Monday, December 14, 2015

JT - Big week! And I'm staying in Higashi Osaka!

Dear Everyone,

What a busy week! We had a lot of this happen this week, but first, an update on transfer calls. I am staying another transfer here in Higashi Osaka! My companion is transferring, which is sad, but my new companion is Elder Parkin. He is going to be 6th transfer. It will be interesting here, because our investigator pool is really weak and most of our efforts are going to be centered towards strengthening the ward. So, we'll see how this goes!

So, Monday we went to the Sky Tower in Osaka with the district. It was such a pretty view and we got there just in time for the sunset. I love Japanese sunsets! Land of the rising sun or Land of the Setting sun?? Anyways, it was great. Afterwards we went with the Ward Mission Leader to visit a member in a hospital.

Tuesday was a special day because we went to Kobe to have District Leader Council. We learned so many great things from President Welch, Sister Welch, Elder Dos Santos and Elder Takahashi. Recently, the mission changed their standards to 4 baptisms a month. We talked a lot about how we can do that by focusing on the Youth. They had a scary statistic that said if the church in Japan continues the way it is, it will die in 20 years because the youth are not very strong right now. So, as a mission and as the Asia North Area, we are focusing on strengthening the youth that we do have and striving to find youth who are prepared. Also, the Asia North area is really looking to unite the missionaries with the ward. They have a lot of plans that are going to be launched in the new year, so these things will really help missionary work in Japan. It's exciting! I kinda wish I could have gotten to the mission now rather than last year because things are truly going to change in Japan. We are just starting to kick off the prophecies that are in store for Japan. Tuesday was a fun day. I got to see a lot of my missionary friends. The Japan Kobe Mission is the best!!

Thursday I went on exchanges with Elder Racker in my area. We had an appointment to help the sisters clean a room in a less active member's house. So we went, only expecting to be there for like an hour and tidy up a room. Boy was I wrong..... It was the most disgusting thing I have ever done in my life. This room was worse than a dump. Remember back in Kitarokko when we helped one of our investigators clean his apartment? Well, this room was exactly like that one but, with one extra twist. This room was the room of their dog. I don't think that dog has been out of that room for two years. Because of that, everything in the room was littered with.... You guessed it..... Poop.... Most of it was like the little dried up dirt clods you see when you aerate your yard. It was the worst smelling thing I have ever smelt. Holy cow, just thinking about it makes me sick. That poor dog; if it was in America, it would probably be in a shelter because of animal cruelty or something. It was not being taken care of at all. Needless to say, we filled up 8 garbage bags filled with garbage and poop. We also used all of a big can of air freshener and I'm sure we lost a few brain cells. It took 5 hours. Oh another thing, I am now 75% sure that I am allergic to dogs... The whole time I was coughing and having a hard time breathing. After we finished, it actually looked alright! We cleaned that place pretty well for what it was. Still not even close to livable, but for that poor dog, it probably feels like heaven. Such an unpleasant thing to do, but we did it and it feels good now. Good service opportunity to someone who really, really needed it. It also makes for a memorable experience.

Friday was district meeting and I really felt good about this one. The zone leaders were there so there was a little bit more pressure than usual. We just discussed about the things we talked about in DLC and about how we can hit "The Next Level". I came up with four keys to remember if we are to hit that next level as a mission.
1) Teach People, Not Lessons
2) Faith
3) The Spirit
4) Members
I know that this mission and all of Japan is going to explode really soon. Now is the time that Japan will come to accept the gospel. Now is the start of the fulfillment of the prophesied for Japan. It is so exciting to be a part of it and to help the members here realize that there is more joy that can be felt through sharing the gospel. Ahh! It's exciting.

After DM, I went on Kokan with Elder Eccles, the Zone Leader in his area, Abeno. Another beautiful part of Osaka. There we taught one of their golden investigators that they found a couple weeks ago. Right now he is preparing for baptism for next month. It was really refreshing to teach someone who has the desire to change and to be baptized. It was a nice chance for me to teach a solid, planned lesson. I haven't been able to do that in a while.

On Sunday, we watched the Christmas devotional. It was in Japanese, so I read the talks on my iPad while listening in Japanese. I loved the talks so much! It really got me excited for Christmas. The shots of the lights at Temple Square really made me want to be there, but I know that I am supposed to be in Japan right now. Christmas in Japan on a mission is much, much different than Christmas at home. But, the reason for Christmas is Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to be reading the bible and learning about our Savior. Because he was born, we can be comforted, because he is the Light and Life of the world. He is our rock and our salvation. Because he was born on that special day, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and our beloved family and friends in a state of never ending happiness.

The mission is exciting! There are so many challenges and so many opportunities to grow. Of course it isn't easy. There are things that you have to do that you don't want to do, but you do it anyway because you know that because of that thing, you will grow. The mission is filled with this. I know that this church is true and that our Father in Heaven has a plan for each and everyone of us. He loves us and desires our salvation and happiness. I know that these hints are true. I love all of you! Have an amazing countdown to Christmas and I hope that the Christmas spirit will touch all of you. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Elder Lamoreaux ラムロー長老
Japan Kobe Mission 日本神戸伝道部

Ps. GO BYU!!!!!!!!!! I'll be wearing my BYU gear on Saturday!

We went to the top of Sky Tower in Osaka last Monday as a District!  We got there at the perfect time and was able to see the perfect Japanese sunset.  Osaka is such a beautiful city! 
Merry Christmas from Osaka!  There was a huge "Christmas town" type thing under the Sky Tower with a huge (box) tree. 
Tuesday was District Leader Council, where all the district leaders came together in Kobe and received training from President and Sister Welch.  Also, the sisters in my district as well as sisters from our zone came and presented a training because they are amazing missionaries.  It was such a great opportunity to go.

These are some of the coolest missionaries in the Japan Kobe Mission.  We hung out for a couple of minutes after the meeting.  The past three AP's are in this picture and they are good friends of mine.

During service on Wednesday at a member's house...

This is after we did the most disgusting thing I have ever done...

Such a great District!

District Meeting on Friday!  The Zone Leaders and a member who is preparing for a mission came.  It was a way good District Meeting, the last of the transfer.

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