Monday, January 14, 2013

Week 66 - January 14, 2013
Aloha Family!
It's been a good week in Hibarigaoka. How have you all been back home? It snowed like crazy today – probably about 5 inches. Many members said it was the most they've seen here in Hibarigaoka. Hibarigaoka's pretty much right in Tokyo, and it normally doesn't snow much. We also had a great mochi-tsuki taikai today. Elder Call and I were at the church from about 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, making mochi (basically pounding special rice), visiting with many members and non-members, and enjoying a few musical performances. We're still counting the numbers,
but I'd guess that there were about 20 non-members in attendance. In between rounds of making mochi we ran outside and played in the snow a little. We had a great time; I love Hibarigaoka ward so much.

I went on exchange with our district leader, Elder Coleman, this past Monday to Tuesday. He's a great missionary, very hardworking and full of love. We went on exchange when he and I were both brand new missionaries (he had been in Japan about a month and I about two). We had a lot of fun then, and were able to have a great time again. We had a decent amount of time to be out on the streets finding new people, and found an investigator and a few potential investigators,
one of which became an investigator the next day when we gave her a call. We also had a good lesson with another investigator.

While on exchange we met a Russian lady (I'd guess one of probably about two in the entire city) named Natasha. She's married to a Japanese man and they have a four year old half-Japanese, half-Russian daughter. She doesn't speak English, and it was really interesting talking with a gaijin (foreigner) in Japanese. I'm sure many of the Japanese people walking by thought it was weird. Anyway, we were able to get her phone number and call her the next day to meet her for a
little with her daughter. We're hoping we can begin lessons soon.

Elder Call and I are continuing to work hard to get our investigators and potential investigators to progress more. We and the sister missionaries also received a bunch of referrals yesterday at church from members. Three of the referrals are part-member less-active families. Hibarigaoka ward is so full of faith and fire to share this wonderful gospel.

Elder Call is great. He is hardworking and a very likeable person. He knows how to smile and laugh in any situation.

During this morning’s study I thought a lot about desire, studied the scriptures and read a few talks from General Authorities. I'd like to share some insights. I'll start with a few good  scriptures:

Doctrine and Covenants 137:9
“For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their  hearts.”

Jeremiah 17:10
“I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

Alma 29:4
“I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.”

One talk I read was entitled, “The Success Formula of Section 4”  by Sterling W. Sill. It breaks down Doctrine and Covenants Section 4. Here's a portion of the talk, about the last verse of the section, for you to think about. Think about the worth of all that we have in this gospel:

“Suppose that we had unlimited funds and were asked to pay for our blessings. What would be a fair price for repentance if you couldn't repent? How much would it be worth to live forever in the celestial kingdom, if you had already been consigned elsewhere? How much would you be willing to pay to get your family back, if they were eternally lost? Try to imagine a fair price for the priesthood, or a godly character, or eternal progression, or eternal increase. What would be
your appraisal of the value of a celestial body, a celestial mind, a celestial personality, a chance to live forever on celestial earth with celestial friends and loved ones?

These and a thousand other things have been provided for us. And what do these traits of godliness and intelligence cost us? Just “ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.””

Here's a quote from Elder Neal A. Maxwell:
“It is up to us. God will facilitate, but He will not force.”

And a quote from President Brigham Young:
 “Do you think that people will obey the truth because it is true, unless they love it? No, they will not” We should ask each other sometimes, “Do you love the gospel?” Because if we do not absolutely love it, we won't absolutely follow it. Like it says in the second verse of D&C 4, we need to have our entire heart, might, mind, and strength in it.

I love you all so much! Keep the faith. Live the gospel. Talk with God openly and freely every day. The church is true!

Elder Rindlisbacher

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