Monday, March 17, 2014

The simple bearing of one's testimony . . .

Whattup everyone,

This week was great. I still love Japan. 

There is this lady in the branch here, Sister H, who loves missionaries. She is a convert of about 15 years, and she wishes that she could serve a mission herself, but she is older and it is hard for her. So she compensates by helping us out whenever she can, and we are SO grateful. She gives us names of friends and family, she has us over to her house, and she even brings us a bunch of food every Sunday at church. 

One thing that she does really sticks out to me....she wakes up at 6:45am and prays for a missionary opportunity EVERY DAY. She has been doing this for several years. Sister H has one of the most beautiful testimonies ever...last Sunday she spoke in church about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the meaning of the Sacrament, and her testimony was so sincere and powerful. I am grateful for powerful examples of branch members here in Fukuroi like Sister H.

the world is filled with the light of Christ
We have an investigator from Iran, named B. Total bro. His Japanese is completely fluent, though his native language is Persian....ergo, we called the mission headquarters in Nagoya and they sent us a Persian Book of Mormon pronto. B is a happy man. We gave him the book a couple days ago and he`s looking forward to reading it. We`re looking forward to meeting with him some more!

Last week we had a "game night" at the church. It was FANTASTIC! We invited all the neighbors who live around the church, investigators, and church members. It was a great turnout! About 20 people were there (mostly kids) and we played ping pong, cards, Settlers of Catan, and other fun stuff. I got to bust out the guitar for a little bit. It was great fun, and we built some great friendships with the people here. My bro H-san (one of our investigators) even gave me a hug before he left. In Japan people don`t give hugs as often as in America, so that really meant a lot. Needless to say I was way happy that night.

As we tell people about our faith, it is important to remember that getting in arguments or heated discussions will NEVER be successful. It takes away completely the Spirit, and it just causes tension. 

One thing I have come to learn on my mission is that the simple bearing of one`s testimony is the most powerful way to express your beliefs, hands down. I love the declaration by Joseph Smith: 

"Truth will cut its own way" 

Joseph Smith
Everyone is absolutely free to their own beliefs, their own form of worship. It is our obligation not to tear others down for their beliefs that may be contrary to our own. In the end, the truth of the Gospel will eventually fill the world with the love of God. We need not hinder the progress of that truth by creating problems between ourselves and those who follow a different way of thinking. We are obligated to show love the others in the best way we can, and personally, I enjoy sharing love with others much more than getting into arguments. Everyone just feels better and happier that way.

I would like to close by simply declaring a portion of my own testimony. 

I know that we have an Eternal Father in the Heavens who watches over us each individually, with a love that is infinite and incomprehensible. I know this to be so true. I have felt a portion of His love. I know that He is there, and He is directing everything. I know that through the Prophet Joseph Smith, God has once again restored the original truth of the Gospel to the Earth here in the last days. And I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus Christ suffered the Atonement for me and for you so that we would have the opportunity to become clean from our sins and worthily dwell in heaven again with our Heavenly Father. This knowledge has given me the most sublime direction and hope in my life. Though I know that I am very weak, and have so many weaknesses and imperfections, God is perfect, and He will help me to be worthy to stand in His presence again someday.

"Compared to God, man is nothing...yet we are everything to God." 
                                                   ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I love you all. Thank you for everything! Stay classy, folks!

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor


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