Thursday, August 3, 2017

Week 50: July 17, 2017 - Time Flies, At Least I think it does...

Hey everyone!

The best thing about Okinawa right now is probably the fact that we
are too busy to enjoy the heat!

But being serious, sometimes I feel like I need to slow down more, and
embrace the fact I'm living on a tropical island. It's crazy! I'm
thousands of miles from home, spending all my time with a Japanese
Elder, speaking a language I have no right to be speaking after less
than a year. If this isn't the blessing of the Lord, I don't really
know what is.

Delving into the meat, this past week wasn't actually that eventful.
Elder Ishizu and I spent a lot of our time focusing and thinking about
some of the less active and recently baptized members in the area.
Which translates to biking around to lots of them to talk, and help
them continue growing and embracing their faith. One of the most
disheartening things I've seen has been people who know Christ, who
have felt his love, and then forget it. They chose to stop reading the
scriptures, to stop praying, and to stop working. I don't think I've
met anyone who said living the gospel was easy, or that going on a
mission was easy, or that changing your life was easy. But I have met
countless numbers of people who have said that it was all worth it.
The amazing part of Gods plan is that no matter how much effort we put
in, we are always in debt to Him, because He rewards us for every drop
of effort we exert. I feel better when I work, even a little, because
it's what He asked me to do. It applies to missionaries, to those who
have lost the hand of fellowship, to those who are still active. Our
role is to work, not necessarily because our work will amount to
things we see, but simply because without us, the world loses one more
opportunity for good, for love, for life. I just keep remembering the
importance of attitude, and how important it is to choose.

I'm also learning how hard it is to be on top of your game, day in and
day out, 24/7. As mentioned, I love Elder Ishizu to death, just as I
do Elder Barker and Elder Dibble. But it's busy, and people are
stressed and stretched thin at times. Again, as mentioned above, when
we choose to focus on Christ, everything works in the end. The trick
is just remembering to make the choice.

I love being here, and am truly blessed to be with such amazing people
(and lizards!). Love you all, and thank you for your emails!

Elder Woodhouse

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