Sunday, April 17, 2016

Far-Away Earthquakes, a New Assignment and a Prayer for Inspiration

Dear Family,

I have a lot of big news this week!
1. There was a huge earthquake down in the more southern parts of Japan. Y'all probably know a lot more about it than I do but, I do know that I have an uncle and his family down there! I haven't heard anything so I assume they are ok! I only felt it a little bit. My companion was really disappointed that he didn't feel it at all!
2. I slept with my contacts in, which I almost always do, and woke up with a lot of pain in my right eye! Looks like I scratched it! It is incredibly sensitive to light and is pouring down tears constantly! I walk around with one eye closed always. It was kind of embarrassing as I stood in front of my beloved Kamiooka Ward with unemotional tears streaming down half of my face as I testified to them!
3. Despite the fact that I desired with all my heart to stay here in Kamiooka and die quietly with a few baptisms, I got a transfer call! I will be moving to a place called Kawasaki and I will serve there with a missionary named Elder Driscoll. He and I will be working as Traveling APs. That means that I get to be involved in all of the big talks and trainings and stuff in the mission, but instead of taking care of the administrative and boring stuff in the Mission office, I get to go on splits with a TON of missionaries! I am SO excited! I am super bummed to be leaving Kamiooka, but I am so excited to do this next thing too! It was actually kind of cool, I kept on wanting to stay here in Kamiooka, but every time I prayed about this coming transfer this new companionship popped into my mind! So I wasn't surprised at all when I got this call! God definitely prepared me to take the transfer call hit.
4. We met with tons of great investigators this past week. We were able to invite all of them to get baptized and 9 of them said yes! That was pretty dope. Never had that many commitments in one week before!

This past week we had a lesson appointment with a new investigator! Actually, how we found him was a huge miracle. We felt super guided. Turns out his father is actually a less active member! But this investigator called us on Thursday to confirm our appointment and said, "Oh by the way I tried to commit suicide two days ago and just got out of the hospital, so I need a really good pick me up". When he said that I got so scared! I have worked with a lot of suicidal people over the course of my mission. Lessons with those people are some of the more spiritual experiences I have had, but when I heard this young man tell me that he tried and was still thinking about doing it, my heart just sank. Every time I have taught lessons to people like that I have had a companion that was number one, in touch with the spirit more so than your average dude on the street, and number two, could speak Japanese. My current companion's spiritual sensitivity, while progressing by leaps and bounds, still hasn't overcome his lack of confidence, plus he can barely say hello! So it was all on me. I felt so scared! But from the time he called I started pouring out my heart in prayer for inspiration as to what to share with this young man! The next morning, the morning of the lesson we had with him, I devoted all of my personal study to studying for him. I was frantically trying to prepare and find something, anything to share. I certainly wasn't feeling good about anything that I was reading. Without having made any progress or any substantial plan formed in my mind, I hit my knees for my closing prayer. Before I prayed I took some time to gather my thoughts to prepare for my conversation with God. Having gathered my thoughts I said in my heart "Dear Heavenly Father, please" and right there I was just caught in one of the most powerful feelings of the Spirit that I have ever had in my entire life. My frantic thoughts were calmed and I just knew that God was pleased with my preparation and would make it all work out. We went to that young man's house and he had his parents there with him. All three of them had prepared themselves to hear the word of God. We had an indescribably good lesson with the most prepared people I have met on my mission. That was such an amazing testimony to me of how God uses his servants and enables them to accomplish his work. All He asks is that we be worthy and seek his guidance. Over the course of this past transfer I have felt in a bigger way than ever before that I am a true messenger of Jesus Christ. There were so many cool miracles this week! I am so sad to leave :'(

Hope Y'all are having a good Sunday! Love y'all!

Elder Siebach

1 comment:

  1. Sterling, your messages inspire me every time I pop on to read them. May you feel the spirit in abundance as you serve these final weeks! Much love :) ~Aunt Heidi

    PS Connected this week w/Jennifer Christensen, mom of your MTC comp! so fun


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