Really cool guy playing music on the street.
It was so good to skype with all of you! You all look so great. Thank you for your love and for all of your support. I really do feel your prayers and your strength.
I've had a really great week! I'm glad I was able to tell you about the family who agreed to be baptized. They are really special to Sister Trent and I. We are praying hard that they will be ready for the 31st of this month. We know they can do it, and we are so excited for them!
This week, we had an appointment in Kinshichou with a less active member and it was a really special experience for us. We had met with this member a few times before, but this time was really special. Lately, this member hasn't been able to come to church because she has to work every Sunday. We have been encouraging her to try and get Sunday's off and promised her that God would help her if she really wanted to keep the sabbath day holy. She agreed to pray for this a few weeks ago. Anyway, we arrived in Kinshichou, and she wasn't at her apartment. A few minutes later she called us and we found out that she was at the Hospital with her son who is 14 years old. Just a month previous, her son had been in the hospital for a while because of some health problems, but he had to be rushed there again for immediate medical attention. We were able to go over to the hospital at this time and see them both. We shared a really powerful lesson about trusting in God and of the power of the atonement. We suggested a priesthood blessing and sent the elders over the next day to give the blessing. They were very grateful we came to visit them. Even more than this, the mother was able to find a better paying job and she is not required to work on Sunday's! It as definitely a miracle. This little family has such great faith. I really felt God's love for them as we were able to visit with them.
There is a lady in our Koiwa ward who is really on dendo-fire! We have met with two of her friends in the last little while- one of them last week, and one of them this week. She is an amazing missionary. We went to her house for dinner this week and she had sister Trent and I sing for her friend who is investigating the church. It was a great experience! Music really does invite the spirit, and although we weren't able to share a lesson, we could tell the spirit was felt. We try and sing everyday in our Dendo. So far it has been really wonderful. :) We have been using it as a finding tool to be able to invite people to church. When housing, most people here have these speaker door bells with a camera on them. Because of this, we often don't see the person we are talking to, but we have been able to teach lessons through these door bells. We have sang a few times too! Sister Trent always makes me ring the doorbell and introduce who we are, what we do, and who we teach about. It's always a lot of fun! :) We've met some really cool people housing. Streeting is fun too. Other missionaries think I'm funny when Streeting because I will walk with people while talking if they don't acknowledge us right away. I never noticed it until I went on exchanges in Adachi and worked with other sisters in Hiroo, haha, but they pointed it out to me and I thought it was pretty funny. I've always wanted to chase people down, and now I can say that I do it! Haha. Always politely though...
This week, we had an amazing district meeting. Our district leader gave us an amazing training on our potential as missionaries and as children of God. I feel like I learned a lot from his training. I'd like to share just a little bit of it with all of you.
He began by talking about the pre-mortal life and the war in heaven. He shared a scripture that really helped me to see everyone on earth in a new perspective and light. The war in heaven was not a war between God and Satan; it was a war between us and Satan. God already has all glory and all power. He did not fight the war with Satan, but we did. Note, It was by the atonement of Jesus Christ and words of our testimonies that Satan was cast out of heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
(Revelation 12:9, 11)
Verse 11 is talking about all of us, or all of the people who are on the earth today. The war in heaven ended through our own testimonies of Christ against satan. As I was studying everything later, I thought about my own testimony and where it may have fit in amongst this war. We know, because we are all here on earth, that we were valiant in our first life. We chose to follow God's plan. Now that we are here on earth, the war continues. Just last conference, there were many talks given on the importance of defending the Family unit and definition of family. Right now the family is under attack, and all I can think about is how amazingly inspired our prophets and leaders have been in preparing us for this time. "The Family, a Proclamation to the World," was written by inspiration nearly 20 years ago so that we would be prepared for these times today when the family is under attack. The church has another document: "The living Christ: the testimony of the apostles." This document clearly states our firm knowledge of the Savior and his divine mission as savior and redeemer of the world. As the world grows increasingly more wicked and as we come closer to the Savior's second coming, I wonder if we will soon be asked to defend our savior Jesus Christ? Will this document someday be questioned or put on trial by the rest of the world as the first document has been?
Let's ask Nephi ...
13 And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.
14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory."
Nephi truly did see our day, and he saw each and every one of us. He saw the world before the second coming of Christ. He saw our strengths and our weaknesses. He saw who would stand strong. It's our job to defend the family and the truths we know to be true, and even more importantly, we need to stand strong in our testimony of Jesus Christ. We need to be just as valiant in our testimony here, as we were before this life. I hope I can live up to the prophecies of the valiant people Nephi saw in the last days. Anyway, I thought I would share some of my studying with you. I'm really grateful to have such grate examples here in Tokyo. :)
I love being a missionary. I've learned a lot this week and my Japanese is coming along. It's a tough language, but it's a fun experience learning it from real Japanese people. I loved talking with you all today! Thank you so much for everything.