Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekly mushi mushi Mail

This week has been the hardest of my mission so far, but don't worry, because at the end of next month this email will say 'this month has been the best of my life so far.'

Here is an experience,

At one point earlier in the week, I felt like I was going to burn out. I had never put so much energy, time, thought and prayer in to someone, who (at that time) seemed like she might not continue progressing. Our other progressing investigator pulled out of our appointments, and didn't come to church, and we haven't met with her in over a week now.
I feel like I have grown to learn a little the way the Lord works with me, so discouragement was not an option!
We met with a lady who has been praying and reading for weeks, since my second week when we first met her (but have been unable to visit her). She has a baptisimal date for next month now, and I know this Gospel will fit her every need, specifically her want to grow closer to God, and, in her own words, "be saved."

The witness doesn't come until after the trial of faith, I have a testimony of that for sure!

So yeah, lots happening here. My Japanese still sucks. And today is transfer calls, so excuse me while I go throw up from being nervous as I always am.

Photos: Two of our members we visited, way cool.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weekly ...okay I'm running out of titles here Mail

Super quick update!
Progressing investigators! Baptismal dates! I don't know what to write! But I'm ecstatic!

We had a talent show which was super fun, and our new progressing investigator - her two kids came and performed a song from Frozen, it was way cool! So basically we are moving towards our goal, and right now we have two really solid people, one with a family, both praying and reading frequently. I know as they continue God will answer their prayers, and the change they are undergoing to grow closer to Him is beautiful and really keeps me excited for their future! It's wonderful to see these people change their lives from one normality to much more. The blessings Christ's gospel brings is so evident in these people alone.

We have a young lady who now has a baptismal date for next month, and a mother of a family who, even though we are terrible teachers and can't speak Japanese, continues to accept our commitments and even came to Church - because she can feel something different, something that she hasn't really felt before. She wants to know for sure before we set a baptisimal date, but has already changed from her normal self to someone changeable by God in just a week.

Thank you for all your prayers! This is the greatest work, I love it.

I didn't really take any photos this week, but we had a talent show so here is Elder Cope playing the ukelelelelewhatever and my companion and a member doing some sweet song that makes me cry every day. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekly I'vebeenoutforsevenmonthsalreadyhelp Mail

Nobeoka! The land of miracles;
 Someone we taught as a referral of a referral a few weeks ago can't meet with us because she is in a hospital way away, but she messaged our member and said she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day since - and she just started reading it from the beginning.
 We had a lesson with a lady called Umeda, it was our second time and she is a student of our free English class - she too decided to start reading the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We invited her to be baptised next month, but first she wants to read!
 We wanted to find a family, so we found one that was pretty uninterested but said we could come back. We fasted, and a few days later when we went there - they were waiting for us! The youngest daughter made Elder Culverwell and I a little present! She wrapped up a little keychain sort of thing in paper which she drew a picture on (one of the photos below). It is of her and her family saying 'Ah! A real australian!' and I'm the big one with the yellow shirt, saying 'I am from Australia.' Had a crazy good lesson with the Mum - who even made us dinner before we arrived! Invited her to be baptised and she said 'well what do I do?' and she is beginning to read the Book of Mormon and really wants to pray about it. She gave the closing prayer in our lesson and she was very sincere, and we have another appointment with her on Tuesday.

The only way for this work to really go ahead is through miracles, and I'm praying for them and seeing them every day!

I know it probably doesn't sound like much to a lot of you, but this week Elder Culverwell and I set a goal for 5 baptisms next month. We have been fasting and praying and working harder than ever to prepare for this, to find people, to really help people feel the Spirit testify to them of the truthfulness of this message - through reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. Our goal for this month is to have 5 baptisimal dates. It's a big goal, and only achievable through miracles, faith and the hardest of work.

This is a wonderful work and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
Also had lunch with a member, had the Japan-famous Nobeoka chickan namban.. dericious!

Investigator in previous area baptised!

Nakamichi, the investigator who Elder Lefrandt and I taught in Ishigaki, was baptised this last week!

In the photo attached is them and Elder Young - my replacement!

I was so happy to see, I just had to share with everyone else!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekly Miracles Letter. I know I already used that title but it applies really well!

Right now I'm in Kumamoto city, a 4 hour bus ride from our area, today we had zone conference and we get back to Nobeoka tomorrow afternoon. This week there is apparently a typhoon coming so we will be making sure to stock up on water and maybe some chocolate too!

Crazy miracles this week.
The first, we found a man while streeting, and taught him the next day (tuesday) and committed him to be baptised on the 26th of this month. Don't get too excited - we had the lesson at the Church and we had the wrong phone number. He was meant to come to another lesson two days later, but for whatever reason he never showed up. Went from feeling maybe the best I have felt on my mission so far one night, to lost and a little sick even, the next few. Lots of prayer and faith that I will learn what I am meant to from this experience - because I know the Lord only gives us what we need to learn and grow, so I hope I can see it from His perspective and learn what I am supposed to.

Maybe these two miracles are related and this is a result of the consequences of the last (not sure, still trying to figure it all out still) but we had a lesson with a member referral, named Miku. She is in her mid-20s and she brought a friend who had never met any of us. We had one of the most spiritual lessons I have been apart of in my almost 7 months of being a missionary (ahhh yeah gettin' old these days), her friend was crying and asked if she could read the Book of Mormon after we read scriptures from it, they both are interested in being baptised after learning more about it, both commited to pray every day, and Miku said the closing prayer. It was the first time they had really heard people tell them that God loves them and knows them, and wants them to be happy.. and the effect just a simple doctrine like that had on them was enormous. Miku came to Church - I fasted that she would come and have a spiritual experience and want to come again - she came, she said that she felt really good inside, and said on a number of occasions that she wants to come again.

Two different miracles, but both really built my faith this week, after weeks of goal setting and trudging on through all the kekos and rejections, trying to find that person we KNEW was being prepared for us. And Elder Culverwell and I have a really good feeling about Miku (and her friend). So yeah!

Dude my emails are so majide these days, gomen.
Here are some photos

We did these two sweet English classes were basically we just spoke English and made a bunch of students laugh for an hour and a half then took a huge photo all together, and also ate tacos with Satou Kyodai, a member in Nobeoka!