Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Final Week in the Land of the Rising Sun

Dearest family,

I am looking forward to seeing and speaking with you in about a week. Until then, this week will be the best week of my mission. We have filled our planners with appointments with investigators and we are going to work our hardest that we possibly can. I don't want it to end but I recognize that there is a time and a season for all things. I love the work and the people here in Japan so, so much.

The main thing I would like to do next week before I head back to the CG is just spend time with family. I hope that's okay. I know it will be a pretty hectic few days, haha.

Thank you so so much for your love and support while I have served here. This has been a monumental almost-2 years, a life-changing and soul-shaping experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It has been nothing but sweet memories. I'm looking forward to another week of such memories.

I love you and I love my Savior. He is truly at the helm as we sail the stormy tempest, and we have nothing to fear. Of this I testify boldly, having gained a personal witness and conviction of the reality of the Savior.

With apologies to my past companion Elder Charlton (who probably won't see this anyway), I leave you with these final words, which don't take effect for another week or so yet: mission accomplished.

Love always,
Elder Naylor

The tables have turned

Hey family,

I love you all so much and it feels crazy that I will be seeing you in about two weeks. But for now I am feeling more motivated than ever to just preach and teach and turn Fukuroi upside down, haha.

saying goodbye in Meito
It has been so great to come back and visit with the people here in this area whom I love so much. I am sad that there has been some recent disobedience in this area that has caused some problems with trust and effectiveness but those problems are going away and the work is going great. We have seen a lot of miracles this past week. I have two new companions, Elder C and Elder J. Elder C is from Brazil and I have known him since he first came to the mission last summer, we are great friends. Elder J is a new missionary that I remember picking up at the airport earlier this winter, I am very impressed with him and we are all getting along great and working hard.

I really love the work here so much. I don't want it to end. I hope all is well back home, you are always in my prayers. I love you!

Love always,
Elder Naylor

a recent convert here in Fukuroi has a Japan Coast Guard hat, I love it!

Elder S and I, reunited in the Fukuroi apt this week . . . I trained him here almost a year ago, and now he is my zone leader in Shizuoka! The tables have turned, ha!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Holy Week

Dearest family units,

It's been a great week, and we are preparing for Easter. Happy Easter to everyone! Things are going well here. The new AP Elder S is transitioning smoothly and he is wonderful. I am grateful to have him taking my place, and I know that the missionaries are in good hands.

This past week has been kinda crazy because President Yamashita is away from the mission for 10 days (he has been asked to attend General Conference and get his new assignment from the Brethren), so we have basically been in charge for the past week. It has been nerve-wracking not having the President here, but so far things have been going relatively smoothly.

I am really excited to head back to Fukuroi next week, on Tuesday! I am looking forward to just working as hard as I possibly can, focusing on nothing but straight-up missionary work and building up the area.

It has also been really a weird feeling coming down towards the end of everything, and I confess I have caught myself crying on more than one occasion this past week. I love it here so much.

I hope all is well for all of you. Thank you so much for all of the emails and letters and love. It means so much. I hope you have a wonderful Easter. Here's a message I know you will appreciate. I love my Savior!

Then said Jesus unto them, Be Not Afraid . . . Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28)

I have been in contact with Mrs. Rose from the CG and she said to go ahead and wait to call her until I get home. With regards to the flight plans, I would love to be able to attend church back in Boise on Sunday if that's a possibility before flying back east, but I understand if that wouldn't work out. If that wouldn't work out, then maybe a Saturday flight would be best so I could attend church back east on Sunday. Please let me know whatever works best. Thank you so much.

I love you!!!!

Love always,
Elder Matt

Picture: Today was the last day playing soccer with the bros, so we took a picture! I will miss them!!

soccer with Elder Levitate

Monday, March 30, 2015

Miki's Baptism!

Hey family,

Alright first of all we had a crazy busy day today so I only have a couple minutes to email. Here are the major deets from this past week.

The baptism of Miki was wonderful, definitely one of the biggest highlights of my mission. Tons of crying and lots of happiness.

days like this are the best days

On the same day of the baptism Elder E and I had a crazy experience taking care of a struggling Elder who was trying to run away from the mission. We talked to him for a long time and hopefully it helped. He is doing a lot better now. We love him so much.

I have been blessed with the chance to work as a regular missionary for my last three weeks in Japan!!!!!! This next week will be my last here in the mission office as we train the new assistant, Elder Strauss, who is an amazing Elder whom I look up to a lot. This will be a great week.

You're probably wondering where I will be serving for my last three weeks.......I'M GOING BACK TO FUKUROI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The latest news is that the area is really struggling and they need an extra push in the right direction. I'm not sure if I am exactly the best person to help with that but since I know the area and the members I may be able to help out a little. I am so excited.

I love you all and miss you very much. But I just love it here.

Hopefully I will have more time next week to tell you more. I love you!
Love always,
Elder Naylor

Today we went to the park with our new investigator Ali, He looks exactly like Tom Cruise, right? ha! and the new elder there is Elder S, the new assistant I'm helping to train this last week . . . before I get to be an AWESOMELY regular proselying missionary again

PS Oh yeah, I'm going back to the Coast Guard on May 4. Cool. Grateful. Legit.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Okazaki for the day

Dear family,

I am writing this email from Okazaki, my beloved old area!! I have been given the wonderful blessing of returning here for the day to participate in and perform the baptism of my past investigator, Sister Fujiwara Miki, at her request. She is a wonderful miracle story.  Her faith is rock solid, and I am really looking forward to the baptism later today. I will send pictures and details next week!!

I am a little anxious about the results from the Coast Guard, whether or not I will be able to return....if they say no, I would like to stay in Japan until June. But of course I am hoping and planning on them saying yes, haha. Please let me know as soon as you can if you hear anything. I haven't heard anything yet. But here's a shout out to my friends who got their first assignments at Billet Night, Congratulations!!!

I am so grateful for you and I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers. ERIC HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN A COUPLE DAYS!!!

Love always,
Elder Matt

with the Ayuzawa family

Monday, March 16, 2015

Miki's baptism

Hey family,

I love you all and I am grateful for you. I am really shocked and very sad to hear the news about the cadets killed in the car crash.....I knew Soso Makaridze pretty well and he was such a wonderful guy. We all loved him and he was really kind to everyone. I am praying for all of my friends there. I really miss them so much.

I still have not heard back from the Coast Guard about my readmission, but as you know my release date has been changed. I'm really glad that I get to stay here as long as I can. If possible I would like to spend my last four weeks not as an AP, but maybe go work as hard as I can in some other area without having to worry about office work or other stuff pertaining to the mission as a whole. I wish I had taken more advantage of that time earlier on during my mission. But it has been a huge blessing serving here in the office with Elder S, Elder E, and President Yamashita. I have learned so much from them! It is a blessing to serve here.

President Yamashita has given me permission to go and baptize one of my former investigators in Okazaki, Miki, who requested that I return to baptize her. I am so excited for her and really happy to see that she is ready to make her commitment to the Lord. I will let you know more about how that goes next week. I am so excited! She would definitely make it into my top favorite and most prepared investigators that I have taught during my mission.
Here's a news story about President Ballard's recent visit here. It was awesome!

I want to thank you again for your constant love and support. It's weird to me that things are starting to wind down towards the end but I am really doing all I can to not let that dwell in my mind. I am kinda feeling that sense of urgency that comes into the minds of missionaries who are close to going home, and I just want to do everything that I can up until the end. I am excited for another few weeks of miracles.

I love you and love hearing from you!

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

Sunday, March 8, 2015

My Favorite Thing!!

Hello family people,

I just want to tell you how much I love you. Thank you for always being there.

Japan is genki and I am still as happy as ever here. I miss you but I love this land. We have been seeing some great miracles lately and the mission as a whole is progressing. We have been going around to various zone conferences these past weeks meeting with all the wonderful missionaries and pumping each other up about how awesome the Gospel is. We are finding people to teach and people are getting baptized.
out driving yesterday and saw the zone leaders talking to someone on the street--THIS IS MY FAVORITE THING!!

I don't have too much to say this week other than how grateful I am for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will never get old to me, telling all of you how much it has blessed my life. To be more specific, I just never have to be alone. He is always there. He is always waiting for me with open arms, even when I mess up, which is far too often.

I hope we may all never let go of this priceless gift. We are too blessed to let it slip away.

Thank you for being my family. I look forward to seeing you again after a little bit, but for now I am so happy here. I am also looking forward to spending eternity with you. I have the greatest family. You are all my favorite people.

Love you so much.

Love always,
Elder Naylor

 ran into Brother M during a crazy bad rainstorm, we were feeling a little goofy . . .
P.S. Joe what the heck about the mountain lion? I want details!
P.P.S. Eric how is your new job?
P.P.P.S. Dad, can you tell me more about this Engineers Without Borders thing? I am really interested.
P.P.P.P.S. Mom, I have lost count of the amount of times that Japanese people have mistaken you to be my girlfriend in pictures of you and me together, hahaha. I think it's hilarious.