Monday, September 28, 2015

09/27/2015 | Week Full of Miracles


Hey everyone. So first, with my rant about pride last week, I want to apologize if I offended anyone. It wasn't my intent, I just wanted to share what I had learned. Second, before I say anything else I have to explain what I did based off of that pride rant. So I made a goal, to write in my journal every day, (which I've been doing) but write specifically about "Where I see the hand of God in my life" everyday. Through doing so, I was able to see miracles every day, and they even moved to get better. it also helped me see just how much God does for me every day.

Anyway along those lines, this week was really good. We went on Thursday to an appointment we had with a middle aged couple, the Shibuya's. We entered their house, talked with them a bit, and started
to teach them the message of the restoration, and then randomly, someone walks into their apartment (turns out to be a friend of theirs whose name is Kone San (koh neh)) and immediately starts asking who we are. Immediately I thought he was going to be a hindrance, and mess up our lesson, but instead he just talks about how he has always lied to the Mormons that come to his door to get them to leave and never really has listened to them. So he sat down, and we started over. They all 3 accepted things almost immediately, and the Shibuya's even told us they already believe in Joseph Smiths first vision. The other way cool miracle about this lesson was that we anticipated giving the Shibuya's 2 Book of Mormon's, but we weren't anticipated a 3rd party to be there. Well the cool thing is that we were planning on giving a Book of Mormon to another person we were planning on visiting earlier, but it fell through so we had 3 Books!!! God works in Mysterious ways.

In the end we were able to make 3 strong baptismal dates with them for 10/31. On Halloween. Kone san is still slightly hesitant, but he is willing to read, pray and try to find out. He is actually "Investigating." The Shibuya's on the other hand are just Golden, and are already desiring to get baptized. They even came to Church yesterday, and we were able to teach them The Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We've already taught them 3 of the 5 lessons in less than a week!!! That is a miracle!! Especially in Japan. Kone san didn't come to church yesterday however, so we have to work a little harder with him, but I believe that he will also desire to be baptized in the end.

I have also seen so many other miracles this week. When you're looking for them, it's way easy to see them. I challenge everyone to realize all the good things they are receiving, somehow. If it is the same way I did, then so be it, but try it.

Here's a Humorous video about that.
Your Potential, Your Privileges (3:09)

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shares a humorous parable of a man who realizes he has been living far beneath his privileges.

I know of the of this gospel to be true. It is real. God prepared a plan for us, helped us know what it was, and right now the Shibuya's are remembering that, and feeling that. For that reason they are wanting to meet with us, and desiring to follow Christ. You too can feel that power. I promise that to you in the name of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. Being a missionary, I can do that. Read, ponder, pray. You will receive an answer.
Love to everyone. Have a wonderful week. See miracles!

Elder Eliot

Sunday, September 20, 2015

09/20/2015 | A long week. A rainy week. A good week.

A long week. A rainy week. A good week. An I'm tired week. So in other words. A normal week. Yay!!!! 

Muroran Japan

This past week was RAINY. Being next to the ocean, the rain is pretty heavy here. Don't worry though, it's nothing near as bad as what happened down in other parts of Japan. So something fun we did this week. In trying to think of better ways we could befriend people to help them see us as more than the "join our church" kind of people, we thought about playing games with them. Not sports, because it's hard to have a conversation while playing sports, but card games and board games. Some of my best memories and conversations have been while playing goofy fun games with my family. Probably some of the best bonding time we've had to. Also a great way to put down the electronic screens, and take a break. So in thinking of this we decided to purchase a board game to play with investigators and such. We got a game called "The Settlers of Cataan." It is a way fun game, that I highly recommend to anyone. However, we messed up. We wound up accidentally purchasing the set that is like a "Booster pack" to add to the normal set so that you can play 5-6 people instead of 1-4. So we didn't have everything we needed to play, and when we went back looking for the normal set, we couldn't find it. And it turns out it is nowhere in all of Muroran. So what do we do, Well of course we cut up some cardboard, and using our memories build the pieces we didn't have out of cardboard, and paper. And guess what. It totally works. Elder Numano and I have played it quite a few times now during meals, and before bed. We keep trying to play it with others, but so far it hasn't worked out. I'm certain though that it will help is to make friends. I've given the game a new name too. It is now called "The Settlers of the Ghetto of Cataan" XD

So this past week we had our ZTM. (Zone Training Meeting) and I was asked to translate for the new beans (new missionaries). Fun fact, Sapporo is the only mission (at least in Japan) that does DTM's and ZTM's and Zone Conferences, and other meetings in Japanese. We don't do English here. So because I was translating, I wasn't able to take notes, or take a ton out of it. But one thing I was able to take, was that this year's baptism numbers are low. Last year 2014 there were 66 people baptized in Hokkaido. This year, the goal of all the members in Hokkaido was to
see 166 baptisms. Well it is already Sept. and there have only been 21-23 baptisms this whole year. Why? What happened? Basically what I took from that is that rather than looking at others, and thinking "What could we do better" I look at myself and think "what can I do better?"

Lately I've been studying about Pride. If I were to ask you what the worse sin you can commit is, some of you would say denying the Holy Ghost. Others would say Murder, and some would say Adultery. Others would say, there isn't a "worst" sin. Sin is sin. Well if you think about it though there is one ultimate evil awful the worst sin. That is Pride. If you think about it, If you commit murder, or deny the Holy Ghost, is it not because you are being Prideful? It's pretty hard to murder someone without being prideful. I can think of Nephi, and that's about it. Pride is looking at a situation and thinking "what should I do" rather than looking and it and asking "what would
God have me do" pride is not conforming to the will of God. If you do anything that God wouldn't want you to do, even if it isn't sin, it is prideful. It is thinking that your ways are higher than Gods. Which in that case makes it a sin in and of itself. Anyway, I'm not trying to guilt trip anyone, but I'm sure that everyone is prideful in some area of your life. I of course am. I've found several places I can improve.

So I'd like to give you a challenge. Take the challenge with me. I've decided, to start doing 2 things. The first, is before I make any decision I wait, and ask the spirit to confirm. Is this what God wants me to do? Then I act according to that. I do my absolute best to follow the will of God, and at the end of the day when I Pray, I go over the day. I apologize for the times I could've been better, and promise to try to do better. I also recognize the improvements I've made, and thank Him for the help he gives me to do so. The second, is for whenever I hear someone give me advice, or hear a talk or lesson. Taking from a talk in last year Oct. General conference by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "It was our beloved Savior’s final night in mortality, the evening before He would offer Himself a ransom for all mankind. As He broke bread with His disciples, He said something that must have filled their hearts with great alarm and deep sadness. “One of you shall betray me,” He told them. The disciples didn’t question the truth of what He said. Nor did they look around, point to someone else, and ask, “Is it him?” Instead, “they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?”" "As you hear or read the words of the ancient and modern prophets, refrain from thinking about how the words apply to someone else and ask the simple question: “Lord, is it I?”" Try to humbly check yourself, and fix yourself. Especially as General Conference is coming up, prepare to listen to the Prophets, and rather than immediately thinking a talk isn't for you ask yourself "Lord, is it I?" just as the disciples did. Please prepare for General Conference with questions. If you don't, it makes it harder for them to receive revelation for what you need to hear.

Try taking these 2 steps. It's not easy. But I can promise you that in the end it will be worth it. I'm am so grateful for the knowledge I have been given this early in my life to attempt to clean myself as much as possible before I return and report. I know I've still got a long way to go, but I'm grateful for a loving and merciful God who is full of grace that helps me along the way. To wrap up (I know this is starting to seem like a talk from an ensign, but bear with me) I just
want to share the lyrics of my favorite primary song.

I'm trying to be like Jesus
I'm following in his way
I'm trying to love as he did
In all that I do and say
at times I am tempted to make the wrong choice
but I try to listen as the still small voice whispers
"Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought
For these are the things Jesus taught"

I know that this is the True Church of God on the earth today. I know that this work is his, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it. I know the Book of Mormon is his word, and that we can draw closer to God by abiding by its precepts.

I love you all, and hope you don't feel like I just went Preacher mode on ya. Just some things that I had been thinking of. (plus I can never think of what to write about, so it usually comes back to that) ;)

Have a wonderful week, and go make someone smile.
Elder Eliot

Sunday, September 13, 2015

09/13/2015 | Sick Week


Hey everyone it's already been a week. Time is weird isn't it's it feels like it's been forever, but at the same time it feels like just yesterday that I was emailing... I don't know. I'll wait till the next life to try to understand that. So as the subject says, we were sick this week. Elder Numano had a cold starting Tuesday, and the proceeding days, he just got worse, and worse. Because of that we were inside most days, and didn't get do dendo very much. I caught it too, but it was very minor, and I just took some meds, and bought some sore throat spray. I'm doing just fine now. Drinking lots of water. Elder Numano is doing pretty good as well.

We should be able to do a lot of work this week with all of the extra rest we did this past week. I like the way one of the members of the bishopric put it yesterday. "When it is needed, rest is work"  (
必要な時休むのは仕事) With that being the case we worked Really Hard.

One thing I did get to do though is start reading the Bible. I read all the way through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers... The Old Testament is kind of weird. Things I've gotten out of it is that I'm very happy we don't have to keep the Law of Moses today. It seems way difficult and annoying to have to burn only certain parts of so many animals. And then all this "if you touch this your unclean" kind of stuff. Yeah I like the Gospel we have now thanks. Also I'm very happy God is a lot more patient with us now than he was with the Israelites. If you read Leviticus, and Numbers, He killed quite a few Israelites. Not 100% sure why, but I have several theories, and am studying it out more. And then last one... Did you know there's a talking Donkey in the Old Testament? Numbers Chapter 22. God makes a donkey talk. The Old Testament is really weird...

So yeah that happened. Another cool thing this week was a testimony builder. Elder Numano was just not getting better, and he asked me for a blessing. Well it had been a while since I gave a blessing, so I did it in English, but I was really nervous. Right at the beginning, I just paused for about 30 seconds not knowing what to say, and then words started to leave my mouth. I seriously thought each word as I said it. I still can't remember everything I said, but Elder Numano said it was good. I just kind of felt overwhelmed, and just so good about everything. It didn't heal him immediately, but we were able to get outside that day, and he has improved drastically since then. I love it when God loves us don't you.

Alright so to finish off, I want to share with you a quote from a talk by Tadd R. Callister. This is from a talk he gave in Oct. 2011 General Conference. As you read it, ponder about your own testimony of The Book of Mormon, and Jesus Christ. Think about all of the proof of the validity of both.

"That is the genius of the Book of Mormon--there is no middle ground. It is either the word of God as professed, or it is a total fraud. This book does not merely claim to be a moral treatise or theological commentary or collection of insightful writings. It claims to be the word of God--every sentence, every verse, every page. Joseph Smith declared that an angel of God directed him to gold plates, which contained the writings of prophets in ancient America, and that he translated those plates by divine powers. If that story is true, then the Book of Mormon is holy scripture, just as it professes to be; if not, it is a sophisticated but, nonetheless, diabolical hoax.

C. S. Lewis spoke of a similar dilemma faced by someone who must choose whether to accept or reject the Savior’s divinity--where there is likewise no middle ground: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. … You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. … But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Likewise, we must make a simple choice with the Book of Mormon: it is either of God or the devil. There is no other option."
 -Tadd R. Callister.

What do you think. If you think about it, we don't need to see Jesus Christ, and the miracles he performed. There is already enough proof. Likewise with the Book of Mormon. People ask for proof of the truth of it all the time, and of course we always focus on the Promise in Moroni 10, but just think about it. How could it possibly be Not true. God has designed this perfectly. The reason we don't have the Gold Plates isn't so that people have to have faith, there's enough evidence and proof that we could physically prove it without the Gold Plates. As to why he took them? I don't know. But heck it's true. As I say quite often, "It better be true, cause I'm stickin with it, and if it's not true, I guess I'm screwed." 😆😆

But it is true. I have felt the power of it. You can to. Try it sometime. Think about it. Read it. Pray about it. I promise you as a servant of Jesus Christ, and in his name. You will receive an answer!

Whew don't know where that came from, but I guess I'm going to go ahead and wrap it up this week. Thanks for all your prayers. I'm feeling a lot better than last week. I'm still exhausted, but it's usually just right before bed, and that's normal.

Well go have a good week. I love you all! Go be the answer to someone else's prayer!
Elder Eliot

09/06/2015 | Transfer to the beautiful city of 室蘭‼️(yes I know you can't read it)


Looks like something serious is going to go down...

Good morning to all. How are you all doing? I hope you are all doing swell. Well I have an announcement to make. I have been Transferred.  They yanked me out of my beautiful Shinkotoni. How rude I only got 2 transfers there. Meh. Oh well. We're not in Africa so what Kenya do.  Lol.

 Anyway I'm sure everyone is wanting to know what happened, so I'll stop beating around the bush and just tell you. I have moved down in the south to the Hakodate zone (also known as the kindest winter and the hottest summer zone) and am now in the lovely city of Muroran!!  Yay!!! You might have heard of it before. Not sure if I've mentioned  it before or not, but this is my trainer, Elder Spurling's, bean area!  In other words I'm at my roots. It's really weird to be here and think  about all the stories I've heard. Supposedly there are some things in the apartment I'm not supposed to touch, and so far I've done a good job, but.... we'll see... Anyway so far it is a beautiful area. We got to go on Saturday night to a 花火大会。In English it means I got to go see the fireworks!!! I thought I was going to miss the annual fireworks that my family goes to, but I didn't! Depending on timing I'll probably miss them next year for sure, but meh. It was Spectacular. I don't think I've ever seen a better fireworks show. Like it was better than Stadium of Fire. And this was just a small one. They had shapes, and characters, and lots of things I had never seen before it was amazing!!! Anyway so it's a fun area. If you look it up online, you'll find some cool photos probably. I've already found several opportunities for awesome photos.

Oh. You're probably wondering who my new companion is. How could I forget. Silly me. I get to work one more transfer as Junior. I am now with...........(this is the drum role)............................ All the way from Yokohama Japan ladies and Gentleman it's Elllllllderrrrrrr Numanoooooooooo!!! Yeah I know none of you have ever heard of Elder Numano, but I have. I've talked with him several times, staying overnight at other apartments and stuff, and he is awesome. Anyway I'm so excited to work this transfer with him in Muroran. And the cool thing is, is that it looks like we'll just have one transfer here together (that's not the cool thing) and then he'll head out to another area, and I'll train a new missionary here. Training in my trainers bean (new missionary) area. How cool would that be.

 Anyway so real quick request. These past few days, I've felt like I hit a wall. I'm not trying to worry anyone and I'm just fine, so don't panic and worry, but these last 3 daysish I've just had no energy, and been extremely tired. I feel as a missionary, and as a person I'm not really progressing a lot right now. I spent a lot of time on my knees yesterday fasting and praying to find out how to fill my gas tank again, and keep going strong, and I've come up with a few ideas, so I think I'll be just fine in about a week, but I would appreciate some prayers on my behalf if I could humbly allow myself to partake of humbly asking you do pray in my behalf (sorry that's the English translation of being extremely polite in Japanese) I would be very grateful.
Anyway now that I have scared you all, I want to share with you something I found in my studies just today actually. So I've been wanting to strengthen my Christ like attributes as of late, and I decided the one I want to focus on this transfer is "Charity and love" Part of developing it is writing up your own definition of what the attribute means. I would like to share with you my definition. "Charity is loving even if you aren't loved. It isn't just having affection for people, it's a little different than marriage love. Charity is one of the only things that we can take from this life in to the next. Knowledge will cease because we will be restored back to the knowledge we knew before, but Charity will continue on with us into the eternities. Is is the love that God has for us. It means being patient, and loving someone no matter what they do, and leaving the judgments to God. If you have Charity, you are set."
Anyway how cool is that. Now why is this a Christ like attribute. Or in other words how did Christ show Charity? Well here's a scripture to tell you how.

"And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men." (1 Ne. 19:9)
Now that's Charity.
Go out this week and tell someone you love them. Make them feel your love. Force the love into their bodies. Or just do something kind for them. Either way works the latter might be a little more gentle.
 Anyway I love you all and hope you have a great week. I'll try to have one too.

 Elder Eliot