Sunday, November 24, 2013

元気だよう (I am well and happy!)

What`s up!

Great, great week. I have so much to be thankful for. Life is great.

I am doing well and I am happy. Truer words were never spoken (or typed)!

K-san is doing just fine. He really has been sick, a pretty nasty sickness for like two and a half weeks. It was great to meet with him again this week after a month of not seeing him. We had a good lesson about the plan of salvation and the Savior`s Atonement, which was great because we tied it in with his recent trip to the Holy Land and were able to explain some of the amazing stuff he got to see in person (he showed us some sick pictures). He`s still struggling to accept some things....such as the fact that Jesus was and is a perfect being, without sin. After the lesson he took us out to eat, and just kept ordering more food for us even though we kept saying we were full, hahaha (this happens EVERY time we meet with him). Wonderful guy.

going up!
N-san is doing well. Came to church yesterday. Still respecting his wish to finish the Doctrine and Covenants before taking the plunge into baptism, but when we meet with him every week for lessons, we always focus on teachings from the Book of Mormon after answering any of his questions from DocCov. He`s struggling to receive answers to his prayers. There`s really not much we can do for him at this point apart from meeting with him regularly and continuing fellowship through the`s really all up to him from here on out. 

It`s hard for us sometimes, but we absolutely have to accept and respect his freedom to choose for himself. I feel extremely positive about it though, and I believe that he will in the near future finally decide to take a leap of faith. We love him and can`t wait to see that day.

the H family
The Ys have been keeping their scripture reading commitments, which has been great. We always have great discussions with them. Their biggest struggle is just putting forth the extra effort to actually come to church and pray every day to develop their faith. They really can`t progress in this process until they take these actions. They are truly the nicest people though, and they REALLY love missionaries, haha. They treat us so well. We really love them. It`s hard that they aren`t doing everything that we ask them to do, but again it`s so important for us to respect their agency and freedom to choose. I am still positive about them as well. We are praying to see a miracle with them.

Sei-san is great! She and her family are just the sweetest people! We had another nice lesson together with her mom this week. Talked more about God and families and introduced the Book of Mormon. We`re feeling very positive about her, and hope that the other children in the O family will also start hearing our lessons.

We were unable to meet with Shi-san this past week, and Fa and Fi are still in Kobe, but hopefully we will be able to meet with them again soon.

We got a random call from a former investigator yesterday, Kane-san, who straight up said that she wants us to come teach her and her son. Music to the ears of a missionary, haha. We`re super excited to be able to teach more people about this wonderful message that we have to share. I`ll let you know how it goes meeting with them this week.

Koko-chan. The cutest 2-year-old in Japan!
We had a great mission conference this past week on Thursday (all the missionaries in the mission were there), and it was wonderful to be reunited with some of my missionary buddies again. We were instructed and edified by Elder Evans, a General Authority, who had previously served as the mission president here in Nagoya some years ago. 

He gave us some great advice. One of the biggest principles I took away from his words was an experience he shared. When his son was a teenager, about 17 years old, he went through a rough patch with his parents, and they always fought and argued. The father constantly chastised his son, telling him all the things that he needed to fix in his life, basically just focusing on everything he was doing wrong and how he needed to change (hence the constant arguments). 

One day, the father (Elder Evans) was driving out for business trip and reflecting on the relationship with this rebellious son, when all of a sudden a voice came into his head: 

"If you want him to change." 

Long story short, he heeded this counsel, realized the areas in which he himself was struggling, and shortly thereafter was able to mend the broken relationship with his son. 

The story really hit me I guess....sometimes it`s easy to succumb to feelings of "self-righteousness" and get a "my way or the highway" type of attitude, but this obviously isn`t the Savior`s way of dealing with people. It prompted me to reflect on my own attitude with other people and strive to make a change for the better. Good stuff.

rice field sunset
I love you all so much. To all my Coast Guard and other friends (if any of you still read my emails, haha), I think about you every day and wonder how you all are doing. I`ve received some WONDERFUL letters and emails from many of you. Thank you so much! To my family, I love you all past death until forever. This Thanksgiving week, I can`t even comprehend all the blessings that I have been given. Thank you all for everything.

Peace and love,
Elder Matt Naylor


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