Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 61 - December 10, 2012
Aloha family!  
If you haven't sent the box out yet... I have a few more favors to ask. Could you also send a Sonicare Toothbrush base if you have an extra one? The one I have here just stopped working. And also a 2013 Calendar of Maui. I've been using a 2012 one that the Hanohano's sent me while I was in the MTC, but now we're about to begin a new year.

Anyway, I hope you're all doing great!! As for us in Hibarigaoka, we had an amazing week and an especially great Sunday!

This past Tuesday I went on exchange with Elder Larson (2nd transfer missionary.) We taught an investigator, Masaki-san, a lesson on the Atonement that went really well. We also met a really old lady while Housing (going door-to-door) who asked us to teach her about Christ, so
we've referred her to the Sisters. We also met another man, Toda-san, who came to our Sunday morning eikaiwa yesterday. Elder Larson is a great young missionary - not hesitant to talk to anyone despite just beginning to learn Japanese. He's really on top of things, and we really had a great time together.

Yesterday, we had Johnson, Damian, and Richard - three Camaroonians - in Sacrament meeting, with a member translating. We found Johnson our second week in the area and have been teaching him since. Damian and Richard are two of his friends. We also met a Nigerian man, Kingsley, at the eki later in the day who said he had heard of us and will be coming to church this Sunday. The good word is spreading amongst the Africans in Hibarigaoka!

After church we met with Uemura-san, a new eikaiwa student, for a shokai lesson. He said he has interest in commandments (the first time I've had someone interested in commandments on their first lesson,) so we have an appointment this next Sunday to teach him some!

After Uemura-san's lesson we met Takahashi-shimai (a member of another ward) and Tanabe-san (a man she met last week and introduced the gospel to) at the station, went to the church for a tour, and taught the Restoration. Tanabe-san is a really good guy, who seems a little busy, but is very willing to begin to take lessons and learn about Christ! He isn't too excited to read the Book of Mormon as he doesn't enjoy reading, but he seems to really love prayer. He says he'll do his best to be in church this upcoming Sunday.

We met with Ozeki-san tonight and taught him more about repentance. His baptismal date was for this past Saturday, but we have yet to meet with his father. He's 20 years old, legally able to be baptized without parental permission, but we along with bishop would like to meet his father first.

You asked about giving to Christ this Christmas. Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier, but it's interesting the ward did that because this Christmas every missionary in the mission actually wrote a letter to Christ, telling Him what they were going to give for Him. My letter was all about being a peacemaker. Basically, developing into the person described in Moroni 7:45. And I actually trained at this past district meeting on love, so it's been a focus of a lot of my studies lately. Maybe you can use this for a family home evening or something, but here's parts of my training:

This transfer I've begun every district meeting with 10 minutes just about Christ. This past meeting was really basic and focused on His birth:

Foretold by prophets of old - Isaiah 7:14; 9:6
On the American Continent - Mosiah 3:5; 7-8
Then came the night - Luke 2:10-11
Wise Men - Matthew 2:2...and thus began the spirit of giving. 

I had asked Elder Healy beforehand to bear a quick testimony on Christ, so he did then.Then I've always had a minute of quiet time to ponder Christ, and another minute to just be especially grateful for everything. Christ feels our joys and our sorrows, so why not be especially grateful and happy, for him!

We continued with a quick discussion on what love is, and I like one-liners, so I shared four I've heard President Budge say, along with some study references I found:
"Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care." (and see it) PMG Pg.185, 1st paragraph.
"'Trustworthy' is a word, 'loveworthy' is not. Everyone is worthy of your love." PMG Pg.118, 2nd paragraph.
"The opposite of love = lazy. It takes work and effort." PMG Pg.121, Pres. Benson Quote.
"The great destroyer of unity is pride." Proverbs 13:10; Mosiah 4:11-12.

Then Moroni 7:45, "And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

That might seem like a tall order. Maybe it makes you ask yourself, "Am I long-suffering? Am I kind? Am I humble? Do I think of others first? Do I hold my temper?" But, we must remember, that charity is a gift. These attributes are not simply a to-do list. They are a description of how we will be when we are in full possession of the gift. The gift which comes from Christ, and through His Atonement. Charity is not something we necessarily develop; It is something we receive, something we are 'bestowed.'

So how? How do we receive it? Continue reading, Moroni 7:48, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure." Pray. Ask in faith. 

I had asked Elder Larson beforehand to testify on love, so he did that then.

And we continued more on how to receive the gift of charity with 1 Timonthy 1:5 (Paul explaining when God blessed us with charity,) "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:"
Pure heart - righteous desires
Clear conscience - repentant
Faith - when we believe steadfastly in Christ's Atonement - it's power to change us, and it's power to change anyone. 

So according to Paul, when we have those three things, we receive the blessing described in Epheisans 3:17, 19, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love... And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might
be filled with the fulness of God." THE FULNESS OF GOD!

Love changes everything. When you truly love, everything is changed! Because, I believe, your attiude, your frame of mind, is exactly as it should be. We ended the meeting with a discussion on how we can all be better, and made sure that we would be accountable for the things we
committed to do (I'm following-up with each district member daily.)

Anyway, back to being a peacemaker... I really just want to be as it says in 3 Nephi 12:9 and Matthew 5:9, "blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." - I want to be, and am willing to work towards, truly being called a child of God. I am working to be as loving as you, dad. And I want to be as my Father in Heaven. Maybe you can take some time to look at a family picture. We all kind of look alike, and we have many of the same attributes. As children we're always looking up to you, mom and dad, and trying to be like you. And we have the potential to be. Now imagine our Father in Heaven. I'm sure we look like him and have some of the same attributes. And we definitely have the potential to become like him!! That is so true!!

I hope you've all had a great week. I hope everyone's safe and enjoying this wonderful Christmas Season. I love you all so very much! Take care, and have a great week!

Elder Rindlisbacher

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