Janae's gift from Heaven to brighten her day and let her know that she is loved
It's so good to hear from all of you! :) I love you all so much. It sounds like you are all doing really good. I've had a great week! I've tried some more interesting foods, and sister Trent and I had some really neat and exciting experiences. Dad, did you ever eat Nato? Did you like it? I ate it this week and it wasn't the worse thing I've eaten here, but it was pretty gross! I'll send the video if I can, haha. It was definitely interesting... I also ate a bunch of fish eggs this week, haha. It was interesting too.. They kinda pop in your mouth a little bit..
Our mission is getting Facebook back this week! We have finally finished all of the training our mission president wanted us to go through, so if you were wondering when, it's pretty soon! :)
There are so many ways we can use the Internet to share the gospel. People and missionaries have seen so many miracles here as a result of online missionary work. It will be neat to see what that will be like to use it as a missionary tool. Mom, you said that in church for relief society that you had a lesson on "flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon." I think this idea is amazing, and with the technology we have today that it is so possible! Can you imagine what would happen if every member of the church shared their testimony on social media? Facebook is definitely a wonderful tool that can be used to help in the Lord's hastening. I encourage you all to share the gospel on Facebook. :) You can and will change lives if you pray for opportunities to share the gospel and do all you can to share your testimony. It doesn't have to be huge, just something small. The lord works by small means to confound the wise. :)
There was one day this week that most of our appointments cancelled and most everyone we talked to wasn't interested or ignored us. It was a little bit challenging, but I had the most tender mercy as a result of everything. Sister Trent and I were walking down the busy street, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the most beautiful butterfly. I watched it for a few seconds and then it landed gently in front of me. I will send you some pictures of it. :) God works in mysterious ways, and He knows perfectly what will make us happy. As I held the butterfly, all I could think about was how much God loved me and was aware of me at that time. Nature is an amazing manifestation of the lords love for us. It was definitely a tender mercy for me. My day was better after that.
Our investigators are doing well. We may have to love the baptismal date for the family we are teaching, but they are still progressing well. :) Kouno San is doing very well too. We have around 10 progressing investigators right now so we are pretty busy. We love them all so much.
As always, I would like to share some of my studying with you this week, but first I would like to tell you about one of our investigators. Since I've been in Koiwa, we have been teaching this lady who lives just down the street from us. I really like her, and although the missionaries have been teaching her for quite some time now, she hasn't moved forward very much. She is a really deep thinker and self starter. This week we have seen so many miracles with her! She has finally agreed to come to church! She is reading the Book of Mormon and we are so excited with the progress she is making. When we visited her this past week, she asked us a lot of questions, and so we thought it would be good to have a member present lesson to help with answering her questions. During the lesson, we really testified of the Book of Mormon. I didn't feel like I said anything very significant during the lesson, but I did try to bare my testimony of the Book of Mormon and promise her blessings simply in Japanese. I told her that the Book of Mormon has power and that if she read it everyday and she would feel God's love and power. Despite it being really simple, I know the lord really magnified my efforts. After bearing my simple testimony, she turned to sister Trent and started talking. I didn't understand all of it, but I could make out what she was trying to say. What she said almost brought me to tears...She told us that our eyes were like angels or babies eyes when we talked to her, and that they were a little bit scary. She said that she felt a little bit out of place when looking into them because she felt so opposite. She said that we were good people and that we were really pure, and that she wanted to be like us.... What she said really sunk deep into my mind. It reminded me of a scripture in 3 Nephi 13:22. (Which brings me to my studying) The scripture says:
22 The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
I thought about some of the ways I may have seen this truth before in my life. There's that saying that 'people's eyes are the windows to their souls,' and I believe it. When teaching, it is through looking into our investigators eyes and listening that we are able to discern their needs and teach accordingly. Anyway, I love the imagery of this scripture! The light can start in our eyes, and then, if our eyes are single- single to Christ- our whole person or soul can be filled with light. In seminary, I was always taught that 'light' in the scriptures is simultaneous with 'Christ' or 'truth.' This being said, if our eye be single, our whole bodies can be filled with 'Christ.' After all, it is his light that we are hold up to the rest of the world. (3 Nephi 18:24) which brings me to Alma's question:
14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? (Alma 5:14)
I shared this teaching in a phone call this morning with our zone group call. I encouraged everyone to realign their sight, or eyes to Christ, or to make their eyes single. I said, when we focus on Christ and do things which bring us closer to him, we obtain more spiritual light. People are then able to see that light, or Christ in us, as we testify and teach about Him.
I love the story of Peter in the bible when in the fourth watch of the night, the Savior comes to the disciples who are in the boat, walking on water. As the disciples see him, they are afraid and then Jesus tells them not to fear. Peter, after realizing it is Jesus Christ, asks the lord if he can come unto him on the water. As Peter focuses on Christ, or on Christ's example of walking on water, he is able to walk on the water. Where were his eyes? I like to imagine he was looking directly at Christ. As he looks and focuses on Christ, he is able to walk on water.
30 "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."
...Note, it is after Peter 'saw' the wind boisterous, or took his eyes off Christ, that he began to sink.
31 "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matthew 14:25-31)
I know Christ will always catch us. As we look to Him and try and focus with an eye single to his light and glory, we will gradually become more like him. The light within us will shine more brightly, and our love for God and for his children will increase. We will become more Christlike and others will be able to recognize the light that is in us because it will be Christ's light. Through everyday acts of turning to the Lord in prayer, scripture study, and charitable acts of service, we can and will 'receive his image in our countenances.'
I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and for everything you do. Keep being the good examples that you are.