zondag 30 augustus 2015

The Works of God Made Manifest

Hello, everyone!

This week has been so tiring -- I don't even know how tired I am. But we've done well! Or, rather, God did well. Honestly, I feel like most of last week's work was brought to us, instead of us going out to work. A member treats you to some delicious homemade sushi at church, for instance, when all of a sudden a random man comes in and exclaims in slight disappointment "Oh, so they're not doing church today" (on a Saturday). We've had the privilege of sharing the abundance of sushi with this man and share a little bit about our beliefs and the Gospel. He even came back the next day and he wanted to learn a little more about our church. Hmm! Good job, Heavenly Father!

A cool scripture I bumped into: John 9:1-3

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Sometimes we have a lot of afflictions, hardships and trials in our lives. Sometimes we say: "What have I done to deserve this?" Earlier on my mission, I was really insecure and felt like I had nothing but weaknesses. I used to think I'd done something bad to receive all the "punishment". But, looking back, I can say that this is not the case. I'm a much more confident, happier missionary than I was before. Why? God had given me those circumstances (that seemed really harsh to me) in order for me to open my eyes and see God's hand aiding me and lifting me up. My testimony has grown a lot since my first day in Japan and I know for sure that it wasn't through my own power. God suffers us to have trials and hardships, because He wants us to witness and experience the enabling and cleansing power that comes from our faith in and our reliance on Him and His Son.

Heavenly Father loves you and so do I! I hope you have an awesome week!



Hope For A Better World

Hello, outside world!

This week has been a very good one! It's been really tiring for some reason. It seemed like normal missionary work, but my energy tanks are empty. Work consisted of falling flat on my face a lot, not knowing Japanese here and there and giving a pretty okay talk at Sacrament meeting yesterday. Dang, I love Abeno so much! It's completely different from any of my previous areas I have been in. It feels like a completely different pace -- a faster one, for sure. It even gets TOO fast, sometimes (which is why I fell flat on my face a couple of times)!

But I'm really grateful to be here in Osaka. I feel like the challenges are here to help me grow and become what I want to be. In fact, it reminds me of a cool scripture we've been focussing on lately:

Ether 12:4

Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

Hope is like a ship's anchor that makes us strong and unmovable even during the greatest of storms that life may bring us. To me, Osaka might be pretty stormy right now, but because I know that I'm doing His work and because I know that these experiences will shape me into what my Heavenly Father desires, I know that I'll be okay no matter what happens: I hope for a bright future.

What do you hope for and how is it your anchor?

A whole lot of love,
~エルダー・サントス、Erudaa Santosu

maandag 17 augustus 2015

Hello Abeno!

Hullo, everybuddy!

This week has been great! Abeno is awesome! The ward is amazing, my companion is awesome, my zone consists of great missionaries and the area seems to have quite some momentum. Good stuff!

Oh yeah, by the way, I'm a zoneleader now. Congratulations, I suppose. It honestly doesn't feel different from being just a senior companion at all. I just have a phone as well and I actually have to follow up with missionaries in my zone. Right now, though, it feels as if I can't do anything at all to help my companion, or the area, or the zone. It was quite embarrassing, especially the follow ups:

"Good evening! How's Osaka going for ya?" 
-"I've been here longer than you." 
"Dang it."

I really want to help my zone! I need to improve myself and repent of my laziness and lack of accountability. I have realized that one of the biggest reasons why someone gets called to be a leader is for that person to learn what he still lacks and to repent and become a worthier, more capable missionary. Because, you know, God knows better than me what I need to grow and reach the next level of my personal progression. He knew that I needed to become a zone leader, because it would put the needed stress and increased responsibility on my shoulders for me to become stronger. I need this "trial" to become a better Santos長老. Blah blah blah...

Thank you so much for reading! You've come quite a ways, haven't you? I hope to see you next week! Have a great one!

That's a lot of love,
~聖徒長老, Elder SantosHell

Goodbye Ootsu :(

Hey, you!

The final week of last transfer is gone and I have finally reached double digits in transfers. I'm ye olde missionary now. Huzzah! Also, we finally found out where the heck elder Santos will be going for the next 6 weeks.

I'm gonna go to Abeno in Osaka! Wha-hey!

It has been a fantastic four transfers in Ootsu. I really love this place. When I found out I would surely transfer, I was really sad. I would have stayed another transfer here! I envy you, elder Griffitts! But I'm also really excited for Abeno: it will be my first area that is really city...-ish...?

As for last week... it's been a pretty good -- with a huge firework festival near the big Biwa lake, sport activities and a couple companion exchanges. A lot has happened and I'm destroyed. And I'm only going to get even more destroyed from here on out. Why? Find out next week!

I love you all,
~聖徒長老、Elder Santos

maandag 3 augustus 2015


Hello, everybody!

Not much time, but we had an awesome week of hotness with 100 Fahrenheit days (38 Celsius). It was intense! 

We went to a summer festival with our Brazilian recent convert, which was really cool! 

Then we had a pretty good District Meeting as well. The day before, we had an exchange (where I went to Oumihachiman to work with our District Leader), where I was asked to prepare to share a little bit during District Meeting; a Christlike attribute. I studied about the attribute "Knowledge" and it was really cool, because I learned that one of the ways we grow in knowledge is by sharing it! It reminded me of something Brigham Young once said about how one gains a testimony by standing and bearing it more than by kneeling down in prayer for one. Same goes with knowledge; we build it up by study and we solidify it through experience and by sharing it! You have to put it out there!As I shared what I learned from my study, I felt like my knowledge was being expanded, also thanks to the many insights the other elders in our district gave! It was a really good learning experience.

We also had a re-dedicatory prayer. Our mission president wants us to start over again and renew our commitment and desire to serve the Lord with all our heart, might, mind and strength, so we prayed as a mission to become the best version of ourselves and to go full steam ahead!

Whoop, no time, got to go!

~聖徒長老, Elder Santos LOVES you!