miracles? The first line of our mission motto is that Obedience is the
Price. It's so true! Is we are obedient, we display our trust in God
and follow His plan. We humble ourselves and as we take the road less
travelled we find the miracles that aren't seen by many. It takes a
lot of effort, but I know that we are blessed by obedience! Even
obedience to the little things that don't even seem important, I know
that we will see miracles. I have a few miracles I want to share, I
wish I could share all of them but there isn't time and I'm not a good
enough writer (yes, I know, my grammar has become rubbish, y'all don't
need to continue lying to me) to do any of them justice.
Commandment #1: They shalt respect Japanese Customs.
Sister Wada (our Mission President's wife) always emphasizes the
importance of respecting Japanese culture. During our first few days
in Japan she is sure that we learn table manners, greeting etiquette,
and other small things. And that's what they seem like. Small things.
But she emphasized them so much, that I wanted to do it because I
I continued following the etiquette rules for different motivation. I
was sick of looking like an idiot. You really do look more like a
child when you don't know how to use chopsticks or don't take your
shoes off properly in a home. This was a selfish motivation I know,
but it kept me from breaking the fragile rules of courtesy.
This Sunday I gained a testimony of etiquette. We were in ward council
when the Bishop turned to my companion and I and said that our
following a few simple Japanese customs while visiting a less active
member change her heart about the church. She hasn't come to church in
10 years and she hasn't had much interest in being visited by
missionaries or members. When Sister Jolley and I visited her with a
member, she was shocked when we followed the Japanese customs. She
said that through our attention to the details of Japanese culture she
could feel the love that we have for the Japanese. She told the Bishop
that she was now open to receiving lessons from the missionaries
What an incredible miracle!! That by being obedient to a rule we
didn't fully understand, we were able to be tools in the hands of The
Lord to help this woman feel His love!
I am so grateful for a wise Mission President and Wife who teach us
how to love others in so many different and important ways.
Commandment #2: Magnify your Calling
In Preach my Gospel and our rules handbook it repeatedly reminds us of
the sacred nature of our calling and that we must constantly strive to
magnify it. I have a testimony of that! I'm not perfect at this
missionary thing because I'm not a perfect missionary but I do know
that God is really merciful and patient, and that He is proud of me
that I am making an effort to improve every day.
The members in Atsugi ward are such a huge example to me of how to
magnify their callings, and when I look at them, I recall other men
and women who have given their all to their callings so that others
can draw closer to Christ. Young women leaders, relief society
presidents, visiting teachers, and others who have helped shape the
kind of person I am today. Thank you so much to those who have helped
me and given so much of their time to help build my testimony. I did
not appreciate it half as much as I should have, but I am so grateful
for it now!!
Commandment #3: When the trail gets rough, keep moving forward.
Guys. I went on another hike. I have officially been on 2 voluntary
hikes in my life. Both in Japan. It's almost embarrassing how
unathletic/outdoorsy I was premission. But this hike was so much fun!!
We went up Ooyama with a bunch of English class students and members
of our ward. Our guide was Brother Kesh. He hiked Mt Fuji 42 times
last year and so is helping our students train for Fuji next month. On
our way back, a bridge was out so what was supposed to be a 7 mile fun
and fancy free hike turned into a 12 mile rigorous trek.
Okay, I'm exaggerating. But Brother Kesh definitely said that it was
harder than even he had anticipated.
It was such an amazing opportunity to really get to know our students
and learn about their lives. The trail was beautiful, and we got some
Our unplanned detour put us back about 4 hours. It would have been
easy to complain that things were too hard or to want to turn back,
but not one person said a negative comment. We were all exhausted, and
walking the next day was a whole new challenge, but we had so much fun
because we simply kept a good attitude. Our misadventure most
definitely turned into one of the best hikes I've ever been on.
Life is great. I really love where I am in my life and the people I am
working with. I am grateful for my family and the support they give me
daily. I love this Work, and I know that I am doing something more
than just fun, or cool, or a good endeavor. I am participating in the
utmost important service in the world. Christ has restored His church
to the Earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints is the TRUE church of Jesus Christ. This
is His Work, and it is hastening. I am so grateful to be a part of it.
I love you all!!