Thursday, October 17, 2013

Are you ready? - October 15, 2013

Oba-san is one of our Eikaiwa students. Her daughter, Haruka-chan, had an undokai (exerise event) at her school this past week and we went to support her.
Maria Asano is a Phillipean woman who married a Japanese man. She is very religious! We are taking her daughter, Karen, to church with us next week. We are so excited!!
This week has been incredible. I have learned a lot about the importance of applying what I learn to my life. Robert D. Hales put it well in this last General Conference. If you listen, the Lord will tell you what he wants you to do in your life...the greatest benefits of General Conference come after conference is over if you are willing to act. This not only applies to General Conference. Anything that we are taught in life, if it is not applied, will be lost and will amount to about zero. We will be truly converted when we consistently act on what we learn.
This week, I had an incredible experience which strengthened my testimony on the power the Atonement can have in our lives as long as we are willing to act on it. Sister Lowry and I have been teaching Yamazaki Shimai for quite some time. We have had to teach her at a slow pace. She has been willing to read the Book of Mormon and pray, but some commitments she hasn't really wanted to make. Yesterday, we discussed the Savior's Atonement and reviewed the steps of repentance with her. We did a really fun repentance tatoebanashi (ah, I can't think of what this is called in English...sorry, my English skills are leaving me) that helped her understand that she could become clean from all her mistakes. She said she wanted to try the steps of repentance and that she wanted to feel like Alma did in the Book of Mormon (Alma 26). What a miracle! I know that the power of the Atonement is real. It truly changes hearts and changes lives. The church is true. 
I love the council given by our prophet, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you." Are you ready to respond? Are you prepared to work? Japanese is the greatest language in the world. There is so much meaning behind the words. Missionaries in Japan are called "Senkyoushi." Sen means proclaim. Kyou means teachings. Shi means master. So as missionaries, we are proclaiming the masters teachings and, therefore, are masters that proclaim His teachings. May we all try a little bit harder, every single day, to become a better "Senkyoushi." Are you ready? As you prepare to help hasten the work of salvation, always remember:
  1. We are the happiest when we aren't thinking about ourselves.
  2. Try what no one has tried before. Reach what no one as reached before. Achieve what no one has achieved before.
  3. Don't work for God. Work with God.
Lots of hugs and loves, 

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