zondag 4 januari 2015

Found in Translation

to Adam, me, Allison, +37
Dec 15, 2014
Details
Hello there, my beloved friends and family!
Last week felt like a grind. Our days were packed with every kind of finding activities. We did streeting, housing, visiting less active members, former investigators and potential investigators... Nothing came out of it. And I know why. I haven't been the missionary I should have been. I didn't give it my 100% last week. I didn't open my mouth and speak to people as I should have, I didn't help out my companion as I should have, I didn't fellowship investigators and members as I should have... There are many things I did wrong last week. But as a fellow missionary once taught me: "The past is the past. Learn from it and move on."
There is at least one thing that stood last week, though. One fateful day, in the midst of our routine dendo activities, the Tokushima branchpresident called us and wanted to speak with me. He asked me to give a 10-minute talk about "the love of Christ" the next Sunday during sacrament meeting (this was on a Thursday). "Sure", I said. "How hard can it be?" I think that at that time, I didn't realize I'd have to do it in Japanese. So as the days went on, my stress and anxiety started piling up. I didn't retire to bed on time. I'm really glad I have an amazing yonnin here in Tokushima. They knew what I was going through, so they wanted to help me -- and they did. A lot. Not only with the translation to Japanese, but they also pitched in a few ideas for the main structure of my talk. And you know what? All the hassle and worry? And the help the wonderful elders have given me? It payed off. It turned out to be a good speech. Many members seemed to be impressed and congratulated me for various reasons (mostly the length of the speech). But that's not the reason why it payed off. That Sunday, a member brought a friend with her to church. He seemed to be really impressed by the funiki of our church: everyone came out to greet him and shake his hand, for instance. Such an outward expression of love was foreign to him. But he really liked it! He really felt the members' love and caring for him. Not only that, but the other elders went over and sat next to him during the sacrament meeting. He had picked up a Book of Mormon before and started reading it. As the elders talked with him about what he was reading, he seemed to have been really impressed and eager to read this wonderful book! And to finish it off: he had his mind blown by the talk I gave. He had his mind blown because of Christ's selflessness and charity and infinite love for us -- His brothers and sisters -- manifested through His acts and teachings in the scriptures I shared during the talk. The member's friend loved every single bit of that Sunday and is looking forward to next week!!
I'm happy to say that I have learned a lot through preparing  that talk. I totally love the scriptures. They are applicable to our lives, even in this generation. Christ's acts of love and charity really inspired me to become a better missionary. He is the perfect example of love and He wants us to follow His example through service and charity, so that our brethren may recognize the light of our Lord in our works and know for sure that we are true representatives and disciples of Him.
 
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love‍ one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love‍ one another. By this shall all men‍ know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love‍ one to another."
-John 13:34-35
Oh, yeah -- We also had a Christmas Devotional on Sunday as well. The talks were touching and heartwarming and the music offered to us by the Mormon Tabernacle was splendid. What better way is there to boost the Christmas spirit, than by having our beloved general authorities speak to us?
Thank you so much for reading!! I hope you've had a wonderful week and I wish you another one!
Love,
~サントス長老

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