Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Good News

Hey everyone,

Let me know how the big game turns out. Go SEAHAWKS!

Lots of successes, and lots of discouragements this week. Pretty typical week for a missionary I guess.

Let's stick with the good news though, shall we? So I told you a while ago about how I gave those prayer rocks to the Y family to help them to remember to pray, right? Well not only do they pray every day now on their own, but the wife even made these beautiful pouches to hold them in....she wears hers as a necklace everywhere she goes, and the husband keeps his on his key ring! How sick is that? 

The best thing is just seeing how much they`re progressing in the Gospel. I`ve come to love them SO much. Last night while meeting with them they exclaimed how crazy it is that I have been here teaching them for almost five and a half months and how fast the time has gone. Time has indeed gone fast here. 

The wonderful Y family!
I wish you could see it . . . Sister Y has her prayer rock in a pouch on her necklace
Tonight we`re heading down to the honbu (mission home) with our investigator N-san for a special FHE (Family Home Evening) with the mission president. We`re way excited. We did this a few months ago with him and it was a really great experience, so tonight should be great. We have been praying mightily for a miracle to help N-san finally make the decision to be baptized. I have complete faith that that miracle will come when the time is right.

I think I`ve mentioned before how investigators in Japan tend to be investigators for a longer period of time than in other places across the world. Japanese people are thoughtful. They're very contemplative, very reserved, and tend not to adapt particularly well to abrupt or sudden change. This is part of their culture, and there is something to be admired in their common carefulness and attention to detail. Many of our investigators want to take their time and make sure that they are truly ready and prepared before making a big decision such as baptism. Others are genuinely scared of the solemnity and importance of such a momentous event. 
we teach with these lovely Sisters
Such concerns are natural and understandable, and I appreciate the fact that they do so readily view baptism as something important and significant. Baptism is a covenant with God....a promise to do our best to keep His commandments and follow the perfect example of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Many of our investigators seem to understand this, and they do not want to rush their decision. 

Our goal and our job as missionaries is to help them realize how faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can help them overcome these fears. We are absolutely imperfect teachers and we do not know the best way to help them.....but Heavenly Father does. And He is continually guiding us in the right direction. I am SOOO grateful for the support system that I have in my Father in Heaven. It has rendered miracles.

Lately I have been reading the New Testament and the Book of Mormon. I LOVE reading the words of Jesus Christ. I can empathize with the Apostle Peter when the Lord sees many of His disciples turning away from Him, and thus inquires of His closest friends and followers: "Will ye also go away?" Then Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."

Rembrandt's Christ. The Savior of all!
Jesus Christ does indeed have the words of eternal life. I testify with all my heart that I know without a doubt that Jesus Christ is aware of us, that he loves us, and that we, through him, are the beneficiaries of the most endless and infinite sacrifice ever performed on this earth....the Atonement of the Savior. 

How could we possibly not want to share this knowledge with the struggling souls of this fallen world who have no knowledge of this good news? It is the greatest service we could ever help bring them souls to the eternal worlds and endless rest with our original and unchanging, infinite Father.

I love this work. I love ALL of you. THANK YOU for all of your letters, emails, and kind words. I am very happy and so blessed.

Peace and love,

Elder Naylor

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