Entering into my seventh week in the MTC, and life is still great! Classes are going well. We're learning a lot of Japanese. Eddington 長老 and I are getting better and better at planning our lessons. The Spirit is pretty cool. Yeah, life is good!
I guess I'll be a little more specific.
This week Eddington 長老 and I had 3 of the best lessons we have ever taught! The first was in TRC on Friday, which means that we were teaching people who are already members of the church. I love TRC lessons, because we are way more flexible with what we are able to teach. These people already know about the gospel. Half of them are Japanese returned missionaries! So, we have a wider variety of things we can discuss with them. Anyway, after much study and prayer, we decided on a topic and prepared a lesson on how the Atonement can heal emotional and spiritual wounds and bring peace. In the lesson we watched the church's Easter video "Prince of Peace" and discussed it a bit. We also read from Mosiah chapter 14. We shared a lot of personal experiences and asked the Williams and Yamamoto-san (the three people we were teaching in TRC) to share some experiences from their lives about feeling peace through the Atonement. It was such a spiritual experience, and at every turn we were able to explain different aspects of the Atonement in remarkably fluent Japanese. We left them with a challenge to pray every morning to be blessed with peace from the Lord and then to end the day by looking for ways that the Lord answered their prayers.
Our two investigator lessons were fantastic for two very different reasons. The first of the two was Monday afternoon. Eddington 長老 and I spent a few hours preparing to teach out of Mosiah chapter 18 and to extend a baptismal invitation. We talked with Takahashi-san for a while about how baptism is a covenant with the Lord, and how He will bless us if we stay true to the promises that we make with him in that covenant. We also talked about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We asked Takahashi-san whether or not he believed God is his Heavenly Father, Jesus is his Savior, and if he believed the Book of Mormon to be the the word of God. He answered yes on all accounts, and we asked if he would be baptized. He agreed that baptism was important. However, he said that he's concerned because his family is Catholic, and he's not sure how they are going to react to it. We ended with committing him to pray for guidance from Heavenly Father, and we are going to work with him some more to help with his family concerns. The lesson was great, and I could tell that Takahashi-san has built a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel.
The second lesson happened later that day and was with Ama-san. Ama-san is fantastic, but he's also very spontaneous. This means that we never know if were going to have a lesson with him until right before he wants to meet. This time, we got an email from him about 15 mins before he wanted to meet, so it was a bit of a mad rush to get prepared. However, once we were in the lesson, everything went so smoothly. We were able to explain to him the importance of the Book of Mormon and committed him to read it! Eddington 長老 was able to explain why there is a need for both the Book of Mormon and the Bible in perfect 日本語, so that was great! Blessings all around!
Quote of the week: We were talking about missionary work in Japan, and about how everybody thinks that the work must be slow in Japan because they are all Buddhist. Our teacher was trying to explain that God has prepared people all over the world to accept the gospel, and Japan is no different. We read a little out of D&C 4 and then he said this:
"You see there! It says the field is white and ready to harvest! It doesn't say the field is purchased and ready to be tilled. It's not tilled and ready to be seeded. THE FIELD IS NOT BUDDHIST AND UNINTERESTED! IT'S WHITE AND READY TO HARVEST!"
So that was pretty great and now my new favorite saying!
Today we get new Kouhai, and I am so excited! About eight of the new missionaries coming in are also heading to Kobe, so I'm pretty much going to be their best friend! Also, Jace Komiya is coming today and going to Kobe! Pretty much the coolest thing ever! For those of you who don't know, Jace was a part of the accapella group Frequency that I was in my senior year of high school. He's a pretty swell guy, and is going to be an awesome missionary!
Spiritual thought: So I was reading Elder Holland's talk "Sanctify Yourselves", and there was a line that really stuck out to me. It reads, "The Savior wept and bled and died for you. He has given everything for your happiness and salvation. He certainly is not going to withhold help from you now!" This is so true! The Savior's grace and mercy is always sufficient. He is always reaching out his hand to help you. He loves you and wants you to be happy. No matter what has happened in our lives, we can always accept the gift of happiness and peace that He provides. We just need to reach out and grab his already extended arm, and He will lift us up.