Dear Family and Friends,
How are you? Are you well? I hear from many of you, and I know you
read these, so I'm so happy!
Happy week! We had Elder Nelson here with us, and that was great. Talk
about being in the Book of Mormon times when King Benjamin or Jacob,
or Alma and Amulek stood in front of crowds and taught doctrine! I
love it. I have been personally so blessed to see and hear so many of
the Quorum of the Twelve speak to us as missionaries. While I was at
the MTC, Elder Anderson, President Dieter F Uchtdorf came, and while
I've been here in the field, Elder Quentin L Cook, Elder M Russell
Ballard, and Elder Russell M Nelson have visited us, and what a
blessing it is to hear from them. Not because of what they are, but
because of their character. Who they are. You know they hold authority
when they walk into the room. The Spirit testifies of it.
The intent of the conference was for us as missionaries to have a
reset. It is time for us to commit ourselves to being Disciples of the
Lord Jesus Christ in the digital age. Our mission has been, up until
now, a test group for using technology for missionary work. iPads, and
other applications, such as Facebook, have all been a part of that.
The church leaders have decided to open this up to more areas, and we
are no longer testing the iPads, we will be using them. However, there
are more reasons for this than just advancing missionary work. The
main goal, they directed, was to ensure that missionaries are trained
on how to learn to properly use technology, not only well, but
worthily. It was so crucial that when missionaries go home, they know
how to be in the world, even the world with all of its technological
advances, but not of the world. Staying safe from the evils of
Pornography, and protecting ourselves from the temptations of the
We will be giving up Facebook for a while, as long as our mission
We will learn under the care of our mission president, :) which I am
looking forward to. There are so many awesome things about this week.
The blessings he promised, though we're strong and clear. He blessed
us with a thirst and a hunger for the knowledge of God, that we would
be able to apply those teachings, becoming an example that attracts
others to the Lord. He blessed us with safety and success, and to be
obedient. And after we return home, he blessed us to continue as
missionaries among those who are most dear to us, and for those
missionaries who have health problems, and for those missionaries
whose families are struggling with health, he gave a blessing of
healing and health, consistent with the Lord's will.
How grateful I am for the Priesthood, and the blessing it is in my
life, and in the whole world! What a great thing!
Well, let me tell you, I love Shonan Ward. I think it is so amazing.
They have fun activities, and they desire to do missionary work. It is
smaller than many wards in America, but it is still so great. One
sister just made it back from her mission. She was sooo nice! She
immediately came to the Relief Society activity the next day, and
that's where we met. She was kind as she asked about how the work is
going here. I want to be a missionary like her. She spoke about her
areas on her mission, and spoke about how each one of the
investigators were so awesome. And she spoke on how she really learned
to rely on God, and how she saw miracles.
Wow. I want to be like that, too!
We also had Zone Conference, and my companion and I were called on to
give a training. Teaching lessons on the street. Not a lot of
preparation time, but we got the training ready, and we actually were
given 45 minutes. Wow! Lots of time. I hope I learned from the
training. If there's nothing I learned from the conference, it's at I
need to listen more, I need to be kind, and I need to do less talking
during trainings, but allow them to role play more, to practice. Whoa.
What a difference.
There was a particular training on handling stress, and about
companionship. The mental health advisor for the mission gave this
training. When we were asked a question, "if your companion was upset,
and (I don't remember the whole question, but it was a very realistic
question. Along the lines of stress, I think) What would you do?" And
there were many answers. Then one Elder raised his hand, and said,
"they probably just need a little space, so it would be good to just
let them be for a bit" and the adviser giving the training was a
little taken aback, "you mean you wouldn't do anything?" When the
Elder confirmed the response, and gave a reasonable answer, the
medical adviser called him to the front, and asked to put his hand out
and hold it there. As he held his hand in the air, the Medical Adviser
grabbed his tie, and holding scissors in the other hand, cut the tie
straight off, and then excuse the Elder to be seated. The elder looked
so dejected. I was shocked! The Medical Adviser continued on with the
training, but then his wife called him out for it, and said, "that was
not a nice thing to do." After a few moments of awkward silence, and
there was quite the intense feeling in the air, but he called the
Elder back up to the front, and said, "you know, we never want to
leave on these bad feelings. Elder, whose tie is that?" And to
everyone's surprise, the Elder responded, "yours." "Well, Elder, then
where is your tie?" And then the Elder who had his tie cut pulled two
ties out of his pockets, one had been his own, and the other was a
gift from the medical advisor, just because he had agreed to be a part
of this. If I learned anything, it's that I never want to leave
someone alone, to let them cool off, especially if they're stressed.
They need to know we love them, and just letting them be will not be
enough to show our love. We have to talk it out. And then, the Spirit
will be there as we resolve concerns with love.
Lately, we've been dealing with trials of the adversary. The last
three days have been rough. Our relationship has been on the rocks a
little, we have run out of time for all the mountains of things we
have to do, and we are just tired, and stressed, and I know on my end
there was a little pride. Well, you know, there's really no reason for
us to be that way. We just need to show love, and accept it where it's
given. We both have concluded that intense trails come when something
amazing is about to happen. And it did!
Last night, wow! We had a lesson with a part member family, which was
superb. We were able to listen with love. I wish all lessons could be
like that, all of the time.
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."