Monday, July 25, 2016

JT - Final Interview, and a test in Seminary!

Dear Everyone,

How is everyone this week? It was a really good week for Okayama and for our district. We taught a huge number of lessons as a district!  Everyone hit the standards and more! I am very proud of the district.

So we had a really good lesson with a less-active member's non-member mother who has started to listen to the lessons. We had a member sit in on the lesson and she was perfect for this investigator. They became good friends. We were planning on teaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we were led to change it completely and teach the Restoration through Joseph Smith. This investigator was really into the lesson and asked many questions that were perfectly answered by the Restoration. The coolest part of this lesson, however, was the less-active member. He listened intently to all that was said and he was even reading in the Book of Mormon a little bit during the lesson. I think he felt the spirit and was thinking hard about what he was feeling. It was cool to see. I learned the power of having members join you in the teaching. This is what missionary work should be.

On Thursday, I had my final interview with President Welch. That was a bitter sweet moment. Sweet- I had an extra long time to talk to President Welch one-on-one, got a new Temple Recommend, and I was also able to learn a lot of advice that will help me out for the rest of my life. I am truly grateful for all that President and Sister Welch has done for me. I can feel their love for me and the other missionaries everytime I see them. These things that were said in this interview will be with me for the rest of my life. I am so grateful for this mission. The bitter was that this is my last interview!.... I could talk to them for hours.. I only had 40 ish minutes. It was such a cool experience. After the interviews, President and Sister Welch came into our apartment and had a look at it. That was scary, but we passed!

We go to Seminary every morning here in Okayama. Now in the seminary course, the students need to take a test in order to pass seminary. I never had to do that when I was in Seminary. Well, on Friday, they took the Old Testament test and my companion and I decided to take it as well. It was obviously all in Japanese, but I was actually able to finish all of it in time! We'll have to see what score I get!

I'm really grateful for the mission. I'm grateful for the church. I've learned so much about the important things in life. Scripture of the week is 3 Nephi 13:22 "The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." When we are faithfully living the gospel, it will show in our appearance. The light of Christ will shine in your eyes and others will see your example. Truly, modest is hottest.

Love you all! Have a great week!

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

The District this transfer!  Left to right;  Elder Yardley, Elder Van Cleave, me, Elder Miles, Sister Baird, Sister Nielson, Elder Korth and Elder Anthony.  Great missionaries, we killed it this week!

Sushi Roll for Elder Yardley's year mark!

Bad picture... We took a hike early in the morning and watched a sunrise with an investigator and the Sister missionaries!  Fun time!
Here's some cool pictures!



Dinner at the Bishop's house yesterday!

Monday, July 18, 2016

JT - Staying in Okayama 'til I die

Dear Everyone,

Transfer calls came and.... We're both staying in Okayama! Super exciting! We have a lot of really good things happening this transfer.  Hoping to see a baptism here this transfer. Not much changed here but I am now the District Leader. I am really looking forward to this opportunity. We are already seeing a lot of miracles this transfer.  Let's start with a few of them.

First big miracle: we were biking to our Vietnamese friends house while randomly on the way there, we ran into Moose on his bike. It was so random because he was really far from his house. He was going to go shopping. He then asked if he could go with us to visit the Vietnamese people (they are all friends.) He came with us but when we got to the house, there was no one home. My companion and I were wondering what to do. We decided to wait a few minutes in case they come back. We all sat down and started talking. During our planning as a companionship, we felt like we should try to give Moose a baptismal date as a goal to hit. We thought of how Nephi "went... Not knowing beforehand the things I should do," if he has a goal, miracles will happen. So we taught a lesson about that and he agreed to shoot for baptism on the 21st of August, my last Sunday in Japan. Then, literally as we finished teaching Moose, our Vietnamese friend comes riding along coming home from shopping. We taught a good lesson with the both of them and it was way good. The timing was too perfect, it couldn't have been just random. Way cool miracle.

Next miracle: after a lot of helping out with missionaries transferring, we were stuck waiting for a missionary at the train station near our church when out of the corner of my eye, I see someone waving to us on his bike. I look and it just happens to be a less-active who we have been trying to meet with all transfer. He has been super busy and I hadn't seen him for probably 2 months. We talk, teach him a lesson and we set up an appointment with him the next day. Such a big miracle.

Last miracle to mention today: we had a lesson with the Less-Active's non-member mother about the Plan of Salvation. It's crazy how the Lord prepares people because somehow, she believed in just about everything that it says! She accepted the plan of salvation easily and agreed to pray about it in the way we pray. She's got really good potential. Hopefully she can accept everything that the gospel has to offer her.

There was a lot of really cool experiences this week. We were able to teach a lot of lessons; the most that I've had in Okayama. My companion and I have a lot of goals that we want to accomplish this transfer. It's gonna be a great one!

The church is true! I have a stronger and stronger conviction of it every single day. God answers our efforts, but not only that, he blesses us far beyond our expectations. I know that because I am experiencing that. Last six weeks are gonna fly by, but we will work hard. Love you all so much! Keep smiling and give 'em Heaven.

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

A missionary who used to serve in Okayama came to seminary on transfer morning.

Creepy sign. It says "raise your voice!  Protect the children!"

Chums!  A huge brand of clothing in Japan.  Straight from Hurricane, Utah.  It's so weird to see people in Japan with a shirt or hat that says "Hurricane Utah."


Monday, July 11, 2016

JT - Okayama Castle!

Dear Everyone,

I don't have too much time right now. We just got back from a fun time in Okayama Castle.

This week is the start of the new transfer. Still don't know what is happening with us. This will be my last transfer, so we are going to work hard and make this he best transfer of my mission.

Well, I am out of time, so I'll send you a quote from a conference talk that I've been sharing with members recently. It is from President Uchtdorf's talk "He will Place you on His Shoulders and Carry you Home" from last conference.

"Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, knows and loves us. He knows and loves you. He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief. Your silent pleadings. Your fears. Your tears. It matters not how you became lost--whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control. What matters is that you are His child. And He loves you. He loves His children. Because He loves you, He will find you. He will place you upon His shoulders, rejoicing. And when He brings you home, He will say to one and all, “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”"

Love you all! Have a great week! Sorry it's so short!

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

Okayama Castle!

View from the top!

Ran into some Filipinos at the Castle!

Working in a Convenient store!

The left picture is our AP's.  We decided to recreate the picture.  Pretty good right?

Zone Training meeting.

The best district!

Monday, July 4, 2016

JT - Happy 4th of July!!

Dear Everyone,

It's the Fourth of July!! To celebrate, we sang "America the Beautiful" for companionship study and we prayed in English! Oh man, I miss America! Later today, we are going to go to Okayama Eki as a district and represent America by doing something... Not sure yet, but it will be great! Believe it or not, they don't celebrate the Fourth of July in Japan. I wonder why...

This was an up and down week. We had ups and we had downs. A couple of appointments fell through that were really disappointing. For example, we were housing an apartment building when we knocked on this college student's door. We talked to him about Heavenly Father and how we can get help from him. He seemed to like it and we asked if we could come again to share about how to receive help from God and without hesitation, he said yes. So we set up an appointment for the next day.  Well we went there right on time for the appointment, but he never answered the door. We knew he was inside. We waited for about five minutes, went to a nearby convenient store and ate ice cream then tried again 15 minutes later. Still no answer. Super disappointing because we planned a great lesson for it and everything. I hate when that happens.

However, we've had quite a bit of success in our finding efforts this week. We were able to get a few return appointments and were able to teach a lot of lessons while doing so.

Cool things that happened this week: playing basketball with investigators and gaining 6 more potential investigators who are all young college students. Got all of their phone numbers too.  We taught a short lesson about Temples in Primary on Sunday. We showed pictures of the temple and the kids got so excited. We asked "what do you feel in the temple?" And one kid, maybe 5 years old yells out, "JESUS!" Yes little kid. Yes. We had an awesome dinner at a member's house yesterday where 3 investigators came and we all and a fun time. It was one of the best times I've had on my mission. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I love moments like that and this ward is so awesome. The Eikaiwa investigator who we gave a Book of Mormon to last week came to church this week! The ward did a really good job with fellowshipping and helping him feel welcome. Hopefully he had a good experience and he can come again.

Scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 1:7 "Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever." God Bless America!

Love you all! Everyone eat a nice burger or a steak (or both) for me! Have a fun and safe Fourth of July! Don't forget all of the blessings that you have received from our Heavenly Father. Don't take your circumstances for granted. Have a great week 皆様!


Kibi Dango!  The famous food of Okayama

Sometimes, you just have to eat your ramen on the floor while using a chair as your table.  Dendo does that.

Gotta love Japan!  This was a pretty cool experience.  I was having a hard day one day.  It was so hot and I didn't have desire to go out.  But, on the way to a place that I haven't been before, we pass this and other places that were so beautiful.  Seeing this nature helped me calm down and enjoy life again.  It was like Heavenly Father saying "hey, it's okay!  You're doing great!  Here, enjoy some nature."

We played basketball with a couple investigators and at the court, there was a group of 6 other people who was already playing.  They all went to the same university as our investigators and we were able to play basketball with them, teach them a lesson and got all of their phone numbers.  It was cool!

Dinner from last night.