Monday, September 15, 2014

Trusting in the Lord

Wow!!! Sounds like a lot is happening back at home! That's so exciting! I can't believe you're getting an exchange student! Will she be able to speak English pretty well? That is so exciting! Are mom and dad polishing up their German skills? Sorry about the short letter last week. I just had no time! No need to get worried Moot! ;) I am so glad to hear that Grace had a good birthday and it seems that Spencer is doing pretty well too! I hope y'all know that I love and cherish you. I've been teaching people about families and in so doing, I get to share my thoughts and feelings towards y'all. I have really realized just how much you mean to me. I love you all and I pray for each of you every day.

During sacrament meeting last week I was praying for all of the things I was fasting for, specifically in regards to missionary work, and in that incredible moment I got this small but enveloping feeling of peace as one of my favorite scriptures came into my mind:

And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. (Nephi 4:19)

This is the psalm of Nephi in which he expresses his frustration at his propensity to sin. It may not be the most applicable scripture as I struggle with my lack of missionary skills, especially when read quickly and without much thought, but with a little more pondering I can liken it pretty well to any situation, and then of course I can apply it.) I love this verse because it gives me a little window into the hope and faith that Nephi can has in The Lord. So many things in life can feel like hindering walls that you constantly throw yourself at, yet they never budge. Frustration right? But, as with Nephi, if I trust in The Lord I can have the faith and the hope to overcome or endure those frustrations.

Now I'm finding out that that trust is so important. It is how I can tap into a heaven-sent resilience to get me through the frustrations of missionary life:) That little personal revelation was a huge comfort to me. If I trust in The Lord and do my best to be like Him (serve, love, endure, be "meek and lowly in heart", obey...), no matter what, things will be ok. Whether it's looking for a job, trying to do
missionary work, struggling in school, etc., strength will come, along with the tools needed to endure. I have seen it work in my family's life, and I've seen it work in my friend's lives, and I've definitely seen it work in mine:)

A final photo before the Machida district got "ripped to shreds"
So this week we had transfers. In my apartment we lost our zone leader but got a new one. He is a genius named Elder Berube. Recently he has been doing work in the mission home developing apps for the iPads that we are using. He has done amazing work there and has finally been unleashed upon the real world once again. He's a great guy and I am excited to work with him. Elder Sawyer and I are still together and sometime during this transfer we will be moving to a different apartment. Right now we have 12 missionaries in Machida and next transfer we should have 16! Maybe 18! It's crazy!

We met some great people this week and got to teach a few of them. We are starting to make friends and gather potential investigators. Right now what we really need to do is figure out how to change more of them into real, progressing investigators! We need some defining moments especially
with ward members and at church! We are working on it I assure you! Today we had a ward dinner activity. It's called a "yusuzumikai," (湯涼み会) which, directly translated, means a "hot water(湯) cooling off(涼み) meeting(会)". It's a strange translation, but essentially means a ward party. It was a lot of fun! We had 6 potential investigators there and the members really reached out to them and welcomed them and took care of them. It was a wonderful thing to see. The ward members have so much fellowshipping power and when they decide to really use it, amazing things will happen!

Anyways, I gotta run! I love you all and I pray for you! Please, please, please write me! I have loved the emails! I'm sorry that I haven't been able to respond to many of them :(

- love
Siebach 長老
This is a little festival we came upon this week:

P.S. We went to Costco today! There is one in our area! It was an amazing thing! I got a slice of pizza AND a hot dog, burned through them, and had to restrain myself from running back for more. You just don't get portions like that very often here in Japan! I am now at the tightest hole on my belt and will have to poke another hole in it soon! Crazy huh!?

P.P.S. Love you Grem, love you Moot, love you Dad, love you Spencer, love you Kirsten, love you Dumdum!

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