We've had a wonderful week here in the mission. So much has happened! Today's Monday and things that happened this past Tuesday or Wednesday feel like they were a lot longer than just six days ago! I hope everyone's been great back home. Are both Kauluwehi and Mikela back home now? I hope Keawe has a good time playing King K soon.
We had a conference for new missionaries (transfer one and two) and their companions this past Wednesday. We spent almost all of the day practicing teaching. There were about 40 missionaries in attendance and we split into groups of about four to five. We had group leaders, who were experienced trainers, zone leaders, or Elder Olson and I, who coached each group of missionaries throughout the day. We mostly practiced how to begin teaching lessons, extending the baptismal commitment, teaching the Restoration using the pamphlet, and reading the Book of Mormon with investigators. Elder Olson and I also demonstrated a bunch of ideas and tips to better find people to teach and trained a little on language (Japanese) study. We had a great time. The missionaries definitely got enough practicing in and hopefully skills have been transferred and they can begin applying them. We're blessed with wonderful young missionaries. Is Elder Hathaway still in the ward? His sister, Sister Hathaway, was at the training as she's training a new missionary now.
We had a lot of time on Friday to be out talking to people and we made a lot of friends. It's always great to get out and talk to people about the gospel. There are miracles to participate in as you exercise faith and open your mouth to everyone around you.
Church on Sunday was good. The missionaries and a few members (about 11 people total) sang in Sacrament meeting. We sang 'Nearer My God to Thee'. We had an eikaiwa student, a boy that comes to our sports night each week, and an investigator who really likes music come to hear us sing. Sunday evening we had a devotional with Brother Matthew O. Richardson, second counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, and Brother Randall L. Ridd, second counselor in the young Men's General Presidency. It's great to serve in here Kichijoji because the church building accommodates more people than any other in the country and almost all large devotionals are held here. We had a few hours to be outside talking to people before the devotional and when we got back to the church there were two Chinese people we had met on Friday waiting in the foyer. They had been shopping nearby and decided to come stop by the church, not knowing about the devotional. So they stayed with us and we also had Jett come as well. He really enjoyed it and made friends with many members and church leaders after it finished. We're going to begin planning a big inter-faith concert type thing with him and a bunch of the church leaders to be held here in Kichijoji. Hopefully it can become a regular thing. By the way mom, I wonder if you've received a call from Brother Richardson? If not, you might. We talked with him for a little after the devotional was over and he took your phone number down to possibly give you a call and say hi. The talks given were great and I took a bunch of notes.
Tomorrow we have 10 new missionaries arriving. The time between each group go by so quickly. This time, though, we're having them fly into Narita instead of Haneda so they arrive at about 2:00 pm instead of 11:00 pm. It's a farther drive than Haneda but it should be nice because we can get everyone back in time for them to interview with President and have dinner and a testimony meeting before getting to bed by 10:30 pm. Everyone won't be so tired on Wednesday that way.
I'll end with a thought from Brother Richardson at the devotional last night. He gave a great talk, I'll just share one thing he said, "If you go against what you know to be true, you will always be searching for something to fill you." I believe that's true and know that on the contrary, as we do and follow what we know to be true, we will feel peace and inner joy. For example, we know that chastity and morality is of God and true. If we separate from that, and God, we will begin a journey of trying to fill a void that can't be filled without repenting and doing what we know to be true. The days to say things like, "I'll be good in the future, a few years from now." are long gone. We need to do now what we know to be true. That brings to mind a scripture, which I shared with a recent convert of Elder Olson's we met today, D&C 59:23.
"But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come."
It's true. I know it is. I hope you all have a great week! I love you. Take care.