Date

February 18, 2019

Area

Shimogamo, Kyoto

Companion

Sato choro

Week77: Missionary vs Missionary: who will win?

Last week might have been one of the busiest weeks of my whole mission. Let's get to the summary!

- We had a companion exchange with Elder McEntire and Elder Wright from Joyo. They came to Shimogamo, and we had a blast. I was with Elder Wright who is a third transfer and an awesome missionary. We had quite a few really good contacts. One was a guy that we stopped in a back alley at 8:30 at night to talk with him about Jesus Christ. Halfway through the contact he stopped and advised us that because it was very late, dark, and we are two big scary foreigners stopping people randomly on the street, we might scare people. He said to be careful because someone might call the police on us. He then clarified that he was not threatening to call the police, and that he wanted to keep talking with us. Way nice guy, and a very good contact; but it definitely sounded like he was going to call the police until he said he wasn't.

-We also stopped and talked to a guy smoking outside a convenience store and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He was also way nice, too.

-On companion exchange with Elder Wright, we set a plan to go visit some past investigators in a part of our area. Unfortunately, I got lost and we ended up on the exact opposite side of the area. So, we scrapped our plans and just went finding.

-Still on companion exchange with Elder Wright. We saw a van driving around the streets of Kyoto with the words "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" written on the windows. It had giant speakers on the top and was blaring scriptures from the Bible as it slowly drove down the road. So, we chased down the car on our bikes, and decided to talk with the man. We pulled up beside him, and he rolled down the window and said "I know who you are!" and then he started talking to us about how we're wrong and need to read the Bible. When I told him that we did read the Bible, he ignored what I had to say just continued to spout off various anti-mormon arguments that I had heard many times before. It's almost like they get all these counterpoints from the same website. We listened to him for about 20 minutes, and then asked him one question. I told him that all of the arguments against the Book of Mormon that he just shared with us came from people that have neither read the Book of Mormon nor prayed seeking the Lord's confirmation as to its credibility, yet all the people making these arguments ask you to not "waste your time" reading what they claim to be an obvious fraud and just take their word for it. In contrast, we ask you to read seeking out the truth, and promise that anyone who reads, ponders, and prays with real intent will receive confirmation from God as to whether or not the Book of Mormon is His word. I then asked him "if God personally told you that the Book of Mormon was true, would you believe it?" and he said "I would know that the answer was not from God, because it's not the Bible." and then he rolled up his window and drove away. I was pretty shocked by that answer. Very interesting conversation.

-We had interviews at Shimogamo on Wednesday. We also happened to have three lessons and Eikaiwa that same day, so it was a pretty crazy day. One lesson happened in the morning right when President Smoot got here for interviews, so we asked Sister Smoot to sit in on the lesson. It just so happened to be a lesson with two missionaries for the Jehovah's Witness church. We shared the message of the restoration with them. Sister Smoot bore very powerful testimony of the Prophetic calling of Joseph Smith. I was crying; it was beautiful. I definitely felt the spirit bear testimony of our words. I just hope that they were willing to listen with an open mind. However, considering that they came into that lesson with the expectation of converting us, I think it went much better than could have been expected.

-We preached the Gospel in a protestant church. It was just to the pastor and assistant pastor, but it was way fun. They both graduated from a bible college back in America. I get the feeling that they had heard a lot of things about the Book of Mormon at that Bible College (none of it very favorable), but they were very kind and we got to clarify a lot of stuff. We'll probably meet with them again, because we committed them to read 3 Nephi 11-26 and pray about it to see if Jesus Christ truly visited the American continent and if these are His words.

- We have another person we are teaching who also happens to be a missionary for a different Christian church. He seems to be very interested in learning whether or not the Book of Mormon is the word of God. We also invited him to read 3 Nephi 11-26. We may have another lesson with him tomorrow, so I'm excited.

-We had Zone conference on Thursday. It was great! I got to translate pretty much the whole thing, which was rather exhausting. We had some wonderful trainings given by President and Sister Smoot. The Zone Leader Trainings were alright. Definitely learned a lot.

-We had another companion exchange with Elder Thompson and Elder Trevisan. They're great! I was with Elder Thompson, and despite it being a Saturday, there wasn't anyone on the streets or at home where we went. Nevertheless, the few people we did talk to were pretty good conversations.

-we had a lesson through video call with one of our Chinese friends. He wasn't able to come to church this week, but he's awesome and will probably come next week. We taught the plan of salvation and the Atonement. This was our second real lesson with him, but it went really well. He agreed to set a date for baptism on the 9th of March, so we'll be working together to reach that goal.

-That's probably about it for this weeks email. There was a lot more that happened, but I don't want to bore you with the details. Just want to let you know that this Gospel is true. We met with a lot of missionaries for other churches this week and as we bore testimony to them that this is the only true church on the face of the earth, I felt the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost. This truly is Jesus Christ's church. He guides it today through revelation to a living prophet. Isn't that amazing!

God bless.
All the best.
Ttyl, in a bit!


With best regards,
ベイレス長老





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