "dang it, we aren't going to this activity." And so we ended up not going to it, despite my inner desires and justifications for going to the activity. As much as I didn't like that decision, I knew that it was right. So instead of going to ping-pong like we had originally planned, we found a couple more names in the area book that we would try to visit. As we were going, door after door, those people did not answer. I was getting frustrated. I wanted to play ping-pong, but I tried to follow the spirit and yet we still found nothing. However, as we were going to go back to our apartment to get ready for a member visit that night, we ran into someone that could possibly have interest. He is a college student and we were talking quite a bit on the street. He enjoys speaking English and since there is like no opportunity at all to speak English in Japan, he spoke to us for probably an hour and a half. It was great. However, he is a busy college student, so his free time is almost nonexistent. But we have his phone number, so that was good. If we had gone to the ping-pong, we probably wouldn't have had the chance to talk to this guy. I felt comforted that this was the reason that we were prompted to not go to the activity. As much as I didn't like to do it, God's will is always the way we should go. It might not be the most fun way, but in the end, it is the only way to go. Sometimes life isn't fair, but in the end, everything will be worth it. That was the cool story of the week.

So, that's it for this week. Next week is the transfer announcement. It will be Interesting. It is possible that I could be going anywhere or staying here. Really, I am expecting anything. I will update you next week! Have a great week everyone! Love you all!

Elder Lamoreaux

(Ra-Mu-Ro) ( a Nihonjin gave me that kanji name. It means silk, dream, dew. Interpret that how you may.)

Having dinner at a members house. Group selfies with the iPad is so
hard, I don't know how I like it...

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