I got a call Sunday night from Sister Welch saying I was grounded to my apartment until Tuesday. I caught the flu Friday after I skyped you guys but we were so busy I couldn`t take a rest. Somehow my District Leader found out (probably through my concerned companion) and he made calls to the President. I was bummed out that we couldn`t get out and work on Monday but Sister Welch is like our mom in the field, and what mom says goes.
After I talked with you on Christmas we headed to a potential investigator`s house where we taught a lesson about the meaning of Christmas. She asked us a really interesting question as we testified about how important Christ was to us. She said she thinks it`s weird that there are so many Christian churches. She went on to ask, ``You all believe in the same Christ, right? Why aren`t you all the same church?`Just like Christianity, Buddhism has hundreds of sects. However, buddhists never point fingers and say each other is wrong. They just accept their differences and agree that they believe in the same God but they just worship differently. So for that reason, Japanese people don`t like to get tangled up in Christianity.
At the end of the day I pondered her question a little more. We have the knowledge of the apostasy. We know there is a power above our own on this earth. That power is called the priesthood. We know of these things because we`ve done like what is written in Mormon 9:21 `Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.` Through priesthood power perfect truth was revealed. This was revealed to Joseph Smith. If we all believe in the same Jesus, why are we not all the same? If you`re reading this and you`re thinking `She`s just another mormon girl saying what all mormons say.`
I invite you to pray and ask God in the name of Jesus Christ what is true -- just like we invited that woman who asked us this question to pray and seek her Father in Heaven`s guidance.Yes we all worship and love the same Jesus Christ. We all just spent a wonderful Christmas season remembering Him and celebrating His birth. But I believe in a resurrected, living Christ! He`s the Head of His Church. He appeared to Joseph Smith and this is where His perfect truth was restored. The scriptures say `it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all...`
God will answer you whether you`re Christian or not, whether you are Japanese or American. He`s promised that He will answer and I know that He will. In Mormon 9:31 Moroni writes `Condemn me not because of mine imperfection...` I ask the same for my imperfections and for the imperfections of other mormons and Christians. Don`t let the imperfections of those around you hold you back from receiving the answers to your questions that you deserve and that only your Father in Heaven can give.
As we approach a new year and look back on 2014, I hope you all are filled with gratitude for all the blessings and lessons learned this past year. I know I am!I hope we all can see where we can grow a little more, then push yourself to do so in 2015! Don`t you love fresh starts? I love fresh starts. I especially love the fresh start we call repentance. I look forward to repenting and changing more and more as the year goes on.
I hope you all have a wonderful new year filled with all the blessings you deserve! It will be hard to proselyte this week since New Years is a huge buddhist holiday, but we are excited to see what`s in store for us this week.
I love you all!
|Practicing a song I wrote for our mission.|
|Sister Bowman...such an awesome missionary.|
|No one ever had a better mic-holder than me!|
|(L to R) Elder Roylance (Idaho), Sister Zamani (LAX), Sister Furusawa (Sendai)|
|Sister Tenney (Hawaii), Sister Something, Sister Nara|
|President & Sister Welch -- my favorite people.|
| Christmas Dinner with Elder Aoba (Seventy) & family:|
|Dinner at Aobas with Sister Ichikawa and Brother Ryouta|
|This mac salad with a snowman on top. Almost too cute to eat.|
|Look at this place setting...so creative|
|The Aobas are very artistic! The Church has commissioned his work. He owns a pottery shop.|
|Elder Aoba's daughter, Kumi Chan|
|With my beloved companion|
Sick at Home:
|Ichikawa shimai tried to make me feel better by doing this to my hair. It worked, of course.|