Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014 last week volcano, this week typhoon!

October 6, 2014

Thank you so much for the package and the treats! It's been soooo long
since I've had any of those. The krabby patty gummies took me way back
down memory lane! It is always a highlight of my week when I get your
letter, and pictures updating me on all of your wonderful adventures
at home! I'm not entirely sure what I'm craving, but maybe some
personal notes from everyone with inspiring scriptures and thoughts,
hot chocolate and apple cider mix, and some assorted snacks! I'll have to eat the candy sparingly until I figure out a healthy,
balanced diet with all of the really different Japanese foods, a
limited budget, and difficulty reading health information on
groceries, but there's nothing like a kitkat to brighten up one's day!
It's been pretty hard to find good Japanese recipes on our own, but I
think I'll probably start asking Ward members for some. They actually
do celebrate Halloween in Japan, which is pretty dang awesome! We have
a Ward party on the 25th of October so if I stay in Hachioji I'll send
you some pictures of that! How's the fall weather in Boise?

We'll be watching conference officially next weekend, but I'll
probably read and listen to some of them before from and other
I climbed through the window since our companionship doesn't have keys
to the church, and the Ward doesn't think that too many should be
made. We had left some important things in the church, so we were
pretty desperate! But I guess that's one way to become famous!

We began teaching three new investigators last week, S, D
and C, but they were either unavailable or cancelled appointments
for this week so we haven't been able to see progress there yet. Some
are busy with work and some simply don't answer our calls. Some are
still hesitant to fully commit because of doubts and fear of change.
They're all still very new to the gospel so now is a critical time to
build on faith and help them gain a testimony of the gospel. I worry
that they if we lose contact for too long, they won't have a
foundation when the familiar influences of the world come calling.
I've worked so hard to get to this point, and to see it all go would
be a difficult thing to swallow. I'm praying that we will have more
opportunities, and I plan on doing all that I can to help.
We actually just had a typhoon pass over Japan again so we had solid
rainfall for about a day and a half. There weren't many people on the
streets so we took to the houses, but we didn't find many people
willing to open their homes to a couple of wet foreigners just quite
yet. It can be pretty frustrating and hurtful to see people move
across the street to avoid you or quickly go inside their houses when
they see you, and it's hard not to feel helpless and confused. I
honestly just want to help and share a gift that can, even during the
worst times, lift up the heads of the despairing, give peace to an
aching soul, and bring eternal love into a troubled home. At times
like that, it's been easy to feel discouraged, but one thing that's
always given me hope is seeing the member in Hachioji and hearing
their amazing stories of finding the gospel. Many had opposed parents,
friends, and siblings and faced opposition at every turn, but
faithfully, they held to the iron rod and would not let go, despite
the mists of darkness swirling about them and the harsh, mocking of
their many acquaintances looming in the great and spacious building.
In the end, it all comes down to our testimonies. When your friends
and family have gone, you've lost all possessions, and there seems to
be no light in the world, your testimony of the gospel and of Jesus
Christ is a glowing beacon that can give you the strength necessary to
overcome all things. When all other lights go out, your testimony will
remain. I haven't watched general conference, but I know that the
words of the speakers are truly the words of God spoken through his
chosen servants. I know that if we diligently seek to apply them, we
need not fear for God has promised to never leave us comfortless.
Helaman 5:12
John 14:18

I love you all and pray for your success in all things,
Elder Christensen

posing with not shy- High School Students

Fugimori Park

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