I made sure to plan for more time today so that I can really say all
that I want to and to share all of the incredible things that are
happening here in Japan. The trials and mistakes are still there, and
those probably won't go anywhere. However, the miracles that come from
living the gospel daily are real and come daily!
I'll do my best to describe the awesome missionary that is Elder M!
This elder a man with tons of energy
and a desire to consecrate himself. He's been on his mission for
almost a year and a half and has served as both a district leader and
zone leader. He was the varsity soccer captain at his high school and
likes basketball as well. His family is all LDS, but for a while, his
parents were basically less active. However, as he and his siblings
have gone on missions, gotten married in the temple, and through just
living the gospel and becoming the servants of God that they were
meant to be, his parents have really grown in testimony and in
activity. His goals are way high and his desire to help this area is
as big as his heart. English isn't even his first language, and
although Japanese has really been a struggle, we're trying to work
together to share goals, learn vocab, and just be a team. More than
anything, I know that I can trust him completely because his heart and
his mind are completely centered on serving with whatever he can
First and foremost, even though I'm in H, I want to talk a
little about one of our friends from O. N is a x year old
who met the sister missionaries for the very first time in
December, and since that time, she has basically dedicated her life to
learning more about Christ and eventually to have all the blessings of
an eternal family. This is in 4 and a half months! Whenever most
people chose to drop out and quit, for some reason she kept going.
More than anyone I've ever seen before, her faith always seems to win
out over fear, and because of that, she has transformed into a bold,
thoughtful, kind, humble example to everyone in this area. She's
helped out lost foreigners, been honest about things like accidently
breaing curfew when it would have been much easier to lie, and even
chose to attend and wait in the foyer of the Tokyo temple for several
hours even though she wasn't able to go in. All the while, she has
been preparing to eventually follow the example of Christ and be
baptized and begin a lifelong journey to obtain all the blessings God
has in store for her. Her baptism is scheduled for this ,
but from the very beginning, her parents have been opposed to
religion of any sort and have told her so on many occasions, not
because they are insensitive or bigoted, but because they are
genuinely concerned for the welfare of their daughter like any loving
parent would be. I have never met them, but I already respect her
parents so much for their honest hearts and genuine concern, which is
exactly what I would do as well. This last week N approached her
parents and asked for their permission to be baptized, and although
they haven't given permission yet, their answer was also not an
I have no idea what's going to happen, but I would just like to bear
my testimony about the power of an honest and sincere heart.
Because N has an honest heart, she recognized immediately the
blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but because her parents were
opposed, it would have been all to easy to hide it. It is so much
easier to lie to ourselves and others and deny truth rather than
experience the sometimes embarrassing or difficult truth, but how much
sweeter is the light and glory of the truth. Lies only lead to more
lies and eventually to bitterness and pain. Honesty rejoices in the
truth and enjoys the sweetness of a life free from lasting guilt.
Both a dishonest heart and an honest heart recognize truth, but the
honest heart embraces it while the dishonest heart denies it,
unwilling to change.
No matter how many times we've lied, however, there's always a way
out, though it may not always be easy.
I know without a doubt that Jesus Christ was exactly who he said he
was, the Son of God and our best friend! He can make us into so much
more if we just trust enough in Him to put away our fears. We will
become our very best selves!
I love you all so much!