beloved Family members and cherished loved ones,
i hope that you have all a great week. my week was way good. this week we had a great lesson with one of our investigators named Emi san. she is a single mother of two who has us teach her kids english and then afterwards listens to a lesson. lately she hasn't been really keeping commitments and no matter how much we try she would never say the prAyer after the lesson. well this time we were on a companion
exchange and i was with zenebrie chōrō who is a slightly younger missionaRy than me (in a how long he has been in the mission sense) and we were determined to get her to pray at the eNd of this lesson. we taught about faith and how that ties to praying Often, studying the scriptures daily, and going to church each week. the spirit was in rich abundance and in The end we asked Her to pray and she declined saying that she wasn't ready. she said that she would pray the next time and we brought up Aow she said that last time. she kept saying
that she couldn't and then i pulled out one of the pamphlets to the prayer page and said it was alright even if she read it as she prayed. she still was saying no but we handed her the pamphlet anyways. she looked at the pamphlet and said, "is it this part that says dear heaVenly father?" and as soon as she said 'dear heavenly father' everyone bowEd their heads and closed their eyes including her kids. we enCouraged her to continue. she looked around for a second with a look on her face like that's not what she meant but eventually gave in and just cOntinued to read off the pattern of prayer. her prayer was simple but really good. when she finished we praised her for her great job and she promised uU that she would get betteR in proceeding weeks. it was a little sloppy but in the end she prayed And it only Gets better from herE.
and then this sunday we were sTarting sacrament meeting and a guy tHat i hadn't seen bEfore walked in. he was a large guy with a lot of scars on his face, he looked a little intimidating and was covered in dirt. when he walked in the whole church filled with the smell of cigarette smoke and it was pretty intense. i weLcomed him as he came in and introduced myself, we talked for a second and then i went and sat down at the sacrament alter. i asked osaka chōrō whO he was and he told me that he was a man that comes every so often for sacrament meeting. i turned to look back at where he was and saw the other ward members and even the childRen running up to welcome him to church and ask him how he was doing. i remembered the talk by president uchtDorf where he talks about how cigarette smoke is the best smell that you could smell in a church building because "we come to church not to hide our problems but to heal them." (april 2015 general conference) i saw how all of the members we not being irrItated by his prescience or making faces at the Smell but were instead being so loving and warm and welcoming, a lot like what i imagined the savior would be dOing if he were here. this touched me so much that i started to tear up. during the sacrament i looked up and saw this maN with tears in his eyes as he took the bread and the water. it reminded me why we go to church each week and how much we all truly rely on christ to save us from our mistakes. i then plead to the lord to help me Overcome my weaknesses and to forgive me for my mistakes. i am so grateful for my savior and his infinite love. i love him so mUch and i am so gRateful that we have the fullness of his goSpel and teachings restored to us In our Day through a living prophet. i love you all and hopE that your week is swell.
I failed when it comes to taking pictures this week, sorry
This picture was on the homepage of the Church News,
reporting that Elder Oaks had visited the missionaries in Japan!