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Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 23, 2016 - Elder Stevenson taikai! One of the 12!

Hello people!

This week we haven't really been in our area for the whole week, we
are still in Kobe now because we had a huge missionary meeting at
Kobe. 5 hour bus ride from my area. And then a couple of train rides.
This week was really cool though. We finally got to meet with Nery, one
of our investigators. She came to English class, actually a lot of new
faces came, it was really fun this week. And she invited us to come to
her birthday party.  She's so cool and she said she wanted to start
taking the lessons again! Yes! I'm so excited to teach her! And 2 of
our recent converts are bringing friends for us to teach sometime this
week! I'm so pumped!

Anyway, we left our area on Wednesday night and when to Okayama
because we had zone conference. It was really good! I got to translate
again. The zone leaders asked me the day before. I was like sure
sounds good. I forgot that the Assistants to the president were going
to give training, but they came and so did president and his wife. So
I know that experiences from earlier prepare me for things that are
going to come way. Elder Takaku gave training on over coming trials
and having faith and he used the story of Momotoro (peach boy). A
peach was floating down a river and an old couple grabbed it and from
it a boy was born. He grew up to be a great warrior, but his mission
in life was to go to the great mountain and defeat the monster orge.
It seemed hopeless ,but because of the help of his sidekicks (bird,
dog, one more animal I forgot it) and his determination he defied all
odds and won. This was really fun to translate, elder Takaku paused
when he said "oni" (orge) and looked over at me and said "okay?". I
know the word orge in Japanese because I travelled to orge island with
my zone last transfer. The lord works in mysterious ways. I was a bit
nervous to translate even though I'm older now, but that nervousness
never really goes away. I learned so much from the conference.
Something I really felt in my heart during the conference was that
failure is not the end. It's the beginning. It's the beginning to
success. There is a Japanese phrase that means failure is the origin
of success. It's true because often times we stop trying when we fail
when in fact we should use the failure as a motivation to move
forward. I feel like the people who have the most success or smile the
biggest are often times the people who failed the most and experienced
some pretty hard things.

This week we got to hear from an apostle... One of the 12 came...Elder
Stevenson came to our mission! Ah! He was the Nagoya Japan mission
president in 2008, and when he was a missionary he served in the
Fukuoka mission! So He has a great love for Japan and the people. He
spoke in English the whole session ,but occasionally he would break
out into random Japanese and talk, it was so cool! An apostle spoke
my mission language. It was really cool to hear him testify in
Japanese. I know he is truly an apostle of God. He told us that we
were sent here for a specific reason because although we make mistakes
the Lord does not. Maybe we are looking for people ,but there are
people out there looking for us. It was amazing. We got to shake his
hand and everything. Sadly we didn't get to talk to him for very long
because the entire mission was there, but from elder Stevenson and his
wife we could just feel so much love from them even though we didn't
get to talk to them. I got to see my trainee and all my past
companions minus (Bean and Chapman.. Finished their missions, but I
love those two). It was weird ,but really good to see everyone. So
weird to see everyone. I love all the missionaries here, we are all
just kids trying to do something bigger than us and somehow it works
out.  Somehow, I mean through the Lord. His work is larger than just
this mission or this side of the world, his word is spreading I know
it is. God loves us more than we can even imagine, he loves us so
much. I don't even understand all of it ,but I know that he will never
leave me by myself. He's near, he is always near to me.

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