Monday, April 27, 2015

The Book of Jacob II Week 33



My beloved brethren. I, Elder Jacob Matthew Preciado, now write my epistle unto you, my friends and family living amongst the Americas, as I reside upon the isles of the sea.

And it came to pass that I, Elder Preciado, did render all my strength of mind and of heart to the Lord God, all the week long, and I did fall on my face and pass out after planning at 9:30 PM.

And it came to pass that as I arose the next morning, it appeared that I was bound by the pains of my body from all the work of the previous day. For I moved, and I ached, and my body was exceedingly sore. And great was the soreness thereof.


.....okay people, I know you enjoyed that don't lie, some of you are still laughing and smiling inside. But I will leave it at that!

(Now transitioning to words of the modern day)

Haha so.....

This week was a great one! What I said above is correct. I've just been doing all I can to serve my best and it's really been catching up to me. Physically, this week was HARD!! Every morning is a dread waking up due to the soreness of muscles in every part of my body and in muscles I didn't even know existed. I pass out after planning almost every night. Of course after brushing my teeth and writing in my journal haha. But despite all that, it’s been really fun!

We had the opportunity this week to meet with Wysteria Meadow! Pretty special considering he never has time and is always with his sweet mother. But! He found time and made time and asked us to have a lesson with him at the church. We had a powerful lesson with him, teaching him about God's love, and eternal life, and how he can find a more fulfilling, and better sense of happiness in this life, and in the life to come. He loved it a lot I could tell! That's when I asked him if he wanted to be baptized :) and he accepted the invitation and now has a date to make those special covenants with our Father in Heaven. His love, his humbleness, his happiness despite the rough times, and just his smile is what makes me so happy. I love this man. Him and I now have an inside joke that we always act out every time we meet. He gets a huge kick out of it! In fact, he's so happy that he laughs at almost anything. I was carrying a banana while walking down the street with him, and I accidentally dropped it. Then he just burst into tears laughing! Telling me to be careful not to slip on it and what not. I didn't quite understand what was so funny about it but I went a long and was just happy that HE was happy and having fun! Thank you everyone for your love and support for him, he is SOO grateful and I am too!

Speaking of baptisms, there was a baptism here in Fushimi just yesterday! One of the sister's investigators was baptized yesterday morning. It was a great service! Miracles are happening all the time here in Japan. All I gotta say is, it's great to be a part of them :)

Nothing SUPER DUPER cool happened this week other than that lesson, and just working extra hard for the Lord and trying to make the most of my time here as a missionary. It's been quite the experience, and one of the things I love that I have learned is humility. 

Throughout my mission, I have been able to experience a variety of different feelings and experiences of which I know will always be remembered. But it's the hard experiences of which I'm extra grateful for. The ones that  have stretched me and pulled me in every way possible causing pain, and hurt, and sorrow. The times where I have felt so cold, and empty, and felt ,"is this worth it?" And, "will this ever end?".

My faith has been tried many times here,  and guess what. I'M STILL STANDING STRONG.
Because it was during those kinds of times and through many others, that I was able to learn this principle of humility. When I was able to really feel lower than the dust of the earth, get down on my knees and say a heartfelt prayer to our father in heaven. During those moments of prayer, is when I felt so peaceful, so humble, and just so loved. I could really just look up into the night sky with eyes full of tears and know that I am loved, and to know that what I am doing is right, and that I need to just trust in him. In my instances for me, feeling that humility is an amazing feeling. It's a time where I can really just reflect and think about our Savior and what he did. It allows me to take a look around at the world around me and see the special, yet so taken for granted, things that God has created and provided for us all. I feel like there is never enough praise in my heart for the blessings I have received for they are far greater than we all deserve. 

I was just sharing this with my dad, but one of my favorite personal phrases I say to myself is

"神様を恐れなさい" ( you all can pop that into google translate if ya want ) 

But it's my favorite, clearly it's Japanese, but it's said, "kamisama o osore nasai" which means,
"Fear God". When I used to hear that phrase "fear God", I used to think, why be scared of him? But it took on a whole new meaning to me as I have grown up and have become a missionary. 
Haha I still do take it literally considering he can throw down a lightning bolt at me any time he wants since he's GOD. But, as we learned from Elder Bednar this last conference, fearing God is keeping his commandments. It's simply following him. It's LOVING him. As it says in my favorite scripture of ALL time, Perfect love casters out all fear. 

For me having that humility is what strengthens me. It's what helps me realize that I can't do this alone and that I need help. Shoot I could use an order of divine power any time of the day! I'm sure we all could. I guess my only challenge to you all this week Is to be more thoughtful of your father in heaven, and his son, Jesus Christ, this week.

Alma 37:37

37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Give praise to him always. Have and cherish those special moments during prayer with him. My beautiful Mom apparently gave an awesome talk to the girl’s camp girls this year about prayer! You rock mom! I know if you do these things, your faith and testimony in him will grow, and you feel that sense of love and peace from on high. I can testify of that. 

Have a good week! For a personal activity, I challenge you all to also perhaps make a list of all the blessings in your life, your personal blessings and how they've blessed you. I promise it will be a great personal experience for you! 

Humility is an attribute of our Savior. As you strive for it, you will become more like him as you try and live like him.

I love you all!

P.S. Did I tell you Brother Grossen is so freakin cool!! He's a beast, I love him and he is so funny! Sooo fun seeing him and grateful for all that he provided us with!!! 

P.S.S. Please write me, I love it!




The basketball picture is of Brother Grossens company that he works with.


In the picture of me and the Japanese guy on the rocks, his name is "Big Hope"

Well and the last one you can guess :) Disney is huge here

Monday, April 20, 2015

Awesome week, but boy am I tired! Week 32

Hey there people.

It's been a goooood week in the Japan Kobe Mission. Lots of great things and miracles happening! It was a first full week back in the work (Meaning normal schedule everyday and being out and about) in about three months now. And all I have to say is...

IM FREAKIN TIRED

I forgot how tiring it can be sometimes, but there's nothing like it that's for sure 😊
I wanna thank all of you for showing so much love not only to me, but to my friend Wysteria Meadow. He is doing great right now. He has some food and is trekking along. Thanks so much for all your help and love! It's just what this man has been needing.

Had the opportunity to go on a companionship exchange this week with Elder Gass. A good friend of mine here in the mission. Together we had a lot of fun finding the elect and making mission memories together! Recently we have found the Nintendo HQ's. It's in my area here in Kyoto! So...Elder Gass and I on our companionship exchange decided to go proselyting there trying to talk to the workers, asking about video games and finding someway to connect it to the gospel.

For example:
"Hey! Don't you have fun when you play Nintendo video games? Aren't you HAPPY? Me too! But I'm happy when I go to church! Please come! It's WAY cooler than Nintendo games."

We ended up only getting to actually do that to one guy...and he denied us. That booger.
Oh well. I hope his life is full of fun and happiness!

During that exchange we had a good lesson with Salt River. We set a new Baptismal Date with him for the 7th of June. He's been doing great, just been really busy with his Job.

The last few days or so we're the best part if the week. We transformed almost our entire teaching pool, into investigators with a baptismal date! Which now means there are 4 of gods children who have accepted the invitation to be baptized within the coming months. I've never been so happy. I've had faith, lots of faith for a long time that I would begin to see miracles. But despite that faith, I've had challenges, and hardships, dropped investigators, emotional hurricanes, and just life smacking me down lower than the dust of the earth. But the lord has been with me through it all though. 

Mosiah 11:22 of the Book of Mormon 
22 And it shall come to pass that they shall know that I am the Lord their God, and am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of my people.

He has been there to lift me up and has heard my prayers.

Mosiah 27:14 of the Book of Mormon 
14 And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.

I have been longing for someone to be baptized here, not just so I could say,"I have a baptism" but so that I could so, whoever that person may be, experience a true, and real sense of happiness in their life, to know that they have a purpose and are worth something no matter who they are, and so that they can know that there is a living, Father in Heaven, he loves them and is worth EVERYTHING to Him. That's all I want. That's why I am here in Japan. Is to tell people these eternal truths, and help them find what they, and many others, have been missing in their lives.

Like I said, the lord has heard my prayers ever since in began my mission to find his children in whom are ready to receive these blessings. And within the last days he made a miracle happen. 

For me, it provides a sense of joy, but also it provides me another opportunity to testify. 

GOD HEARS AND LISTENS TO OUR PRAYERS.

There is no such thing as a wrong, a bad, too short, too long, weird, or UNHEARD prayer. Such talk is blasphemy. As we just read that verse up above, we know that God listens to us, and he helps us always. But an important thing to remember in all of it, is to have faith in Him. Have the faith to know that your prayer, is being heard. Have the faith to also know that it will be answered. That's having faith in God. It's following Him, and having the faith that he is there. Most importantly, having faith in God, also means having faith in His timing.
It's been nearly a year now since I've began my mission, and it's been nothing of what I expected. But, I've had the faith that I'd be able to fulfill my purpose on His behalf, and that is to bring others unto CHRIST, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I've always held that within. And I know and testify that he HAS seen my faith, and my heard my prayers, and has now prepared  his children, in his time, to receive baptism. The blessings are pouring from heaven and I feel his love.

I'm happy. I'm happy because I feel gods love. Because I'm trying to be like Jesus Christ, and to emulate his example. I don't know how well I'm doing haha. I'm not perfect, but I'm perfect in one thing, and that's my effort, and my trying to be like him. I just feel blessed. 

I love all of you, I'm tired, :)
Elder Preciado
video


Mom insert...He has NEVER taken piano lessons! Amazing the things he comes up with! :)



 Elder Gass






Sunday, April 12, 2015

Brand New Day........ Week 31

Hello friends and family!

This week I want to talk about a good friend of mine. His name is..."Mr. I Propose" considering he LOVES to say,"I propose" and to voice his opinion ALL THE TIME. Mr. I Propose is a very smart fella. He is one of my English class students. Every Wednesday here in Fushimi we teach a free English class as part of our service as missionaries. Mr. I Propose has taught English on various levels from elementary to university level English. He sure loves to show that kind of stuff off all the time, always making comments about his vast knowledge of history of basically anything you can think of, using words I'm pretty sure my great grandmother would never use, and just energetic all the time. When I first met this man, I HATED/DISLIKE (ok my mom always told me I can never hate, so dislike is a better word.) him. I thought he was so obnoxious, rude, weird, and so forth. He always interrupts when I'm teaching to share something completely unrelated to the topic. Drives me CRAZY! I noticed that every week, my feelings worsened little by little towards this man. I would leave class with a headache all the time trying to deal with him and keep class in order. He just made everything so hard. But I must say, he is my FAVORITE man in that class out of all of them. 
I'll never forget the day A few weeks ago that I got down on my knees right before class started and pleaded to God to allow me to love Mr. I Propose. I walked in to class, and it was the worst class yet. At first I thought, "Heavenly Father what the heck! I asked you to help me out!". I evaluated the situation. And I realized something. I was focusing too much on trying to get this guy to be quiet, focusing on changing him and his actions. That, is basically impossible if you ask me (trust me I tried it already on him) 
The next week I thought in preparation for it, "How can I make this a better day at class?" And I realized I can't focus on the things I can't control. Those things are in a group of things I "worry" about. I can't do anything about them but worry about them. In this case, I was so worried about trying to change Mr. I Propose and his actions. But what I SHOULD do is focus on my circle of influence. The things I can affect and can control, and so on. For me, I realized I should be emulating my calling. As a missionary, I am a representative of Jesus Christ. What better way to represent Him than to BE like Him? One who is filled with charity, and pure love, not selective love, or hatred, or contention and harsh feelings. 
I walked into class, with the right frame of mind, and just loved the crap out of this man. I focused on what I COULD control, which was  a my actions, my feelings, and did EVERY single thing possible to show him some love. For me, it made it a little better that day. For him, seemed normal to me from what I observed. 

Being the smart guy that I am, I realized, "hey, when I truly try and do what I'm called to do, and truly strive to be like Jesus Christ, my feelings get better" 
So I continued this process every week. I've never prayed so strongly before an English class every week just to be nice to someone. Every week. I kept going. Doing ALL I could to make it a good day for me, and to make the guy feel loved. It never changed him, he still always says his remarks and what not, but what it did change, was ME. My feelings and actions toward this man became more natural, more real, and more pure. I was able to love him no matter what he did. 

He came up to me last Wednesday after class and said to me in such a sweet humble voice:
"Excuse me, Mr. Elder Preciado. I have to tell you something"

(He pulls me to the corner)

"Sure! How can I help you!?" I said

He says, "You are so big! And strong, and colossal. But you have a very, very warm heart. Yessss yes and a very warm spirit about you. You are so nice! I feel good talking to you! Thank you very much. I'll see you next week, I can't wait to come back and feel good again!"

I was crying inside with how touched I was. That was when I realized, my prayer was answered, and that I love Mr. I Propose. 

I have learned a lot from this man, not only by his constant stating of facts and history, but because of the personal experience I was able to have from him. 

There were three simple yet powerful principles I learned from this. 
1. God hears our prayers. He is there to help us and guide us in HIS own way. He allowed me to have such an experience to learn and grow from. He knew the desire of my heart and helped me achieve it.

2. Don't focus on things you can't control. I couldn't do anything to change this man. I still haven't! But the one thing I COULD do was change myself. This is where the whole, "we need to change ourselves first, if we want others to change" principle comes into play. Mr. I Propose changed in a sense, from being a student, to being a friend. I don't know where we would be right now had I not tried focusing on things I could control. When we worry about such things, we just make ourselves miserable. It is like trying to go after or date someone who is WAY out of your league! You are just continually breaking your own heart in a sense! When you do the things you CAN do, "date people you can date", you will find more happiness in yourself. It's a silly analogy haha, but it works.

3. Charity is a spiritual gift. I always knew it was, but I guess this was another testimony of that haha. In order to obtain any spiritual gifts, We gotta work for it! Work is always required on our part. Loving someone you once hated is not easy, but I had to work every week, through constant prayer, patience, and meekness in order to obtain the love I have for my now good friend Mr. I Propose. He's a great friend! And I look forward to seeing this old fart every week now! 

I love my mission for the things I learn like this! And also getting to meet people like this too. My mission has been very awesome, life changing, difficult, hard, backbreaking, but ultimately rewarding. 

I am a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I freakin love what I do. 

Love you all!

Elder Preciado



video
Mommy,  I think I need some new shoes :)




Monday, April 6, 2015

Because of Him!! Happy Easter!! Week 30

皆さん、こんにちは。

元気ですか?私は大丈夫です。

先週はちょっと大変ですね。先週について話しましょう。
最初は英語にスウィチしましょ😬

There weren’t a whole lot of things that went on really this week. However, they are things I will always remember as a part of my mission.

Tuesday was a pretty decent day. There is a family in the ward who is trying to redo their yard. Like a COMPLETE makeover. Therefore they called us Elders up and asked if we could help. Well...sadly, if really I could help. My companion can do things, but only so much before he can't do anything. Poor guy did the best he could in helping with the work but had to sit out most of it and do the small things. 

I on the other hand had a wonderful opportunity to get a full body workout from around 11 o'clock that morning to 5:30 that night. We figured since we haven't been able to do much, my companion would try and feel better at their house so I could give them a hand. I had the opportunity of doing MANY different things during that service project, which consisted of digging and shoveling dirt across the yard, breaking ground and rocks with pick axes, and lifting and moving boulders, and huge bags of gravel and such. You already know I got freakin jacked during it all. My man Brother H brought his truck with a crane mounted on it so that we could move the big boulders to the places that we wanted them. At one point during the process, one of the boulders fell off the crane and in the middle of the yard. Brother H was FREAKING out hard core, not knowing what he was going to do to move it because once it's off the crane,  it's off and is really hard to reconnect it apparently. I stood watching him and another guy try and pick it up, or roll it, but for some reason they couldn't do it. I decided to have mercy on the man and save him from his worries. I asked him, "Hey! Where do you want this rock?" (with the biggest smile on my face). He looked at me puzzled, and says,"well...I WAS trying to put it there but..." Before he could finish I cut him off by squatting down and lifting this massive rock myself and moving it to the place they wanted it. 
Never, ever, EVER have I seen such priceless faces in my LIFE! I couldn't help but see everyone in attendance with dropped jaws. It was as if all them had just witnessed the First Vision for themselves hahaha. I was surprised I still had that kind of strength in me considering I haven't had a real work out in months. I guess all those days and weeks of never skipping leg day really payed off. 
Lesson learned here is: DONT SKIP LEG DAY

Wednesday was a pretty rough day...considering we got a call from the mission president notifying my companion that he will be returning home this Friday due to his illness.  Wow... All I can say is that it hurts a lot. To see him leave, Elder Grossen is a true disciple of Jesus Christ. His heart and his actions are pure and set him apart from the average missionary. He out of ANYONE in the mission I know does NOT deserve this. One thing I love about my companion, is how willing and accepting he is of the Lords will at this time. I'll be honest if it were me, I'd be upset, kicking and screaming doing all I can to stay. But my companion? ..Whole different story. When we received the call, all I heard was,"yes. Mhm”. Okay I understand,“Will do president." Tears were shed of course, but his humbleness, and willingness to be obedient is what makes him special. He does what's right, not just because he has to, but because he wants to. He emulates the Savior not only in WHAT he does, but WHY he does it. THAT has been one of the biggest blessings to see him as an example. Elder Grossen, when you read this my brother, know I love you! I want you to look out for and continue to find opportunities to serve those you will soon meet again, and those for the first time. There's a reason why the Lord is allowing this to happen. Find it! Love you buddy.

Thursday made up for Wednesday a little bit. We had the opportunity to go with one of our investigators, "Mr. Salt River" to the 桃山 (Momoyama) Castle. Mr. Salt River is one of my favorite people. He's super duper cool and loves us missionaries. He has a date to baptized on the 3rd of May. We went to the castle so that we could just be more of a friend to him. …and because Japanese castles are frickin sick. It was a good time walking around, seeing ancient things of Japan, looking at beautiful cherry blossom trees, or in Japanese called, さくら🌸 (Sakura). My man Brother S came with us as well. He and my companion talked for a while, regarding our phone call that we received the previous day. During that time, it left me to talk with Salt River. He and I sat down on a bench and talked for about an hour. It was probably the longest, most head-hurting, most fun, spiritual conversation I've had in a long time. It gave me the opportunity to bear testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel, about why I'm here in Japan, and even to teach him a little bit more of the gospel. I solo taught Salt River a one hour lesson on the bench. I say head-hurting, because I really had to work hard at my Japanese. I'm not the BEST, but I'm getting there I feel like. I know that from what I was able to teach him, it created an increase desire for him to follow Jesus Christ. It went really ,really well. My companion surprisingly was able to endure all the walking from it. 

Which brings us to Sunday! Easter! Sunday was a special day for me. All week, I have been feeling so very overwhelmed, humbled, and my heart has been very soft. My mission president last Wednesday not only talked to my companion, but I had the opportunity to talk to him over the phone as well. We talked about my companion, and some upcoming things that he wants me to prepare for. I could nothing but feel inadequate at first. I went into the bathroom and splashed some cold water in my face after that call, and just looked at myself for a little bit in the mirror. It was as if I saw every weakness within me. It humbled me. It made me want to be better. 
I had been longing all week to just feel His love through partaking of the sacrament, starting over the week on a new note and being a great missionary. I prayed hard that morning to be able to have a good day at church and to feel my burdens lightened. Heavenly Father blessed me well. It was a new family's first day in the ward, and they had a baby boy of about 1 year, and he was all over the place. I had the opportunity to play with this boy, make him happy, let him play with my name tag, my watch, my ring, really anything he could get his hands on of mine haha. If any of you know me, I have a big heart for little children ️ I was able to feel an overwhelming amount of love from this little boy in showing so much interest in me. Not only that, but also from the thanks from his mother who was struggling to keep him quiet during sacrament. I've never had a young baby boy leave me in such tears as this one did. Tears of joy, of happiness, and of peace. It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures. 

Alma 26:37
"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."

God was clearly mindful of my needs during this time. Through this little boy, he was able to help me feel love, and happiness. It's what picked me up again. Not only was he mindful of me, but he was mindful of this little boy's mother. She was struggling a little bit to take care of this boy and keep him reverent for sacrament meeting. He used me to help this women out in helping her be at comfort, be happy that her baby boy is happy and being quiet with the things he was playing with, and it probably gave her a chance to actually listen to sacrament for once in a while. It was a simple, everyday thing that occurs all the time in this world, but it made the BIGGEST difference for me, and for this mother.
Because of this experience I had at church, I just had an increased amount of love for those around me, and a stronger desire to do something good that day. Whether that was for my companion, or whatever. My companion has been beginning to pack recently for his departure. This right here is a perfect example of why my companion is so awesome. As he was packing, he felt a prompting. He pulled out one of his suits and said,"I'm gonna give this suit to our friend "Mr. Wisteria Meadow" 

(I'm using the direct translations of these Japanese names, that's why I have Salt River, and now Wisteria Meadow)

Wisteria Meadow is the man we met earlier in my time here in Fushimi. The man I gave my church clothes, the man we payed to go to the hospital to see his mother. We got the suit and walked over to his apartment just around the corner. I loved this man so much already, but from this time we visited him, I've never had so much compassion for him. He came outside, and basically stumbled around like a drunk man. My first thought was that he actually was drunk, but I was shortly proven otherwise. As I have explained earlier, this man's mother is very very sick in the hospital, and is literally on the edge. The hospital bill for his mom is VERY expensive, but it's to keep her alive. Wisteria Meadow is putting every he owns to his moms life. He has nearly nothing. Not even food really. He eats one day, and fasts for two so that he can span his food out until next pay day. It explains his stumbling and weariness. He walks 2 hours one way to get to the hospital everyday to visit his mom. He is the most humble, pure hearted man I've ever met. And the bravest too. He believes he was told by the spirit to keep his mom alive, which is why he is going through all this. I've never seen such a smile of pure happiness before. I'm sure he hasn't owned a suit for the longest time in his life, and to see him so thankful to get it made him the happiest man in the world. My companion and I looked at each other, and said,"wait here!" 
We ran back to our apartment and grabbed all the food we could find and threw it in a box for him and brought it over. To see the look on his face again was just the first face times ten. I truly believe that God prompted my companion to give him that suit for a reason. Had we not brought it over, and followed the prompting, we may would have never known of what he was going through. He may have never gotten any food. 
This here is another testament to God's love for us, and of this scripture. He uses his faithful servants and loved ones to bless others. He truly is mindful of everyone and their needs, their worries, and hardships. I'm just so humbled and blessed to be used as one of His instruments in doing His work.

Our Father in Heaven works in many mysterious ways in order to bring about His special purposes. I testify and know that this scripture is true. I see and experience this almost everyday here in the mission. I know, with ALL my heart that God loves each and every single one of us. No matter who you are, whom you were, whether you are white, black, orange, purple, or green, he loves you. "for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45). 
Take a moment, and think of a time or an experience where you have felt the greatest amount of love in any way. Take that experience, and multiply it by infinity. THAT, my dear brothers and sisters, is how much God loves you, me, and all of us. 
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, that we may be able to have eternal life and live again with Him. 

Jesus Christ came to this earth, and lived an absolutely perfect, sinless life. He walked the earth, wrought miracles among men, taught with love, and had compassion for all people. He loved them even as the Father did. He came here for a reason. And that was to fulfill the will of the Father. 
Because of his love for his Father, and every one of us, he performed the greatest single act that changed humanity for all of time and eternity. He suffered the absolute most exquisite pain possible in the Garden of Gethsemane, bleeding from every pore in his body, taking upon Himself every pain, sin, and sorrow, because He loves us. He suffered through and took the hatred, the mocking, the spitting, because He loves us. He payed the price, and was whipped, nailed, and hung on the cross and was crucified, because He loves us. 
Though He died upon the cross, and was layed to rest in his tomb, He rose again on the third day, and lives. I KNOW that with all solidity of heart. Thousands of years ago from just yesterday, was the day our Lord and Savior rose again. 

He lives. And because He lives, and because of what He did for us, we all have the chance to repent of our sins, and start over again. We have the chance to be forgiven, and we have the ability to receive eternal life. Through the power of his atoning sacrifice, we can receive the power and ability to overcome trial, and temptation, and any hardship. Those truly mounted upon Christ and his rock of salvation cannot be immobilized. Not any amount of trial, hardship, sin, absolutely nothing can. Not even DEATH. He descended below ALL things. He literally has experienced every single pain, sorrow, sin, and feeling that you, and I, and EVERYONE have, am, and are yet to experience in your life here on this earth. Because he rose again, we too will rise again and be resurrected. 

I KNOW that.

This last week was hard in some ways for me like I said. I was able to feel and see my personal weaknesses, and feel meek, and humbled. But because of what Jesus Christ did, we all, including myself, can become better saints, and followers of Jesus Christ, no matter what faith we may believe in. Which brings me to one of my favorite scriptures found in the Book of Mormon:

Ether 12:27
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

This scripture has never hit so home for me as it did this last week. It was purely manifest to me in my own life. As we learn to humble ourselves, and come unto Christ and partake of his atoning sacrifice, we can change, and become better, become that much stronger and that much of a better person. His sacrifice has the ability to change even the weakest and most broken things of this world like myself, into strong faithful saints and followers of Him. I firmly and solemnly testify as one of HIS representatives that this is true. I'm thankful for the wonderful Easter Sunday the Lord blessed me with this year and for the opportunity I had on this day to remember my Savior and what He did for us. 
I pray that each of you will remember always to partake of His love and atoning sacrifice. None of us are perfect, especially me, but that's why He did it. He knows we aren't, so He gave us a way to try and become perfect, to try and become like Him.

As you carry on about your lives through this week, I would invite you to think about the words that you all had the opportunity to hear this last weekend during General Conference. If you didn't get the chance, I invite you to find them online and read them! Whether you are a member of this church or not, I know that something you read, or watch will be something you need to hear. 

I love Japan. I love what I do. I love my Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. I'm so thankful for what He did for me.

It's definitely a great day to be a missionary in the Japan Kobe Mission
We just received transfer announcements and it looks like I'll be staying in Fushimi once more.

I love you everybody. Have a great week this week and until next time,


Elder Preciado
 Our Bishop
                                                Wysteria meadow




The food we gave our friend