Monday, June 6, 2016

JT - Still in Okayama!

My new companion drew a picture of me...I think it looks the same.

Dear Everyone,

Transfer calls came and I am staying in Okayama! I will most likely end my mission here, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Elder Ray transferred out to my first area Nishiwaki!! I told him all about that area. My new companion is Elder Yardley from Enterprise, Utah. He is now 7th transfer and we knew each other back in Osaka zone. It'll be a great transfer.

So, along with transfers, Elder Ray had to say goodbye to a few people. We had a cool experience with one of the people we visited. We visited a less-active member who we have been teaching. We were saying bye and sharing testimony with him when his mom came to the door and started talking with us as well. We commented on her beautiful garden and she then goes off and talks about how she believes that God has created all of this and she really has a belief in God. We asked her "how did you come to believe in God?" She says that she used to believe in Buddhism but that didn't make any sense to her so recently, she has come to believe that God is the creator of all things and she is so grateful for God for everything in her life. So, we told her that we teach people how to get closer to God and she seemed to really enjoy some of the things we were saying. So, long story short, this person is going to be sitting in on the lessons that we have with this less active member. She really seems to have interest. This strengthened my testimony that God truly is preparing the hearts of the people to hear the gospel. Hopefully we can both strengthen this member and help his mother to accept the gospel and be baptized.

We picked up two more Vietnamese investigators who are friends with the other six that we have. They were a little scared to go to church meetings yesterday, but after church, we met with them and gave them a tour of the church and taught them about prayer and Jesus Christ. They felt something, but they are still kind of confused because it is all new to them. It seems like they have a desire to come to church from now on.

I keep learning about how hard it is to teach people when they don't have a Christian background. They don't even believe and haven't even thought about God. Before, I had no problem with teaching people about God and Christ, but usually those conversations have just been to people on the street who don't continue hearing the lessons. Now, we are getting people who want to hear and have potential to become baptized. That means we as missionaries really need to help them understand and build their relationship with a God they have never thought about before. It's hard to help them understand especially if you want them to be comfortable with accepting a baptismal invitation. Faith is such a needed, powerful thing. Teaching people to have faith (believe in something that they have never thought about before) is harder than it seems. That's why it's so important to have the Spirit when you teach and testify. Without the spirit, having faith is impossible.

Awesome scripture that I gained a stronger testimony in this week. Alma 13:24 "For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory." This is true. There are people all around you; friends, family, neighbors or coworkers who need the gospel. They could even be active members who need to gain a stronger testimony. They are being prepared by angels to receive the gospel. Have faith that they are out there. Seek for the spirit to know who they are, what they need and where to find them.

Love you all! Have a great week! Keep Smiling and give 'em Heaven!

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

Elder Ray's last couple of days

Ugh, so blurry...

They got us with whipped cream pies...

Bye bye Ray

This is the language I'm supposed to understand.  On Our way to dinner in a Taxi with three of our friends.  They are trying to tell the driver directions.  Crazy right?  Yeah, Japanese is fun!  They didn't teach me this in the MTC...

While waiting for our new companions, we had a flashback to when we were companions in Maizuru.  McDonalds with Elder Van Cleave!

Bought some sweet backpacks with Elder Johnson for super cheap!

These hats are legal now as missionaries...Weird... (Actually, mine's probably not legal...)

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