So, last week was a fast email and I am afraid that this week is also a fast email... A member is taking us to Kyoto today and I don't know if we will have time afterwards to email. But, I will go as fast as my fingers will take me to recap what I've learned the past couple of weeks!
I've learned quite a bit about the importance and power of faith. We have an investigator who struggles to have faith; to believe in something that he can't see. He sees our faith and wonders how it is possible to believe in a God that we can't see and to believe in a God who allows bad things to happen to innocent people and allows bad people to have money and power. We try to help him see the eternal perspective, how God loves us and only desires our happiness and salvation, but he just can't seem to wrap his mind around it. The thing with that is though, Faith makes 0 sense. Having faith is crazy! We have never seen God or Jesus Christ, but yet we know they live and we know their purposes. Why? Because we act on the faith we have. Faith is not just belief, it is action. We act on our faith by praying and reading the scriptures and following the commandments. Think of commandments. You can't do this, and you can't do that and you need to do this and so on, so forth. Sometimes, we don't know the reasons why we are given some commandments, but we follow them. Why? Because we have faith that it will be for our eternal benefit. I realized how blessed I have been in my life to have the gospel. I have never had to wonder why bad things happen, or who God is, if he even exists. I know that he lives and that he loves us. But I, like Nephi, do not know the meaning of all things. This investigator pounds us with questions about the world and about why things happen, and all I can say is "I don't know. But a God knows and I trust him". Faith just makes everything easier. But not just faith. Our faith needs to be centered on Jesus Christ and his atonement. Because of Jesus Christ, we can have hope that all will be well.
My ponderizing scripture a couple weeks ago was Matthew 17:20 "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." I testify that is true. Faith is so powerful and it has blessed my life forever. Everyone needs faith in order to make it through this life happily.
Another thing that I experienced this week is the power of the Book of Mormon. Every night, we have been reading the Book of Mormon with another investigator, because he has a hard time doing it by himself. During those phone calls, the spirit is strong as we read and discuss the word of God. The power of the Book of Mormon is real. It teaches personally and helps our understanding. For example, we read 1 Nephi 1 with him over the phone and after we finished the chapter, I asked, "what do you think?" And he gave me a brief summary of what happened. Then I asked "no, what do you feel?" And he paused for a second and then said "if you follow God and believe in God, you will be happy." When he said that, it was hard not to jump for joy. He was definitely feeling the Spirit there. Nowhere in that chapter does it say anything like that, but he was able to learn for himself what he needed to learn. The Book of Mormon teaches personally and not always by what is written, but what is felt while reading. That was a great experience and now he wants to get baptized some day. (By the way, this is the same investigator that two weeks ago was begging for food from us. Man, has he changed since then.) the church is true folks.
Well, that basically sums up the important stuff from the past couple weeks. Things are looking up in this area and I am grateful to be here. The church is true, the Gospel is real and if you understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you will be safe and happy. Have a great week!
Elder Lamoreaux ラムロー長老
Japan Kobe Mission 日本神戸伝道部
We went to the "Abeno Harukas" which I think is the tallest building in Japan, but don't hate me for getting that wrong it is isn't. We went as a district with on of the Sister's investigators.
|The district at the top floor|
|Some cool views of OSAKA|
Fun with the glass floor
|Courtesy of Elder Brailsford. Our album cover :)|
|Taught these guys a lesson! They are cool.|
|Osaka Zone! After Zone Training Meeting.|
|Going to Sushi with a member|
Japanese tradition of New Years making Mochi! Pounding rice many times that it becomes stretchy and chewy and, well Mochi. Look it up on Google or something.
Video describing Mochi
Me making Mochi