zaterdag 20 juni 2015

Say Cheeeeese!

Hallo, iedereen!

This week has been a pretty normal week. We went out to find the elect in the cold, heavy rain. We've been able to find a pretty good amount of people with potential. We've been making significant progress with our investigator pool: not only by strengthening the ones that were already there, but also by adding new people. I feel like Ootsu is picking up some speed!

One thing that I really liked last week was the training we received at Zone Training Meeting. We got to learn about the "Full Purpose Missionaries": we should assume full responsibility for carrying out our purpose. I really liked how it focused on closely working together with the members and not going our own separate ways to establish the church. Strengthening bonds with members and making them feel needed was something they stressed a lot. Everyone has their own unique talents and gifts that can be used to help and serve others. This inspired me to not only find out how I can have the members in our ward play an even more significant role in the conversion of others through their talents, but also to find out how I myself can use my talents to lift up those around me and bring them unto Christ. After all, didn't Jesus command us to use our talents? (Matthew 25:14-30)

Finally, I want to share an experience. Last week, I came across Alma 37:36-37. When reading these verses, I realized how important it is to have the Lord with you always. If whatever we do is in the Lord and if we counsel with Him in all of our doings, our desires will resonate with our Christ's and we will be guided, like vessels under His command. I feel like the reason why we have been more successful last week is because we relied on the Lord more than we did before. We reached out for His guidance through prayer and our efforts were blessed. Not only out loud, but also in our hearts we prayed. So many wonderful things happened, and I was amazed. In the end, all I did was do my best and let the Holy Spirit guide. We just need to have faith and rely on Him, and "the gate of heaven will be open unto all" (Helaman 3:27-28).

Dankjewel for reading my short update, vriendenTot de volgende keer!

~聖徒長老, Elder Santos

P.S.: I got Dutch cheese from a friend!!

Splendorous Update

DISCLAIMER -- the title does not (necessarily) refer to me.

Hey, you people!

Last week was a pretty normal week. We went to visit people who potentially had interest in our message, taught our beloved investigators and went all over the place to get in touch with less active members. We also had the amazing experience of teaching a deaf person. It was the most interesting thing I had ever done in my life. We'd make exaggerated facial expressions and fling our arms around to try and get something across to him (but we mostly communicated using a notepad and pen, of course). Seems like I'll be studying a little 手話 (Japanese sign language) from now on. (I'm not even completely comfortable on normal Japanese!)

There are a couple of things I learned last week that I thought were interesting and really good. The first is a talk we got as homework for the District Meeting: "Seek learning by faith" by elder David A. Bednar (Liahona, September 2007)...

Here's a link:

I realized that having people learn by faith is the most important thing ever. Not only the teacher, but also the student plays an important role in a teaching situation. Of course the growth of a student depends on whether or not he or she accepts what is being taught, but as teachers we need to give the students a chance to act on those teachings. Like president Brigham Young said when talking about teaching in the church, we need to give everyone a chance to stand up and speak their thoughts -- to bear their testimony. Not only will everyone else learn more from a new perspective and be spiritually edified, but the student who speaks up will spiritually edified by his own testimony as well. 

"Many may think they haven’t any testimony to bear, but get them to stand up and they will find the Lord will give them utterance to many truths they had not thought of before. More people have obtained a testimony while standing up trying to bear it than down on their knees praying for it."

The other thing I learned is found in PMG, chapter 1: "A Successful Missionary" (page 10). Last night I had a follow up with one of the Zone Leaders. They said they had found and learnt something really cool they wanted to share with everyone. Something that he focused on was the part where it says: "Avoid comparing yourself to other missionaries and measuring outward results of your efforts against theirs." All we have to worry about is our commitment to find those who are prepared to accept the Gospel. Everyone has freedom of choice. Some will accept and others will reject. "You should not, however, become discouraged; discouragement will weaken your faith." So true! 

(I realized that I'm always learning stuff I already knew. It's just really easy to forget! I guess repetition is key, huh?)

Splendid! You've reached the end of my update! I splendidly thank you for your splendor! Have a splendidly splendid week!

Splendid love,
~聖徒長老, Elder Splendid