Friday, June 12, 2015

By Small and Simple Means

Dear Loved Ones,

What I learned this week can be summed up in this simple sentence:

Even if we feel like dirt, God can use us to make a beautiful flower
in the life of someone else.

That's not to say that this week was especially bad or anything, I
mean it was pretty normal with normal ups and downs, but I just saw
this week multiple times God using me to do amazing things even when I
didn't feel the best. This is probably illustrated best by a new
investigator we started teaching named Iha San.

On Friday we were out proselyting and it just wasn't really my day. I
was just kind of stressed about the normal worries of missionary work,
and on top of that while finding we were facing a lot of rejection and
people just not really wanting to listen to us. It was starting to get
to me a bit.

Anyways we finished the last a house on the street and again the man
rejected us and don't really want to listen. Then we walk down to the
street and we only had 15 min left to find so I looked around trying
to decide what we could use that small amount of time for.

Then I look up and see this older man on a staircase just standing
there and I felt like maybe we should talk to him. So we go up and
introduce ourselves and start talking about God. Turns out he does
believe in God, though he doesn't know who He is. We invite him to
learn who God is and he agrees to meet with us on Sunday at the church
to learn more, but unfortunately he had no phone that we could call
and confirm with.

Well it came to Sunday and we were out finding before the appointment
with him, and again I just wasn't feeling so great. Though this time
it may have been my own fault. On fast Sunday's we always get a fruit
basket full of deliciousness from our loving members so at dinner time
when we broke our fast we feasted on those. Unfortunately I think I
was a little too hasty and I ended up feeling not so good at what I
ate leaving me again feeling kind of crummy while housing.

I wasn't sure whether or not he would actually show up, since we
didn't have a number to confirm with but then at 7pm when we had made
the appointment we show up at the church and there he is just sitting
outside waiting for us.

So we invite him inside and start teaching him. Turns out he is 72
years old man who had been in the hospital a year and half and only
got released last year. We asked what kind of person he thought God
was and he answered, "I don't really know, will you please teach me?"
with a genuine humble desire to learn more. His humility and desire to
be taught surprised me coming from an older Japanese man, as most of
them I've met on my mission just love to talk, but not really be

We taught him about gods love and the amazing gift of Gods son, and we
could tell he was really feeling the spirit. We testified and taught
of Christ and his love and perfect example and invited him to follow
Christ and be baptized. At first  he simply said, "Really? Would I be
able to?" But after assurance from us that we would help him prepare
he gladly accepted and said he would pray, read, come to church and
meet with us twice a week to prepare to be baptized on the 18 of July.
After the lesson he kept repeating in his head when we were going to
meet again so he wouldn't forget, " Tuesday and Thursday 6pm, Tuesday
and Thursday 6p." He was just so excited to come to know and grow
closer to God it amazed me!

We left that lesson and me and my companion just looked at each other
so surprised at how prepared and ready he seemed and how much he
really wanted it. And It really amazed and humbled me that though I
had been feeling crummy both when we found him and when we taught him,
despite all that, God had still used the weak and simple me to do a
great work and help this child of his that God loves so much.

That perhaps is one of the biggest miracles of my whole mission, that
God could take something like me, and something like Iha San, and make
us so much more than we ever would have been without him.

This life has challenges and trials, ups and downs, and to be honest
sometimes you just plain feel crummy and feel like dirt. But through
these I am coming to see gods beautiful amazing plan and how He uses
us as his instruments even when we ourselves feel down.

Even if we feel like dirt, God can use us to make a beautiful flower
in the life of someone else.

I'm so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ that makes that
possible. And I love Him so much!

Elder Walton
Okinawa, Japan

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