Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19, 2014 First trip to the Tokyo Temple!

I actually haven't needed much Ibuprofen yet, but when I do, I have some handy! Depending on the conversation, I can understand more or less of what people are saying because a lot of times they just use unfamiliar words. Plus, people here do speak really fast usually. Although, ward members are nice about slowing down a little for me! 
I hope you told the cousins hi for me! They'll all be so old when I get back so tell them not to change too much or get married because I don't think I could handle that! We're they going to be in Boise for Blake's homecoming? Make sure to take tons of pictures of that and the temple groundbreaking and put them up on Facebook too! I miss that little son of a gun so he better write me some personal emails! We're allowed to use Facebook in Tokyo South, but the purpose is to strengthen members, investigators, and friends using the gospel and only doing things that reflect our calling as missionaries. I don't know a ton of people yet, but hopefully as my mission progresses, I'll be able to use it to really help others!
I remember those long, conditioning practices during the summer so you have my sympathy Aaron! I actually miss those long workouts now that I only have a half an hour to exercise.mI miss choir too so enjoy it Bennett! Being in choir helped me so much and made high school amazing!
Starting conversations has been one of the harder things for me, especially when I can't see any immediate things that we have in common, but I've made a goal to just talk to people and give it my best! Most of the recent direction that I've received has been to just go for it, stat positive, and make the most of every opportunity, and so far, that mindset has helped us make a lot more progress!

Our investigator cut off contact with us, which was actually what we think is best. He had expressed to us that he really didn't care about learning the gospel anymore.  He really just wanted to hang out, but we told him that we couldn't just hang out because we needed to get out and work, which annoyed him. I hope that he can realize that we just want to help him better his life, and hopefully, he will experience a change of heart. We do have several other people who could become new investigators and several new people who we have just contacted recently so things are looking up! 
There really is power in looking for and being thankful for the little, everyday miracles that we experience, and so far, that lesson has been one of the most helpful for me! In the last few days, I've had people come up and start conversations with me, had amazing conversations with people, and even been invited to someone's house for some food  so that we could tell them what we do! Miracles do happen, but sometimes, we just need to be paying close attention and always be grateful! We had the opportunity to do some "blitzes" during the last week, which is where a bunch of missionaries go to one area, switch companions, and go out into the world to talk to people! Almost every time, miracles have happened, and even when they haven't happened to me, I've been amazed at the results of dedicated service!

I remember hearing conference talks about that very thing in the past, but I never realized how incredibly important it is. So many people, myself included, desire these big miracles, not as a witness or a sign, but as an answer to prayer and obedience. However, if we aren't truly grateful for even the smallest of blessings, we probably won't receive anything else. Heavenly Father teaches us line upon line and precept upon precept. When we are faithful and grateful for the blessings and knowledge that we have received, God will bless us even more until we receive a fullness of truth.
2 Nephi 28:30

30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
I know that if we strive for an attitude of gratitude (do you remember that, mom?!) that we can be blessed so much more than ever before!
Good luck with all of your endeavors and keep Japan in your prayers!
Elder Christensen
1. Tokyo Temple!
2. Temple trip

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