Dear Family, 21 February 2011
My companion wants to go to the temple for the last time tomorrow so we`re emailing today.
There are some interesting people in Japan for sure. We visited a member who showed us the cremated remains of her beloved ferret. We didn`t see but apparently there`s a shrine for it in the backroom. I just don`t know what to think sometimes. The worst part has to be that I`ve gotten so accustomed to this type of thing that it doesn`t bother me at all. People walking their dogs in strollers - completely normal. Doesn`t seem that strange to me anymore.
Eikaiwa was probably the highlight of this week. We set up a time to do a church shokai (intro) lesson before class and the three people came along with three other friends! So we did a mass shokai lesson with three people there! The only drawback was that we couldn`t ask them all if they wanted to hear more, because there were way too many. We feared we would get a strong resounding NO. But perhaps we can get some of them to church for my companion’s last Sunday in Japan.
Yesterday after church we went to a birthday party for the kid of a part member family. It was fun. I gave him some of the chocolate left over from a previous Elders Christmas and then taught him how to juggle. He got the hang of it pretty quick. I guess the name of the game here is to become good friends and pray for miracles. I`m going to have to get my faith up and going here....
I`ve really come to understand faith a lot better recently. I thought I had a ton of faith when I went into the MTC. I figured I didn`t exactly know what I was doing, didn`t have a good rock solid reason for going on a mission or much of an idea of what to expect. So I thought, I must have stronger faith than anyone here, they all have strong convictions etc, etc. But really that’s not faith at all. Faith is power, and is strengthened by knowledge of the gospel, in particular the atonement. It’s strengthened by obedience and by putting off the natural man. Just not knowing yet still doing isn`t strong faith. Strong faith results in seeing miracles. That’s the kind of faith I`m trying to build know, having realized I didn`t actually have any of that faith coming out here. We`ll see where that goes.
Love you all!