Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Lord's Vineyard . . . a field of miracles

Hey peeps,

So Elder Ch and I have been implementing some crazy plans to ensure all the investigators in our zone get baptized and progress within this amazing gospel. We have three districts in our zone but unfortunately there are only two zone leaders, so we had to go on some companion exchanges to get to the Kariya and Toyohashi district meetings this past Friday, and then we just had to call the Toyota district leader and talk to him by phone. We have a lot of investigators with baptismal plans in our zone right now and we`re committed to making sure their baptismal dates don`t fall through, so Elder Ch and I have come up with some ways to focus on the most important aspects of the investigators` progress through the gospel, focusing especially on the importance of prayer and development of a solid relationship between the investigator and their Heavenly Father. 

As I have mentioned before, many people in Japan don`t have an initial belief in God, so we don`t have much of a foundation to build upon when teaching people. But all human beings have an innate desire to find happiness, and the Gospel is the perfect way to find that. We have seen some wonderful miracles of late, and I wish I could describe in detail some of the things we have seen. I`ll will attempt to share some of the highlights, though.

Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men. Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; 

For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store . . . Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you . . . (Doctrine & Covenants 4:1-7) 

The other day, Elder Ch and I were riding our bikes and we stopped a man on the street who looked way sad. Asked him how he was doing, said he was mourning loved ones who had passed away, and then all of a sudden he stopped a girl who was walking past us at the same time. We ended up talking to both of them and found out that the girl had actually attended church before back in Nagoya, and she knew exactly who we were. They both then took off, giving us no chance to talk further, but we took note of the apartment building that they both lived in (stalker status, I know). 

A few days later (yesterday) we decided to come back to the apartment building and just knock on all of the doors and see if we could find these two contacts. Practically no one was answering any of the doors, and we feared we would miss out on both of them not being home while we were there. We didn`t find the older man, but we eventually found the girl, and after talking for a bit she said we could come back with the sister missionaries next week and that she would love to hear more. Legit.

We have an investigator named Miki who is scheduled to get baptized on August 31. She is the daughter of a member in the ward here, and she has a strong desire to get baptized. She is very, very sick, and the story of her recovery at the hospital from an even worse sickness several years ago is a miracle in and of itself. The doctors performing the surgeries on her at the time, after she came out of the operations alive, said that she was the first person at that hospital to have ever survived that particular procedure. She and her mother both believe that the fact that she is even alive right now is a testimony of the existence of God. I love meeting with her, she just has the most sincere spirit and love for her Heavenly Father. Some aspects of the Gospel are somewhat scary to her, however, and so we are working to overcome some of those obstacles before her baptism at the end of the month. I am confident she will.

Roger Bannister did the impossible!
As I mentioned before, Elder Chand I have been working hard to achieve the goals for our zone this month and next month. Specifically, President Yamashita has set a mission wide goal for every single companionship in the mission to have a baptism next month. We have been working hard for this, and at our current pace, our zone is very close to achieving this. Elder Charlton and I have been telling our missionaries about the story of Roger Bannister breaking the 4-min. mile, and how even though that was seen to be literally impossible at the time, once it was done, then other people were able to follow suit shortly thereafter. We have been relating it to how we as a zone can help the entire rest of the mission achieve the goal the President Yamashita has set for us and thus help lead our mission to success in this aspect of the work.

SO much stuff happened this week, but I have no time.......suffice it to say that this part of the Lord`s vineyard is a field of miracles, and we are reaping gladly. I love it out here!

Thank you so much for everything!

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor


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