Week 44 - August 6, 2012
Hey Mom and family!
It’s been a great week, and very eventful weekend!! I held district meeting on Friday and had my companion do most of the training. He was really excited for the opportunity and spent a good amount of time studying and preparing. The themes of his training were 'Effectiveness in Faith' and 'The Power of One'. It was basically about how we can all individually make a huge difference here in the work, and was really good. We went to his former area, Koiwa, on Saturday for the baptism of one of his former investigators. There were 14 missionaries in attendance. While on our way back to our area (about an hour and a half by train) he accidentally left his wallet on one of the trains. It had everything in it - gaijin card, Utah driver’s license, temple recommend, credit cards, and almost all of his money for this month. But, we're in Japan, and despite it sitting on a train in which hundreds of people get off and on at every stop, it didn't get touched until the end of the line (about an hour) when it was found by the train workers. So yesterday after church we got back on the trains to head out to the station where it was found. We had to go yesterday because his gaijin card was in it and he isn't supposed to ever be without that. We got there, got his wallet, and got back to Sagamihara. Then on our way home from there, we had another surprise added to our Sunday - both my companion and I got into an accident with a car while riding our bikes. There was a little intersection, a van went through without stopping, and we basically broadsided it. My companion was a few feet in front and a little to the left of me, and he didn't have any time to hit his brakes, just swerved a little and went into the side of the van. I had time to hit my brakes so I ended up flying over the handlebars and into the van. We both had helmets on and everything and we're fine. The driver was pretty mad when I told him we had to call the police. He waited with us for about three or four minutes, then got in his car and sped off. I had already written his license plate number and a description of the van though. Elder Orton and I both went to the hospital in an ambulance just to confirm that we were fine. The cops and the hospital people were really on the ball and did an amazing job. Besides some really small scrapes and bruises, we're both completely fine. I've got a black eye starting, but it's nothing big at all. Our bikes are fine for the most part too. I think my companion might need a new front tire, but my bike didn't ever hit the car. It was an experience though. I haven't really interacted with the police too much here yet. And we got to ride in a Japanese Ambulance. We were waiting on if they could find the driver to see how everything would be paid for, so we only had to pay a 5,000 yen (~$60.00) deposit at the hospital yesterday. We got a call today saying that he was found and his insurance will cover everything. They told us at the hospital that it will be a very minimum of 35,000 yen (about $445.00) for each of us. But the ambulance was free. We were supposed to eat with the Yamanashi family in our ward last night so we called them to tell them we wouldn't be able to make it... and they showed up at the accident 15 minutes later. They helped SO much - translating hard vocabulary, taking us home from the hospital, and giving us lots of food! They're taking us to go shopping today as well. They have a son in the Kobe Mission on transfer five. The police say the driver is not so happy... but he still needs to be held accountable. We've been praying for him. I feel bad, but I hope everything's okay. And that was our weekend! But don't worry at all mom, I promise we are completely fine. I'll send some pictures. We were blessed that Elder Orton had his wallet at the time. And we were blessed to not have any major injuries at all. The mission is helping withworking with insurance and paperwork, so we're fine with that. The Lord is protecting us.
Here's a little thing I'm going to print and put in my scriptures before the Book of Mormon. I thought it would be good for all of you to read:
The Book of Mormon is of monumental importance to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Latter-day Saints should continually study this book throughout their lives because:
1. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles.
It is the keystone in our witness of Christ.
It is the keystone of our doctrine.
It is the keystone of testimony.
2. It was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us. Mormon wrote near the end of the Nephite civilization. Under the inspiration of God, who sees all things from the beginning, he abridged centuries of records, choosing the stories, speeches, and events that would be most helpful to us. From the Book of Mormon we see the evils of secret combinations portrayed in graphic and chilling reality. In the Book of Mormon we find lessons for dealing with persecution and apostasy. We learn much about how to do missionary work. And more than anywhere else, we see in the Book of Mormon the dangers of materialism and setting our hearts on the things of the world. Can anyone doubt that this book was meant for us and that in it we find great power, great comfort, and great protection?
3. It helps us draw nearer to God. “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (Prophet Joseph Smith) Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God, to be more like Him in our daily walk, to feel His presence with us constantly? If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book. It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your life the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.
(President Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon – Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986)
With that, may the Book of Mormon become the keystone of your life.
And here's a story that I'd like to share from a speech given at BYU-Provo called 'Motivations' by Sterling W. Sill:
"Some years ago I heard a story about a young high school football quarterback. Just before the final game of the year his father died, and the coach said to him, “Now, Bill, we don’t expect youto be at the game Friday. You be with your family and we will get along all right. You don’t need to come to the rehearsals.”
But the boy said, “No, I want to play; and I will be able to play.”
The coach did not understand it, but he thought the boy seemed to know what he was doing, so he said, “Okay, if that’s the way you feel, we’ll let you start and see how you get along.”
The boy went into the game and threw the passes, ran the ends, kicked the punts, blocked the tackles, and generaled his team like Superman. The coach could not understand it; he had never played so well before. They won an overwhelming victory; and after the game was over, as they walked off the field, the coach put his arm around this boy and said, “Bill, would you like to tell me about it? How is it that you could do these things under these circumstances?”
This boy replied, “Coach, what you may not know about this situation is that my father was blind, and this is the first game that he has ever seen me play.”
All of us would be more concerned with our lives if we thought our Father in heaven was watching..."
Thank you so much mom for getting that book sent to me. How will you be sending it? The members really are the key to the work, and they are helping here a lot. The Olympics sound like fun. We see billboards and advertisements around here every once in a while. I'm so glad that Kauluwehi is doing well. Hiking up to the Y to watch fireworks sounds like a lot of fun.
Attached are a few pictures... one of a lunch we had this past Tuesday (leftovers given to us from Monday night on the US Base,) our new mission logo brought in by President Budge (remind me to explain the meaning of it next week,) Elder Orton and I about to leave the apartment on Saturday (those are the slacks we bought in here Japan, they're super durable,) pretzels (before being baked) I made and took to district meeting, the very first Nissan factory ever (it's a lot bigger than the picture makes it seem,) two of my face (just after the crash and at the hospital,) and this month’s edition of 'The Cause' (our monthly newsletter.) I'll try to send more pictures later!
I love you all so much!! The gospel of Christ is happiness. And the scriptures really are 'the words of life.' I testify with a surety of that. Our Heavenly Father loves us and watches over us.
P.S. There really is no need to worry, mom. We are safe, healthy, and happy. :) I love you!!