Thanks for all the pics!!!! All my boys are growin up too fast. You know what`s crazy?? Our last name isn`t that common but everywhere I go there`s always someone that knows our name. There`s an elder in my zone named Bentley Choro, I think he`s from Alpine. Well he saw my name and asked if I was related to Leah Heimuli. We were in a train and I shouted so loud I think every japanese person fell out of their seat, `Yes!!! That`s my cousin! She`s a tennis pro!` and he said his sister plays tennis too so he`s watched Leah play before. I was jealous because I miss that cutie and I would kill to watch my little cuz kill it on the court!
I also saw the adorable Scheffler Shimai. We sat in the hall at Zone Training Meeting and just reminisced on the days when we were kids and played together. I love that I see her all the time because it feels like we both have a little piece of home right here in Japan. Missionaries can`t believe we`ve known each other since before we were born. They`re always surprised when we talk about how our parents were friends before they even had us. It`s a fun little story we get to tell people!
At Zone Training I learned something really interesting. In Enos verses 8-9 it says, `And he said unto me, Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee WHOLE.` `Now it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren...wherefore, I did pour out my WHOLE soul unto God for them.`
Enos repents, receives forgiveness, then takes his WHOLE pure and clean soul, and pours it out to God for his brethren. He pours out his new soul in order to help his brethren, the Nephites. PMG 186 states you cannot convert past your own conversion. That is an important concept to understand. I had to step back and really evaluate where I stood with the Lord, and where my investigators stood with the Lord. Am I giving my WHOLE soul for them? If I am, is my whole soul clean enough? When we do all within our power (this includes repenting and working), I know God paves the way for those for whom we labor.
On Wednesday we had Eikaiwa and one of our students is this really cool 20 year old kid. He`s in college, he studies hard, and he loves english! He actually came to church last week because I told him we were speaking in Japanese and he was super stoked to come. I followed up with him at Eikaiwa just asking him how church went and if he had any questions about what we talked about. He asked `Why do you say Christ died but that He still lives?` Wow. I thought he was going to ask about how much we pray or ask why we all have `Shimai` and `Kyoudai` at the end of our names. I couldn`t explain it to him in 2 minutes at Eikaiwa so I told him to email us later that night whenever it was convenient for him so that we could teach him about it. Well he didn`t email us that night. But the next day while we were proselyting we got an email that was from him and he said he wanted to meet at the church in a couple of hours.
We booked it back to the church and got a lesson together for him. In order to understand Christ you need to have a foundation of God. So we taught about God. As we taught him I could see things clicking for him. We told him he was a son of God, which he thought was pretty cool. Then we asked him, `From what we`ve taught you about God, what do you think God is like?` His answer was, `He`s busy!` We just had to laugh! He was so right. God is busy. We missionaries are working hard down here, and He`s working hard up there! Heavenly Father has to answer people`s prayers, we don`t. He blesses people when they make promises with him, we don`t. It`s amazing how when we missionaries do everything within our power, Heavenly Father really does take care of the rest.
`Therefore, o ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.`
All He asks is for our ALL. Once we give Him all our heart, might, mind and strength, it`s only then that we `...may stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God...` Luckily, He doesn`t ask us to answer prayers, or change people`s hearts. Only He has the power to do that. He doesn`t even ask us to be perfect or know everything. He`s already perfect. He just asks us to give our all.
|While we were finding, we ran into this random reservoir|
I am so sad that Colter Shimai is transferring to the other side of the mission! My Spanish hasn`t improved that much, so I feel bad for all our Spanish speaking investigators who will have to hear me struggle through their language, but I will give them all I have got. Our investigators are doing pretty well and I`m excited to stay another transfer to watch them progress and move closer to their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
As always, I love you, ohana! This Valentine`s day, show all those you love even MORE LOVE! More importantly, keep working hard and doing the things you know you`re supposed to do, and showing your loving Father in Heaven that you love Him, too. He`s always there for you, waiting patiently for the moment you come to Him.
Take care, stay healthy, be happy!