Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hey hey hey,

Merry (late) Christmas!! I hope you are all doing fantastic! Mom, Dad, and Eric, it was so nice to Skype with you this past week. You all looked great and it made for a wonderful day. Thank you so much!

Santa Kuro-osu didn't have a beard, 
so we made one out of his boot trim
Christmas was a great day. We had a Christmas lunch with some church members up in the mountains (no joke.....they live in a treehouse), spent a good part of the day talking to people on the street and sharing Christmas messages with them, and I even got to play Santa for some kids at a party. Probably my favorite part of the day was spending my morning talking to the family on Skype and then the rest of it reading all of the beautiful accounts of the Savior's birth....the greatest story ever the scriptures and then going out to testify to people in trains and on the streets and in their houses about their Savior and what He has done for them. I love the Spirit of Christmas, especially as a missionary.

Mom and Dad, remember the beautiful blue set of scriptures that you got me for Christmas exactly four years ago? I have almost completely filled up those scriptures with markings and notes and highlights and they have become one of my most treasured and favorite possessions. This week I bought myself a Christmas gift and got a new small-size black quad set of the new 2013 edition scriptures to read alongside my treasured set of blue scriptures and start afresh with marking and highlighting the new things I learn in the new set of scriptures. Thank you so much for getting me those scriptures 4 years ago....I am still going to continue to use them for years to come. They are still in great condition, and they will always be known to me as my "mission scriptures."
 I have really come to absolutely love and treasure the scriptures. I have found so much peace as I have read them. Elder Sugimoto and I use the scriptures in every lesson we can with our investigators and we always find so much power in using the Word of God. The words are beautiful and inspiring and captivating. My testimony grows each time I crack them open.

Last night while lying in bed I thought back on the past year and realized that 2014 will be the only full year of my life in which every day was spent as a full-time missionary and servant of the Lord. As I looked back and reflected on the memories of this past year, I realized that this has been the best and by far the most rewarding year of my life. I have loved every minute. It has not always been easy, but it has 100% always been worth it. 
There is nothing greater than losing yourself in the work of God. I love this work so much and I love the people that I have met and worked with. I have seen people's lives change as they come to know their Savior and their Father in Heaven. The happiness in their lives that they now have as a result of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gift beyond price and of immeasurable value. I can't believe I was so blessed to have this gift in my own life as well.

I testify that the work of God is moving forward and filling the world with the love of Christ. As missionaries we are mere instruments in bringing about a culmination of a work that has began since before the foundation of the world, a work that is far greater than any of us can possibly imagine and which is infinitely glorious. I don't fully understand the blessings that God has in store for His children, but I do know that they are accessible to anyone, anytime. I love this message.

I love you all so much! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

Christmas Eve party, with shepherd masks. And bicycles!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I cannot contain my love for the Gospel!

Hey peeps,

What a whirl of a week. So we had a special visitor to the mission this week, Elder Michael Ringwood of the Quorum of the Seventy and his wife came to do a mission tour for the past three days. It was such an uplifting and inspiring experience. Elder Ringwood is the current president of the Asia North Area, so he basically is in charge of everything churchy on this side of the globe from Japan and Korea down to the Philippines and other Pacific islands. Elder Sugimoto and I had the opportunity to accompany them along with President and Sister Yamashita as we traveled all over the mission and the Ringwoods and Yamashitas provided some valuable training to all of us missionaries.
The interesting thing to me was how different each meeting was; I had figured that they would generally keep their messages the same because they were meeting with different groups of missionaries, but each day was a different message, and I could tell that each message was specifically tailored to the needs of the missionaries in that meeting. It was a striking example of spiritual inspiration to me.

One of my favorite highlights was Sister Ringwood's message, in which she centered on the Christmas theme and compared us missionaries to the shepherds in the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The shepherds were among the most humble and lowly of the time, yet they were among the first to hear the glad tidings of the birth of the Savior of the world.
Then they immediately went about telling everyone they could find about the glorious tidings of peace and goodwill, without hesitation. It made me see the greatest story ever told in a new light and I felt a closeness with the shepherds as Sister Ringwood spoke. I certainly can relate with them; as missionaries, we are among some of the least-experienced people of the world, and yet we have been entrusted with the most glorious message the world has ever known.....the Gospel of Jesus Christ.....and given the opportunity to share it with the nations of the earth. It is a big responsibility for someone so young and uninformed. I honestly feel overwhelmed with the task. And I cannot count the number of times I have had to rely on divine help to fulfill this calling.

This divine help is very real. I have been on my mission for about a year and a half now and I still don`t really know what I`m doing, honestly. But I am comforted to know that I am not alone. God called me here, so why would He leave me to fend for myself? There have been distinct moments during my mission where I have prayed for help and felt words come out of my mouth that I didn`t really think to say. At other times I have just felt a feeling of comfort when I was scared or confused. 
The divine help I have been blessed with has been a result of sincere prayer and effort. I also know that I really can`t do anything without it. It took some time to recognize finally get my head around the notion that it`s not about me. But once I have started to realize that and let go of all things worldly desires and passions, my homesickness, my ego....miracles have happened. And I want to hold onto this for as long as I can.
Once you forget yourself, and lose yourself in the work of God, you can find real happiness. This is honestly so much more enjoyable than worrying about myself, haha. I still have lots of personal vices and problems to let go of.....still too many.....but to look back and see how I have progressed so far is a miracle in and of itself. And I just want to share this miracle of personal growth through the perfect Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.
We are teaching someone right now who is so close to touching this light....he has even tasted a bit of it through a powerful personal experience through prayer a couple weeks ago....and I think he is starting to see how the Gospel is helping him already. Once he fully realizes what this is doing for him and his eternal potential, I know that he will decide to come and stay. But the decision is completely up to him, and all we can do is give him the means to make the decision himself.

I love the gifts of God, especially the gift of agency, or freedom to choose. God respects and honors this gift so strongly that He cannot and will not ever be able to hinder our personal decisions. That is both the most beautiful and most frustrating part of missionary work, haha. It is wonderful to see someone decide for his or herself to draw close to God; it is heart-breaking to see someone turn away. But when they do turn away, we thank God that they are even given the opportunity to say no.

I cannot contain my love for the Gospel! I am just so full of happiness because of it. Yes we have bad days, and yes life is rough, but the mountains and valleys are what make the landscape more beautiful in the first place. To look back and see how far we have come is priceless.

I love you all so much, and I know that our Eternal Father loves you even more. Thank you for all you do. Always remember the potential for change within you.

Love always,
Elder Naylor

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I suppose I shouldn't have really expected . . .

What`s up everyone,

Hello from Japan-land. The snow is finally falling and it finally decided to get cold this week. It was fun playing soccer this morning.

This past week was transfers, which was a bittersweet experience for us here in the mission office. On the same day that we had to say goodbye to 13 returning missionaries (many of whom where the Sisters who were in the MTC with me and came to Japan with me in the same group), and then dry our tears and make up smiles to welcome 10 brand new missionaries into the field, straight from the MTC. Good stuff. We have some good missionaries in this new batch, they were all super cheerful and happy to be here.

not yet!
Yesterday I had my practical exam for my Japanese drivers license, and to put it nicely.......FAIL!!  It must have been a sad sight to see me out on the driving course trying to get used to everything being on the opposite side of what I`m used to, on top of the fact that it was my first time behind the wheel of a vehicle for over a year and a half, plus my first time ever driving a vehicle in Japan, haha. I suppose I shouldn`t have really expected to pass my first time (hardly anyone ever does). Now I know what to expect for next time. However I won`t be getting my license anytime soon, so it looks like we`ll still be using trains for the next few weeks. Shouldn`t be too bad though.

Last night we had a very powerful and moving lesson with our investigator, Ya. He was actually found in Okazaki (my previous area) about a year and a half ago, and then transferred here to Nagoya. He is a way cool kid and still loves meeting with us. He had a spiritual experience recently where he felt something very powerful after his prayer, so yesterday we spent the whole lesson focusing on helping him understand what he felt and what it means for him. He still is having a hard time understanding. We prayed together again yesterday and he felt that same powerful feeling again. We all felt it. There can be no question that he has been receiving answers from his Heavenly Father, but he still needs more help understanding what it means. We invited him to baptism several times but he is still not ready. He is progressing well though, and I really like him a lot. I am grateful to meet with such wonderful people.

This work is amazing. I am so eternally grateful for the gifts that our Heavenly Father bestows upon us. Every day I have so much reason to be full of gratitude. I love the Christmas season and the focus we place on the Savior. He is the greatest gift ever given to the world, a gift that all mankind can freely partake of. There is so much love in the plan of salvation that our Eternal Father laid out for each and every one of us to progress eternally. I love this message. I love all of you too. Thank you so much for your messages and support.

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

might be planes, trains, and NOT automobiles for a few weeks . . .

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Making the transfer calls . . . busy office work, but we still managed some time for finding and teaching

Hey everyone! Fun day today; it is transfer weekend and today was my first time at the helm actually making the transfer phone calls. It was way fun to talk to everybody and hear their reactions over the phone. Most of our missionaries are happy missionaries, but a couple not so happy campers as well....haha. It has been such a rewarding experience though, working with President Yamashita as we planned together for where to send our missionaries and how to help the ones who are struggling. President Yamashita handles each situation with so much love and care. I am inspired by his example.

Despite the busy work in the office this week, Elder Sugimoto and I still managed to find some time to leave the office and go out and do some finding and teaching. We were blessed with great success and found a lot of new investigators and had some very powerful lessons. I have loved working with Elder Sugimoto and seeing so many miracles, no matter how small or large they may be. We have several people who are so close to baptism and are developing real, concrete faith in Jesus Christ. I love teaching people about this amazing message.

Fun fact: The subject of this video (John) is a member of the ward I am currently serving in. Way cool guy, way cool family. He is Canadian and his wife is Japanese.

we have a great group in the mission office . . . only one's a real muffin-head
We actually had an earthquake this past week, which apparently we were supposed to have felt, but I felt.......nothing. However I received a few calls from missionaries who were closer to the epicenter letting us know what happened, that they felt everything shaking for about 15-20 seconds. No one was hurt and there was no damage though, and honestly I`m a little jealous that I missed out on the action! 

Not a whole lot more time this morning but I just want to let you all know how much I love and miss you! Thank you so much for all you do! Mom my package has been located, it has been sitting in the Okazaki apartment for several weeks (the Elders there forgot to tell me, hahaha....). Also Dad I received my driving record in the mail last week, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I passed the written test earlier this week and I have the practical driving test next week, which if I pass will finally bring me to the end of this bureaucratic battle and allow me to receive my Japanese driver`s license. Apparently the driving test is super strict, but I think it will be okay.

Love you all so much! Life is great here and I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

Monday, November 24, 2014

A distinct feeling inside

Dearest Family and Friends,

What a fun week! We spent pretty much the entire week traveling all over the mission doing exchanges with the zone leaders. Loved seeing some new areas while also having the chance to return to some old familiar areas as well. This week was just full of miracles big and small.

Rather than relay the experiences of the week though, I would like to mention something that has been on my mind a lot recently. There was a talk given recently at this past General Conference entitled "Which Way Do You Face?" that really had a big effect on me. It has mainly made me think about how well I should be putting God first in my life, and especially how well I should be representing the Savior as a missionary.

Through my pondering I have learned more fully how absolutely un-important the things of this world are compared with the things of God. There is a quote by a United States president that I really like that has stuck in my head the past few years: "What matters is not wealth or status or fame; what matters is how well we have loved." I believe this with all of my heart. The things of the world are of material value and therefore, in the eternal perspective, worthless. Wealth will die with the individual, status will die with time, and fame will disintegrate in a world of constantly changing values. But God is unchanging and eternal. When we put God first in our life, we are choosing to be truly happy.

in the mission home
It is not easy, though, at least in the beginning. But I can testify from my heart and my experience that the closer you bring yourself to Heavenly Father, the happier and more fulfilling your life is.

My weaknesses and shortcomings have been very stressful for me to try and overcome, but I feel so strongly and surely that God can help us accomplish anything. When we are weak, He makes us strong. I have experienced this enabling power over and over again. If you want to know what this feels like for me, it is hard to describe and yet so recognizable. When I pray and ask forgiveness or help, I can feel whisperings within my soul that strengthen and encourage me. I don`t think I have ever heard a physical voice from heaven, but I have experienced many times a distinct feeling inside. This is the way God usually speaks to us. Our spirits lodged within our bodies feel and communicate in a different way than regular human senses, and therefore the Spirit speaks to us in ways that may be difficult to understand but are nevertheless very real and very powerful. 
I can never deny the truth of the things that I now know and hold so dear. I love the plans that my Father has in store for me, though I know not what specifically they may be. And I especially love telling people who don't yet know God about the plans that He has in store for them, and watch as they feel the change in their lives. It is a privilege and a blessing to be a witness and participant of this great Work!

I pray that we may never forget which way we face, that we may always strive to face God and put Him first in our lives. As we do so, others will come to know Him through our example. This is not mere religion or mere Christianity; these beliefs have been incorporated into my life and I believe that I am shaping the course of my eternal potential. I can`t imagine a life without these eternal truths. I am so grateful that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and that we now know of a surety how to find our way back Home. These are the truths that I hold dear.

I love every one of you so much!

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

PS I LOVE this video! and I thought I would share it with you all!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dendo fire!

After the sudden transfer, everything was kind of a blur. But I am slowly adjusting to the new missionary lifestyle. We are rarely in our own area for more than a few days at a time, because we travel all over the mission given training to missionaries or doing companion exchanges. It is a way cool experience getting to know all of the other missionaries one on one and seeing all of their wonderful examples. I have especially enjoyed working with President Yamashita. He is one of the most Christlike people I have ever met, and the love and care that he takes for each of his missionaries is so impressive. I have already learned so much over this past week here in the office.

This week we had some cool experiences. We went up to Kanazawa, one of the northern reaches of the mission, to do an exchange with the zone leaders there. We spent all day out in the rain trying to find new investigators, and we were blessed with much success. The people up there were so kind and seemed more interested than usual in what we had to say. It was a surreal experience standing in the pouring rain preaching to a young man who was interested enough in the message that we had that he stayed to listen, despite how cold and wet it was. I was impressed by his sincere desire to learn.

And this morning we went to a soccer activity with some church members and were surprised to see that one of them brought his friend, and then we all four went together to show his friend the church building and ended up teaching him all about the Book of Mormon and what we believe. He was very intrigued and agreed to come meet us at the church again tomorrow. I was so impressed with how quickly and readily the church member wanted to share the Gospel with his friend. I love seeing that "dendo fire" in people`s eyes (dendo  = missionary work).

My new companion, Elder S, is awesome. I have known him since the beginning of my mission, and we have always been great friends. He is the senior assistant right now and has been helping me out a lot with learning my new responsibilities. I am so grateful for his patience and friendship, especially because I mess up so much and am way too inadequate for this responsibility, haha. But he has been great. He is Japanese but is very fluent in English, so we talk in Japanese maybe only about half the time. He wants to continue learning, so he will often talk to me in English. I love teaching together with him.....

our district in northern Nagoya--with my new companion. Elder S is wearing a gray suit

Last night we had an amazing lesson with a new investigator, Y. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and emphasized why we need a Savior. I was so impressed with Elder S`s teaching skills, and I felt like we taught together in good unity. I am really enjoying working with him.

I don`t have too much more time, but I just want to let you all know how much I love you. Thank you for always being there and supporting me in my weaknesses. The Lord is helping me as I work to turn those weaknesses into strengths, and for that I am forever grateful.

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

Monday, November 10, 2014

A new assignment

Hey parental units [and family and friends],

I got a rather unexpected phone call this past week from President Yamashita asking me to come be his new assistant. He called me late Thursday night and said that I had to report in to the mission office the very next morning, haha. I was at the time on a companion exchange in Toyota, about an hour away from Okazaki by train, and from there proceeded to hurry back to Okazaki, pack all my luggage, and be ready to go early the next morning, hahaha. Completely unexpected!

we were moving fast on an Okazaki train
I am now on my third Japanese companion! Elder S, from Sapporo (think far northern Japan, and lots of snow). I have known him since my first transfer and he is wonderful. We talk in both English and Japanese (he is fluent in English, very impressive). It`s going to be great here. It looks like my fate is sealed for the rest of my mission, and I will probably be here until my last transfer. I am now in the Meito Ward, here in the northern part of the city of Nagoya. Super nice place.

I am going to miss Okazaki. I served there for five and a half months and I grew to love the people and the place. It was so fun serving with three very different and unique companions in that area, all of whom became close friends. We saw so many miracles and I grew so much personally and spiritually (and perhaps physically as well.....the food was delicious).

Thank you so much for always being there. I love you so much! You and the family are in my prayers every single night! I`ll let you know more about what life is like here after I`ve had a week to adjust to the new responsibilities, haha. It looks like next week we will be traveling all over the mission doing companion exchanges and giving training. Hope I don`t get carsick.....

Peace and love,

Elder Naylor

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

God is a master craftsman

Dearest family and friends,

Life is full of ups and downs, as I`m sure all of us have heard many times before. I have had much time to ponder on my mission, both over my scriptures and over my pillow, about many things. One thing I have come to understand very clearly is that we learn the best when we are at the worst. God, the Master Craftsman, has crafted a plan that throws us into a whirlwind of a world that chucks every ugly, cheap, vulgar, and diabolical scheme of lies and sin directly in our path. But in the midst of this heap of trials, God can craft a masterpiece. I cannot count the number of times I have been on my knees asking for help to overcome the worst of the world, both for myself and those whom I have been involved in teaching. And I know that with the plan that we have, everything is stacked in our favor to succeed and eventually overcome the world.

How many billions of precious souls have gone down to the grave without the light of the gospel in their lives? I honestly cannot imagine my life without this gift. I count myself wholly unworthy to be born with such a treasure, but I know that all I can do is be grateful and then share it with all the world. It is the coolest thing ever to see the change occur in the lives of others as they came to learn about their Father in heaven. As we ride our bikes or walk down the street and stop everyone we meet, almost everyone says the same thing: "I`ve never thought about God before." "I have no idea what the purpose of life is." "I don`t really think about what will happen later on." "I don`t know what makes me happy."

I testify that the gospel has what every single one of these people need. There are millions of unhappy people in the world who just need SOMETHING to live for other than themselves or some perishable worldly fancy. I feel so strongly about this, especially now on a mission as I can witness for myself the change occur in the lives of these wonderful people who choose to take a leap of faith into the unknown. I can really feel the love that God has for each one of these people, whether they rudely yell at us on the street or ask us when they can come visit the church. It is there for them to feast upon, for anyone who wants it. All we have to do is reach out and give it a taste.

I am in kinda a reflective mood today, as you can tell, haha. It has been a good week. My companion, Elder Y, is the humblest and most loving person ever. We gave a zone training last week up in front of all the missionaries, and he did such a wonderful job overcoming his fear of speaking in front of people and helped all of us learn some profound lessons about how to become better missionaries. I am grateful to have him here by my side as we strive to teach and baptize as well as build up the wonderful missionaries in our zone. 

Life is so simple as a missionary; all we do all day is preach and teach about Jesus Christ and invite others to learn more. Every day is the same, and yet it is constantly changing; it never gets old. And when done correctly, the whole program forces you to forget about yourself and live for others. Life is just so much simpler when you live it that way.

Unfortunately there are just way too many good experiences to share. Let me just say that I cannot and will not ever be able to deny the existence of a Father in Heaven who is ALWAYS by our side. He has been there for me in my darkest moments. He will be there for you. I love Him, and I love all of you. Thanks for always being there, as well.

Peace and love!
Elder Naylor

Monday, October 27, 2014

He involves US in the work of salvation

Hello everyone!!!!

Well transfer calls have occurred again and I will be staying in Okazaki, but I will be getting a new companion! He is Japanese and I already know him really well, name is Elder Y and he is a total bro. I`ll let you know more about him next week. Elder Ch is heading off to Fukui, clear on the other side of the mission, up in the land of snow and ice. Hope he has a good winter up there, haha. We`ve had a great time together working as zone leaders and I am gonna miss his company. He`s a good guy. Elder Y will be a brand new zone leader with me so it`ll be fun to introduce him to the zone. I`m way stoking for this new transfer.

We`ve hit kinda a rough patch lately as far as finding and teaching goes, but we are still out working as much as we can. This past week we had a big Halloween party at the church, and we were in charge of making sure it was fun and scary and family-friendly. Had a great time planning it all out. A lot of people came, including several investigators, and we (the missionaries) did a big dance in front of everyone and scared all the kids. Super fun.

 Lately I have been studying a lot about Christlike attributes. One of the things I love about missionary work is how the Lord uses it as a way to edify all people involved. Of course, if He so desired, the Lord could absolutely do all the work Himself. But He involves us in the work of salvation because it is an opportunity to help us build ourselves up in the process of building up others around us. Our time here on earth is so short compared with eternity, and we need to use all the time we possibly can to build ourselves into better people and prepare ourselves to meet God. 

This time here in Japan has been an immense growing experience for me as I strive to follow the example of the Savior. Not a single day goes by that I don`t get frustrated with myself for all of my weaknesses and shortcomings...but the infinite enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to overcome these things, and that gives me hope. 

The entire Gospel of Jesus Christ gives me hope. In my times of deepest discouragement and disappointment, He has always been there. I can`t really put into words how grateful I am for that. In a world of lies and hatred and violence and sin, God`s light is constant and unwavering, always ready to guide the honestly seeking heart. I can`t imagine a world without God`s light. And the opportunity to be even a small channel bringing rays of that light here to the Land of the Rising Sun is a blessing beyond compare.

light in the darkness
To those of you who ever feel lonely or lost, I testify that you are never truly alone. Heavenly Father knows you better than you know yourself. The infinite Supreme Creator of the cosmos knows your name. Your anxieties are His anxieties. Your concerns are His concerns. And He thinks the world of you. I have been strengthened immensely by the power of prayer and just knowing that He is there.

I pray for all of you. Thank you for your prayers, they have been much needed and greatly cherished. I love all of you so much!!

Peace and love to all the world,
Elder Naylor

Pics: Two of the coolest kids ever. We teach English to them and their parents!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Every time we see him he seems even happier

Konnichiest of wa`s to everyone! Hope you have all had a great week!!

Yesterday we had another big typhoon, lots of fun. It had calmed down quite a bit by the time it reached us here in central Japan, but still caused a lot of trouble. It was fun trying to talk to people on the street yesterday in the wind and rain, but ultimately not super effective because everyone was trying to run inside and get away from the weather, and not too keen on listening to a couple of crazy Americans out on the street, haha. Still fun, though.

General Conference was awesome, I really enjoyed the theme about the sustaining of prophets, the importance of the Sacrament, and our personal worth as sons and daughters of God. I have been pondering that last point quite a bit lately, and indeed one of my favorite parts of the Gospel is the way that it helps us understand how special we really are. We are sons and daughters of a Supreme Being, all-knowing, and infinitely full of love. He is always there for you and for me, and this is knowledge for which I am eternally grateful.

Our new convert is doing great, every time we see him he seems even happier. It is the greatest thing ever to see the joy that the Gospel has brought to him.

I am sorry to keep my message short this week, but I just love it out here. God is real. His light is real. And He will never forsake us. I never get tired of proclaiming that truth loud and clear to the world, hoping to penetrate the depths of the loneliest and most broken hearts of humanity. Let them come and feast on the love of God, which all of us may partake of freely and gladly.  

Oh all ye that are pure in heart
Lift up your heads, and receive the pleasing word of God,
and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
~Jacob 3:2, a scripture that has been in my mind a lot

I love you all so much! Thank you for being there :)

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

There are still ways of getting hold of (instant) Idaho potatoes, even in Japan!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bike crashes, typhoons, and volcanoes . . . crazy stuff!

Hey peeps,

This week was once again a blur of activity. We had T's baptism, and then yesterday he was confirmed into the church. It was wonderful and I am still slightly baffled at the experience that we had in finding, teaching, and baptizing this amazingly prepared individual in just two weeks. He was just so ready for everything, and I believe the Lord has great things in store for him. 

We are still meeting with T regularly, and his home teachers have been picked out so it`s go-time to prepare him for the priesthood and the temple, hopefully next month when the whole ward takes their temple trip to Tokyo.

We have been trying to make our mission presidents` goal to have a baptism every month, and this month I think we may have a possibility. His name is Y, 16 years old, met him on the street last week. He came to a young mens` activity and fit in perfectly, and then came out to church the next day, He is bonding really well with the young men, and we can see the young mens` own testimonies being strengthened as they help us teach him about the gospel. We hope that we may be able to baptize him by the end of the month and help him feel the joy of the gospel.

As I mentioned before (maybe), last week I rode to the hospital in an ambulance with my companion after he had a rough bike accident. He crashed on the street close to the church with an open head wound, pretty shocking. He got some stitches at the hospital and he is doing very well. We gave him a priesthood blessing to help with the healing process. Now whenever we head over to the church I like to point out his blood stains on the pavement (they`re still there, hahaha). He is a way good sport about it and I am very happy that his injuries were not more serious.

Bike crashes, typhoons, and volcanoes this past week. Pretty crazy stuff. But the Lord`s work is moving forward ever so strongly, and I am pleased and honored to be a small part of it out here in the beautiful Land of the Rising Sun.

typhoon Japan: now there's a blur of activity
I am doing well, my companion is good too. I think I am doing okay for shoes, the shoes with holes are actually kinda fun and I want to see if I can make them last til the end of the mission, it`ll be fun to show them to you guys when I get back. But that`s still way in the future, let`s not think about that!

Love you all! Thank you for everything!!!

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

it could be worse!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

We would not have found . . . without the guidance of the Lord

Hey everyone!!

Sorry I don't have much time to email today! Just want to update you on the baptism for T :)  The baptism went very well and T is way happy. It was a wonderful experience and truly a miracle. We met him just over two weeks ago and he progressed so smoothly.  The ward loves him and is fellowshipping him so well. I am so happy!!

My experience with T further strengthens my testimony that the Lord is directing this work. We absolutely would not have found T on the street without the guidance of the Lord. Everything fit together so perfectly for him, and now another soul has taken a giant step closer to his Heavenly Father. I love this work so much!

Peace and love,

Elder Naylor

with T, my new brother in the gospel