Hello from Ishigaki!
It makes me so glad to hear about all the experiences and the
snowfalls around the country and back home. I've finally resigned
myself that this year will be without, but it's ok, because there are
plenty of other blessings to experience as a missionary. For example,
living, working, and talking with a companion who is 100% dedicated to
the work. Elder Hafen helps me to elevate my thoughts, which in turn
shows me what type of person I want to and can be for the rest of my
mission, and my thoughts. It reminds me of late nights studying, or
preparing for tests, exams, and projects, where after time, things
just start to fall into place. I think thats roughly how things have
been going for us, and the Ishigaki island recently.
One simple example was biking home for dinner yesterday. We are
cruising on our bikes, and we hit a stop light, where we have to cross
to the opposite corner. As we sit, waiting for the time to cross, my
eyes are drawn to two young guys sitting near the corner we are going
to, waiting for something. As Elder Choi talked to us about, the first
thing that goes through my mind is 'talk to them', immediately
followed by 'that would be awkward'. Thankfully, a year and a little
has talked some sense into me, has taught me some of the divine plan
and potential God has prepared for each and everyone of His children,
and so Elder Hafen and I get to have a talk with the two lads from
Tokyo until they get into a taxi. It was a good contact, something we
could leave feeling good about, and something that the Lord blesses us
with quite often as we search for it. So why do I mention it? Because
the small things like that are indeed the hand of the Lord. I didn't
have a voice speak to me, or see a beacon spotlighting them as people
to talk to. Rather, through experience and trying to do the right
thing, in the end, I was able to do it. Sometimes God will guide us
through great and marvelous ways, but sometimes, it will just fall
into place. It is my testimony that those times as well are a sign of
His love and trust for us.
Thankfully, He has also given us a way to put on the spiritual glasses
necessary to see His love. On Sunday we had stake conference, and the
presiding authority was Elder Gay of the Seventy, currently our Area
President. One of the themes of his address that stuck with me was the
power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ for change. We don't have to be
doing anything wrong, but if we want to improve, we can rely on Him,
and He will help. As a missionary, it's things as simple as wanting to
talk to more people, to smile better, to testify bolder. And His
eternal message is to do your best, and go out tomorrow, knowing you
can do a little better, and He will help you get there.
Honestly, we don't have any crazy stories this week, no out of the
blue, General Conference level miracles to report. But I know that
every day God guides us. We may not see it, but His help is there. The
time I have been able to spend, giving each and every second to Him,
becoming His servant, has been the happiest in my life so far. He
lives, and knows us, loves us, and cares for us.
Love you all!