This week has been really pretty awesome, but a little hard! I got a really bad cold that has kind of stayed with me the past few days, and then it stole my voice! I can honestly say though that when you're really sick, and still keep going strong with missionary work, that is when you can really feel the help and love that our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us. I was really blessed this week as I tried to stop people with a broken voice, and my body not feeling super well. But! The cold is just about gone, and my voice is coming back little by little. I'm stoked to be back at my full 100 percent and hit this transfer hard! I really do love this area so much right now, and I just want to give it my all this transfer. I keep getting a feeling this may be my last transfer in Oyama, so I gotta make it count! :) The Oyama ward is seriously so great though, and I have really come to love them. It was actually pretty hard the first few days my new companions were here because I'm technically the area senior, even though I've only been here about a month! Pretty crazy, but I was cool to start working one on one with members, and really putting my Japanese to the test here in Oyama. The gift of tongues is so real, and Heavenly Father has blessed me so much with this awesome language. I'm really starting to become more comfortable in speaking, and that really is so comforting to me! I was so worried that Japanese would just be way too hard, but I know that with the Lord I'm learning it! He's helping me so much along the way, and I'm so thankful for that help. Elder Packer and our new missionary Elder Broadhead are seriously awesome. They are dedicated and hard working missionaries, who I know are just gonna boost this area! Elder Broadhead has that incredible MTC faith that moves mountains, and Elder Packer has the vision to help this ward. The three of us are gonna see miracles I know it!
I can't really lie, this week has been a little hard! Haha, every so often there are those weeks were you just kind of plop down on your futon and just deeply breathe, and this week has definitely been like that for me. The training gloves are officially off, and it's been a pretty big switch. I want to tell you about this incredible miracle Elder Broadhead and I experienced the other day! So it was Elder Broadhead's first Mitsuketaikai, which is where we hand out free English class fliers out at the train station, and try to stop people and talk to them about what we do as missionaries. So! Elder Packer heads to his area, and asks me to show around Elder Broadhead, and show him how to do it. I show Elder Broadhead the ropes, a little bit of some Justesen-ness to add to it, and sent him to work! He was stoked to work, and I went down to my area to start handing out the fliers. A couple minutes later, I look over and I see that Elder Broadhead is talking to a man already, and is telling this man about the Book of Mormon! In English, but still, seriously awesome! I walk away feeling happy for him, and next thing I know, Elder Broadhead's bringing this man over to talk to me. The man's name was Jess, and he was from the Philippines. We started teaching him about what we believe in, and he told us that as he was coming down the escalator, he had this feeling he had not felt before, and when he saw Elder Broadhead, he knew he needed to talk to him. How amazing is that! Elder Broadhead was just so stoked, and I felt so lucky to have that experience with him. I keep telling him he's gonna be the next AP, and I love just building him up. The faith that these brand new missionaries have is just awesome, and I love working with Elder Broadhead! Elder Packer and I are somewhat acting like his parents, and we're just having a ton of fun. They both have so much faith, and really have a strong desire to help the Oyama Ward. It's gonna be a white Christmas for sure!
We just got back from some good old dendo, and are pretty tired, but I just gotta say once again, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. We decided to go stop by to see our investigator Kazuo, who met with the missionaries 20 years ago. He told us he's been reading the Book of Mormon, and as well we talked about baptism. He used to be a member of the Yakuza when he was a young man, and he really loved the fact that all those past sins can be taken away. He really loves his cigarettes, but! I know he can give them up, and he's been praying with us all the time, and his prayers are so humbling and filled with the Spirit. I know he stopped me on the road on that rainy day for a reason, and I feel so blessed to have met and teach him. Kazuo is the man! Haha, I really love him. Elder Gray, my FAVORITE now transfer 2 missionary, and I went and taught him earlier this week on splits, and he gave us Snake extract! A really tasty vitamin drink! He's just such a fun and kind man, and I feel so lucky to be teaching and talking with him. I know that if it's the Lord's will, he will be baptized soon, and he will be able to feel all of those great feelings of peace and comfort all the time. I was thinking a lot about the atonement last week, and I always get really blown away at how truly amazing that gift is. I feel so blessed to have been born in this great Gospel, and fully understand that when we make mistakes, we can always change. We can always try again to be better, and keep trying our best. It just makes me so stoked to go to work, and bring all of God's children to that knowledge. I know that everyday He is preparing those people for us to meet, and as we work with all of our heart and might, we are going to see miracles!! All of God's children are just seeking for that comfort and peace, and they come in all different shapes, sizes, and tattoos! But they are all God's children, and are all entitled to that same peace and joy we get to receive everyday. Nobody's perfect, and we all fall short sometimes. But our loving Father in Heaven knows that, and is always cheering for us to get up and keep trying. I love thinking of the analogy of a race! We get to the starting lines, we've practiced, and we're all set to go. We start our race and start going, but all of a sudden, we realize we're not exactly the fastest, or the best runner! Sometimes we even fall and think about just giving up, and throwing in the towel. But, we always have our parents. Father and Mother are always in the stands, cheering us on, and telling us to keep going with all we got! It reminds me of when I would play baseball when I was little. I definitely wasn't the best player, but I always knew that my Mom and Pop would always be there to cheer me on. Even when I missed a grounder, struck out, or got out on base, Dad and Mom would always still treat me like I was the best player on the team. Our Heavenly Father's love is just like that. He knows and understands our weaknesses, and even when we make mistakes and turn away from Him, He always has a way for us to come back. He is always urging us to keep trying, and go forward with Faith. In our Father's eyes, we're the MVP, and the best player on the team. We just have to give it our all, and the Lord will always take care of the rest.
I just gotta say I really love analogies! Probably been my favorite way of teaching here in Japan! Heavenly Father gives us so many awesome experiences that we can really relate to the Gospel, and I really think that's so cool! I've used so many old stories from when I was little to relate to the Gospel, and I really am so thankful for the home I was raised in. Mom and Dad, you guys rock!! Remember when I was little, and was absolutely terrified about moving to Utah? I remember we were moving and Dad always would say, "Devin, this is preparation for your mission! You'll have transfers and it'll be just like moving all over again!" Well, you hit the nail on the head Dad! I was bummed to see Elder Howard go, he seriously felt like my older brother, but! I'm really so thankful to those experiences I had as a little kid! They really did prepare for a mission without me even knowing! I just want you to know how thankful I am to all you guys! I couldn't ask for a better family, and I'm so thankful for everything you do for me. I pray for you everyday!! I hope you guys have such a great week, and I hope you all are getting stoked for Thanksgiving! It'll be way weird not being home, but I know this is where I'm supposed to be. The Gospel is True, The Book is Blue, and GOD LOVES YOU!! 神様がみなさんを愛していると知っています！！！
その愛からもと幸せになることが出来ると知っています！ 本当に私の家族に心からかんしゃしってます！ 全てのたすけとかあふれる愛とかほめっていることからよりよい宣 教師になったよ！それに本当に心からかんしゃしっています！ 私のけいけんしたことからじゅんびしていつもおぼえているですよ 。それがスゴイだと知っています！ありがとう～ね？ がんばる日本！！！じゃ、またね！のんびりしって下さい！ 愛していますよ！