It's been another week here in Japan. We have been enjoying this opportunity to do the Lord's work here. Being able to serve everyone, even in small and simple ways, is a privilege for sure. I hope that I can be who God wants me to be, and do what He needs me to do.
We had our first district meeting of the transfer and it was good. We focused on using The Book of Mormon as our primary source of conversion for others and ourselves. In Preach My Gospel we read, "...The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion...", therefore, we should use it in every phase of our work. We also talked about being unified as a district. We have to support each other in our areas, as companionships, and on an individual level. Spartans, when they would fight, would never fight for themselves, they always fought for the man next to them which I didn't know and it provided a powerful visual.
We also had an exchange with two elders. I was with Olsen Chōrō and we focused on less-active members. A lot of them weren't home but we were able to meet three of them. All of them said that while they still like the church they have no more desire to return to church. It's sad when, for whatever reason, someone has lost the desire to attend church. Church attendance is such a basic thing that we all need because it's a commandment. At church we are strengthened by the testimony of others and are edifices by the good word of God found in the Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon. And, most importantly, we partake of the sacrament which is a vital ordinance that helps us repent, focus, and reflect on ourselves.
We had one night this past week where we went to downtown Kobe. There we met a man who had been investigating the church before. He is a teacher at a school in the Kobe area. We met him with the sisters from our area and had dinner. By the time the night ended he told us that he has no need for God nor does he think he will ever have a need for God. He thinks there is nothing after this life so we need to do what we want and have fun. We offered him a copy of The Book of Mormon and a Plan of Salvation pamphlet but he declined. It was sad and it left me feeling down. But he was using his agency, we did what we could.
I have felt strong impressions from the Holy Ghost this past week that I need make a big push to improve my Japanese. I know that my Japanese is ok but it is time for a level up. My biggest problem with what I study is that I forget to try to use it throughout the day. I understand the principles just fine, that isn't a problem. I hear, understand, and analyze just fine. I just need to do my best.
Yesterday we had dinner with the stake president. During our time with him he shared with us something that he has been studying lately. It's in Ether chapter two. Here, Ether is commanded to build barges to cross the great waters. When instructed to do so he asks two questions: 1) how do we get air and 2) how do we have light. Here is what our stake president posed to us: how did he know to ask those two questions? The answer is simple, it is not deep doctrine, it is just something that, if read normally, is easily missed. I had missed it until now. And the point he wanted to make was to think deeply about everything. Do not take anything only for face value, look at it in different lights and think. It was pretty cool.
Side note: I want to be the missionaries' best friend when I get home. Just something I have been thinking about since, like, first transfer XD
Well, there are the highlights from this past week in the Akashi area of the Kobe mission here in Japan. Today we cleaned our apartment a little which is way nice because this place needs it. After emailing we are going to go shopping. Then we will take some naps because we need them. Love you all and hope you are doing well! Fight the good fight and never give up!