Sunday, October 25, 2015

10/25/2016 | A week of blandness (not to much new)

10/25/2016 | A week of blandness (not to much new)

Bridge in Muroran

Hey all!

It's been a week. Hope you all had a good one. I had a pretty good one. I'm doing pretty good. Training has been occurring, and I almost feel like I'm learning more than him. But Elder Pace continues to advance along. He's doing way good, and I love getting to work with him.

The Shibuya's continue to advance along well. We finished up all of the rest of the lessons this week, and they have both quit tobacco completely. We actually found out that our other guy Kone san hasn't been very accepting of the message and has actually been telling them they should stop. He's being kind of a pain, but he is still very kind to us, and will listen, so we continue to try with him. I actually got a text from him on Saturday, saying that the Shibuyas were worrying about something, and my heart sunk. It almost seemed like he was saying "Hahaha I won!" kind of text message. So I kind of panicked, but I called one of my Zone Leaders for advice, and boy am I glad I have him to help me. I had tried calling them, but their phones were off. It seemed though like they had rejected the call causing me to panic even more, so Elder Heslop, my zone leader, kind of slapped me in the face (very kindly and softly) and helped me realize that I should try visiting them. Duh. Why didn't I think of that.

Well because I had been panicking, on our way over, we stopped at a store, and bought a bunch of expensive fruit to give to them as a present. Something though that Elder Heslop said that helped me calm down and have faith was that "We are on Gods team." I know that, I just forgot it for a while. Well we went over, and it turns out that they were just fine. They had had a question about tithing that we were able to answer and promise them blessings of it, and they were totally OK. And it turns out that the fruit we brought them, persimmons, were their favorite fruit too. We were able to sit down, and plan out the baptism with them, and they both asked me to baptize them. I was kind of expecting it, but when they actually asked me, I was shocked, and just felt this overwhelming happiness, and love. It's hard to describe. Then they also asked me to conduct the meeting, and I realized, I don't know how to do that.... Not Japanese, that's probably just fine, but I don't know how to conduct a meeting in English... lol. I'll probably ask for some help on that one. They continue to trudge along, and as long as they pass their interview (which i think they will) then we will have a baptism this week.

Another cool thing, I got to give a talk in church yesterday. It's been a long time. The last time, I gave a talk I was worrying about the language more than what to say, and this time I was more worried about what I should say. I was still very unsure when I stood up, but I had looked up a few things, and had a skeleton to try to throw some meat on. Well I hadn't been given a theme, so I prayed about it, and felt like I should talk about repentance, and evaluating yourself constantly. I had been thinking about it as of recently. I had been looking at the facsimile in Abraham (the one that has all of the stuff written about how God has not yet revealed what it means) and wondering, when will he tell us this stuff. The last time we ever really heard new doctrine, or new anything in General Conference was when President Monson announced that Missionary age had changed. And I realized, that we aren't yet ready to know new things, because we aren't following the old things we know. 

God gives us everything Line upon Line, and Precept upon Precept, so that we don't get confused. Well if we aren't ready, and keeping the commandments and following the basic principles, how could we comprehend anything new? The 3 basic primary answers seem to be themes of a lot of talks, and scriptures. Pray, Study the Scriptures, and Keep the Sabbath Day Holy. Not everyone is doing these things, and some of us (myself included) could stand to do better. We could pray with more meaning, try to really have a conversation with our Heavenly Father rather than just going through the motions. We could try actually studying the  scriptures, and trying to learn new things, and follow the things we learn as opposed to just reading your chapter for the day because you're supposed to read every day. Sometimes we could do a little more to keep the Sabbath rather than just go to church. Keep the whole day Holy. There might be some people that are doing these pretty well. Their job is to help others to get up to that point. The caution that I gave however is make sure you have pulled the beam out of your eye. In Matthew 7:3-5

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye

Well a mote, is tiny. It's essentially a splinter. A beam is straight up a piece of wood, used in buildings. Make sure you have taken your own steps, and you've gotten that wood out of your eye before you try to help someone else. Otherwise you'll probably do more harm than good (bludgeoning them with the beam hanging out of your eye while you try to reach for theirs) (just picture that)!

Anyway I guess I'll challenge everyone else. Do and evaluation of yourself. Check to see how big of a piece of wood you've got in your eye, and start fixing that. Then go and help others.

Well thanks for sticking with me. It's insane to think just how fast time has gone by. Already my dad is sending me messages making the end seem a lot closer, trying to get me to be trunky! But it won't work! 伝道 For Life!!! This is God's work, and I love being a part of it. Until next week, see you around.

Elder Eliot

Monday, October 19, 2015

10/18/2015 | My how the tables have turned...

10/18/2015 | My how the tables have turned...

What  a week. Do I have some stories for you. So first of all, there's been a transfer. And Elder Numano has transferred. He has gone over to Kushiro to be a Zone Leader. Why is it that all the companions I leave are always put in a new leadership positions, or go home. Anyway, so I am still in Muroran, and I have a new companion. And guess what. He is my kohai. Guess what else he just barely got to Japan like a week ago. That's right! for all of those who didn't know, I am training this transfer, and have now gone Senpai. All the way from Goshen Utah, (or as I like to call it, The New Jerusalem) My new companion is Elder Joseph Pace. He is way cool. He's almost as tall as me, but not quite :) that makes me happy. And then he also come from a 7 member Family, except he's #2. His older brother is also on a mission in California right now. He likes Singing, and the Guitar, and Of course Video Games. He likes minecraft. So we get along there. And then the really cool one, is that he went to Spanish Fork High School, so our Japanese Teacher, Welton 先生, is the same. He taught both of us in High school, and now we are together, in Muroran Japan. Learning Japanese even more, and getting better than him :) But yeah we were pretty excited to learn about that.

So yeah that happened. Quick update on the Shibuya's for you. Yumiko, the wife, has quit smoking. She has now gone 5 days straight, without smoking at all. Youji San is still struggling a little bit, but we have set goals, and he's optimistic, and we are too, and he will be able to kick tobacco in the butt, and be ready for their baptismal interview which has now been scheduled for the 29th of this month.  They will then be baptized on the 31st. They came to church yesterday, and there was a baptism for one of the kids here, and they got to see it. They said that they 感動した which literally means their emotion
moved, but essentially means that they felt strong emotion. It was very good, and they are working really hard. We will be meeting with them tomorrow, finishing off the lessons, and having fun. They are
solid. We are excited for them. It looks like they will become Kone sans fellowshipers, and help teach him. Lol. Watching them progress so fast though has really helped my testimony grow as well.

Well I guess that about does it for this week. I'm exited to start my first real week of training, and while i do feel slightly inadequate, I know that the lord will qualify who he calls, and help out. I'm excited!!! Well everyone have a wonderful week, and we'll talk to you next week. Make sure some time when you don't feel like it, you smile.

Do it this week. It will help. Trust me.

Elder Eliot

Sunday, October 11, 2015

10/11/2015 | Super Short General Conference Week of business (oh and transfer week)

10/11/2015 | Super Short General Conference Week of business (oh and transfer week)

Welcome to the show!

Well it has been a week hasn't it. Where does the time go. It seems that the less time you have the faster it goes. Literally every transfer has gone faster than the last. And now we are already at
Transfer Week again. I have a pretty high chance though of staying in Muroran, so no moving for me. And as there are 9 new Elders coming in next transfer, it is looking like I will be going Senior, and Training this next transfer. How on earth did that happen. Wasn't I just being
trained like 2 weeks ago? Time really flies.

Well we had a pretty good week Zone training meetings, Splits with the zone leaders, interviews with the president, and to wrap it all up General Conference at the end of the week. Wow it was really good. I sure received some revelation. I personally liked Elder Hales, and (of course) Elder Holland's talks in the Saturday Afternoon session. President Eyring's in the Priesthood session was also very well done. Although they went and released Elder Aoyagi. How sad is that. Have I ever mentioned meeting and talking with him? First I'll say he took the time to prepare his talk, because his English is not all that fluent.
😆😆😆 But I have had the opportunity to speak with him, and he's way cool. Everyone here was way excited for him to be called to the Quorum of the Twelve, and instead he just gets released. Little opposite don't you think? But yeah General Conference was wonderful.

We did get to meet with the Shibuya's, and Kone San again this week. We wound up doing a simple review with them 1 because we have been throwing lots of new information at them over the past few weeks, and 2 because Kone San hadn't heard it yet. But they are once again progressing. Yumiko (the wife) came to General Conference yesterday, and had a real good time hanging out with all the older Relief Society sisters. Youji (the husband) was sick, and couldn't come. He wound up catching a cold, plus he's started having slight withdrawals from quitting tobacco, and so he decided it would be best to sit this one out. Kone San was also busy, so he couldn't come either, but they are all 3 progressing swell. The Shibuya's are looking like they will be baptized on the 31st. Kone San will take a little more time, but he is still progressing. Thank you all for their prayers on their behalf.

Lastly I would like to challenge everybody. Don't know if you remember the member of the seventy that talked about ponderizing scriptures, but basically he challenged everybody to ponderizing a new scripture every week. For details on what it means to ponderize, go read  "My Heart Pondereth Them Continually" by Devin G. Durrant in the afternoon session of Sunday's General Conference. Essentially you get scriptures memorized sort of kind of. But I know that by doing so, you give yourself a weapon against the temptations of Satan. One of the things that we have been councils to do over and over again, is that when we are tempted, to sing a hymn, recite a scripture, say a prayer, stuff like that. Well if you are memorizing a scripture every week, you are adding a new arrow to your quiver every week. That's 52 arrows in a year. Most of them can even be used again. Anyway I challenge everyone, to take Brother Durrants challenge. It will bless your life, and I can promise that to you. I'm going to try it. Everyone do it with me. And feel free to let me know what your scripture is for the week at anytime. The scriptures are very powerful. I know that we can gain knowledge and spiritual guidance if we abide by their teachings.

Well that's going to be my piece for this week. We'll see you next week, and let you know what is happening transfer wise next week.

Remember to eat pancakes with something yummy on top. Otherwise it's a waste of flower.
Love you all.
Elder Eliot

Sunday, October 4, 2015

10/04/2015 | As the days get colder, my heart grows warmer.

10/04/2015 | As the days get colder, my heart grows warmer.

I'm sure that's a quote, hanging on a wall somewhere...

Hey everyone. It's been a week... somehow...  not sure how that happened, but it did. Seriously this week went by really fast. It feels way weird.  Anyway so I had a good week. I'm so stoked right now. We had 2 more great lessons with the Shibuya's. It is so cool to see their progress right now. The other guy, we haven't met with again yet, so we will be trying to visit him at his house this week, but the Shibuya's are just progressing like crazy. It hasn't even been 3 weeks, and already they are just desiring to get baptized. They have gone from not believing in anything, and smoking a lot, to finally having something that they believe in, and strong faith, and they are even quitting tobacco right now!!!

We taught them about repentance, and how it's hard, but worth it, and then from there we started the commandments with them. The first one we did was The Word of Wisdom. It went over really well. The only problem they have with it is tobacco, and they have already progressed far from where they were before. We then taught them about tithing, and temptation yesterday. They have gone from having Zero faith 3 weeks ago to already having such strong faith now. They are diligently reading the Book of Mormon every day, as well as praying, and they have come to church these past few weeks. It looks like we will see a baptism at the end of this month. Which, if I train next transfer will be great for my bean. He'll get to practice teaching with super Golden people, and see a baptism his first transfer. I'm so excited.

It's so cool to see the kind of change that the gospel can have on people. When we first met them, they were just physically unclean, and just from listening to us talk about spiritual cleanliness, they have been outwardly getting cleaner. It's so cool to see how an inward change affects the outside as well. Their apartment is cleaner, they aren't smoking nearly as much. Wow I'm so grateful for the chance to work with them. Watching their progress strengthens my own testimony, and I love it.

As most of you know, this past weekend was General Conference. As as some of you know, I haven't seen it yet :(  I don't get to see it until this next week, because of translation things that have to occur. But... I may have cheated already and seen a few... Shh don't tell anyone

But I do want to talk about the amazing help you can receive from it. I personally have been effected by several different talks over the years that have landed me where I am now. For instance, hearing from the prophets mouth, almost every time "It is a priesthood duty to serve a mission" you get the picture. I want to share one quote from last year Oct. in the Priesthood

session. As you reread the talks, and ponder their meanings, I would exhort that you would ponder this message:

"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?” I wonder what each of us would do if we were asked that question by the Savior. Would we look at those around us and say in our hearts, “He’s probably talking about Brother Johnson. I’ve always wondered about him,” or “I’m glad Brother Brown is here. He really needs to hear this message”? Or would we, like those disciples of old, look inward and ask that penetrating question: “Is it I?” In these simple words, “Lord, is it I?” lies the beginning of wisdom and the pathway to personal conversion and lasting change."

Well hope you all have a good week. As it starts to get colder, be careful, and don't get sick! That's an order lieutenant!!

Love you all!
Elder Eliot

Some kind of squid things!