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