Sunday, April 10, 2016

04/10/2016 | Week of Spirit

Well This week has been kind of insane. We started off by heading down to Kushiro for ZTM (Zone Training Meeting), at which we got to here some very good workshops about being better missionaries. One of my personal favorite ones was a workshop given by Sister Nishiyama who is a Sister Training Leader in Obihirio right now. It was really neat. She talked a lot about fear. Overcoming Fear. She related her story to the tree of life (God), and the Iron Rod (the word of God). Sometimes in life, things might seem very scary. We can't see whats ahead of us, we are in the mists of darkness. Even though we've been told, that we just have to hold onto this rod, and walk, and we'll make it to the tree, sometimes, it doesn't seem right.

Sometimes we here things in the darkness telling us we are going the wrong way. Telling us to come a different way, and there's something better. Sometimes we even listen to those things, and let go of the rod. Why? Because we are scared that the rod isn't going to take us to where we have been promised. We are scared because we cannot see, and we keep hearing the temptations from Satan. He is very enticing sometimes, and it can cause fear. However, fear is something that God has given us as a challenge. We are only meant to be able to overcome them and move forward. Sometimes as missionaries, it's scary to talk to this next guy, or ping this next house, or invite this investigator to be baptized, but if we lose our fears, and have faith, God will help us out.

The interesting thing is, that our fears are correct. We are scared to invite this person to baptism because they probably won't listen to us, and because we aren't good enough to do it. That is right. We can't do that, but God can. That's where the faith comes into the situation. Believing that God won't leave us out to dry, believing that no matter what happens, it was the way he wanted it, and the way he designed it to be. Once that faith is there, the fear leaves, because you can't have one with the other. And then, even though we are weak, and we can't do it, God uses us, God helps us, and through our combined power, we can do it.

Something that I enjoyed before my mission was working at scout camp. I loved getting to help
participants with Rock Climbing, and jumping off of a zip-line tower, and doing other things, that are normally pretty scary. I remember when I first started, I didn't want to do it very much either. It is
really scary. If you fall off of a 40 foot Rock Cliff, the chances of living are pretty slim. But we trust in the equipment, we trust in the instructors, and those with experience, and we learn, that it is OK.
We can do it, be safe, and have a heck of a lot of fun. One other thing that I would enjoy doing is going to some caves out near our camp. I am claustrophobic. I've never been comfortable with tight
spaces, and have even lost it a few times when I feel like I can't move. But I know that with the equipment I have (including the body, and mind God gave me) I can do it, it's not scary, and I can have a lot of fun.

I loved overcoming these fears that I had, because it made it so that I could help others do the same. It helped me to be able to sit down next to the scared 14 year old girl on the Zip-line tower, and tell her that it was OK. It scares me too. But I've done it, It is a lot of fun, and it is safe. And that I know that she can do it, because I could do it. And if I can do it anyone can. In the aftermath, after she has gone down, been cheered on by friends, and had a lot of fun, she is always grateful. I want to be able to do that now. I want to overcome all the fears I have in dendo (door to door contacting), and I want to turn around and help all of my Junior companions, and District members, and potentially Zone members to do the same. Because if I can do that, then I will be better as a missionary, as a person, and then I can help others to do the same, and then this mission will become that much better.

Sorry I kind of ranted on about that a lot. We got to see General Conference this week as well, and it was really good this year. I was impressed by President Monsons (president of the church) choice of words this time around. If you didn't notice, there weren't many. His health seems to be making things harder for him, but rather than not talking, he chose to offer a few words. In doing so, he probably contemplated, about what he could say in 5 minutes that would help everyone. He decided to talk about the importance of choices, and agency, and exercising it properly. It was short, yes, but it was powerful. My favorite part of it, was at the end when he talked about how it's better to make the ''harder right, instead of the easier wrong," and that "if we choose Christ than we have chosen right" I hope everyone will remember the prophets words to us. He tells us just what we need to know every time, and this specific time, it wasn't long, and full of complicated stories, and jokes. It was short, sweet, and to the point.

I know that He is a prophet who has been called of God. He guides us and leads us in these latter days. He is God's chosen servant among us, and he does receive revelation for us. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Don't forget to remember these wonderful teachings, and press forward.

愛しているよ (love you)
Elder Eliot

Sign warning people of squirrels, Kelson isn't their biggest fan!