Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week 51 - September 24, 2012
  • Urawa - Transfer 7
It's almost the 5th of October... the day I entered the MTC last year. It feels like it was just yesterday, but at the same time it feels like so long ago. I remember us getting to the MTC a little late that day, which was really good because there wasn't the huge rush of new missionaries, giving us time to take pictures and say goodbye. The MTC was such a great place. I probably had about 2 minutes to think about already getting homesick before we were busy and in full-preparation as missionaries. Today Elder Kim and I met with a young man in our ward preparing to serve a mission in Sapporo. It was great to talk to and read from PMG with him and talk about missionary work. It's amazing how much is learned and how much growth takes place personally, through all of these missionary experiences. As we were talking to him today, I was thinking about how I wish I could go back to the MTC and start my mission over, with the knowledge I have now. But then I realized that I'd like to start high school over. Or middle school. And on and so forth. And I realized that I could have these feelings for the rest of my life. The thing I need to do now, is just work as hard as I can with all that I have now. We don't go back to the past. So we need to live in the now, doing as President Monson says, and 'find joy in the journey.' Does it seem like it's been a year to all of you back home? To me, it's a big blur. A big blur that flies through my head, but a blur that I can pause and see individual experiences and periods of growth. In a way it seems like a lifetime... at least a lifetime of growth. And to think that there's more. It's amazing. Do we do this work for God? Or does God let us do this work? I think it's the second one. God lets us do this. He lets us be a part of His grace and His miracles, if we want to. We are all shears, the field is white already to harvest, and it's our choice to be sharp and a good cutter, or not so sharp. If this work was a baseball game... would we be the hitter? No, we're the bat. Of course God is the hitter. But he chooses us, and lets us be His tool in working miracles. Of which, I am so grateful.

This week was good. Yesterday we had two sacrament meetings and three hour programs for church. The first one in the morning at 9:00 am was our normal meeting, then at 1:00 pm there was a program for all of the single adults in the stake. After that at 5:30 pm, there was a nice fireside, in which President Budge spoke. During the second program’s Sunday School hour we were able to get out for just under an hour to dendo (in our kappas because it was raining,) but other than that we were at the church from about 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.  Ejima  san, an investigator we're working with, was there for the same time! He loves church so much. His mother and sister are against Christianity... but he has a sincere desire to be baptized.

After the second program ended at 4:00 pm, I interviewed one of the Sister missionaries’ investigators, Chin san, for baptism. She's from China and has been in Japan for only about two months. She studied Japanese in China so she speaks pretty well. Anyway, she's ready to be baptized. They are planning on the sixth of next month, so it's really nice that we were able to get the interview done two weeks in advance. She asked me to baptize her, and it's always extremely humbling to use the Priesthood. It might be hard to explain, but I really love the baptismal prayer in Japanese. It goes, "Watashi ha Iesu Kirisuto yori kennou wo uketa node Onchichi to Onko to Seirei no minna ni yotte anata ni baputesuma wo hodokoshimasu." Literally translated, with the grammatical order switched to that of English, "Because I have received authority like that of Jesus Christ, I baptize you through the name of The Father, The Son, and The Spirit. Amen." To say, "Because I have received authority like that of Jesus Christ," brings a reverence and humility unmatched.

Earlier in the week, on Thursday, we were able to hear from Elder Aoyagi of the Seventy. He toured the mission, and held three conferences. The final of the three was for our zone along with two others, and was held at the church here in Urawa. I was selected along with a bunch of other missionaries to be interviewed by him prior to the start of the conference. It began at 10:30 am, but Elder Kim and I were at the church at 7:10 am because my interview was scheduled for 8:00 am. He actually lives in Chiba-ken (the prefecture in which Inage, my first area, is) and he had us over for dinner while I was serving there. I don't think he remembered me, but we had a great interview. He's such a kind and loving person. It's really so amazing to see how 'good' General Authorities are. I understand that they are human, etc., but they are living examples of how life is when you honestly strive to live the gospel as perfectly as you possibly can. I don't think that anyone could sincerely say that they wouldn't want the happiness of a General Authority or The First Presidency. Their lives are not perfect, I wouldn't doubt that they're far from easy, but their personal testimonies of our Savior provide them with such a strong foundation of peace and joy! Note, that we can have a testimony just as strong as well. The pattern has been set forth, it's called the Gospel. And it's extremely clear and simple. In other words, we have the very simple map that leads to TRUE joy, happiness, and peace!

Thank you mom for the Lasagna recipe. We shopped for the ingredients today. It was hard to find some of them, and we never ended up finding cottage cheese, but I think it'll be okay. I'm planning on trying to make it this Wednesday because it's Sister Silva’s (serving here in Urawa) birthday, and her favorite food is Lasagna. We'll see how it goes.

By the way, it's late, but could you call Kauluwehi and wish her a happy birthday for me? I didn't forget, I just couldn't email on the 20th. Thank you so much.

Anyway, do you have any questions about how things are going? Do you have a list of the Korean things you know of or want to know about? I could ask my companion about them. All in all, everything is great here. For all of you who haven't heard, missionary work is the best!!!

Thank you all for your amazing love and support!! I really love you so much!!!
-Elder Rindlisbacher

No comments:

Post a Comment