Monday, July 2, 2012

Week 39 - July 2, 2012

    Transfers 3-5...

Dear Family,
Happy birthday, mom! Have a great one! I love you!

How is everyone?? I'm sure you're all having a great time with all of the cousins and family in Utah.

Things have been going great here in Sagamihara. Today my companion cut his own hair for the first time. I helped him a little with the sides and the back and it looked really good. I was actually really impressed. It looked like a professional barber had done it. But then he thought he'd take a little more off above his ears. In the hair cutting kit thing I bought and brought on my mission there's an ear trimming piece that helps to blend around ears. So he went and tried to use that. And..... it doesn't look like a barber did it anymore. Haha, we've spent the past 30 minutes trying to fix and make it look decent without having to chop all of it off. Do you all remember the elder in our home ward that shaved his head bald? I forget his name, but I remember he got a lot of smiles that week in church. But I probably shouldn't make too much fun of him because I'll be cutting my hair later today.

Things really have been going great here though. We're meeting with Silvia tonight to continue to prepare her for baptism. Tomorrow I'll be going on companion exchange with Elder Cragun in Machida. Elder Petersen will come here with my companion, Elder Orton. Then hopefully I'll be able to split with Elder Anderson later this week or sometime next week. Then I'll have been on exchange with all of the elders in my district.

President Budge is our mission president now. He took over on the 30th. I'll be meeting him and having an interview this upcoming Saturday the 7th. We have SMCC that morning then a zone conference after that. That evening Elder Orton and I are planning a "Superhero Night" activity for outreach. We'll basically take a bunch of funny clothes/props and stuff, create a few "superheroes," and see whose is the best. We made fliers and handed them to almost all of the members on Sunday, and it's looking like we'll get a decent turnout.

It's already week five of this transfer, so next week Tuesday we'll be able to go to the temple. And on Friday/Saturday we'll get transfer calls. Elder Orton and I are hoping we can stay together here in Sagamihara because we could really get more momentum going. I've already been here for three transfers, and President Albrecht really liked to move people round a lot, but we'll see how these first transfers go with President Budge.

This past Friday night we took one of our investigators out to Machida, the area next to ours, for their 'sports night.' They hold sports night every Friday evening. Their church actually has a gym/cultural hall, so we were able to play some fun dodgeball and basketball.

This past Thursday at district meeting I trained on "Love." I started by reading 1 Samuel 17:4-51, which is the story of David and Goliath. I talked about how we all have our own Goliath's in our lives and in our missions. Maybe there's a Goliath standing right in the way of you being a better missionary or you being happy. Then I talked a little about how David went to the brook and carefully chose five smooth stones. He had to be sure they were smooth or else they wouldn't fly sure. They would go off their own way, and not go where they needed. I believe that the most important stone that we need in our lives, is the stone of love. And it has to be a smooth stone. If our love isn't true love, it doesn't work. It's also interesting because here in our zone we have our standard of excellence, which has five points, and David chose five stones. Then going to Moroni 8:16, I explained that if we have perfect love, we have no fear. District meetings are only to be an hour to an hour and a half, so I didn't have too much time, but it went well. All you need is love! I also shared a few quotes, one of them from Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship. It comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles. It leads us through valleys of darkness and through the veil of death. In the end love leads us to the glory and grandeur of eternal life." It's intersting because love is what will bring us closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior... and it's also what will bring all of those we meet and interact with closer to our Heavenly Father and Savior.

Anyway, I love you all so much!

Here's another good quote about missions. It's from the father of Elder Cragun, an elder in my district.

"God calls 19-year-old teenagers to serve missions in unfamiliar countries, speaking unfamiliar languages, teaching his gospel, which although simple, requires significant preparation and study.
God knows they will learn humility, obedience, and of the Spirit. He knows they will discover that they can't work their way into heaven--they can do their best, and their best is enough. He knows they will discover that Christ will make up the difference.
Most of all, I believe that God knows that his sons that serve missions will learn to seek and recognize and respond to the spirit as it directs. This a 2-year advanced course and it is at times hard. There will be trials, challenges and adversity. They will walk through moments of doubt, discouragement, and fear. They will cry out in sincere heartfelt prayer. They will learn that God will never leave them, and He stands by them. These wonderful young missionaries will change from boys to men under the powerful influence of the Spirit of God.
What better instructor than the Spirit, the headmaster of God's own personal university where the class schedule and curriculum are specially designed with each individual in mind? The Lord's paths are unique for each of His sons. None are the same, all are personal, all prepare them for what God needs them to do. Later in life, as they do, they become what He wants them to become.
So how does a mission change you?
From a boy to a man who knows God, who has reached to His Son, and who walks by the power and direction of His spirit. It prepares him for the largest decisions in life, and provides him the seeds and roots of faith that will allow him to take the big decisions of school, marriage, children, and serving in church and community with confidence that God will be with him. In the end, he will know that if he asks with full purpose of heart, with an intent to do His will in righteousness, God will bless him, lead him, guide him, and most importantly, guide his decisions for eternal good.
Your mission will change you because you look to God, your Father, in all that you do. You do all you can, and then watch as His mighty arms work miracles in your behalf."

I think it's an interesting little summary of a mission and the effects thereof. Anyway, things are going great here. The work is moving! I love you all so much! Take care!

Elder Rindlisbacher

P.S. There's a picture attached of myself, one of the YSA's in the ward, and my companion. It was taken yesterday after church.

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