This week I have been thinking a lot about faith. It seems like something so simple, but the more I understand it, the more it sinks deeper and deeper into my soul.
This last week me and my companion were out finding one day, and it was just a struggle, we talked to tons of people, not really anyone wanted to listen, we were having some struggles teaching on the street in unity and it was just not our day. We finished the afternoon without much success and went back for dinner.
At night while we were biking to an area we had felt the night before we were supposed to go to, I realized that that day I just hadn't been finding with much faith. I at least had enough to get out there and try, but as I talked with people I didn't really have faith that they would really make it. I also realized that though I had tried hard to just have faith, my own efforts didn't get me the faith I needed.
I remembered a quote in PMG, "christlike attributes are a gift from God" and I realized that faith is the same, it is a gift from God, not something we try really hard and comes into us or will ourselves into having. So I started praying while I was biking to have the faith I needed to do God's will.
We get to the area we had planned and start housing, after the first house we see a man walking down the street and we call out to him, and start walking and talking with him. Turns out he is fluent in english and really nice! We walk with him quite a ways into a completely different neighborhood than we had planned on going, all the while thinking "Yes! This is the guy!"
But then unfortunately at the end he tells us he isn't interested. A little bit bummed out we now have to decide what to do next. At that moment I felt this feeling "You aren't here by chance, you're here for a reason." And I realized maybe God meant for us to be led by this guy to this place.
So we start talking to people and inviting them. Unfortunately we hit some pretty strong opposition, the first house was a women not so pleased to see us telling us that it was late and we should go home and everyone around here is just old people anyways.
But there is always opposition right before the miracles, so we knew we were getting close. We pressed on talking to several not so interested people until we come to a 4 way intesection. We felt like we should turn left and house there. The first or second house a woman comes out there is a feeling, she feels kind and different than the others around here. She tells us to wait a second and she goes to get someone.
Me and Elder Redd look at each other "She's the one! We both are thinking" She came out again with her husband. Who was also way cool! We told them what we were doing and a little about our message about eternal families. We invited them to meet again, and they seemed slightly interested, but not ready to commit to meet. Sometimes in this moment I might have given up then, but I felt this faith that really wasn't my own, but was really divine help from Heavenly Father give me the love and boldness I needed to be persistent.
I told them how I looked at curry before I came to Japan and I thought it looked gross I didn't want to try it, but then when I did I realized it was actually delicious and I loved it! It's the same with them! You have to at least try this message once to see, then if you still don't agree well that's your choice, but you have to at least give it a chance! And we invited them again. This time to our surprise they said yes and gave us a specific time and day. It's pretty rare we are ever able to get a return appointment with both parents of a family and for it to feel that solid. We truly felt God guided us and gave us the faith we needed to help them.
The most amazing almost mysterious part of it all was the name of the guy we talked and walked with over to that area. His name was Keiji, which in japanese means revelation.
We were truly guided by "revelation"
I have felt so much weakness and unconfidence this last week, yet still God has used me in so many ways, and we have seen more miracles even then when I was confident. It's so amazing how he uses the weak things of the world.
Love you all,
This week we did Japanese Calligraphy! It was super fun, and really difficult. What I learned to write for mine is that orange one, it says in japanese. Sukui no Waza, which means "the work of salvation" in Japanese. It is a reminder to me that my whole life's purpose is to do the work of salvation.