Tuesday, May 19, 2015

If God Commanded Me to Do All Things I Could Do Them

Hi Family!

The famous Great Wave of Kanagawa

So big news, I got transferred to Kanagawa (which is right next to Kohoku, my old area, and even uses the same church building). There are a few familiar faces here: Elder Wright, my first companion in Fuchu, along with a sister that was in my first district ever, are both here as well! I'm excited to be here! My companion's name is Elder Matsumoto. He is from Japan and he has only been out for one transfer, so I get to "follow-up train" him while seeing just how awful my Japanese is--haha! He is great, I'm really excited for this transfer!

Map of Kanagawa Prefecture

Last week I went on splits with an AP over in another area in the mission. That was really fun, and we had some neat experiences...until he sliced off a little bit of the tip of his pinky and it wouldn't stop bleeding for a long time. The next day (while his pinky was still bleeding) we went out again and saw more miracles. It was really great! I feel like I learned a lot! Sometimes it is nice to be a missionary with someone who has far more experience than you do.

We decided to drop our investigator that had a baptismal date. He didn't show up to two lessons last week and then missed his baptismal date. It's pretty sad, and he's obviously not ready yet, but I really do think that he will still get baptized someday!

In other news, I GOT TO TALK WITH Y'ALL! That was so fun! Thanks for being so awesome! I really loved chit-chatting with you! I am glad to see that y'all are happy and healthy, and it sounds like Spencer is happy as well!

I was reading in the Scriptures a couple weeks ago and felt like I should begin reading from the beginning of the Book of Mormon again. I have found so many wonderful scriptures from this endeavor, I am so grateful that I did it! I have a bunch of them marked and a bunch that I want to use while I am talking to people, but the one I want to share now is from 1 Nephi 17. Nephi is trying to build a ship and his brothers are telling him that he can't do it. Then Nephi recounts the history of Israel, commands them not to touch him or they will wither, and then writes,

50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I
could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this
water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it
would be done.

51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many
miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct
me, that I should build a ship?

When I read this I thought about myself and how I am trying to be an instrument in the Lord's hands, and I realized that I don't act like I believe these words. I don't act as if I believe that if God were to command me to do something, I could do it. I believe it, or at least I think I do, but the fact that I don't act like I believe is pretty telling to me. It tells me that there is a lot of progress to be made with regards to my faith. I realized that in my lack of faith, I limit God's ability to use me as an instrument to bless people. God isn't going to let me see miracles if I don't actually believe he can do them in the first place. 

There are a lot of things people say about missionary work in Japan: how hard it is, or how it is almost a waste of time, and in some ways, honestly, those things are true. It IS hard, and the work IS slow. But I feel like it is essentially the same story everywhere to some degree. If we are wasting our time trying to convert the people that aren't prepared, or working inefficiently, then we will get nowhere. I know there are prepared people here! I have seen, and spoken with, and found them. I now resolve to do everything that I can to demonstrate a belief in what I haven't believed and to not let my faith be a hinderance.

I hope everyone is doing well! Love you all!

Elder Siebach

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