Monday, March 7, 2016

JT - What a "Wicked" week

Dear Everyone,

Transfer week! Well, we don't know anything yet and might not know
until Wednesday morning whether or not I or my companion is
transferring, so you'll have to wait until next week to find that out!
(Let's just say I am dying and every time the phone rings I have a
mini heart attack.)

This week was.... Well, if you are familiar with Lagoon, let's say it
was like the "Wicked" roller coaster. There were ups and downs and
twists everywhere.

Our investigator with a baptismal date was looking really good. We
taught him a few times this week and he really understood what we were
teaching and it seemed like he was excited about it. I've really seem
a change in him since I've started teaching him. We've talked with him
on the phone just about every night to follow up and read the Book of
Mormon with him. He is currently at 2 Nephi 3. This week, we taught
him about the Plan of Salvation, the Fall of Adam, and the Atonement.
He understands that Jesus Christ has suffered for us and only through
him can we make it into the Celestial Kingdom. One of my favorite
parts of the mission is bearing testimony about the Atonement of Jesus
Christ. It's real. Period. Anyways, it was going really well. He also
asked "what are the specific things I need to do in order to get
baptized?" So we taught him more in depth about the Word of Wisdom and
Law of Chastity and why we are given commandments. He understood it.
In his prayers to end the lessons, he specifically asks Heavenly
Father for strength to follow these things. He has a couple
addictions, but he knew that through the atonement, he can be able to
overcome those over time if he acts and puts in the effort. So, all
great and he has a great desire to be baptized!!

Then Saturday comes... Uhhh... So we get a call from a member who is
friends with this investigator. (Background story: our investigator
gets money from the City Offices every now and then in order to help
with rent and essential things.) this member says "he got the money
from the city yesterday and he spent it all on tobacco and Pachinko
(basically like a casino, like the "Game Center" in Pokemon.) He
literally threw it all away and called me begging for this member to
come to his apartment the next morning and help him out." Then the
member finds out that recently, a Less Active sister who lives close
to our investigator has been spending multiple nights in our
investigator's apartment. So basically everything that has been built
in order to help him get baptized has all come crashing down. But,
there is still hope. This member was going to get a council together
to talk with the investigator to help him get his life back in order.
So, hope is still there.

However, that night, we get a call from the investigator and he tells
us that he wants to stop investigating. He wants to quit Mormonism. He
came up with a lot of excuses like, "your commandments are too strict.
My situation hasn't improved, I have no money." Stuff like that. I
admit, when I answered him, I was pretty bold, but I feel like I was
loving as well. We testified and testified that things will get better
and that this gospel is what he needs. After that talk, he said he
would think about it. However, things are not looking good and for
now, he isn't getting baptized anytime soon.

It's frustrating how this happens to people that you have grown to
love. You know what is best for them, but they just don't understand,
aren't patient enough to keep going, don't trust enough to be obedient
and they choose to go against the things that you have taught them
about. I feel like that is a lot of what parenting is. You love your
kids so much and you want the best for them, but despite what you do,
you can't control their choices.

But, despite all this, things are okay. I have come to realize that
true joy is not the result of your circumstances. We can experience
the true joy that comes from the gospel even though we go through
trials and hard times. Some of the happiest people in the world are
those who are in humble circumstances. Did Jesus Christ have an easy
life? Did he have money to spend, the newest technologies, and all the
food he can eat? No. He had a hard life. But, I cannot picture our
savior in this life depressed and complaining about his situation. I
can guarantee you that he walked every single day with his head up and
he was happy. Why? Because he understood the gospel and he lived
perfectly following that gospel. Joy comes when we follow the gospel,
not by the way the world thinks joy is.

So, stand up for what is right. Follow the gospel no matter what. If
you do, you will be happy. Simple as that.

This was the week and I am out of time! We'll see where I am next
week. Transfer or not transfer? That is the question!

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

Group picture after Zone Training Meeting.  Some cool people.

Udon at a restaurant.  Pretty yummu!

My district, the zone leaders and Takahashi Choro, one of our AP's.

My twin!  My first Zone Leader and our beloved AP.  He finishes his mission this week.  I have learned so much from him and he has been such a great example to me for my whole mission.  Eternally grateful for this man!  Don't be surprised if he becomes an apostle someday.

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