Week 31 – May 7, 2012
Dear Mom and Family,
I hope you've all been great and had a great week. Sagamihara has been great. It's been another productive week. As far as Mother's Day, the number to call is 011-81-80-2149-6144, at 6:00 pm your time. If it would be better to call another time, let me know via email soon! Otherwise I'll be on Skype and with the phone at that time. It'll be 1:00 pm on Monday here.
Tuesday I took Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies to seminary and it seemed like they went well. I made some chocolate ones later, but I think they might have been too sweet for early in the morning, especially with Japanese people. They don't really like sweet things, for the most part. I think I'll put some Congo Bars using Grandma's recipe in tonight for tomorrow morning seminary.
We had our district meeting this past Thursday. We studied a talk given by Elder David A. Bednar called, “The Atonement and Journey of Mortality”.
It's a great talk, I really like it. It's helped me to understand and appreciate Christ's atonement more. I believe that there is an ideal home. I think many people in the world now don't believe that there is. But there is. There is a perfect home. It is possible. Elder Campbell, an elder in my district, spoke of a convert he knows. He said that the turning point in this man's life was the night he went to the bishop's house for dinner. He was investigating the church, and seeing the way that the bishop's family and home was, made him think that he was in a movie setting. He was 'searching for the cameras the entire night.' If the gospel and atonement of Christ are the center and foundation of our lives as families, we can achieve a 'perfect family.' I truly believe that it is true. I think about families a lot now. It seems like all the time. I hope that Pukalani ward is doing great! I'm sure they all are. I am so grateful for the amazing love and support that I was given while growing up there. That is so essential. In this work, it can come to a point where if you can just get an investigator to church, they will know that baptism is what they want, just by the love that they feel. There is a special feeling and love in every church building with every ward. But that love can be developed into another kind of love. Another love that will feel like so much more to those who don't fully understand it yet.
Saturday at 4:30 pm we had a lesson with Shimizu kyoudai. Elder Watanabe Kan (the first Japanese Mission President) and Yasuda shimai, the great sister we had dinner with last week Sunday, jointed with us. We came to find out that Shimizu kyoudai has more of a problem with the Word of Wisdom than we thought. He has a small problem with tobacco and alcohol. But I believe that if he can exercise faith, find other ways to relieve stress, he will really feel God's love and strength for him. Our main focus with him, as of lately, has been to work with the ward to fellowship him as much as possible. He really needs to know that we all love him. Sagamihara Ward has been great. I love greeting everyone each Sunday as they come to church. Elder Richmond and I have been able to build strong relationships with them and I am so grateful for them. Many of the people I have met and come to know on my mission are some of the best people in the world.
Saturday night for our outreach activity we watched 'The Testaments.' We had a really good turnout of members with three investigators also in attendance. The next day in church on Sunday we had the same three investigators with us. We attended Gospel Principles class with the three of them. It was taught by Yasuda shimai and was focused on the same talk by Elder Bednar that we studied on Thursday at our district meeting. Yasuda shimai shared a powerful and spiritual lesson and was fighting tears almost the entire time. She is always extremely happy and always smiling. Okamoto kyoudai, one of our investigators, commented before the lesson that she was 'always, always happy.' She built off of that asking everyone why she always seems happy. And if there are others that seem the same way. She was baptized just over 10 years ago, and she used her fairly recent conversion story to really hit home with our investigators. We taught two of them together after her lesson.
So it's been a great week. Elder Richmond and I are doing well with just the two of us here now. I 'm grateful for him as my companion. We've been growing a lot together.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Why is Christ's burden light? Really, his burden is not light at all. The reason his burden is light is because he has so much strength. If we but come unto him, we can partake of that strength, and truly do more than we could ever without it. Our burdens will truly become light. Not because they will necessarily change or be taken away, but because we will receive Christ's strength to either carry them or change them ourselves. For that I am so grateful and so dependent.
I love you all so much!! Thank you!! Have an amazing week!!