Monday, May 25, 2015

Shingu- New Area Week 37

Boy has this week felt like FOREVER. Hello everyone. 

Before I get into anything, I gotta say that my companion is pretty freaking cool! Nitta 長老 comes from Kumamoto, Japan, which is over in the Fukuoka Mission area. He loves to eat anything and everything, but especially likes sushi and yakiniku. His favorite color is White, because it's the color of his all-time favorite drink, Calpis. His favorite thing to do in the entire world is sleep! All I have to say is, I love my companion he is a good guy! It's cool because his birthday is this transfer on the 3rd of June. Be sure to wish him a happy birthday! 

So, I FINALLY arrived here in my new area in Shingu. And HOLY COW. This place is like in the middle of absolute nowhere. But that's what makes this an adventure and if you know me, I LOVE adventures. Shingu is a VERY small coastal town, located at the very bottom right corner, of the Japan Kobe Mission. This place is beautiful! It was a long, long day traveling here. I woke up at about 5 AM last Thursday morning, and sadly left Kyoto. When I originally arrived in Kyoto, I had weird feelings about that area. I didn't want to be there at all at first, but I quickly grew to love it dearly. Now it is but a memory of my mission... After leaving at 5 AM, I arrived in my new area at about 9:30 PM that night. Shingu is literally out there. In fact, it is the most rural part of this mission. Only 3 trains a day come here. It's THAT inaka (rural). It takes about 5 and a half hours and 100 bucks (both ways) to get to Zone Meetings and conferences. I love it. The most famous thing about Shingu, is the Dolphins! You can see them, eat them, and wear them etc. I haven't yet eaten some, but when I do, I will let you know how that goes haha. I've only been here about two days and it's been a blast. Especially with Nitta 長老

The church is small here. It's a branch of a total of 7 members. My companion is the Branch President here, and I'm one of his counselors. We both direct, manage, and oversee the branch and help build up the Lord's kingdom in this part of His vineyard. All I can say is, I've never been so grateful for the church, after coming here. 


First off, I've been told by the spirit of the Lord, that THIS, is where I am supposed to be. Last Wednesday, the day before transfers, I was thinking a lot about the new area and what it would be like. I was very nervous to say the least and asked myself, "is that really where I'm going?" And "what was president thinking when he decided I was going THERE?" I prayed fervently, and told Heavenly Father that I was going to open up my scriptures at random, and whatever I read was what he wanted to tell me, or wanted me to learn. That's when I ended my prayer, and grabbed my book and popped it open. I landed on 3rd Nephi chapter 16. I began reading...and soon felt the tears stroll down my face. 

I have added a few things in parentheses to help you understand what I was thinking and learned:

1 And verily, verily, I say unto you (Elder Preciado) that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem (Kyoto), neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister.

2 For they of whom I speak are they who have not as yet heard my (your) voice; neither have I (you) at any time manifested myself (yourself) unto them.

3 But I (you) have received a commandment of the Father that I (you) shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my (your) voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself (yourself) unto them.

I felt so much power in those words. This is where I am to be, and I am ready to find his lost sheep here in Shingu. I'm so happy to be here. Going off that, God lives, he knows us and our needs, and His word, the Book of Mormon is absolutely true. I know it is. God himself told me, and I'm willing to go to the grave for it. 

As I showed up to church this week, I found myself filled with humility and full of awe and wonder at the sight I was looking at. I sat up front looking amongst the few, but faithful members of Shingu, and was humbled to the dust of the earth. 

I am so grateful for the church. 

Growing up, my family and I have always seemed to be a part of big wards, and had lots of friends in each of those. Those were a blessing to have. Every week we went to church together, partook of the sacrament and went to Sunday school and so on. As I look back, and as I see the example of these members, I regret the way I viewed church when I was younger. I went to church, because my parents said it was good. I went because if I didn't, my momma would grab me by the ear and pull me out the door. When I was young, I viewed the sacred ordinance of the sacrament as free bread and not enough water. (It's okay to make fun of me) My parents taught me well, but it was through my agency that I guess I chose not to take it so seriously. I never did anything wrong, I just never fully grasped the importance of this true, and everlasting gospel, and the importance of going to church. 

I can say for sure, that my perspective has shifted even MORE, and am more in debt to the Lord for all he has done for me, and provided us all with. The sacrament is NOT just free bread, and not enough water... It is a symbol what Jesus Christ did for YOU, for ME, for every single person who has, is, and ever will walk this earth. He died for us, so that we can be forgiven of our countless mistakes, and be able to return to the presence of the one and only Master. And He has given us a way, through the sacrament, to be able to continually be forgiven, to start fresh, and to become clean. 

I LOVE the people here already SO much. I'm in debt to them, for their fearless example of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Eternal Father. These people come every week so that they can grow, and can learn, and can spiritually uplift themselves. They don't have much here, but they know that they have a place to go every Sunday, and that they have someone in whom they can trust. Being here in this small branch is amazing to me, and makes me very grateful for all I had growing up, and especially now. It's sad to say that growing up I truly took for granted all that has been given to me in terms of this gospel. Many undeserved blessings have been bestowed upon me. My scriptures gathered dust rather than thoroughly feasted upon and studied. As I have truly come to understand this gospel, through my faith and prayers to Heavenly Father, going to church, studying his word, I've had the opportunity to find true happiness. I'm in awe at what this gospel has to offer us each and every day. 

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

One of my favorite hymns! I love this gospel and what it has done for me. I know that our father in heaven lives. I know he loves us. I am so thankful and am never afraid to be called one of his disciples. I know that his word is true, the Book of Mormon, and am so thankful for the happiness I have found by abiding by its precepts. I invite all to find the beauty and love for this gospel just as I have, in their own special way.

Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me

Hugs and love to you all!

Elder Preciado

 Yes he is tall! Half Korean :)

In the video...He says long, because the pants I gave him are way too long on him,
but he still loves em.

He says wow, because when I told him I was 19 he said "What!!
Wooowwwww!" And then we say kyoudai at the end. Kyoudai means brother
in Japanese. Ex. Preciado kyoudai = Brother Preciado. We started
calling him Wysteria Kyoudai and he fell in love and just felt that it
was soooo cool.

So all three jokes are put into one. Long, wow, kyoudai haha I will REALLY miss him!!

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