Dear Loved Ones,
Well miraculously transfer calls came and I'm staying again!
This will be transfer 8 (transfers are 6 weeks) making it turn out to be just about a year. and it will be my 5th with my companion (making it 7.5 months) with him.
If I stay the whole transfer, I will set the new record for the mission I think, (the last one stayed 8 but left to be in the mission home 2 weeks early) so it's quite astounding even for our mission. But I'm so grateful for it! I remember getting to Saijo and my first companion always telling me he wanted to stay his whole mission here. And I wasn't sure at first if I felt the same, but now I would do it in a heart beat!
I love this place so much! I have had some of the both the bitter painful moments of my life, and also the most joyful moments ever experienced in my life! I have been part of so many miracles performed by the Lord, humbled so many times by his boundless mercy. I've felt His love like never before, and come to know His son, Our savior like I never before have in my whole life. It's amazing.
So I was pretty happy to stay.
Now I have at least 6 more weeks, probably only that much more, to give my all to this place. And I will.
This week we have seen so many miracles in the lives of our investigators. For a while here we had many investigators who we were meeting, but not quite at the point where they were really feeling it change their lives. But this week we saw those changes really begin to take place in their lives. I saw myself not as simply a missionary teaching doctrine. But a friend to these people, who loved them and was showing them how the gospel would help them in their daily life.
We were able to help our beloved friend Yi Song see how prayer and the book of Mormon would bring peace to his busy college life and allow him to balance school work and the many things in his life.
We showed Yamashita san how despite the car accident he got into caused by someone else who wouldn't admit fault, he can let the savior's atonement take away the hate and anger, and replace it with peace, and he can get answers through prayer of what to do.
And we helped a man burdened with anxiety and stress for the future feel peace as he came to church and understand who christ was and what he could do for them.
And we boldly warned our friend Yoshiyama of the consequences of following the path he was on, and helped him see the need for change in his life, repentance and to seek the Lord for that help.
This week I really came to see and feel what our real purpose is. It's to change these lives, the doctrine isn't just true, but it really does help each one of us in our daily lives, helps us with our challenges and fears and brings us peace. And as we begin to trust God and His son, change and follow them, and make covenants and keep them, we are changed, changed to become more than we ever could be before and it is amazing! And I love it so much!
This week I felt the Lord telling me,
Be First a Friend,
Then a Missionary
Meaning, declare the gospel, not because you are a missionary, but because you love them as your friends and you simply want to help them. Because if we really are true friends. We will share the gospel with all our friends, to help what our friends need in their life. And it will feel so so good.
Love you all!
Pictures:Me in my natural nature habitat
Me and Junior our miracle Brazilain