- · Inage
It's been a good week. So many things have happened. I hope you are all still doing great out there. Keep up the good work. I don't have much time to write this week, but in a really, really short summary:
Week 20 - February 20, 2012
How are all of you? I hope you're doing really great! I do have a favor to ask. If you have or could find a good little recipe book, I would love it if you could send it. Maybe through email would be easier, I'd just like a bunch of good recipes to try out.
Anyway, this week has gone well. Elder Casey and I had a goal to introduce our message to at least 300 people, but we didn't get anywhere close to that number because we hardly had any finding time. If we are able to get out and find more in the future, that goal is most definitely achievable. We've had many appointments and lessons. One appointment was with a man name Shimada-San. Elder Casey and I found him while streeting this past Wednesday. He was a self-referral from December of last year, but Elder Casey and his companion at the time, Elder Gordon, didn't have any contact information for him and he hadn't been back to church since. We ended up talking with him in a park about the Restoration for a little over an hour. He invited us to come to visit with him again and gave us his address, phone number, and even drew a map to his apartment.
Wednesday we also met with Sakanaka kyoudai and made a program for his baptismal service. He was interviewed yesterday, and is really ready. He's beginning to do his family history, and he's getting really dendou fired(excited to share the gospel.)
On Thursday we met with another of our investigators, Yoshitaka Tamba. We invited him to be baptized, but he had a few concerns. The brunt of his concern is that he will be baptized and go less-active soon after because of his university schedule and workload. He's able to come to activities and church now because it's his spring break. We just need to build his faith!
We met with Shimada-San again on Friday and talked with him about the Plan of Salvation because he has a lot of questions and concerns about agency. He now has a Book of Mormon and we're excited to meet with him more. It's a miracle that we met him again.
Saturday and Sunday we had our Stake Conference. Stake Conference is held here in our area, and because the missionaries from other areas in our stake live a lot farther away, we had eight missionaries in our apartment on Saturday night. We knew that it would be crazy, so we made a pretty strict Inage/Chiba apartment schedule. We had everything scheduled, and when the other elders saw us really organized, they followed along and everything went really smoothly. The Stake Conference was great. President Albrecht spoke on Saturday and Sunday, and his wife spoke on Sunday as well.
This upcoming week will be filled with a bunch of exciting things. Tomorrow we have a conference with Elder Dallin H. Oaks. And on Saturday we have Sakanaka kyoudai getting baptized.
A focus of President and Sister Albrecht this past weekend, was dendou(missionary work.) A point of Sister Albrecht's was that parents examples with missionary work is the greatest thing they can show their children. Missionary work is important. Show its importance through your examples! President David O. McKay, "Every member a missionary."
If everyone in the ward brought one person into the church, we would need a new ward and maybe a new building. 2 Nephi 2:9, "how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah." Elder Richard G Scott asked, "how seriously have you personally taken the Lord's charge to share the gospel?" He also promised that, "you will find a renewal of life, excitement, and a deep feeling of personal fulfillment from having the courage to accept a call as a missionary." So don't wait to be asked, you've already been called. While President and Sister Albrecht were speaking, the spirit was undeniable. They were led by the spirit, to share what was important! There's also a great scripture in Doctrine and Covenants Section 31:5, "Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live." What great promises. If you work hard and diligently to bring others this happiness, you will be forgiven of your sins, you will find those ready to hear and endure to the end along with you, and your family will live. Your family will live. If anything, bring others unto our Savior Jesus Christ because He has promised that if you do, your family will live. If we follow what He has said, he will bless us.
So reach out to those searching for the gospel and the spirit in their lives. I love you! Take care this week!
Week 19 - February 13, 2012
今日は！(Dear Family, Hello!)
Another week! They're really flying by! It's been good. How are you? School? Dad and your new calling? Work? Sports? I hope you're all great!!
On Tuesday we went to Popoki's again, this time with a whole bunch of investigators and potential investigators. We all had a good time.
Thursday we had a lesson with Watanabe Kan長老 (chourou) as our joint. Watanabe長老 was the first Japanese mission president ever. He's about 80 years old and legend around here. He and his wife were recently called to serve in the Tokyo Mission so we called him to joint with us. Almost everything that we did during the lesson would have been different if it were only Elder Casey and I teaching. Watanabe長老 did exactly what the spirit told him to, and the lesson went great. We know that the investigator really felt the spirit.
Saturday was a great day in Inage. Elder Casey and I didn't have any finding time, we were actually in the church almost the entire day. We had basketball with a few members at 9:00am. We stayed until 10:00am then went back to the apartment to study a little. We had district meeting at 1:00pm and a totsuzen (unexpected) lesson with Sakanaka kyoudai at 3:00pm. We spent about an hour and a half talking with him about the Book of Mormon and recognizing the spirit when he feels it. He's been having a lot of spiritual experiences, he just doesn't recognize all of them yet. Sakanaka kyoudai is so strong. After our lesson with him, we practiced with Fujita and Konno shimai, the sister missionaries in our ward, for a song we sang today in sacrament meeting. Then we had a stake single adult activity that started at 5:00pm. Tamba kyoudai, another of our investigators, came for the activity, and he was wearing a suit and tie. Sakanaka kyoudai always wears a suit when he's in the church, so we had both of them there looking really sharp. Isa kaicho (president), the last mission president of the Hiroshima mission before it closed, shared a great message, which he really geared towards Tamba kyoudai, Sakanaka kyoudai, and Tsutsumi kyoudai (a recent convert.) After the message, Tamba kyoudai told us that he really wants to read the Book of Mormon. We haven't had an actual sit-down lesson with him yet, but he came to last Sunday's fast and testimony meeting and almost all of the testimonies were centered on the Book of Mormon. He now has his own copy and he's excited to read!
Yesterday in sacrament meeting we sang 'I Know That My Redeemer Lives,' the first verse in Japanese, the first verse again in English, and the last verse in Japanese. Elder Casey and I have been getting over colds, so our voices didn't sound too great, but it was okay. After sacrament we spent about an hour with Sakanaka kyoudai preparing for his baptismal interview. Everything looks like it will be great.
It was a little slower of a week finding-wise, but Elder Casey and I have a goal to introduce our message to at least 300 people this week. We're excited to talk to everyone, and find the elect.
Well, two scriptures for you to think about:
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness.
I won't write much about them, just that I hope you think about them. I know that you can receive personal revelation - revelation just for you, right now - if you take the time to study God's word. I know that you will feel God's love for you, if you just let yourself. God is the same now as He was then, the same as He will be forever. He will always speak to His children. Take the time to hear what he has to say to you!
And Happy Valentine's Day on Tuesday! Have a great week! I love you!!
りんディ長老より (Elder Rindlisbacher)