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

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