Sunday, January 25, 2015

I'm Alive! Week 20

What is up people? It’s been a pretty crazy week. Not that great of one to be honest. But BEFORE I say anything, I AM FINE NOW! Still feel it but for the most part have recovered.

Tuesday was a pretty good day. That was the day that we taught our buddy that we found on the street last week. We taught him an amazing lesson which got him super duper excited to continue learning the gospel! In fact, we were teaching a little bit about prayer and repentance and he says,"hold up hold up! Just a second. I need to start repenting right away, can I pray really quick to begin my process?" My companion and I looked at each other and just thought, "who is this guy? He’s so ready!" We plan to invite him to be baptized next lesson. Pray he accepts!

BUT, during the lesson, I started to feel really hot, and what not so I thought whatever! It’s just the Heater! WRONG. I went to bed that night, everything was fine. Woke up and felt normalish? So we headed out! We had the idea to visit our Bishop and bring him some treats. Like a doorbell ditch kinda thing from "anonymous" people. So we rode to his house! Which was pretty freakin far out there, Kinda sucked but it was all for Bishop, so worth it! We made it all the way there, hit up a bakery and brought the goods over and ditched! quite fun. After, since we rode pretty far, we decided to stay in the area and dendo! That’s when my head started picking up, and I started not to feel well soon thereafter. We stayed for about 30 min. then I was feeling HORRIBLE. We started our trek back and what not. The hardest bike ride of my life. It was about 5:30 when we got back and we had a lesson at the church at 6:00 planned. I decided to stick it out and go! The guy didn’t freakin show up :/ ... But it’s okay. Another time. I was about ready to head out when I forgot it was Wednesday... The day we teach English Class at 7:00 every week. So I had to stay for that too! My companion is a champ and said I could just sit in the corner and relax and he would teach because of how sick i was feeling. 
     About 15 minutes in, I suddenly gotten instantaneously dizzy, and my vision was blurred. INCREDIBLY. I motioned to a member that I needed to go to the bathroom. I stood and stumbled, and almost fell on my face because I couldn’t see, hear, and was incredibly dizzy. I made it to the bathroom and just threw up a ton. came out and was still feeling the horrible.  My body was in SO much pain, My head, my stomach, in great amounts of pain. Sharp, and achy pains. I was FREEZING from head to toe as well. Everything just got worse and worse.
     My bishop walks into the church and sees me with the member, and decides to give me a blessing. At this point I’m literally in tears due to the way I feel. I’ve never been THIS sick in years.
After the blessing I was taken to the hospital for treatment. Don’t remember anything from the hospital other than them shoving stuff all the way up my nose to check for stuff (Hurt SO bad haha) And then stumbling around trying to walk and stay strong. 
     By the end of the trip, they never found out what was wrong with me other than thinking it was an oyster virus and they gave me some medicine for the next few days to see if I can get better. Soo I’ve been sick in bed the past four days basically. every time I ate something, it would come right back out. so technically I haven’t eaten in probably 3 days straight, nothing but some Aquarius (Japanese Gatorade). It’s been rough, I lost a ton of weight, and what not but I’m slowly progressing and getting better. Pray for me yall!

During all this, obviously I haven’t been able to go out and do the work so I’ve been doing what I can every now and then. We have been calling people from our area book, I occasionally went out on to our balcony (we live on the 5th floor of an apartment complex) and yelled at people on the street from the top saying "Come unto Christ!!! Have a good day!!!"  quite fun! Although not very effective. Lol During that time though I was sick, I have been fortunate enough to have a lot of study time! in which I read the entire Book of Mormon :) MAAANNNNNNNN was that sick/awesome. If you haven’t read the book yet, I highly advise you to do so. There’s nothing specific I can really share with you other than the fact that I know with all my heart that It is true. The more I read it every day, the more times I finish, my knowledge and testimony of its divinity is strengthened. Before I came out here on a mission, I was familiar with the book, I knew it, I read it, said it was true merely due to the fact everyone else said it. I can honestly say at that time, I had a testimony…but didn't feel I truly had my very OWN testimony of it. I've read it 3 times now I study and learn and Live its teachings every single day now and know without a doubt it is the word of God. If someone was to come up to me, gun at the head and said, "deny it and live!" I don't know what I would've said or did before. But now I’d say," Fire away my friend, and may the Lord have mercy on you and your sins"

It was sent to us in this generation, through Joseph Smith who translated it. Use it, follow it, read it. Live by its teachings and your life will be changed and blessed just like mine has been. More peace and love within your families and friends will abide, and you will begin to understand your purpose and why you're here. I know for a fact that question has come up into all of our lives at some point in time! Like I said, I highly advise you to read! whether you are a member or not! Or even if you have already or not! If so, read it again. The Lord is bound through His Holy Spirit to teach something new and profound that you never knew before. As an official representative of the church, having been called to testify of eternal truths, I testify this book will change your life. It will pull you out of problems, it will lift you and guide you and most of all bless you. (I can’t emphasize that enough!)

I love you guys. You all are my good friends and family no matter who is reading this. All of you! I’m on the rise to 100 percent full functionality, and pray I get there quicker so I can tell the Japanese people about how awesome this book is! And pray my companion doesn't get what I got. (Which may be a virus from oysters?)

Well, I will talk to you all next week!


Elder Preciado


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fresh Start!! Week 19

Well hello everyone!!

Wow what a great week! I ended my days in Hashimoto saying my good byes to investigators and friends. It was hard but awesome all at the same time! I pray for them every day that they may come closer to Christ :)

Thursday was Transfer day, The hardest day!, physically that is. I carried my weights all the way from Hashimoto lugging by train, walking, everything. NOT FUN. But got a nice workout all day so that's sick right? haha.

Made it to my new area and met my new companion Elder Grossen from Arizona! Really cool guy and a great missionary! We both are brand new in this area. We "White Washed" into Fushimi and are trying to pick up where everyone left off.

Last Friday, My birthday!! (By the way thank you everyone for the kind notes and wishes :) ) was one of the greatest days of my mission. So many Miracles happened. 

We came back from the church after studying there in the morning, and just as we were going to cross the street, i see an old guy staring at us. I knew inside I needed to talk to him, but all i said was hi. As we walked by I felt bad i dint say anything! As i parked my bike, i look over and see him coming back our way! so i grabbed my companion and we ran over to him! Turns out the guy has taken lessons before and what not, he’s a little crazy but didn't matter! He was worried about his mother in the hospital preparing for surgery. He wants to help her and doesn't know how, we taught him about God and prayer and how if you show your faith, God will do the rest. He got really happy, and said," I like you! next Tuesday, i don't care if its raining, snowing, earthquake, NOTHING!! you are meeting me here. RIGHT HERE, at 6 o'clock! got it!" he was getting ready to walk 2 hours to visit his mom, he had no money for a train or anything. So My companion and I split 1 bucks and payed his round trip for him. The joy in his eyes is indescribable. THAT is what I love to do. Make people happy from what we share and help them with. THAT is why I am a missionary.

The rest of that day, was similar stuff one after another, after another!  Stopping random kids, college students, etc. and immediately testifying of its divinity and power and getting the reply, “I want you to teach me more please". It’s a blessing! gave out 6 Book of Mormons think? Can’t remember! It was a lot!

That day we were walking our bikes, and some dude, walks up and starts waking right beside me, and says," hey you’re the missionaries! teach me something will ya?" The entire day we were stunned at Gods hand in everything. I think God knew it was my Birthday and wanted to make me happy! That and a ton other stuff happened that day with inviting people to English class, church, to take the lessons, and ALL were successful in one way or another.

Best part was when a random man came to church yesterday, stayed all three hours and said he wanted to learn more and more. "This church makes me feel good, I like this." We taught him briefly throughout the meetings and accepted a "soft" invitation to be baptized. Stay tuned!! :)

This week I've been learning all about the Atonement, our ability to change. Become better, not only from a sinful state but just using the power it has to change in general. One of the greatest gifts from our creator!

Through it, we have the opportunity to be forgiven of our sins, use it to change and improve our lives. BUT, we need to do our part, need to walk through and do step 1 first before we can receive the blessings! For instance, Christ is basically a garbage man! He comes and takes our trash away! He comes always and will be happy to take our trash for us, but, it’s our job to take it to the curb if we want it out! We must approach and enter the "Red Door", meaning the cleansing power of it! In order to get there, we gotta do our stuff, read scriptures, pray, go to church, do everything we can to show our faith in order to be cleansed by it. When we do that, we qualify to access the cleansing power of the atonement and are able to enter the "Red Door" (Don’t ask why it’s red just go with it!) Once we are there we are clean and pure if we did our part the right way. We qualify to access the "Blue Door" or the enabling power of the atonement. Basically, the power to do stuff that no mortals can do. The power of priesthood, miracles etc. We in essence become god like. That is our end goal, to be like God himself. and that is only done through Christ and his atonement. The word Atonement is At One "Ment", to be coming closer and closer till eventually we are "At One" with our Heavenly Father.

USE IT! Make yourselves better. Anything is possible through it! Alma the younger was considered the most vilest of all sinners, the worst of the worst. But in and through Christ he changed, and became one of the greatest prophets and missionaries in all of time. It’s possible.
In my life I’ve made some mistakes ,we all have. But I’m truly grateful for the atonement and what it’s done for me as a member of this church, a missionary, as a Son of God.

I pray that each one who is reading this can realize and use the power of the atonement. It’s free, pure, and everlasting. May we all "take our trash to the curb" and let us become better saints and children of our father in heaven.

Thank you for keeping Elder Hall in your prayers and please continue to do so. He is healing well after surgery but can still use your prayers. Love you Elder Hall!

I love you all and am so grateful to be a missionary in these last times. Take care and think about how you can better your life in this coming week! Until next week! stay tuned...

Elder Preciado


1 John 4:17-18 my favorite scripture!

Pics from new area, making Mochi again and playing with this cute lil guy!

Heres a few of  my investigators from Hashimoto and pics from a small party my ward mission leader threw me!

The chocolate piece says あぼかどおじさん Which means Uncle Avocado my dumb nickname...haha

Sunday, January 11, 2015

6 months down and a Transfer! week 18

I'm like crying right now, I feeel so horrribble about Elder Hall! 

Well... I’m also sad to say... IM TRANSFERINGGGGGGG............ 

My heart is so torn!! I LOVE Hashimoto SO much... I’m like crying a lot! This is not cool. 

But I`m willing to leave... because I gotta do what I gotta do right? I’m heading to the area of Fushimi in the Kyoto area which i guess is a plus! If any of you know Kyoto, its JAPAN, like everything about the culture, the everything, the history of JAPAN. Pretty sweet I guess.

I don’t have a lot of time today, Since it’s our last week in the area, we are heading to Kouya San, an ancient Mountain temple Buddhist site of about 1000 plus years. I’m excited to explore

I’m soooo sad to be leaving though gahhhhhh..... I love these people so much... I called Mitsukawa Kyodai the 60 year old guy who is like my best friend and started crying telling him I’m leaving. He’s like my father here. Because of him, my Japanese has shot through the roofs, he’s been there, He’s the best man ever. When you guys come to pick me up in Japan, I’m bringing you guys here to see these people. NO doubt, Anyways I’ll stop being a baby! My new companion is Elder Grossen, don’t know him! but I’m leaving my father Elder Scowcroft! He has been so awesome I will miss him so much!

I love you all, and am apologizing I don’t have any revelation or doctrine for ya’ll this week. Please keep reading your scriptures daily though! Next time!

Everyone please pray for one of my best friends, Elder Hall whom was my MTC companion. He has been seriously hurt in a bike accident...I love that guy a lot and wish you the best buddy, I’ll see you soon back in the field soon brother! Stay strong and know that the Lord and I love you. 

Until Next time peopleeeeeee I love you lots and next time you hear from me I’ll be 19! Crazy!!! I LOVE to hear from you so please write! Thanks again to all the family and friends that sent packages for Christmas! You are amazing and I loved every bit of what you sent! Thank you so much for your generosity it is greatly appreciated!, Seriously!

Love you all!

Elder Jacob Preciado

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!!!! Week 17-Few days shy of 6 months!!!

What’s goooddddd in the hooodddd my people? How ya’ll doin!!
I’m doing just fine in the mighty fine land of Hashimoto, Japan. This area is THE BEST, the members are great, the foods great, the area is beautiful, the foods great, the moon is pretty, and the food is still great. Always!! Next week is transfers! I don’t find out till next Monday where I’m going if i DO transfer (Hopefully I don’t). If it just so happens that I DO, haha my birthday present will be a brand new companion considering I will turn 19 next Friday! J
Week was pretty good! haha Because of New Years we weren’t aloud to go out and proselyte. Not because of safety issues but because Japanese people will flip on us! New Years in Japan is like the Christmas in America, EVERYTHING SHUTS DOWN. It’s a time for families to be together and to enjoy each other’s company. Therefore we were asked specifically not to interrupt that so it wouldn’t put a bad image on us as missionaries. 
So instead, our Branch Mission Leader arranged for us through all the members to be fed ALL WEEK by them. Lunch, and Dinner specifically, but basically get fed some bomb food, and then share a spiritual message. It was great! I had the opportunity to try special traditional New Year’s Japanese food. (I apologize I have no Pictures of any of it) but it was Mighty fine! Remember the Mochi I talked about? Lots of Mochi on New Years.! Pretty freakin great lemme tell ya. 

I’m super grateful for that opportunity we had to meet with all the members. All of them are becoming best friends of mine. Now that I can actually speak  to me Japanese, we can talk and communicate and laugh and tell jokes and stuff! These people are the greatest! AND they are some of the strongest members I’ve ever met. I don’t want to leave Hashimoto!!!!!!!!!!! 
Last week I was able to pick myself up a sweet little weight set but with our schedule and everything going on and what not, I couldn’t use them right away, I had to wait till this last Monday! (I was dying and crying inside) I exercised soooo hard that day and basically KILLED myself! I was hurting ALL week because of how sore i was, but man :) Oh how I’ve been longing for that feeling for these past 6 months :) It brought back so many memories of those hot summer days grinding in the gym and at football practice, some of the days I’ll never forget from my high school experience. But THESE days now are ones I’ll remember for eternity. A mission is so extremely short but is  so eternally important!
All in all this week was a great one despite the fact we couldn’t do exactly what we normally do, or what we WANTED to do for that matter. It was good :)

My companion and I were able to share a lot of cool lessons this week of which I’d like to talk a little bit about! 

This morning I was studying in the Book of Jacob in chapter 5 of the Book of Mormon. You know, about the parable of the Vineyard that the prophet Zenos spoke! It’s probably the millionth time I’ve studied this chapter but man today was a solid day of studying. I read a simple, yet very powerful scripture. The Lord of the Vineyard and his Servant at this time have been laboring amongst their vineyard for a while now, and at this point of the Chapter they are behelding all their trees for the second time and seeing that all their  trees are becoming corrupt and dying. 
And  Jacob 5:41 says, And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?
That nailed my soul in the very center today! The Lord of the Vineyard represents our Father in Heaven. He loves us all SO VERY MUCH. Heavenly Father delights in righteousness, and is very happy when we do what’s right. He has given us everything we need to be happy and successful in this life. He gave is his son on behalf of the world so that we can have the chance to return to him again. He has given us this wonderful Plan of Salvation for OUR benefit! God has literally laid it all out for us. All we need to do is follow it, do what’s right and we will be able to receive eternal life and exaltation. Despite all of it, we still have the gift of agency to decide whether to follow it or not. When we do what’s right, he is happy, he gives us blessings, he helps us always and we have his spirit with us. When we don’t follow, when we don’t do what’s right, when we follow and glory in the things of the world, he is grieved, he is sad, he wishes we would be better!
My companion and I gave a lesson to a few members about the Book of Mormon and the power it has. This book was written for THIS generation. It was translated and restored through Joseph Smith so that we could have the guidance, the help, and the direction needed in order to make it through this life. The book is filled with the lord’s commandments and teachings that are geared to help us live happier lives. When we do these things, when we follow Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his example, we are promised blessings beyond measure, one of them being able to receive exaltation. 
Just like the scripture says,” What more could I have done for my Vineyard?” What more can God do for us? All there is that there is left to do is our part. To follow his teachings, his Son, AND do what is right. I challenge and advise you to make this mindset a priority in your lives and to follow the savior and the Lords teachings. When we were all young and we did something silly, and our parents, specifically our Fathers got mad at us, was that fun!? NO!!! No one I’m sure ever liked it when thier father was mad or sad at them. So why do it to our Eternal Father? Read the Book of Mormon, follow the counsels of the Prophets and our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. Follow the example of the Savior. I add my testimony to that of the prophets now, and prophets of old. When we do, I promise we will find more joy, happiness, peace, and be able to feel the love of our Father in Heaven always. The more I seek to do these things in my own life, and help others do the same as a missionary; I’ve seen the blessings that come from above. 
I love you all very much. I know I say this every week, but it’s true, I love you all very much even if I don’t know you all that well or have spoken to you. I also know that Our Father in Heaven loves you all very much. I hope you all have a great week! And may you all seek to do what is right! 
For this week’s scripture(s) I would love for you to read Jacob Ch.5 of the Book of Mormon. It’s a good one!

Till next week :) Much Love!

Elder Preciado

I have added a few more pics, oh and I needed to get to another suit! Don’t worry, it was only $50! (normally over $200!) J

Friday, January 2, 2015

Week 16! Almost a New Year!

Whatsss upppppp friendddssssss annddd fammiilllyyyyyy!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas this past week! I had one of the best Christmas years ive had in a very long time. Wasnt because of the things i got. It wasnt because of getting to talk to family on skype,( Which by the way was freaking awesome!!!!!) But it was because it wasnt all about me this time. Right after talking to family in the morning, I was straight out to work just like any other day out here in the mission. It wasnt too special of a day in terms of how i Usually viewed Christmas in the past, but it was a very special one for lots of other reasons. 
One of the greatest things that happened that day was probably one of the most simplest ones. That day after studying and getting ready for the day, we had planned to visit an Old lady, one of our investigators. A couple days before, she blew up on us telling us how horrible we were for trying to visit and teach people about stuff they dont believe in. She got really mad and chastised us. We didnt let that stop us. 
After finishing study, we got everything else ready and we headed over to Okuwa, the local Supermarket. we went over to the candy section and got her favorite candy and then decided to go and visit her. The lady was still in a funk for some reason but she accepted the candy and we wer able to teach her about Christ a little bit and about some of her questions she had. After that we left. And that was that. We didnt feel AMAZING about the lesson, but it wasnt bad!
At Church yesterday, our Branch President comes up to us with a fresh fruit package. We look at the sender and it was the lady we taught! She found the address of the church and ordered a TON of fruit and sent it to us. (Which in Japan is INSANELY expensive) We took it home, had some fruit, and found a letter from her in there. She Explained, how bad she felt for being so rude to us before, and thanked us for being so loving and kind to her even on Christmas. She felt horrible after she said because she felt nothing but love from us.
Right then I knew even more our Heavenly Father and how this is his work. Lately ive been praying and seeking for the gift of Charity. Praying so that others can feel the love i have for them and that im not just some crazy random american telling them to repent! (Despite the fact that thats basically exactly what im doing haha) And there i knew my prayer was answered and the Lords power and love for not only me, but for this woman as well, was manifest. To me it was proabably the smallest thing that couldve happened all week, but it was the best one. Due to the fact that i was able to lift someone up that day and that they were able to feel my love. What better way to spread the meaning of Christmas!
Recently Ive been learning A LOT about charity, but specifically Love in general. Im beginning to understand what Love REALLY is, what it can do for others, and its power in general. Love is literally the supreme power or force in the universe we live in. Everything in this universe IS, everything exists, because of love. Because of Gods love for us. He gave his only begotten son, because he loves us. Christ suffered the Atonement because he loves us. He literally could have said, Alright peace out i cant do this! its too rough. i dont want to. etc. But he didnt, he followed through and did his fathers will, because one, he loves HIM, and two because he loves US! When i think of that, it gets me everytime. No one would do literally anything unless they love it, or were doing it because they love some one. Matthew 22:36-40. (Please Read). The Two great commandments of the lord. To love Him, and to love one another. Love your parents, love your friends, love your family, forget the faults or wrongdoings some may have and seek the good in everyone. Because there is always good in every individual. Learn to forgive, and forget, and to continue to love. Because for some, that just may be exactly what they may need!
Ill never forget driving home from church for the first time with Destiny in the car. That day i brought her to church for her first time before getting baptized. And i remember asking her,

Hey! how was church! how'd you like it! She turned and said, Never before have i ever felt so much LOVE from people i never knew. I wanna come all the time now!

Ill also never forget my beloved Bishop. Bishop Dellenbach! About two years ago, my father got a new job which brought us down to Southern California. At that point, i was in the midst of my junior year of highschool. That was probably one of the biggest changes in life for me, it was very hard, I didnt really want to go, but i had to. Ill never forget my first sunday I had in our new home. We went to church that day, and i REALLY did NOT want to go. I didnt want to have to meet new people,  new friends etc. But my first sunday there, was one of the best i ever experienced. Bishop Dellenbach made me feel like i had been there in that ward for years. he welcomed me in so well, and really made me feel loved. So Bishop if youre reading this, thank you! I love you! :)
Love is powerful, love is the motive, love is everything. really find it within yourself, your relationships with your spouse, friends, family, whomever, and really strengthen the love within. I testify itll make life, happier, more peaceful, and filled with joy when you do so. Hold family home evenings/family time, read the scriptures together, pray always together to our loving father in heaven. I know that all these are just some of the few ways we can develop love for others and strengthen the relationships we already have. 

During this New Year, make it a good one! make 2015 a solid year. Luckily for me i get to spend ALL of it in the service of the Lord. (Try not to be jealous ;)) Set goals, make plans to become better, etc. Some of them may or can be things such as what ive listed just barely previously ;) Haha When we set goals, we got a vision, when we got a vision, we know where we are going and thats what is important. Whats also important is following through on those goals you set! Work hardand have a good new year!!
I LOVE you all very much if you cant already tell :) Thank you to everyone who thought of me this christmas and sent me a card or package! :) Yall are the best!! Until next week :)

Elder Jacob  M. Preciado