zondag 3 april 2016

Lesson for a Lifetime

Hello everyone! A lot happened last week, so let me just send you a
copy of my letter to the mission president. Luvya! <3 font="">

"Hello, president!

Another good week has passed. We had TTTM, a wonderful District
Meeting, lots of finding and service opportunities and a wonderful
Family Home Evening activity with some members! This has definitely
been one of the better weeks on my mission.

I think I finally figured out how to help Takatsuki ward grow and
become stronger and also how to find and help investigators come unto
Christ. I talked about it last week and the very same topic was
addressed at the TTTM. It's love, of course! This week has confirmed
that what I've been learning my entire mission is true; love is the
motive. Faith, hope and charity, but the greatest is charity, right?
Hope is the fruits of charity, faith is the fruits of hope, but
without charity there is no hope, without hope there is no faith. All
the law and the prophets hang on charity, which is the pure love of
Christ.

I want to share an experience. We were speeding home on our bikes one
night after a long day of finding, when we passed a man on his way
home not too far from the apartment. I noticed how he looked like he
wasn't doing well and decided to make a U-turn and help the fellow
out. He was in a very sorry state, but lit up when we reached out to
help him. We said a prayer together and he shed tears of gratitude and
said that he really felt like we were a blessing and that he was lucky
for someone to reach out to him. He said he'd been looking forward to
meeting with us again... and that was the last of him, we thought.
This all happened last transfer, by the way. It would be nearly
impossible to get a hold of him (we had his phone number) and when we
did, he didn't really have too much time or that much of a desire to
learn about the Gospel. We lost contact for the rest of that transfer
and we assumed he wouldn't show up again...

One day, during a Weekly Planning session, we were planning how to
help each of our investigators and his name came up. We looked at each
other and decided that maybe it would be better to just drop him from
the list, but my companion felt that I should try giving him a call
just one more time. And I did. And it rang for a long while, just as
usual... when suddenly a "Hai" came from the other side of the phone.
It was him! We talked for a while and we expressed our desire to meet
with him again. He agreed to come to church and said he was excited to
see us again. We finally met him once again yesterday and he looked
really happy to be there. He showed reverence and respect during the
ordinance of the Sacrament, payed close attention to the Easter-themed
talks given during the Sacrament meeting and to the Sunday School
lesson and he was very open to and accepting of what was being said.
We took him aside for the third hour and taught him together with our
ward mission leader. It was a little bit of a long lesson (at some
point they wanted to use the room we were in, so we moved back to the
chapel), but we found out that he wants to learn more... but he
wouldn't meet with us, he said. At that moment I was afraid that
maybe, in the end, he didn't really have a desire to learn about and
come closer to our Heavenly Father. But he had a reason.

He would soon die.

Apparently, he had been coping with terminal cancer and he knew that
time was cut short, so in this last bit of time, he wanted to see his
friends and his family one more time before he would pass on to the
hereafter. We were all shocked — of course, how could you not be? The
moment we found out, we felt an even greater sense of urgency to make
the Gospel known to this man and begged him that he would try to reach
out to our Heavenly Father in earnest prayer, to know for himself the
importance of what we were saying and, above all, the joy the Gospel
would bring in this life and the life to come. When asked to pray, he
asked in return: "Is it alright if I ask God for only one thing?" Of
course, we replied, after which he prayed as follows:

"Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that everyone may be happy

in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."


Our ward mission leader exclaimed, turned around and hid his face. The
man looked down and began to sniffle, tears rolling down his cheeks.
In unbelief for what he had just asked, I couldn't hold back my own
tears. O, how pure and innocent the desire of this man! How selfless
and loving his wish! I have never before heard a prayer so precious
and met a man so humble. We were all crying in the chapel. After we
regained our strength, we went with him to the main entrance of the
building, to bid him a safe journey and a speedy return. He said he
would return. His name is Koichi.

Just typing out that experience made my hands tremble. I will never
forget what happened yesterday. I now know with a perfect knowledge
that without charity, we are nothing. I now know what I must always do
and never forget. I hope this is a lesson that will last me a
lifetime. I'm really grateful to be a missionary and to learn and
teach every day. I'm grateful for being a beloved child of a Loving
and Living God. This church is true and the way to eternal happiness
is unlocked. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

〜聖徒長老、ELDER SANTOS 





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