Monday, March 6, 2017

2017.1.15 Magic men, snowy Sundays, and 美味しいおこなみやき

And the subject line goes with a shout out to my mother. Thank you for being an SLP 😉

Hello everyone,

I hope January is treating you all well. We are half-way through the month already! It's hard to believe.

This past week was good. The end of the week was the most interesting. The Asia North president, Elder Whiting, do a mission tour here starting on Wednesday. We had our meeting on Friday in Kobe. We had a
joint lesson with the sisters for one of heir investigators and it was pretty interesting; more on that later. We also had some snow, but just a little. We also had an awesome Sunday because everyone we wanted to visit were home! *fist pump*

On Friday we went to the Kobe Ward building and began spiritual preparation at 9:30. Elder Whiting walked in at 10:00 and shook the hand of every elder and sister while asking them where they were from. The morning session was a time of questions. One elder asked how, as missionaries, we can help the ward/branch improve the relationships they have with themselves. Not missionary-to-members, but members-to-members. One sister asked how to use the Atonement of Christ to continue to progress as opposed to plateauing. I wasn't able
to ask it, but my question was how to use The Book of Mormon to change/improve the way I talk with deity. It was a very uplifting morning. After that we had lunch break.

When we came back for the afternoon session the discussion was focused on the gift of the Holy Ghost and free agency. When we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost they don't seal it upon us, they tell us to receive it. This means that whatever we do either brings us closer or pushes us away from the Holy Ghost. It is not there no matter what, that is not how it works. I can testify that is true because I have had experiences where the Holy Spirit left me after a decision I made. And contrariwise, I have experiences where a decision I made brought the Holy Ghost closer to me. So I felt that what Elder Whiting was saying is true. The Holy Ghost testified that to me.

After the meeting I was assigned to have an interview with Elder Whiting. It was a good interview. I can testify that he is a man called of God, through authority, to minister to those here. He ministered to me personally and for that I am very grateful.

That night we had dinner with our recent convert, Furukawa Kyōdai. After that we went to the church and had a short lesson focused on the sacrament and the Atonement of Christ. He is still progressing which makes me so happy. I can see more and more, in different ways, that he does have a desire to learn more. And he is applying it to his life! He is so good. He texted us yesterday asking for another lesson today, so we will teach him today. I'm so excite.

We went to the castle park next to the train station downtown and found a couple of magic men. Well, really it was one magic man and his friend who could kind of speak English. But the guy was so good at magic. He was bending forks, teleporting cards, and, the most mind bending, was solving a Rubix Cube, with one hand, in tree seconds. That's when my mind really exploded. I wanted to take a video but I wasn't thinking that far ahead. He isn't even professional. He is studying to become a nurse right now. Yeah, I'll show you a picture of the fork he gave me. But the English-speaking-friend wants to learn more about Christ and why He died. #perfectquestion We will see him again.

We had a combined lesson with the sisters for one of their investigators. It's actually a family of four plus the mom of the mother. The father is a nice guy and fun to talk with, until we start talking about religion. And it's not like he believes in anything out of the ordinary, he is just hard to teach because he won't see our point of view. Whenever we would try and show him how it all fits he would bring it all back to the two things he is focused on. He has actually been meeting with the missionaries for quite a few years. It was only a couple of steps away from going into a Bible brawl, but it didn't go that far. After the conversation was over we got right back to normal chatting so he was still on good terms with us which was good. Then the sisters had a lesson with the mother and grandmother while we kept the father busy. And then the mother came to church with her two boys. And now they will come to church next week. Yes!!!

Speaking of church, the sisters also brought a new investigator to church. He is way cool and he loves the members. And, from what the members told me, he seems pretty serious about the church. Awesomeness!!! After church we had lunch with the Garrets who moved here from Idaho for the fathers job. We played games, had Hawaiian Haystacks, and shared a message with them. After that we visited members in that area (the eastern part of our area) and everyone was home! So good! We got back and hit the hay because there we hills, man. There were hills.

Last week and this week I have been focusing on prayer. I really want to make my prayers what they are  supposed to be, that is, talking with my Father. I have the growing need and desire to be able to talk with
my God and then receive personal revelation so I can progress the way God wants me to. I can see, looking back, that my prayers have changed and improved. Now I want to take the next step. And I invite everyone to do the same. Please make the next step towards God through your prayers. I promise you will receive blessings of confidence and peace.

Well, I think that's it from the exotic east (once again, thinking of you Mom). Today we will go get the weekly food. But, other than that, I think we are just relaxing today. The cold is cold, the snow is cold, and the wind is colder. Fight the good fight and never give up!


Elder Peacock

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