How's everyone doing? I'm doing jussst fine over here in Kyoto, Japan. This week was a pretty...different week I have to say.
Recently have been really focusing on our investigators whom agreed to receive baptism within the coming months. All I have to say is I'm really excited for what's in store for this ward here in Fushimi, and the blessings in store for these children of our Father in Heaven. We have been trying to focus on meeting them this past week and have plans to get them ready for their special day. We have been seeing Wysteria Meadow this past week more than anyone else, and my love and compassion for him grows each and every day. His desire to follow the Lord, and to do what's right, is remarkable and touches my heart. He's been telling me how much he LOVES the Book of Mormon, and how he has already read over half of it. He prays everyday on behalf of his sweet mother, and the things he worries about. He's doing just fine and is progressing toward his big day on the 28th of June. I love this man. Thank you all again for your support with him and prayers, I know he feels them.
We visited our friends the "Diamond Well"s this last Tuesday and helped them out with there yard that they have been working on. It's beginning to look really nice in my opinion. My buddy Big Hope was there too so I was very thrilled with the opportunity to hang out with him, and become better friends with him. Great service opportunity, and a workout opportunity ha.
Last Friday, once again, I had the opportunity to go on a companionship exchange with my good friend, Elder Hall. It's ALWAYS a good time with him. I must say, out of every missionary I have ever worked with here on my mission, working with Elder Hall is one of the funnest, easiest, most uplifting experiences. The spirit between us is strong, and it seems that when we are together, we REALLY know how to get stuff done. And when we give what we got, stuff happens whether that be a big thing, small, or in between. Both of our desires to just let the Holy Spirit guide, and to let the Lord work his plan, allows us to see the miracles, and be effective advocates of the truth in all we do, on HIS behalf, and for HIS work. I've never worked better with another Elder before. (well besides Grossen, too) And I must say how grateful I am for him and his example to me. When we were companions in the MTC, we honestly were not the best of friends, nor really, as a companionship either. Most of that was easily due to some of my personal issues, my pride, and so forth. Through the atonement of our Savior, I've had the opportunity to change into the missionary I am now. And I'm sure Elder Hall has had the opportunity as well. Needless to say, through it all, we are best of friends and both are so happy to be missionaries in this day and age. Love you man, your the best.
This past week, I have been feeling my body beginning to shape back up and feel good again little by little. Haha it is still the struggle sometimes, but it's been good. Feeling this way, I guess has been a blessing. It has really taught me to just be diligent, no matter what you feel like. I guess it has helped me learn what's more important these days and has helped motivate me to get those things done. I'm still being smart and am taking care of myself, no worries there ha. I just have a desires to be like Christ! And handle and do things the way He would do. Really, really happy though that the soreness is gone.
Throughout my mission, I've really tried to become more like and emulate the example of Him. I have done many different things and have done all I can to really stretch myself and to grow in each of the Christ-like attributes. And for me, there seems to be this pattern for achieving them... It appears that the Lord likes to put me through maybe, if not the hardest, possible way to really learn, and to grow into being like his Son.
When I first came to Kyoto, I was up and running ready to get straight to work in a new area, with a fresh new transfer ahead of me. That's when I lasted about a week with good health, and as you all know I became gravely ill. Through one specific experience I had at the beginning of the illness, (which involved lots of pains and throwing up, almost passing out, and just crazy things that happen to sick people), I was able to learn and feel in complete depth, and in all aspects, the eternal Love of our Father in Heaven. From this profound experience, I was able to learn what it feels like, how to always be filled with it, and how to really share it with those around me. He has taught me how to be charitable through putting me through one of the worst sicknesses I've experienced in pretty much my life. I don't think I've ever been that sick before.
As I went through through this trial with my beloved companion,(another one of my all-time favorites!) Elder Grossen, I miraculously gained the ability to become better. I was blessed to be full recovered. All my symptoms, sicknesses, everything. Gone. But, my companion had not done so. He sadly continued on with this sickness, and sadly STILL is as I speak... The process lasted about 3 months. And boy did I learn another great attribute. Patience. Being in the apartment every day, just being left to wonder if one of my best friends would ever get well again, along with the urge to just do what I'm called to do. Least to say, it was a very difficult two transfers. Not only this, but back during my second transfer in the mission, when I had that knee problem. Every day was a struggle to simply get up and use the bathroom, to walk down the street, to just stand. It required a lot of patience in letting my body heal, in letting it strengthen again so that I could be up and about, but also effective as I did so.
Can you see the pattern?
As I talked about last week, I have been striving to grow in humility, and the ability to be humble and willing to submit to all things necessary unto the the Master, our Lord and Savior. And it was going very well I'd say. I felt and found myself little by little every day, thinking more and more about the Savior, and just having a stronger desire to do what HE would want me to do. I have been praying humbly yet fervently to really be able to help myself really grow in this Christ-like attribute. It wasn't that I had asked for anything specific to happen, or something to occur, but just had the desire to really grow and become a better missionary, and a representative of Jesus Christ.
He answered me alright. And, in my eyes, He did in the WORST possible way I would have NEVER even thought ONCE about...
Upon my return from the companionship exchange with Elder Hall, my companion and I headed to the apartment due to the fact that I had not yet eaten lunch. I came in ready to eat. I had begun defrosting some chicken, cutting, and preparing it to cook. Amongst the midst of this, I thought, “Hey, some music would be AWESOME right now." I walked over to where the DVD player was, and noticed that it was not plugged in yet. As I looked at the outlet, I saw our 3+ outlet head plug inside of it, but noticed that part of it looked a little funny. The plastic shell looked lopsided to me. I thought, “that doesn't look right at all." So I planned to fix it and reached down to take a look at it. When I grabbed it, the plastic shell popped off and broke and I found myself accidentally grabbing the exposed insides of the outlet head. That's when I felt the surge of electricity shoot into my hand and through every part of my body from head to toe. I did all I could to let go, but the electricity was causing every muscle within my body to flex and merely just grip it that much harder. After roughly about 5 seconds of holding on to it, I was able to break free from it. Everything hurt, A LOT, yet I could not necessarily feel anything. ESPECIALLY my hand. That's when the outlet exploded and sparks flew everywhere around me. I stood there, with my heart racing, overloaded with adrenaline, feeling like I was on cloud 9 trying to really comprehend everything that just happened. "Did...did that just...happen?" and "Did I just...get electrocuted?" I indeed was electrocuted. That's when I called the mission presidents wife and told her everything that had just happened. She immediately sent a note to the Asia North Area missionary doctor (pretty much my best friend after already talking to him for about three months with Elder Grossen ha) telling him what was up. He soon gave me a call and we talked about what had happened. During this time I'm in the upmost amount of shock, practically in tears just trying to force my body to calm down. We talked for a good bit, and I will never ever forget what Doc said to me over the phone.
"Elder, it's one of those things that just happened. There's nothing we can do to fix anything, it just happened. But.........I am really....really happy that you are okay. The voltage level in Japan is generally MUCH much lower than most places in the world. Had this even happened anywhere else, you would be seriously hurt, if not dead right now."
As we finished the phone call, and made sure everything was alright. I found myself in tears, full of an unmeasurable amount of gratitude, and thanks. I immediately went to my bed and began praying from the bottom of my heart, filled with the upmost amount of humility possible, thanking Heavenly Father, that I am on a mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints here in the Japan Kobe Mission. I have never, in my entire life, been so grateful to be one of HIS anointed, doing this work. For me it's not really the event that struck me, because I am standing, moving, breathing, and faithfully living. I guess it's the nature of the event. The "what-if" aspect of it all. The fact that it did happen, I could care less to be honest, but the fact that it did, and here in Japan, and not anywhere else, is what I am so very grateful for.
With this all being said, I have never ever been so filled with humility as I am now. Even for the simple things, and the things we take for granted. I've always been grateful for the things, and for the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. But it now especially really hits home to me to see them all before my eyes. The fact that we all have this beautiful world that we live in, and the things created in thereof, is something I've never been so grateful for. I've never been able to look at a simple tree, and say,"I am so happy that this tree exists, and that it provides things necessary to help sustain life here on earth." I especially have never been so grateful to be in the presence of a body. To think about the things we can do, the fact that we can see, and simply just breathe and do what we want according to our will.
I've never been so thankful for really anything before. Following this weird event, I find myself really offering everything I have in every prayer to the man above. Giving him my best of the best in terms of my praise and thanks unto him.
Mosiah 2:20-21 of the Book of Mormon
20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another--
21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another--I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
From this experience, I can say I have been brought down to the lowest I believe I can possibly go. I feel I have truly learned what humility really is. Through this all, I'm not mad, or sad at anything about what has happened. But, I'm simply just filled with love, and am grateful for what I have, and have been given, and now am ready to follow and do whatever the Master needs me to do, considering he has all power. If we aren't following Him, if we are not doing what's right, He has the power to anything according to His will, and can do whatever he wants with us. If he really, really wanted to, he could send down lightning and zap you to shreds. (Hahahahaha.....hahaha....ha...haaaaaaaaaaaa, see what I did there?)
I know and testify that there is a God, and that he loves me, you, and everyone, with all his heart. More than we can ALL imagine. With all the love that he possesses for each and every one of us, he has a plan, and a way of doing things for all of us. I know that (TRUST ME).
The way something may happen to you, or the way you are able to learn something is most likely completely different from those around you. God knows best. He knows, and will do what he sees best for you, and will execute that plan in his way, and in his timing. Why? Because he loves you more than your possibility to ever love anything. The best, and most important thing to do is just to trust, and follow, whatever it is that happens whether it be good, bad, or ugly. As we do so, we all have the ability, through His grace and mercy, to become HIS unprofitable servants. As of right now, I really have no intentions to NOT listen to Him. I, and we, are absolutely NOTHING compared to Him and His glory. When we just humble ourselves, and realize this, and follow Him, we can expect to see countless blessings bestowed upon us.
As a representative of Him, I testify of that whole heartily.
At this time, know that I am 100% OKAY. My right hand has just about gained complete feeling back. It has basically been feeling asleep/numb, it tingles and hurts every now and then, but meh, it's not bad. Could have been worse. That's the best way to describe it. I have been already beginning to work again. Along with that, know that I love being a missionary, ESPECIALLY here in the Japan Kobe Mission. With all that I have learned thus far, and with all the humility within, I have never had more of a desire in my entire life, to follow Jesus Christ, and Walk With Him.
Moses 6:34 of the Pearl of Great Price
34 Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.
I love you ALL!