Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekly Hope & Charity Mail

What a week!

Started off the week with bad news from home, which I couldn't help but let it bring me down for a day or two, but I have a really supportive district and great friends back home who wrote to me and they helped a lot more than I think they realized.

I studied a lot about hope and charity - two things that I think I really needed this week. Reading my patriarchal blessing brought a lot of peace, along with some quotes from Preach My Gospel:
“Hope is trust in God’s promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future." "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance." "When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement."

With lots of prayer and lots of hard work, I felt like the Lord lifted me up and I was able to refocus on the work!

This scripture really brought peace to my heart, too.
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.

Hope! There's that one checked off the list. Next it was Charity. From studying this topic I thought a lot about my application of it over my mission. Before my mission I wasn't very nice and if someone where offended by what I said or did it was always a problem with them. Since becoming  missionary it was never on my agenda to "become a nicer person" until I did, and realized how much happier it made me and others (missionaries, members, investigators, friends I'm e-mailing, etc). I want to love people for who they are and let that take precedence over hating them for what they've done. Perhaps before my mission I would have chosen to hate people who hurt me, justifying it. During my
prayers I felt that times like this are good opportunities to draw closer to God by becoming more Christlike, because it's going to take a lot, and already has, to be Christlike, but I feel like the past 21
months of my mission have prepared me a lot to do it. That, and I really know I can't do this alone nor without the Gospel. That's probably the biggest lesson I have learnt on my mission.

Through study, prayer, feeling the Spirit, working hard, the support of others I feel like I've been able to come to terms with and overcome my worries that I have had recently. To put it simply, I feel better than ever!

Now for some Dendo stories! Elder Urata and I went to an appointment early in the morning to a lady who wasn't home, so we talked to some people nearby, and one lady didn't have a lot of time but she said we could return the next day. We did and taught her about God, Christ & Baptism and she was so receptive to meeting regularly and coming to Church, exchanging phone numbers, telling us her days off and the lot. We were about to make a goal, a date, for when she can be baptized but she told us about a mental issue that she has, so we decided to hold back and instead continue teaching her to see down the road if her issue will be a problem. Mental issue or not, I felt like she was who the Lord wanted us to meet at that time, and she is so kind and lovely so I hope to be able to continue telling you all about her in future emails!

We also went on companion exchanges in Nago, it reminded me a lot of my mission before coming to Okinawa city - very rural with not a lot of people. It reminded me the most of Ishigaki, my first area. Elder Lentz and I worked super hard and saw so much success. The people in Japan are super prepared, we just need to qualify for and then follow the Spirit - which is what we did, which is why it was such an enjoyable experience. I love missionary work, I'll be honest :P

Photos: Before leaving Nago early in the morning we wanted to take a group photo. Most of us are still asleep. The other two photos are our Nago adventures.

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