Monday, January 5, 2015

First Sunrise of the New Year

First sunrise of the New Year--Happy 2015!!

Shivering at the top!
Dear family,
I hope that this email finds you well and in good spirits, although it sounds as if at least a few of you are a little under the weather. My companion and I are in a similar situation here on the other side of the world. We were invited to hike a mountain, 高尾山, early on the first. We got on a train at 3:30, off again at 4:30 and proceeded to
hike to the top, where we would await in freezing anticipation for the first sunrise of the year, 初日の出. It was freezing!! Add to it the drying sweat from the hike up: it was unbearably cold. Miserable to say the least. However I took many beautiful photos. I hope they were worth the risk of body and life and the sacrifice of the following days! We got sick that night, fell asleep around 9:45, and slept restlessly until the alarm went off. We checked our temperatures. I just had a horrible cold, but Elder W was running a fever so we went back to bed. We have been home bound, under orders from Sister Wada, for four days now. Anyways, the sunrise was beautiful, I will send pictures. The best part is that I got to talk with our investigator, Zen, about setting goals. I used Dad's approach of physical, mental, spiritual (I dropped the social aspect for my chat with him, although I brought it up later). We had a good conversation and I was able to help him to set a goal to know whether or not God exists. It was a good chat :)

As I have mentioned, since then we have been cooped up in our apartment. We got out last night and went and got Chinese food with some Chinese guys we met. It was really good! They don't speak Japanese or English, but we had some pig leg that was really good. It was really just skin fat and cartilage, but I actually liked it a lot. Weird, huh?

Over the past week, naturally I have had a ton of time to myself to think and to ponder on things like being a missionary, Japan, our investigators, the scriptures, the language, and the like. I am actually really grateful for this time I have been given. It has allowed me to figure out some goals, consider where I want to be in a year, and make plans to reach that. It has been great. That being said, I am super excited to get out of the apartment and start doing more missionary work! The most I have been able to do is try and reach people on our phone.

One of my favorite scriptures lately is D&C 6:36:
"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

I really love how simple that scripture is. It's actually really hard to do, yet so simple. I often find myself doubting and fearing a lot. There are so many variables and so many places where I come up short. I think in the end, if we aren't looking unto Christ in every thought then we do have cause to doubt. But if we do look to Christ,
remember him and what he has done for us, then we can move forward with the confidence that, though life has trials and we have to go through hard things, if we trust in the Lord, in his simple but absolute truths, and act on them, then there is no reason to doubt or fear. I love it!!

I love you all and hope you're doing well! Sweet dreams!
Elder Siebach

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