Hello there, beautiful everypeoples!
This week has been awesome! We have once again not seen much visible success last week. HOWEVER. This week has been very successful for me personally. I feel like this final week last transfer has prepared me for what will come next.
Last week I had a koukan with the big friendly Okinawan (from a few posts ago)! He taught me to be attentive and focus when we're out working -- even on our bikes. Because he would suddenly stop to talk with every living thing that crossed our path, I had to make sure I didn't ram into my companion. Hehehe. Not only that, but I learned that when we're talking with people, I should put more effort into trying to find out what they're talking about. I should ask more questions and try to find the meaning of what they're saying, instead of zoning out when hard Japanese is used and letting my Okinawan companion do the rest. Lesson learned, gotcha.
We also had a really good District Meeting. Effective use of the iPad and useful hints and tricks were covered, as we also learned about maintaining companionship unity by always being supporting to eachother. It reminded me of the week before, when we got our iPads and I didn't really know what to do. My previous concern was addressed and a happy Santos chourou left the meeting room.
This week I've felt the power of a testimony of Jesus Christ. We visited a Brazilian recent convert who hadn't come to church and hadn't been doing so well. He's currently having a really had time with a couple of different things (including moving out of his old apartment). He was really frustrated because everyone seemed to be against him. He has been threatened to lose everything he has in different ways and occasions. People have treated him unjustly. It made him mad. Why was it that even though he worked so hard, with good intentions, that he would be brought down, be made a fool of and be threatened by these evil people? While he was talking about all his trials and hardships, I couldn't help but think about Jesus Christ. Jesus came to the earth to teach us the path to eternal life and exhaltation. He wanted us to be saved. But even though He did what was right, evil people made fun of Him, spat on Him and in the end crucified Him. Despite all of this unrighteousness, Christ loved them. He loved the people who scorned Him and rejected Him. "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34); He even pleaded to our Heavenly Father to forgive those who killed Him. He died for all of us and has felt all of our pain and hardships. We must be patient and strive to have that "pure love of
Christ" (Moroni 7:47) and learn to "love our enemies" (Matthew 5:44). When these things came up in my mind, I felt like I should tell it to our recent convert. At first, I was hesitant, thinking he would get mad if I would add salt to the wound. But as soon as I opened my mouth, my entire body was filled with this amazing feeling; I felt like I could break down walls with my voice (I can't explain it in any other way). I really felt the Spirit guiding my words. And in the end, I think it made impact on him. He remembered the promise he made to our Heavenly Father to follow the Savior until the end and follow His example. He agreed on everything. Life is hard. But through endurance in faith (faith in Christ), we will be freed from our burdens and be
blessed eternally. In the end it was a good discussion and we had some delicious Brazilian food at the end!
Oh yeah: the transfer announcement came in once again... I'm staying here in Ootsu. But my awesome Brazilian companion, Madruga chourou and the big friendly Okinawan are leaving! NOOOO!! I will be the senior companion of a young missionary, Kiki chourou! Let's find out who he is... next Monday. I'm looking forward to this transfer. I'm still worried about many things, but I know I will make it. Because I know that He's there to help me.
Thank you so much for reading this, my friends. I hope you all have an awesome week too!
I love Brazilian food,
~聖徒長老, Elder Santos
(P.S.: The sakura trees blossomed last week! Look at my underwhelming picture!)