Konnichiwa, minasan!!Last week has been an action-packed week full of... action...! A lot of things happened!!
First, we had the wonderful opportunity to listen to Elder Aoyagi (one of the Seventy) and his wife, along with our mission president and his wife in a big conference in Okayama! It took an uncomfortable two-and-a-half-hour bustrip and a crash for the night at the missionary apartment in Okayama (actual sleep not included)... but oh my GOODNESS was it worth it!
Our mission president went first and he talked about sacrifice and consecration. In order to walk with our Savior as missionaries, we need to remain focused on Him and obey Him exactly. We need to drop our personal affairs and devote ourselves to the Lord, just like the Peter and his brother dropped their nets and thus their jobs as fishermen to follow and serve our Savior (Matthew 4:18-20). Lately I had been feeling like something was missing. Dendo just lacked "oomph" and I didn't quite know why. Listening to president Welch's talk gave me something to think about and to apply to myself. What is it that I need to give up in order to follow Jesus without being hindered? Something I've been able to chew on and think about for the past week.
Elder Aoyagi's talk about a missionary's pattern of success was really comforting. No one succeeds at first; this was even backed up by the countless accounts of ancient missionaries' ministries in the Book of Mormon. Through patience, diligence, hard work and hope, the Lord will entrust the missionaries with His power -- the power of His Atonement -- and success will be seen. In the end, we are only able to do this through the Lord. This is His work and not ours, just like sister Aoyagi told us by giving us an example of the man who could not move this huge, immovable rock on his own, but only through the Lord's help.
(Similar to this: https://www.lds.org/friend/
2014/04/moving-the-rock?lang= eng ).
Sister Aoyagi's talk was special. She focused on being smiley and cheerful, vigorous in our work. It just made me feel like smiling ever since the conference. And not to forget sister Welch for sharing an amazing testimony with all of us. It was a really moving story about her parents and their wonderful examples as missionaries and I'm really glad she wanted to share somthing so dear to her with all of us. It truly testified of the role of the Spirit in missionary work and made want to do better to stay open to His promptings. Elder and sister Aoyagi have given us an immense amount of new ideas to try out. I'm going one step at a time right now to apply all this revelation received for us. It is a lot. I hope I can do it all.Then, we had a wedding in our church building last Saturday. It was very nice and I am really happy for the lucky couple! JOY!! That same day we had a baptismal service in the evening for someone the sister missionaries have been teaching. I got to play the piano for the special song during the meeting (only found out the day before , so I was quite stressed). But it all went well and she got baptised and we all had a great evening. Oh, and I also made "chocolate salami" (my mom knows) as part of the refreshments and I didn't mess up, thank goodness.
And last but not least we did splits on sunday with some members: the missionaries all split up and each took a member to work with them for a while as their companion. It was really fun! We went out on the streets with two members to introduce the Gospel to everyone and visited less-active members who may have needed some help. It was a really good experience and I could see the missionary-fire roaring in these members as we worked together. I hope we can do this often to spread the fire in among every member in our branch. Things are looking bright for the Tokushima branch.
Other than that, we did a lot of finding, tried to find lost less-actives, had a few lessons with our beloved investigators and had yakiniku (korean barbeque) in our apartment. It's been a fantastic week!
Thank you so much for reading all of this, everyone! You just took the time to read my experiences and thoughts and that really means a lot to me. I hope you have all an amazing week! See you next week!
Large measuring units of love,