Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tender Elbows and Tender Mercies

Dear Friends and Family,

Well this has been a pretty great week. I went on splits twice--once on Wednesday and once on Friday. For the first one, my companion and I were with the traveling APs. This is the first transfer for them and it was actually really fun. It was windy and rainy and freezing cold but it was really fun! We talked to a lot of people and taught a few lessons on the street and we also visited some members. After that we had English class. In all it was a great fulfilling day. On Friday I went into the mission office and helped an Elder there rework the basic-training- requirements packet that all the missionaries who come to the mission go through with their trainers. It is almost like a secondary orientation for new missionaries and includes things from Japanese culture tutorials to basic lesson outlines for the first three lessons. The old training requirements were in dire need of help. I am grateful that I got to spend some time on that and think of ways to help the missionaries coming into the mission. 

The rest of the days we dendo-ed and taught. On Saturday we still hadn't had time to do our weekly planning for the upcoming week when we decided to postpone planning to the following day and go out and try to find some people to teach. We were riding pretty fast trying to get there when suddenly I was lying flat on the ground. I don't know how I fell but I did and landed pretty heavily on my right side. My hip and knee got pretty badly bruised and my elbow got cut up (I didn't know until I took my coat off when we got home and saw the blood on my shirt). The worst part is that, in order to keep my head from hitting the asphalt I took all of the impact with my elbow and, indirectly, my shoulder. It hurt pretty bad a the time, but I think it will be alright. Certainly not something to worry too much about. Anyways, I got up walked it off and kept riding to our dendo destination. We had a really great night and got to invite a lot of people to church and other activities. Eventually we limped back to the apartment to finish off a fun Saturday! Kind of a bummer to fall, but we saw some great miracles. 

Recently I have been trying to look for the tender mercies that the Lord gives us all the time and I have been blessed to  be able to see some of them. I know that Lord is watching over us and I know that he is perfectly aware of what we need. A lot of the tender mercies that I have noticed recently are just simple memories that make me happy or scriptures that I read a while ago that come to mind. Sometimes the off-hand words that someone says can completely brighten my day or add to my resolve to go work hard. Sometimes when I am looking for something to study, an old general conference talk will catch my eye and have the word of encouragement that I would benefit from. I am so grateful for those little things that, though small, in the end make all the difference. I know that God is very aware of each of us on an individual basis and that He knows exactly what we need and will provide the means for us to get it. Whether through the words of a friend, a scripture, a memory, a song, etc... We can receive that comfort and feel God's love. 

President Uchtdorf teaches:
"Listen for the voice of the Father in the bounties and beauties of nature, in the gentle whisperings of the Spirit. In your daily interactions with others, in the words of a hymn, in the laughter of a child, listen for His voice."

I know that the Voice of God is in everything around us. It is an expression of His love, and we dearly need to feel and to know of that love. "Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely." (The Love of God, October 2009 General Conference)

Elder Siebach

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