Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Week 56 - Nov. 6, 2012

The holiday season is underway! How is everyone doing? I'm sure there's a lot going on.
There are so many miracles happening here, it has been a great week!

We had two conferences since my last email. This past Thursday we had the three-zone conference, which was really good and focused mostly on communication skills. Then we had a new missionary/trainer conference today (Tuesday.) They were both a lot of fun, and I always learn more about how much we always need to improve!

We lacked a little in finding new investigators last week, but were able to fix that and find a bunch of new investigators and a few potential investigators this week. There were many times throughout the week when I just felt like the roads were completely prepared for us. I was on companionship exchange with an Elder Roberts (from Canada) this past Friday, and the roads were just completely prepared. We spent about 2.5 to 3 hours walking to a member’s home, calling out to every single male along the way... and it just seemed like we were talking with prepared person after prepared person the entire way.

We got to the members home, Ishihara-kyodai, and we felt the spirit as soon as he opened the door. He has so much faith. As soon as we sat down he began relating to us about his neighbor who he wants to share the gospel with so badly. The prayer of Alma in Alma 31:34-36, "O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee. Now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words, that he clapped his hands upon all them who were with him. And behold, as he clapped his hands upon them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit." was his attitude and feelings exactly. He's 70 years old and was baptized 10 years ago as of 11/3/12. He goes to the temple every week and performs baptisms for the dead. He has a goal of 50,000 baptisms before he turns 74. He shared his conversion story with us, testifying especially of how much his baptism means to him. His life has been completely changed through Christ.

As far as a few of our progressing investigators now, we have a baptismal interview with Ozeki-san this Wednesday (tomorrow.) If he does well with that and Bishop Uemura can meet with his father, he will be baptized this Saturday the 10th. It's exciting, I really love him, and want him to have all of the blessings of the gospel. Another investigator, Suzuki-san, is doing great. We had a lesson with him Sunday - Bishop and Ishihara-kyodai joined us. Suzuki-san has been smoking for the past 26 years, and was at 30-40 cigarettes per day before this lesson. Ishihara-kyodai, who smoked for 36 years before being baptized, shared his conversion story and testimony, and Bishop gave him a priesthood blessing. Suzuki-san resolved to quit from that moment on. We've been in contact with him a lot since then, and he's holding strong (about 55 hours now.) We will be working hard with him.

Saturday night we visited and met with Takazawa-kyoudai, who we thought was a less-active member. Bishop Uemura gave us his name last week Sunday. We visited and met him, became his friends, and invited him to church. He said he would, and we were super excited! We found out tonight at a mogi (role-play) lesson with a member family, that the Takazawa-kyoudai that we met with and who came to church was actually the younger brother of the less-active Takazawa-kyoudai, and hasn't been baptized. The miracle we thought was a less-active returning to inactivity, was actually a non-member coming to church - who we can work with to be baptized... hopefully causing his less-active older brother to return to activity!

The mogi lesson with the family was great. I always like having mogi lessons without the members taking the role of investigators. I feel like it's always a lot better when they're just themselves, and we teach them as themselves. They bring up their real concerns and their real questions, and we work to answer them through the spirit. So we asked this family to just be themselves. The lesson definitely didn't go like a normal investigator lesson, but it was definitely filled with the spirit, and their faith was strengthened along with our teaching abilities.

It's been a great week. Elder Healy and are doing well and having a lot of fun. Writing simple accounts of miracles is a lot easier than conveying the feeling(s) brought by them. Like the Bible Dictionary says, "Miracles do not produce faith... although miracles often confirm one's faith." My faith has been so strongly confirmed this week.

Something interesting I kind of learned/realized more yesterday as I studied, is that 'knowledge does not insure salvation.' I think these two New Testament scriptures illustrate the point very well:
Luke 4:41, a scripture from when Christ was casting out devils (actual spirits, followers of Satan.) They knew He was the Christ; They had that knowledge, "And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ."
And Matt. 16:15-16, Christ speaking with Peter, "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Peter said essentially the same thing that the devils did, but there's no question as to which received salvation. Salvation is a lot more than having knowledge. It's not an easy thing, as it requires faith and works. But, I know that by working diligently to follow Christ and live His commandments, we feel more peace and joy than at any other time. The constant 
companionship of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, is such a peaceful feeling.

Anyway, we're just having a really great time here. You guys all have a great week! I love you so much!!!!

-Elder Rindlisbacher

No comments:

Post a Comment