Monday, April 21, 2014

But I have been comforted


Another great week. Life is good. This morning I got a haircut and, well, it was decent!

Ever since I started learning Portuguese the Brazilian contacts just keep HAPPENING. And I still can`t really speak Portuguese, by the way. Only a few phrases for now. But hopefully by the end of my mission I can carry on a basic conversation.

our district in Fukuroi, visiting a glass factory
we each made a ring
Elder Chiba and I were knocking on doors this past Saturday and suddenly found a young man named Bryan, and yes, he is Brazilian. Thankfully he speaks good Japanese (no English). As soon as he opened his door and we introduced ourselves, he asked if we were Mormon, and then said that his father is a member of the Church! Totally took us by surprise. 

His father lives in Suzuka, which is within our mission boundaries but all the way on the other side of Nagoya. He is an active church member over there and has talked to his son many times about joining the church. He was basically already prepared for us to meet him. The next day he came to church with us and said he will probably get baptized. Music to our ears!

road to the ocean, pathway to the sun
Our friend O-san, the older man who randomly came to church a couple weeks ago, also said that he would like to get baptized. I can`t believe it. For the past three weeks that he's been coming to church, he's made amazing progress. At first he knew nothing about Christianity whatsoever .... and now here he is, three weeks later, saying he would like to get baptized. And that for the past couple weeks he has been praying on his own and feeling the influence of God in his life. I can`t explain how prepared and special this man is. We may well set a date next time we meet with him.

It has been slowly getting warmer here in Fukuroi, if you don't count the cold and rain. But we are happy as ever. I wish I could just go into detail about every good experience we`ve had this past week.....from running into old contacts on the street to being just in the right place at the right time to talk with someone to being protected from car accidents and other hazards.

Last Friday I went on a companion exchange in Shizuoka for the day. I spent the day with Elder G, my zone leader, who goes home in 8 weeks (he was in the MTC with my previous companion, Elder A...they go home together). We had a fantastic time. That night at the English class in Shizuoka, I chatted with a great guy named Ta-san. He is Japanese, but also speaks fluent English and Portuguese. We connected really well. Suddenly he started telling me about some of his problems, and how he gets stressed out really easily. Then he asked me how our church could help him deal with stress in day-to-day life more easily. We had a fantastic conversation about God and feeling more peace in our lives. It looks like he will continue to meet with the missionaries in Shizuoka. I sure hope so! I don`t know if I will ever see him again.

got to play a little guitar at this cafe
This week I just feel good. I have almost finished my second time through the New Testament of the Bible, and I`m working my way through the Book of Mormon again. I learn something new and insightful every time I read. I absolutely love the scriptures. I wish I had realized how amazing they are before I left on my mission.

Lately I have suddenly been feeling very homesick. It was unexpected. But I have been comforted knowing that I am doing a great work here in Japan and that I am serving my Father in Heaven, and there cannot possibly be anything greater.

I love all of you SO much! Thank you for continuing to support me through letters and encouragement. I have so much to be grateful for.

Peace and love,

Elder Naylor


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