Week 75 - March 19, 2013
This transfer's coming close to an end, so we were able to attend a session at the temple this morning. The temple is always great.
Time is definitely flying by. Hibarigaoka is doing great. We're working hard and seeing miracles every day. The Lord is in the work!
About a month ago we met a 17 year-old high school student on the street. We had district meeting the day before and were given a quick training on different ways to introduce The Book of Mormon. One of the ways was to show the picture of Joseph Smith in The Book of Mormon and to ask if they knew who he was, making teaching about the Restoration very easy. That was something I did a little as a younger missionary but not so much lately. Anyway, the day after that district meeting we had just 10 minutes between study and weekly planning time to go outside and find new people to teach. We'd been outside for about five minutes when we met the high school student, Kawashima-san. We talked with him for a little, and took from the training we had received the day before and showed him the picture of Joseph Smith in The Book of Mormon, asking if he had ever seen him before. We were able to explain and testify of the Restoration of the Gospel and its importance. He was really interested and asked if he could take a Book of Mormon. He was busy, however, with a bunch of tests as well as a school trip coming up. We took an appointment for almost a month in advance. That appointment was this past week Thursday. Despite being so far in advance, he came, we showed him around the church a little and then taught him the Restoration. The lesson went great. He had already been reading the Book of Mormon, but because he didn't know very much about it or what it was, he had been having a hard time understanding it. After teaching him all about the Restoration he had an amazing desire to know if it was true. He committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray earnestly every day. We taught him the Gospel of Christ, emphasizing the blessings of baptism, and he said he would OF COURSE be baptized when he felt it was true. He's preparing for April 14th. He gave the closing prayer for the lesson and the spirit was very strong. Our next lesson is set for tomorrow, and it's looking like spring break's about to begin for him so he'll have a lot of time to take lessons. Also, Erina, one of the sister's investigators, is also 17 years old and preparing to be baptized this next Sunday. Kawashima-san's attendance at the service will be great for helping him to feel the spirit.
A week ago, last Tuesday, Elder Call and I went on exchange with Elder Crowther and Kowalski, two of the three Assistants to the President. Myself with Elder Crowther and Elder Call with Elder Kowalski, we had a great time. Elder Crowther and I worked a lot on 'how to begin teaching', especially in finding situations. In other words, trying to build relationships of trust quickly with people on the street as well as outline what we're doing and set expectations. You can read chapter 10 in PMG to know more. We learned a lot together, and will actually probably train the mission sometime in the future on some of it. The other companionship, Elder Call and Kowalski, had an appointment for a mogi (role-play) lesson in the evening with a member. They ended up meeting someone during the day that wanted to go to dinner with them, so they called us asking if we could do the mogi lesson for them. The lesson was scheduled for 6:30 pm and we got to the church early around 6:05 pm. We debated whether we should take some time to plan the lesson, or stay outside for 10-15 more minutes to try to talk to more people. We decided to stay outside and talk to more people. Up until this point we had worked very hard and seen some success in getting phone numbers, but no new investigators (people setting specific dates to meet again.) Well we walked down the street calling out to everyone. I stopped a guy about to walk into a bookstore and Elder Crowther stopped a young boy walking by. We normally stop people together but this time we stopped two separate people for some reason. The young boy Elder Crowther stopped didn't have much interest, but a guy in his 20's walked by just after he finished talking with the boy. Apparently he didn't really stop the guy, they just kind of looked at each other and started talking. While this is going on I'm talking to the guy who was heading into the bookstore. He had received a Book of Mormon near another church about five years ago and had read a little but didn't really remember anything about it. He accepted my offer to meet the next day and talk about some parts in the book I really like. After talking with him Elder Crowther was still talking with the guy in his 20's. We ended up walking with him back to the church for a really quick tour. The member we were planning on having the mogi lesson with showed up with another member who works with him and instead of a mogi lesson we had a real lesson with the person we had just met on the street. He actually lives in the Mission Home's area (right next to ours,) so the AP's are working with him.
Other than that, we've had great times and made good memories with members at meal appointments, etc. I love these people. Transfers are coming up next week, hopefully we all stay in Hibarigaoka for a while longer.
How are Mikela's cheer competitions going? I'll resend the emails to Keawe, I think I sent them to another email address. I think I remember Kaipo Ho. That's great news that he'll be serving a mission. How's his family doing? Have they ever attended church or anything with him? I wonder which MTC Keoni will be going to and how long he'll be there. I loved my MTC experience and I'm sure he'll have a great time too. What are he and Sala already doing to prepare?
That's scary news about Doug Birch. I hope he's doing okay.
Is there a time limit on that weight-loss challenge thing?
I read a talk a little while ago about a verse in the Book of Mormon I really like, 2 Nephi 5:27. We've used it as a message for members as we've visited homes this past week. Maybe you can talk about it at family home evening or something.
2 Nephi 5:27 is very short and reads, “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.” This is just after Nephi and his family separate themselves from Laman, Lemuel, and their families. We can look through chapter 5 at the events preceding this verse to learn as to why they were happy:
The importance of family and good family relations is reiterated in verse 6, “Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words.”
Verse 10 is about righteousness, “And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.”
Verse 11 highlights a few key points, “And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.” 'And the Lord was with us.' They had the spirit with them. And interestingly enough, I think plants and animals also contribute to happiness.
Some is written about the importance of scriptures in verse 12, “And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by the hand of the Lord, according to that which is written.”
Verse 14 talks about preparation and shows the peace and happiness that comes from being prepared. There are many things we have to prepare for in our day. “And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children and those who were called my people.”
15 and 17, detail the importance of hard work (using our hands,) “And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands.”
The great importance of temples is shown in verse 16, “And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.”
And church service in verse 26, “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did consecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they should be priests and teachers over the land of my people.”
And thus we see that Nephi and his people 'lived after the manner of happiness.' In response to verse 10 especially, on righteousness, there's a quote I like. I'm not sure who said it, but it goes
something like, “You can't break the commandments. You can only break yourselves against the commandments.”
I love you all so much!!! I promise you that the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is happiness! The pattern of living happily is outlined throughout the pages of the Book of Mormon! Read it every day! Even if you don't understand much, or even anything for that matter, it will fill your life and the home with a special spirit. Have a great week!