Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Week 27

Friends and Family,


A week that will always be in my heart forever.

This week, was probably one of the most difficult ones I’ve ever experienced here on my mission, on so many different levels. Emotionally, I’ve never been so down. One of the lowest times its been for me in a while. I'm so grieved for my companion who is still down with a sickness. I love him and I want him to be better! He will be seeing doctors in Kobe this week by the way, so I’ll be doing a little traveling this coming week.
Anyways, I’ve been really sad this week because my companion is sick, and because he is sick, we can really can’t do much and I know how much we BOTH want to serve.  It affected me a lot. I wasn't myself. I felt like I was letting down my father in Heaven in every way possible. (Im trying to give you a glimpse of what I actually felt!) I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it was just hard.

Wednesday night was one of the roughest. I was up all night, with a million thoughts in my head. When I was six, as most of you know, I had my little sister Andie pass away, and thoughts of memories of her, and all the good times we had demolished me that night. I had no sleep. 

Then it came Saturday. We had a lesson planned for 7 o clock. I’ll be honest...with all I was feeling I didn't really want to go. It was one of the times in my life like I said where I’ve never felt so much grief, for many different things. As soon as we made it to the church, and waited for our investigator to show up, he didn’t come. I was even sadder. Thinking,
" Heavenly Father, please...let something great happen..."

As soon as I said that prayer in my heart, everything changed.

As soon as I ended, we got a message saying, "I’ll be there very soon". I was humbled and picked myself back up. I prayed by myself in the other room that Heavenly Father would speak for me, that He would let me know what I need to say to change this man’s life. I also prayed hard that I would be able to say it. (meaning that he would bless me with the ability to speak well and meaningful in Japanese) 

Finally our friend showed up and we began our lesson. The Lord answered my prayer and blessed more than I had even asked for. Never before, in my entire mission, or life, have I ever felt so much joy in a span of about 1 hour. My body was lifted high, and my soul rejoiced and I was filled with compassion and love and just wanted to sing it to the whole world. Never before have ever understood a man the way i did.( Not just in Japanese, but his heart) The spirit whispered to me everything he was saying as if a microphone was in my head. I think it’s safe to say, that like Ammon, I knew the thoughts and intentions of his heart because of the Spirit of God which was in me. I was able to bear strong testimony, out of all the love I possessed to our friend, in the most comfortable, most fluent Japanese possible. My companion and I were not feeling very good. (I might have gotten a cold!!! Danget…but don’t worry I am ok!) But that didn't stop us. We continued to teach with that power and authority on high, teaching, and testifying of eternal truths. Through it all my companion and I felt the need to ask this man to receive baptism. When we asked, he committed. That moment my joy was magnified tenfold. The gift of tongues was purely manifested to me.

My mission has been the hardest thing to date in my life. I still have more coming but that's okay, I’m so ready for it! I’ve gone through rough things, been at low points just like I was this week, but it’s only made me stronger.
Missions are said to be 99% of hardships and difficulty and pain. (SO TRUE) and the rest of that, is known as pure joy. I’ve seen a lot of good things happen throughout it all, but have seen many bad as well. I’ve always felt that 99% percent, especially here in Japan since these people’s hearts are rocks when it comes to religion! But this week, I felt that 1%. I was able to feel that pure joy through all that hardship. And somehow, SOMEHOW, That 1% makes up for all the rest. Because in that joy, I feel Love, compassion, peace, and anything and everything else that brings true, eternal joy.

All of this made me that much more grateful for the Savior. For all he has done for me, and how he took care of me in all the hard times. I may have felt low, but Christ descended below ALL things. Never forget he will be there to lift you up. He literally bled his Love for you, because he wants EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US to experience happiness. Not momentary happiness, but true, real, eternal, and pure Happiness!

Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting. Everyone loved my talk about missionary work! I hope it got them all pumped up to be strong members :) The rest of church was amazing. The day before I was feeling so much love and thankfulness for my savior, and then all of church, we had lessons about the savior and His life!! He is amazing!! After the service, an 8 year old boy in the ward was getting baptized! He comes from a half family. His Dad is from Peru and his Mom is Japanese. They’re so awesome!! 
The baptismal service, to be honest, was one of the greatest baptismal services I’ve ever attended. (Along with Destiny’s) It was for a boy who began growing up going to church, but to me that didn’t matter. The spirit was so very strong in all the talks, musical numbers, in all of it. The best part for me was when the boy, stepped into the water. I was asked to be a witness for the ordinance so I saw it up nice and close. As soon as I saw his foot touch the water, the spirit overcame me. I instantly began shedding tears of joy, and love for this young boy. He was creating the covenant and entering into the Lords kingdom. All week I learned of the Savior, what he did, why we need him, and how this is his church. The spirit bore witness to me of everything I had learned. It was a feeling and a moment, that I know I will never forget.

 I know that, This is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I have nothing more to share at this time other than my simple testimony of the things I know to be true. And I testify as a representative of Him, that this is the only true and living Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that it was established in these latter days through the Lords prophet Joseph smith. Heavenly Father has a plan for us all, and that plan is designed so that we can return to Him and live in eternal peace and happiness in the next life. I know that this is HIS work, and that I have been called of Him to testify and teach and bring the world His truth. Oh how grateful I am for this opportunity to serve Him... I know that God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, Loves and knows every single one of you. He weeps with you when you are struggling and rejoices when you do what’s right.

I testify and know of these things to be true, for they were manifest to me through His Holy Spirit. I solemnly bare, in all sincerity of heart, in the name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.

I love all of you very much. This week is going to be great! Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is coming to speak to us on Friday. I’m so happy and excited to hear from a prophet of god! 

I love you all!!


Elder Preciado

Soooo bummed I broke my Ocorana! :(

       A drawing I was asked to draw. I sure love drawing!

                                                      The baptism

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