My non-spiritual goal for this transfer is to beat my companion in a game of shogi. For the last couple of nights after coming back from a long day of dendo, we make food, put on some gospel tunes, and play shogi. He has beaten me every time. We've played like 6 games now, and he still beats me. I'm getting closer every day, but he somehow weasels his way out of all my tricks, traps, and strategies. One of these days I'm going to get him, and then I'll take his gym badge, and I will be the senior companion!!!
Okay, onto the highlights for the week:
-Tanabe is a costal paradise. I love it so much!
-my companion and I kind of have callings in the brach. We do hometeaching, he's the second counselor in the branch presidency, and I am now the pianist.
-We had one day when we literally biked for five hours all along the coast and over the mountains. We found 3 new investigators, 5 potential investigators, and visited with members and less active members all in one day. 本当によかった！
-We had one of the most spiritual lessons I've ever taught. We were all kind of tearing up, but we were able to change the perspective of one of our investigators who believed that he "was not clean enough to come to church." He finally accepted the invitation to attend church!
- My Japanese is slowly improving.
Now, I'd like to end with a bit of a spiritual message. I have, over the last few transfers, been studying about repentance. Here are a few of the things that I learned:
1. Repentance is the power given to us through Christ's Atonement to become more than the mistakes we make. Because of the atonement and the power of repentance, we are only defined by potential for growth. We are children of God, so our potential for growth is infinite. This means that our worth is infinite.
2. Repentance works immediately. That means that we can change, improve, and become better than we were yesterday, right now.
3. Shame is not an aspect of repentance. Guilt is a part of the repentance process. Guilt drives us to improve and will leave immediately after we apply the Atonement in our lives. Shame is Satan's counterfeit to guilt. It lingers, grows, and leads us back to make the same mistakes over and over again.
4. One of my favorite quotes on the subject of repentance was given by Elder Holland in a BYU devotional in 1980. He said "You can change anything you want to change, and you can do it very fast. That’s another satanic suckerpunch—that it takes years and years and eons of eternity to repent. It takes exactly as long to repent as it takes you to say, ‘I’ll change’—and mean it”.
Repentance is change for the better. It is not a negative word but a positive, hopeful one. My calling as a missionary is to "cry repentance" unto all people not because all people are evil, bad, or wrong, but because repentance allows for all people to become better versions of themselves. I love this gospel. Ours is a message of love and hope, and it is my privilege to share that message with the world as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful week!