Transfers have come and gone, and nothing’s changed. President Smoot decided to let me keep my “son” for one more transfer. I guess this gives me six more weeks to try and undo the damage I did during the first six weeks 😂
Foster choro's a pretty resilient kid, so I think he'll turn out all right despite my many flaws.
On to the week:
- had a meeting that turned into an hour and a half long Bible bash. Luckily, deep study of the Book of Mormon also greatly improves your knowledge of both the Old and the New Testament, so I was prepared. Definitely made me so much more grateful for the clarifying power of the Book of Mormon as well as for Moroni's promise.
- walked up to a house that had the front door open revealing an ancient set of samurai armor desplayed on the wall in his rather large genkan (entry way?). We knew right off the bat that this was going to be an interesting contact. We rang the door bell and an older man came to the door. After telling him that we are Christians, he told us that he's "tenno". We then proceeded to have one of the most confusing conversations of my life. Here were the 2 main problems contributing to the confusing nature of this contact:
1. Occasionally in Japan there are older folks that just refer to Christian's as "Kirisuto", which literally is just the name Christ but they use it to mean Christian. He happened to be one of these older folks.
2. In my experience, when we introduce ourselves as representatives of the Church and someone responds "oh, I am..." what usually follows is thier religion and reason for not wanting to listen to our message. I assumed that when the man said he was "tenno" that tenno was his religion.
So, the man told us that he's tenno, and then he asked us "Do you know what happened when Christ first visited Japan?" My response was obviously one of surprise. (😲 maybe he knows about the other records talked about in 2Nephi 29:12-13!) I told him that I didn't know about that, but that we're sharing a message about Jesus Christ's visit to America after his death and resurrection. He kinda ignored what I said and told us about how when Christ first visited Japan he came to shikoku. And then Tenno found Christ, captured him, and beheaded him. I spent a few minutes trying to clarify, because what he just said was straight bonkers. I eventually found out that he was talking about the first Christian missionaries, and that Tenno was an old Japanese king/shogun/dude with a lot of power. The guy we were talking to was a descendent of Tenno. It all eventually made sense, we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon, and he gave us a bunch of oranges.
- We had a really good lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our two investigators ended up bringing their friend along with them. They were all really interested as we read from the scriptures together, and the the new investigator was straight up pumped to receive a free copy of the Book of Mormon at the end of the lesson. It was awesome!
- we housed into a Seventh day Adventist and talked about the Book of Mormon. She told us that she reads the Bible and that she didn't need anything else. I asked if she had ever read the Book of Mormon, and she said she had many years ago. She said it was different from the Bible, so she stopped. I told her that it is a separate record from the Bible and follows people in a different land with different temporal and spiritual needs than those who recorded the Old and New Testament. However, it is the same in it's testimony of Jesus Christ. She still kind of looked like she wanted us to leave at this point, but was willing to listen a little bit longer. I then asked her, “If Jesus Christ appeared to a group of people other than those at Jerusalem, taught those people His doctrine, and they recorded his words, would you want to read that?" She was a bit surprised by the question but responded "of course". I told her that 3 Nephi 11-27 details the Resurrected Lord's ministry among a people living on the American continent and that she could read it, pray about it, and find out through the power of the Holy Ghost if that record is truly the words of Christ. She grabbed a pen, wrote down the page numbers, accepted the challenge to read the words of Christ in 3 Nephi, and then gave us a bag of apples from Hokkaido.
The Book of Mormon is the most incredible tool that God has given us to help further his work of salvation in our day. It has the power to open hearts, change lives, and bring anyone who follows its precepts closer to God. My testimony of Jesus Christ and the matchless sacrifice of His atonement is a priceless gift given to me through repeated study of the Book of Mormon. It truly is the words of Christ, and through it we can come to know and recognize His voice in our lives.