Archive for February, 2013
Dear Friends and Family:
I got my transfer call this morning. I will be packing my bags and heading to Fushimi in Kyoto. I:m VERY excited! Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan. It:s one of the most urban areas in all of Japan and competes effectively with Tokyo for the funnest place in Japan.
I will be sad to leave Ako. Ako has been a refiner’s fire for me, it is true, but I would not trade my experiences here, nor the lessons I learned therefrom, for all the gold in the Kinkakuji (wikipedia it). I love the people here! I will never forget the friendships I have made with the saints here, as well as the investigators and other nonmembers I have had the privilege to serve. Indeed, as fun as Kyoto is, if I wasn’t absolutely certain that The Lord guides this mission, I would refuse to leave. But it has been made manifest to every missionary in the Japan Kobe Mission that The Lord not only lives, but guides every aspect of this work. He is the reason for the work. He is the power which vitalizes it. His Atonement provides the power to cleanse us, to change us, and to empower us to fulfill all His expectations in the meantime.
I love you all and I pray that The Lord will keep you safe and healthy. I look forward to seeing you again. I appreciate your prayers on my behalf. The Lord is revealing the arm of his power as he hastens his work. Knowing Him, the missionary field is not the only work He is hastening. Be vigilant. Be valiant. Be virtuous. Stand in holy places. Serve The Lord with all your heart, might, mind and strength. The time draws ever nearer, wherein we will need to decide where we stand in relation to His kingdom. I love you all, and would that you stand with Him, for that is where I intend to stand, now and forever. The Lord has need of True Disciples – one and all – disciples that love Him and will serve Him selflessly. Answer the call, is my humble invitation, with the promise that you will find untold joy as you do, for that is what I have done.
You’ll have to forgive me; I’m even more pressed for time than usual today. Mom and Dad, I apologize but I won’t be able to get a personal response to both of you but I’m glad everyone’s health is good and thank you for the words of encouragement and advice.
Today we went to Shoshasan – the Buddhist Monastery where they filmed much of The Last Samurai. See the pictures.
Everything is looking up this week. Things were tough the last couple of weeks but I believe that was The Lord’s way of testing us and teaching us. The Lord prospers us when we make it through a difficult trial without letting our faith in Him falter. He gives us strong evidence of His love and concern for us, then allows us to endure trials without immediately visible signs of His intervention to see if we hold fast to the gift of faith that we’ve been given. If we do that, our faith becomes hardened into a firm foundation in His excellent word. Upon that foundation, additional faith can be built, and it in turn will be hardened in the furnace of affliction, until that day wherein our knowledge and trust in the Master will be perfect The lesson I learned and want you to learn is this: Remain steadfast. Don’t give up. Trust the Lord. Believe in His promises and keep moving forward, and He will prosper you. Of this I bear testimony as a witness of Christ called to His ministry, in his name, amen.