This week was pretty jam packed. I'll give you the basic rundown and then get a little more specific for a few of the stories I want to share. Let's go:
-this week we had Zone Conference! It was amazing!
-We found a couple of new investigators. I contacted one previous investor on Wednesday, and we were able to have 3 lessons with him throughout the week. One was by Skype because of a crazy rainstorm. He accepted our invitation to be baptized, and we set a date for later this month. Hopefully everything goes well.
-We had a koukan with the district leader on Friday. It took us three hours by train to get to Shingu, but it was a pretty great experience.
-We missed the first train back to Tanabe from Shingu by a minute, and the next train didn’t come for another 3 hours. But it turned out alright, because we made it back to our area with enough time in the day to find a new investigator and teach 4 lessons with other investigators.
That's it for the general stuff, but I'd like to talk just a little bit about an experience I had during the koukan.
In Shingu I was with Kawajo choro, and he's the man. We had to go all over the place that day, so we had to use the bikes. I had the opportunity to use Takahashi choro's bike, which was exactly 3 sizes too small for me. It was so small that if I didn't have my feet in the right place when I turned the front tire would hit my big toe. We biked for hours, Kawajo choro on his perfectly sized bike and me on the far too small one. We went from Shingu to Nachi on an incredibly mountainous path. By the time we reached the beach, my legs were dead.
We did finding for a bit and then got back on our bikes to head back. We had an appointment in thirty minutes and we were over an hour away on the other side of a mountain range. Instead of rescheduling like sane people, we just decided to bike faster. I quickly realized that my legs were not fond of the decision we had made. Finally, we got to the largest tallest road, and I knew that I would not be able to do it. My legs were on fire. It was a flame of such intensity that words cannot accurately describe it. Let's just say that there was certainly weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
I was in a lot of pain, but I also couldn't stop biking. So, I decided that I was going to ask God to give my legs strength. I said a prayer and then recited to myself the scripture "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest... For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." It was on a loop in my mind. After I said it, I would always ask for rest. I did this for a few minutes straight as we climbed up the mountain and nothing happened. My pain did not go away, I still felt like I was going to give out at any moment. I wondered why God was not strengthening me, or carrying me up the hill, or at the very least reducing the amount of pain I was feeling. Nothing had changed, and we still had so much further to climb.
It was while I was thinking about this that I had the thought to pedal harder. I actually laughed out loud. I was already pedaling as intensely as my legs could handle. How could I go any harder? But I kept thinking about the scripture, and the words "come unto me" stood out more and more with each repetition. I realized that in this situation, the only way to come to Christ was to pedal harder and faster than I currently was. So, I said in my heart, "Okay, Lord, I'm coming. Please help me.” and I shifted to a higher gear. I stood up and pedaled faster and faster until I felt like I had no more energy left in me. Then suddenly the pain subsided, and a crazy thing happened. I began to climb the mountain faster than my pedaling should have taken me.
We ended up making it to the appointment on time, and my legs felt great. I wasn't sore at all.
I realized a few things from this experience. The first is that God will help us with literally anything if we follow him. Whether they be mundane or extraordinary, spiritual or temporal, he will help us if we do what he asks of us. The other thing that I realized is that simply asking is not enough. When we ask for His help, sometimes the way to receive His help will require us doing something that we might not think we can do. The secret is that we can do it, because God does not ask us to do things that He will not help us accomplish. In Him we can literally do all things. I know this, because I have seen it happen in my life. Trust in the Lord, commit to follow his commandments, and you will be blessed.
Anyway, that's it for this week.
Love you all.
All the best.
Ttyl, in a bit!
With best regards,