This week I rode in a big 15 seater van to Fukuoka driven by a 50 year old Japanese man who plays eagles music in his band every friday night wearing a way cool headband. No I was not getting kidnapped because of Elder Murphy's much desired singing ability. But I was going to the temple! (Our driver is the 1st counselor to the branch president named Ogawauchi Kyodai He is hilarious!)
It was so wonderful being able to be there and just feel so at peace. I love the temple! Also miraculously there were members from every area I served. I got to talk to Bishop Saito from Hiroshima who was going the next day to Saijo (my last area) to interview Yamashita san, the investigator I taught who got baptized right after I left for the priesthood. I'm so happy for Yamashita san and how the lord helped him to quit smoking, repent and be baptized and have that joy.
This week we had some amazing experiences teaching the first lesson. In a lot of my mission I have kind of struggled sometimes with helping the first lesson be spiritual. Especially for non Christians sometimes it is hard for them to understand why should be so special. But thanks to advice from my best friend Elder Jeppesen I learned how to really make the sharing of the first vision really special, to have them close their eyes and imagine it. We did this yesterday with a chinese investigator named Tei san. He closed his eyes and listened imagining he was really there.
Afterwards we asked, "How did you feel?"
"Amazing" He replied.
"You too can know this is true through the book of mormon" We said, teaching him about the book of Mormon.
Then finally we asked "When you know these things are true will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone with his authority?"
He answered nodding his head, "Yes, yes I will."
The spirit was so so strong. The spirit truly testified to him that It was true and his heart was changed.
Then also last general conference Elder Anderson challenged youth to record the first vision in their own voice then listen to it. I did that and I felt so much peace and assurance from the spirit as I listened to it in my own voice, I really felt that it was true.
We did this with a less active too, had him listen to it in his own voice. Afterwards we asked him how he felt. He said, "I felt like I wanted to cry, my whole body felt warm"
He was just so amazed and had such a fire to want to learn more, he committed to bear his testimony of Joseph Smith at the next testimony meeting.
I'm so grateful for the counsel of modern day prophets, everyone should all try Elder Anderson's counsel! It is amazing! A testimony is one of the most worthwhile things in the world. I know Joseph Smith really truly was God's prophets. His simple sincere prayer brought more blessings in my life then I can ever explain. And one day in Heaven I will shake his hand and say "Thank you, thank you brother Joseph."
Love you all!
-Nagasaki Dry Docks, SOO COOOL!
-Captain Moroni on the temple in bountiful, which little did we know was made out of ramen packets we got from a member.