Archive for March, 2013
Dear Friends and Family:
Greetings from Yonago. I’m alive and well. Let me bring you up to speed on a few things.
First: The Lord is the source of all blessings. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints know this, but sometimes we forget it and think that we can make good things happen by our own effort. Missionaries are called to do things that no mortal can possibly do. Until we could figure out that we, as mortals are incapable of doing the work, we could not function according to the standards The Lord has set for us. As a mission we have learned that we cannot do this alone. As soon as we figured that out, and learned how to get access to power beyond that of our imperfect selves, The Lord began prospering this mission in big ways.
Case in point, the work in Yonago is stronger than it has ever been. There are days we can’t even leave the church because people are literally lining up to hear the message of the restored gospel. This Saturday we baptized a mother the three of her children that were over the age of eight. It was a wonderful day for them and a wonderful day for us. These have just been a few of the miracles we’ve been experiencing.
My companion Wong-Choro and I are having a BLAST! I don’t think I will ever be able to work with a non-Polynesian companion ever again. Every stage of the work is teeming with loving boldness to every degree of love, and every degree of boldness. The Spirit of God is at work in Japan. Its influence is easy to see even for the skeptic. This is the marvelous work spoken about by every prophet since the world began. This is the work of Almighty God, and no one can deny it.
The responsibilities of being a Zone Leader are not as daunting as I first imagined, due largely to the loving ministry of my companion. More than anything else it is an opportunity to minister to my fellow missionaries and come closer to my Savior as I try with all my might to emulate His example and His leadership. Any opportunity to show love and to serve others is welcome as a missionary.
In other news, we have received permission from the brethren to email friends as well as family members besides our immediate family. Emailing time is still somewhat limited, so you might not receive an immediate response, but please feel free to email me. firstname.lastname@example.org よろしくお願いいたします。
I love you all and I hope you know how much The Lord loves you too. Easter is drawing near. Please give special attention to remembering the Savior and his atoning sacrifice for each of you. This is my great hope. Moroni 7:41
Dear Friends and Family:
I apologize for the absence of specific news, updates, and stories this transfer. It was only a four-week transfer because the mission is syncing up with the new MTC schedule. There was a lot to do in this transfer and I have been very short on time. I:m short on time today again, as well, but here’s the news:
After only this one short transfer in Kyoto, I will transfer to Yonago on the far-western side of the mission, up on the cold shores of the Sea of Japan. There I will continue to fulfill my responsibilities as a missionary and as an authorized minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to those responsibilities, I will also serve as the junior Zone Leader over the Yonago Zone. This is a humbling responsibilities, and there will be even greater need in the months to come of relying on the strength and power of The Lord available through the Atonement. I did not nor would I ever seek for this additional responsibility, and I do not feel worthy or capable. But I trust that The Lord has called me there for some purpose and that He has prepared me and will continue to prepare me to serve and live up to His expectations there. Such things can only be accomplished by the powers of heaven.
I will try to catch up a bit with my letter writing, but these new responsibilities will probably be very demanding of my time and attention, so please accept my summary expression of love and care to each of you. I can feel The Lord’s love for you and I want to encourage you to draw near to him. “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (D&C 88:63).
With Faith, Hope, and Love:
Dear Friends and Family:
I’m grateful to have a (very) few minutes to write to you and tell you about the things that are happening in this mission.
In the Japan Kobe Mission, we are fortunate to know with a great deal of certainty The Lord:s expectations for us in each one of our areas. And for months we have been giving our sweat, our tears, and our blood to try and fulfill them. Somehow, through it all, it was not adding up. We knew The Lord:s will. We knew His expectations. In a particularly rare tender mercy, we even knew his timing. And yet, something seemed to be missing. There was a disconnect between expectation and fulfillment, between hope and realization, between work and results, between sowing and reaping. This missing piece became the subject of tearful prayers and conversations with President Zinke. While he did not from the beginning have all the answers, he was always a marvelous example of steadfast faith in The Lord and His promises.
We have the missing piece. Not surprisingly, it is the power available through the Atonement of The Lord Jesus Christ. Why did it take so many months and so much toil to arrive at such a seemingly simple conclusion? I believe it is because we had to know of a certainty that we could not do this work any other way. We could not rely on our talents and abilities. Mortals cannot do the work that The Lord has called us to do. And yet mortal we are, and we have been called to do this work. Of course, The Lord never intended us to fail. He simply needed a mission full of missionaries humble enough to trust in Him completely.
And now we are seeing the miracles. Not every once in a while but every day, the blessings of heaven are filling this mission, and we are blessed to be a part of it. I wish I had time sufficient to tell you of the things that are happening. At this time, these things are happening largely unnoticed by the world. But this work will astonish the world. The salvation of souls and the conversion to the gospel of their Savior is indeed a grand miracle. In fact, second only to the creation of the world and the Atonement of Christ, it is little wonder that this work is called repeatedly in scripture, “A Marvelous Work and a Wonder.” And all of these miracles were wrought by the hand of the Master whose work this is.
I am seeing hearts touched by the Holy Spirit. I am seeing their souls fill with the hope available only through the Author of their salvation. I know that this mission and this Church is guided by the hand of Jesus Christ, the living Son of the living God.
As the speed of the work continues to increase, I will be left with less and less time to communicate with home. This work occupies all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I have left you all in the capable hands of Him that sent me, so I am assured of your welfare in my absence. I will continue to write as often as circumstances allow, but please be patient in the meantime. In time, we shall be together again and I will have time to answer all of your questions. In the meantime, please stay strong in the gospel. The time is quickly coming when there will not be an opportunity to sit on the fence or even drag our feet. Missionary work is not the only work progressing with increased urgency. Please work with all your might to build Zion in your families, in your homes, and in your hearts. Love Christ. Serve God. Stay faithful. Stay clean. If necessary get faithful, and become clean. The time is at hand, brothers and sisters. I love you, and I know that God loves you.
Until next time,