Monday, February 23, 2015

Elder Ballard! At our door!

Hey everyone,

Well we just had transfer calls again this morning. This was now my third time making these calls, and President Yamashita has asked Elder Emery and I to continue to serve here with him in the office for this next transfer. I feel like I have been here for a while. It has its ups and downs, but I really do enjoy serving here and learning from President Yamashita's example. He has taught me so much about patience and love and faith.
with President Yamashita

We had a wonderful visit from Elder M. Russel Ballard and other General Authorities yesterday, and they are here through the weekend. Elder Ballard is a kind and spiritual man, and really funny and friendly in person. I like him and his wife a lot. He gave us some wonderful counsel. One thing that stood out the most: "When you are feeling discouraged for any reason, wake up in the early hours of the morning and go to Gethsemane." He encouraged us to trust in God more fully and to be more humble. I am so grateful for the visit from him.

Elder Ballard! At our door!

Last night at a member devotional with Elder Ballard and the other guests, I had a tender experience while singing the congregational hymn. As we all stood to sing "Lord, I Would Follow Thee," I was immediately touched by these hundreds of wonderful Japanese saints singing about loving our fellow men. I was moved to tears and realized how much I really, really love these people. They mean so much to me. Every good experience that I have had in Japan just flashed before my eyes and I felt a small taste, a gift, of a tiny fraction of the love that God has for all of His children. I cannot adequately express my love for these people here in Japan. This is a corner of the Lord's vineyard that seems to me to be reserved for a choice group of some of His kindest, humblest, and most loving children. I know you can find people of that caliber anywhere, but I feel that Japan is especially blessed.

I really love it here and I want you all to know how much you mean to me as well. My life is just ridiculously full of blessings and my cup is overflowing. Thank you for everything!

Peace and love,
Elder Naylor

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