Glad you are feeling better and still managing to stay on top of everything!
Yes we watched general conference this weekend! We watched the Saturday sessions in Misawa at church, then the Sunday ones just in our apartment in Towada. What an amazing conference! All the changes are truly inspired. I love how the focus is on people—we use the phrase “teach people, not lessons” all the time as missionaries, and it seems like everything is heading more and more in that direction, to minister to and love individuals instead of just checking boxes and to-do lists.
Glad Grayson is becoming a skillful MC! Haha what a stud. And that’s fun you got to be in Provo...is Maddy going to join the Ballroom Dance team? Hope she gets into Heritage! If the waiting list doesn’t work out then she can come study at my apartment anytime, haha.
This week has been good here, we had some surprise snow!! First it was rain, then hail, the turned into snow. I couldn’t believe it was April, we were out in our scarves and coats and hats, haha. But I think that was the last snowstorm...probably. We had a lot of new English class students this week! One friend of one of our investigators came and brought her kids. Our next door neighbor also said she had a friend who wanted to learn more English and asked for a flier to give to her! One lady came with her family as well, she said we met a few months ago and we offered to help her snow shovel her driveway. She was almost done so she declined the help, but we gave her an Eikaiwa flier before we left. She said we were super nice and talked to her 4-year old daughter, and so she remembered us and our English class the whole time, and decided to come now that’s it’s warmer. So that’s been cool! I honestly don’t remember meeting her the first time, but I guess it goes to show that even little things like offering to help snow shovel can make a difference, even if they don’t accept the help.
We have had to drop a lot of investigators this last week, for various reasons. One older lady said she didn’t want us to keep coming over because she was worried what her neighbors would think of her meeting with Christians, a few decided they were too busy to do lessons, and a good number were just not interested but it took a couple visits to be able to talk openly enough to find that out. So it’s been sad, but it’s helped us lift our sights to seek out the ones who are ready now, and we’ve found a lot of new investigators!
Yesterday we met a super solid high school student who plays tennis, we passed by him on the street right after our last visit with a Q who dropped us. It might have been justifiable to feel sad or cynical or lazy since we had just had our last contact with this investigator, but we brushed it off and kept opening our mouths—and I’m so glad we did! He was so friendly and responsive. We exchanged LINE and he said he’d be down to learn more about getting guidance from God. He just started his senior year of high school so he is starting to really think about his future and stuff, and he’s still young enough that he’s chill with talking about religion!
We also met a new college student who just moved here from Yokohama and doesn’t really know any people in Towada yet, but now she has 2 gaijin friends! And we met a guy who just graduated from college and moved here from Hirosaki. He just started working and doesn’t really know much of Towada yet, so we got to be good friends right away. We taught him about God and prayer and the Book of Mormon, and he seems so open to everything! We set up another appointment for this week, please pray that it will go well :) His name is K.
God is putting a lot of good people in our path! As the new school year is starting there are lots of new college students moving in, and people moving in who just graduated, etc. so even though Towada is super small we have a lot of areas with fresh new people now! And we have been meeting a lot of people who are experiencing changes in their life, being in a new area and environment, etc. so a lot of people are in the perfect stage of life to find the gospel!
One cool thing I felt this week was how important the fullness of the gospel really is. We had the opportunity to go to the church service of one of our investigators, discuss beliefs with a Buddhist monk, and do a lesson with some very strong believers in a religion that is kind of Buddhist, but kind of not. Anyway, I learned that all the religions that I have come in contact with have so many good things—Go really does work through all religions to help His children. Any light or truth, regardless of which “sect” is teaching it, comes from God—even if it’s a sect that doesn’t believe in God. But God doesn’t get frustrated that they don’t believe in Him and withhold the light, He just lovingly gives as much as we can handle, drawing us to seek more.
And then, in general conference, I realized how amazing the fullness of the gospel really is—despite all the wonderful things I saw and heard in these other religions, none of them pierced me to the core like general conference did. It was truly God speaking to me specifically, through His ordained servants. I got answers to all kinds of questions; every single question I wrote down and brought into conference, questions I had written down a long time ago and forgotten about until I learned the answer, even answers to questions I didn’t know I had! Such a powerful, powerful conference. Truly a revelatory session, in every sense of the word.
No matter how many good teachings or practices a religion has, it won’t have the same power without personal revelation and the gift of the Holy Ghost. (“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof”). The fullness of God’s gospel is found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—I felt that so strongly during conference. Just like President Nelson said, we will not be able to spiritually survive the coming years without personal revelation and the Holy Ghost. This means receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, or for those of us who have already received it, to learn how to really use it. “The arrival of a typhoon is no time to dust off the gift of the Holy Ghost and figure out how to use it.” Now is the time to prepare and learn to be spiritually self-reliant! I know the Lord speaks to me through the Spirit, and I want to be better at listening to it. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost, and for this experience to be a missionary to really learn how to receive revelation.
The church is true!
Thanks for being such a fantastic Mother :)