Sometimes General Conference reminds me of this song, and how I used to randomly sing it everywhere I went at college, in the snow, rain, or even in the evening! I would change the words to match the setting, but it would always be beautiful.
Dear family and friends,
First of all, I'd like to let you all know that we will be safe in our apartments tonight when the storm hits. President Wada has informed us all to be inside by six o'clock tonight, and not to leave our apartments until six in the morning tomorrow.
So, fun days in Japan. Apparently, we will have 19 typhoons this year! This is a lot of fun, though, because the rain comes, but I especially like the wind. Last time, one of the elders showed us the picture of the typhoon from satellite, and that's when I made the clear distinction that typhoons are the exact same thing as hurricanes. .. Although I knew it, I'm not sure if I had pictures the weather to look like a hurricane from satellite, I guess. Just rain and wind.. but I guess that's what typhoons are all about!
So, news for the missionary work. We, as mostly American missionaries, have been asked by our ward to plan a Halloween Party, as American as possible. Last week, on Sunday we had a meeting, and my companion ended up explaining a lot of it, since she knew what we were saying in English, and could translate it into Japanese. I learned a lot from that meeting. So, yeah, here's our plan for the activity!
We will, instead of a chili contest, be having a mabodofu contest! Mabodofu is a dish with tofu in it. It is really easy to make, and so, I'm looking forward to it. We have a costume contest, and mummy wrapping, pumpkin carving, and of course, trunk or treat. This is the first time Kofu Ward has done this kind of activity I believe, and so there's a lot going on with the planning!
Yesterday, I asked the relief society president what she needed help with, and she gave me a very clear list of things to do! I am so grateful for ward members who are so willing to help the missionaries!
Sometimes, Japanese can throw you off guard, when you don't know how to use it properly. I won't go into too much detail, but let's just say, we were at a members' home, sharing a spiritual thought, asking if they had anyone they knew that would benefit from learning the gospel. They shared their feelings about sharing the gospel, and we know this family loves missionaries. So I wanted to say that I was moved by their kindness for missionaries, but I accidentally said a vey offensive word. My companion, who was sitting next to me was trying to figure out what on earth I was trying to say, but didn't tell me until a couple days later that I had made the mistake, and that the sister we were sharing the message with was trying so hard not to laugh!
So, today's RPLA. I was thinking about fear today, while praying before personal study, and felt impressed to study the account of the Savior walking on water, as found in Matthew 14:24-33.
24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
This is what I studied, and wrote down. As it applies to me, so have I written. But as you ponder and apply this to your own life, you will find that scriptures can be so powerful.
The people on the boat were struggling. The wind was contrary, and they were on the sea. They saw a man walking on water, and feared. But Jesus immediately told them to be of good cheer.
Why of good cheer? Is it because Christ has the power to save them from the storm they were now facing? Be not afraid, for I have power to rescue you.
Peter, why did you go out to meet the Lord on the water?
Wanted to be like Christ. Show faith. Couldn't wait for the Lord to come all the way to the boat before he wanted to run out to meet Him?
But he went, and at first, showed much faith, and walked on water. He did what seemed impossible, and began to go toward Christ, with a strong determination to meet Him on the water.
But then he realized his surroundings. He was surrounded by a storm. And when this happened, he let fear come in, and felt unable to go forward. And, his faith overcome by fear, he lost the ability to walk on the water, and sank.
The waves high, Peter relied on the only One he knew could save him. "Lord, save me!"
Immediately, the Savior reached down, and pulled Peter up, out of the water.
And asked the question, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
They returned to the ship and the wind ceased. The sea calmed, everyone safe, they acknowledged the Savior as the Son of God.
On a mission how am I similar to Peter?
I wanted to follow Christ, and so I came on a mission. I stepped out onto the water. I was full of faith, and knew that God would help me as I searched for His children that were ready for the Gospel. I said to Heavenly Father, if this be the true church, wilt thou bid me come unto thee and baptize many?
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ said to come. And I came on my mission.
The first part was easy. At the MTC, I kept my thoughts and actions on the Savior. I wanted to become like Christ. And He strengthened me. Taught me. And I did many things through the Spirit, and had many amazing experiences.
But then I made it to Japan. I didn't speak the language well enough to understand everything people were saying. I didn't know the culture very well. My companion's personality was completely different from mine. As I began to notice these things, I began to fear.
Then, I began to sink. Slowly, but surely, I sank. My mission fire decreased significantly, and I lost confidence. Then , I've cried out, "Lord, save me!" And He has reached down many times to pull me back up. No matter how many times it takes.
At General Conference, a man spoke about facing towards the Savior.
And not toward men. "[Missionaries] do not represent the people to the [Lord] but the [Lord] to the people."
We must not seek to satisfy men. But we must look to God for what He would have us do. And then, we will know that what we are doing will bring us true happiness.
So, in Kofu, there are so many people from different countries! We have so many here! And my companion has really great power when it comes to them!
The only problem is when they don't speak any English or any Japanese.... You try talking to them in Spanish... Then you realize that your two years in Spanish class didn't teach you much vocabulary, but they taught us grammar! We met a couple going to Mt Fuji on the train two days ago, but we're so unable to talk to them! Sad day. 頑張ったのに！(even though we tried so hard!)
That's ok, though. The sisters in Takao found a really potential investigator!! They told us about her today, and I'm really excited!
Well, that's about all! Love you all!
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."