Monday, June 29, 2015

What's good folks....Week 42

Another week here in the Japan Kobe Mission has gone by. And it is
transfer week. My freakin gangster of a companion, Elder Nitta is
leaving to a different area. It was an awesome time working with him.
I had some of my funniest moments with him, but also some of my
hardest. It was a fruitful transfer with many things learned,
experienced, and well...still AM experiencing. Out of every person
who's ever worn the black badge, he's one of my favorite missionaries,
and am gonna miss him crawling into my futon every morning and getting
in the covers to say "good morning," just inches from my face. I'm
just gonna miss him a lot and know he's gonna do well over in his new

My new companion is Elder Watanabe. And this dude.. Oh man. He is the
MAN. I met him earlier in the mission and we've had some good
conversations and just become good friends. And now I'm his companion.
He is so kind, so funny, and so loving. I know despite my health
challenges, we will still be a good companionship. I think president
knew what he was doing when he assigned him to me during this time.

To update you all, cause I know you all are wondering, I'm still sick
like I always have been! Sorry I don't have the answer you all wanna
hear right now. Nor is it the answer I wanna share with you all. We
got word on the blood tests, and everything seems normal so the doctor
says, and so that means they haven't found anything. I was asked by
the Asia North Doctor and President Welch to take a stool test,
testing to confirm whether or not I have a parasite of some
sort...pretty yucky to think I may have one... That was taken last
Thursday and we should be hearing the results within the coming week.
Pray it's a parasite people. If not I don't know what there gonna do
to me next.

Through it all I have the whitest knuckles. From holding on so tightly
to my faith, and hopes. I've been so broken apart it feels like. But I
know it'll all work out, one way or another. I also know that Jesus is
the Christ. The living Son of God. And that through his love and his
atonement, He can piece me back together. After all, that's why he did
it. I'm not giving up. I'm still pushing along trying to make things
happen. Thanks for your prayers, and the sacrifices you've made for
me. It's been a blessing! I'll be sure to fill you all in on what's
going on with me when I find out. Until then, keep trekking and know
all is well.

Love you all and thank you again for all your Love and Prayers!

Elder Preciado

                                                               Last time with Elder Nitta!

Here's one from a service
activity we did this last week. I felt TERRIBLE during it... The
special needs daycare we volunteer at had a "cafe" day where they were
waiters, and served people that came in to have some drinks or
desserts. Pretty cute activity. They asked us to help, and so we
dressed up and joined.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Exile Episode 2 - The Return of the Mysterious Sickness Week 41

Hello everyone,

I'm sad to say it's been a heart breaking week for me...

It has been reestablished that I'm still suffering from the same
illness I received in Kyoto back in January... Don't bother asking
how, because I don't know.

From that time, I felt much better than I did before. But during the
time from when I "got better" until now, I've always felt these
symptoms off and on, realizing now that I never felt 100% that entire
time. I always brushed them off, thinking "oh it's just a hot day" or
something like that. "I'll be better tomorrow." The beginning of this
transfer, basically when coming to Shingu, is when these symptoms
started appearing more frequent, and stronger. ESPECIALLY these past
few weeks. The bad nausea, the headaches, the drained energy after
walking up a small flight of stairs, the stomach pains, the struggle
to eat, all of it, all back, all taking me out pretty hard. It's to
the point where I am feeling as if I just barely got sick again...
I've already lost about 10 lbs and have been the thinnest I've been in
a long time. Don't know what it was that held me up during that period
of time before, but I'm longing for whatever it was, because
this...this really sucks to say the least.

My beloved friend, Elder Grossen, is still sick as well, despite him
having returned home already and visiting doctors. It's an ongoing
mystery that I wish I could turn off like a light switch. Received a
CT scan, this last week to check it out, and nothing. "Here's some
medicine, now go home, sleep more, eat more, and try and do stuff and
you'll be better." It's what I heard all throughout my time in Kyoto
from the doctors, and it's even being said way out here in the middle
of nowhere. I've tried that already man. Elder Grossen, it's okay to
laugh, I know you're trying to hold it in.

I don't have much else to say, the week was a hard one trying to not
throw up and just simply feel good. I guess on the bright side, it's
given me some time to throw myself into the scriptures. (Even though
it's so hard to focus ha...) I felt I was handling this situation well
before, but I feel much better about it I guess you could say.
Actually, more comforted, is a better word. I don't necessarily have
the faith that I'm going to instantly get better, but more rather,
that everything will be alright. Everything will just be okay. I can't
predict the future, but this much I know, that God loves me, and that
I can still do what I can in my abilities. As long as I do my part, I
know he will do the rest. For all things are done in the wisdom of
Him, whom knoweth all things.

In a spiritual sense, I'm doing okay. I'm looking forward with a
brightness of hope, and will accept what is thrown my way, curve balls
and all. I'm doing what is in my abilities. Your prayers are much
needed. I could use it. I'm thankful for my companion being a good
sport. I love him a lot. I know it seems like I have been doing fine
in past weeks, but like I said, I've felt it off and on, and it's
back. Don't know why, but looking forward with optimism.

I love you all very much, I hope you all always remember that.



Monday, June 15, 2015

Hey all! Week 40

So I don't have much time today to write a super awesome email, but will share my highlight of the week! I've written some the night before to make sure it's all here!

So as I've shared before, I've been called to be second counselor in the presidency here in Shingu. For some reason, I guess because I'm a missionary, I thought that the situation would be different. Meaning I I thought I would just automatically be given the title because one is needed, and would just continue on with the work. But it is treated just like any other call to the presidency. One of the Sakai Stake counselors came (with one of his high council men), interviewed me, sustained me during sacrament meeting, and set me apart and gave me a blessing along with the authority and keys to be the second counselor of the Shingu Branch.

Our interview was good, but hard due to the Japanese. I passed so it's all that matters haha. It was a wonderful sacrament meeting! In fact, it was just good to see the both of them again. I had met President "Tail Cape" and Brother "West Swamp" before. Brother West Swamp is from the Hashimoto Branch, which was my first area in the mission. It was so awesome to see him again and to actually be able to TALK to him unlike last time as my Japanese level was in the dumps then. It brought back some memories that are well cherished. 

The best part was the actual setting apart of the calling. President Tail Cape is an awesome man whom is very wise. He spoke a little bit about the calling, and the priesthood before hand. Not a whole lot due to time, but enough to overflow the room with the spirit. It was strong. We then proceeded with the setting apart. I listened attentively so I could understand and really think about what was being said. It obviously was in Japanese haha. It was my companion, the first counselor, Brother West Swamp and President Tail Cape performing the ordinance. An awesome blessing was given to me. It was very concise, powerful, and clear blessing me to have the ability to help lead and guide the branch and to meet the needs of the members, etc. After the blessing ended, I stood up and gave everyone a big hug and thanked them, but looked at a President Tail Cape and saw his eyes filled with tears. I asked him why he was crying! He put his arm around me and looked at me with a look of awe for some reason and turned to the others and said, "this man is powerful brethren." He cried some more. "Out every person I've ever layed my hands upon to set apart, I've never felt so much power coming from anyone. This is the strongest experience I've had. You truly have the power of God within you. You are an amazing person. What a great blessing Shingu has to have you here!"

I looked at him and I too began crying. For the kindness and love shown to me. With all this being said, I'm happy to be here in the calling and place I'm in. I don't share this to show off how great I am or any of that. I am nothing! I am far from being perfect in anything I do. But I try every day. That's what makes the difference. We all make mistakes. But the Lord is never upset with anyone who is really trying. He accepts it and helps them keep going. I've really learned to know who Jesus Christ is, and why we must follow him here in this life. My mission has taught me many things, but so far I believe the most important thing is that simply of Jesus Christ, the son of God. He is the only way! We can't do anything without him. Following Him sets the light, and the example and gives us the ability to have that power and spirit so that others can feel and can grow from it.  I know that He is the Christ, the son of the living God. I've written a poem during some of the time on my mission. Not all at once, but here and there every now and then. I challenge all to follow what is written in it. Or in other words to follow and become like Jesus Christ! Our lives will become filled with more blessings beyond compare when we do so. I call it, "The Way of the Master." 

Love you all! Until next week. Enjoy!

Elder Preciado 

The Way of the Master

"What's this life worth? What do I get?"
A young man once thought.
His wise father had said,
"Why, It's something that can't be bought."

"Then where do I go! What do I do!
I've worked so hard to find it!"
The young man had not a clue.
Feeling impatient, He threw a fit.

"I work night and day,
and I make the right choices."
"But this piercing uncertainty,
is but an eternal rush hour,
full of commotion, chaos, and noises."

The young man was sorrowful.
For he was trapped in confusion.
His kind and loving father answered,
to put it to conclusion.

"My son, my son!
Be of good cheer!"
"I have the answer,
if you're willing to hear."

"What I will say,
may dampen your day."
"So put your pride away,
and be not dismayed."

"It's the life of a Man, 
whom I think you know well."
"Listen with your heart,
and see if it doesn't ring a bell."

"He was pure and holy.
He does what is right.
Why, He is the Master!
Full of love, truth, and light."

"For God so loved the world,
He gave His only Begotten Son,
Promising that if we would follow Him
The battle would be won."

"So long as we do,
and if we strive to be,
we can find rest in His kingdom,
with glory of the highest degree."

"To have faith and believe
on His holy name,
will give hope and power.
Nothing close to shame."

"Having hope in the Lord,
and trusting in Him,
will surely make life brighter,
rather than dim."

"To love freely and purely,
and be filled with charity,
will sing a sweet song,
with words of serenity." 

To be virtuous in thought,
in deed, and in action,
will leave no room
for any distraction."

"To know Gods word,
as clear as an image,
will make you stronger than ever.
For knowledge is the advantage."

"Being humble and grateful,
knowing you're not the best,
and following with your heart,
will give you an 'A' to the test."

"To be patient and long suffering,
in times of distress and woe,
will surely make those times,
quickly come and go."

"When diligent and hard working,
and enduring to the end,
with pierced hands outstretched,
He Is happy to lend."

"To follow and obey,
what thou has been told.
By the One up above,
thou wilt be cherished as gold."

"When we follow this path,
our life won't be a disaster.
My son, It is the only way,
for it is the way of the Master."

- Jacob Preciado

Selfie with a deer!

(He didn't say what this was )

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

To bear thy cross. Week 39

Hello friends and family.

Week was good, as in good things happened. But it was a hard one... As good as all the weeks have sounded, they're always hard. But lately I've been struggling a little bit I guess you could say. And that consists of feeling lots of amounts of stress, being mentally drained, and sometimes wondering if I can ever do this. The answer to that question is an unchangeable no
I CANT do this. But through Christ, I can. I've come to know that I was never asked to do any of this. But more so called to be an instrument in it all. A cog in the system that helps all the others work. Realizing that has helped lift me up a little bit. But sometimes the burdens come. 

This week we had the opportunity to meet with our friend "Small Gate", who is a 17 year old high school student. He's had some interest in religion and has accepted to hear our message. That's when we came over to his house, and taught him the Restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith. We taught him a great lesson, and he agreed to be baptized on the 28th if he finds that it's true for himself. I've never been so drained from teaching a lesson. It was so, incredibly hard to speak at all that day for some reason. The language has been catching up to me a little bit. Having a Japanese companion has helped it improve, but there are sometimes, where it is just too much for my brain to handle. 

The need to retain and take care of members, and investigators, and finding new ones has been a burden. Especially as my companion is the Branch President, we have extra tasks that we need to do. It's a blessing to get to know them all and be acquainted with them. They are good people and I love them. 

As I really think about what has happened here in Shingu, the doors being shut, the Language barriers I have, the work load, and the burdens being placed upon me, I am extra grateful and am placed in awe and wonder at the account of the Atonement written in the bible. As I read about it and ponder the words written, I am humbled and filled with a sweet peace of love for the Savior and what He did. He suffered pains beyond measure in the Garden of Gethsemane, on behalf of all of our countless, and individual mistakes. I cannot even begin to fathom a pain so excruciating, as to make one bleed from every pore of the body like sweat. Thinking of it just hurts. Thinking of it tells me that He is the Son of God, and that only He could do it. Following such an experience, you could imagine the pain he felt, the mental drainage he faced, and the humility he felt. All because he loved us.

He then was arrested, and tried for...well, nothing. Because the ignorant chose not to believe, but rather crucify. After being placed before Pilate the governor, he asked the multitude, "what shall I do with this man?" And all that was answered was the cold 
words of "crucify Him". Even though he didn't want to, he releases him to be executed by crucifixion. Despite what our Redeemer already went through the night before, he was put through some more pain, humiliation, and hatred through being whipped, beaten, mocked, and so on. They topped it off with a crown of thorns being placed on His holy head. He was then ordered, just like an any other crucifixion, to carry his cross up to the hill Calvary. Carrying the cross, is a difficult task to say the least. And after going through what he had already experienced, carrying the cross was nearly impossible for the Savior. Yet he endured, he moved, and did all he could until he literally could not do it anymore. He gave his all. 

I'm in amazement at this specific portion of the scriptures. Especially when I read this phrase of "bearing his cross" or this scripture:

17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: (John 19:17)

Despite all the pain, affliction, and hurt that Jesus Christ had went through, he continued on, and carried that cross for one reason: because he loves us. He died and suffered, because he loves us. He endured on through such affliction, because he loves us. He is literally the Son of God, and he holds the power to do anything to his will. He flipping created the world we stand on for crying out loud! With that power, he could have chosen to free himself from such pain, to ease the burden, to destroy everyone in that moment, but because he loves us, he endured to the end. 

I don't know about you, but I'm so humbled, and bless to feel loved by someone so magnificent as him. Reading this has helped lift me up a little bit. Whenever I read the words "bear thy cross" I hear, "just keep going, you got this" or "endure all manner of affliction". 

We all have hard times in life. It's all apart of the program. To how we face them that makes the difference. When we turn to Christ, trust in him, and Bear up our crosses we can expect to be lifted up by him, and be strengthened in him, the word of life.

23 And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen. (Alma 33:23)

I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that what he did for us, is because he loves us. As we turn to him in all our burdens and trials, as we abide in him, he will abide in us, and he will make us whole. I love my Savior. That we may be able to bear our crosses, and push through the hard times while trusting in the one who loves us perfectly, is my prayer for all of you. 

I've been struggling a bit like I said, but that's not to say I'm not having a good time. I'm grateful for these times. I'm just being placed in his refining fire, being polished up here and there becoming a better man of God. I love all of you and am thankful for everyone of you who are fighting on and pressing through the hard times. God knows how you feel. And if you let him, he will be right there with you to ease the pain, and lift you up. I testify of that, in the name of Jesus the Christ, amen.

Elder Preciado

Went fishing with Tsunami on Monday! And brother Tsunami and I traded jackets haha. 

 (I had to look closely, the fish are by his pocket ) :) lol