Sounds like Y'all had a good week and are about to have another! That hike is going to be awesome! Be sure to take a lot of great pictures please!
This past week was pretty good. It rained a lot and and I got soaked multiple times. Very few people were willing to stop and talk with us so we focused a lot on visiting members and housing. That was great, we found a couple new investigators that have return appointments coming up. That's exciting. When it wasn't raining it was ridiculously
humid, so I still got soaked. It looks like we might have a pretty rough typhoon here pretty soon! I'm excited, but if it is anything like the other typhoons that I have experienced here my mission, we won't take much of a hit.
Some big news is that within the next two weeks the mission will be getting Facebook back. I am both excited and apprehensive. There are a lot of great investigators that we will get to "resurrect" and I am excited to use Facebook during a time when I am a better missionary, but there are some missionaries that used to use Facebook as a waste of time. I guess we are not immune to the disease that devours hours and hours of time on social media! I am worried that some in my district may struggle with that. I'm sure that there will be an improvement curve.
This past week I got to go on splits with a member of my MTC district. He just barely moved into my district. That was really fun! I haven't seen him for almost a year and then he moves to my district! We talked for a long time--it was interesting to compare our experiences. Despite the fact that we have been here for the same amount of time and in the same mission, his experiences have been FAR different from mine. While we were on splits we went and surprise-visited a member of the bishopric and got the privilege to serve him and his family. We pulled out a tree (I will send a picture when I get them). We also got to talk to his neighbor and invite him to church. Before we visited them we tried to visit a different family near the same area. We spent almost an hour riding around trying to find the house. We couldn't find it anywhere and we were dying and pretty much swimming in sweat (there are a lot of BIG hills... like the Japanese classify them as mountains!) and a little bit frustrated, so we said a prayer and went into a convenient apartment building and started housing. It wasn't long until someone talked to us (first miracle, you can go a day without people wanting to talk to you or giving you the time of day). His name is H-san. He cracked the door and suspiciously asked us if we were members of the Jehovah's Witness sect. We responded negatively, but that we had a message about our Savior Jesus Christ and His love for him. He swung the door open wide and listened to our message. I could see he felt the Spirit so I invited him to accept a visit from us the following week. He said he would be there waiting for us. That was a miracle! However now my companion isn't very happy because it looks like we are scheduled to ride to his house right in the middle of a downpour. Oh well, we will go all the way out there and we will tell H-San about his Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ in the rain. Can't wait!
Another fun experience from the week was going on splits with another elder who lived with me during my second transfer. He is about to go home, but it was a great reunion and we talked a lot. We talked about some of the defining moments in our missions have been thus far. It was an interesting topic and one that I have thought a lot about since. I don't think that I can pinpoint specific moments--I guess I change so gradually I don't notice the difference. There's got to be a time or some '"moments" where I've changed.
Something that came up in my studies this week was spiritual gifts. The prophet Joseph Smith said that everyone has spiritual gifts from God. They aren't always visible or developed, but they are there and can be realized. He also said that through righteousness and prayer we can know what those gifts are through the Spirit. I want to know what mine are. They certainly aren't readily apparent. I have no idea what they might be, but I want to know. I am surrounded by some amazing people with readily apparent gifts in this mission, so I can see a lot of the gifts I don't have! Those gifts are given to us that we may use them to bless others. I want to find mine so that I can bless others.
I'm grateful for this week and the miracles I have seen and experiences I have had.
I love you all!
- Elder Siebach