Monday, April 10, 2017

Everyday I wake a city that never sleeps

Well, this week was pretty great. We had a lot of fun and I learned a lot.  I came to the point this week where I have stopped caring. (Let me explain before you think I am saying I turned into a heartless monster). I stopped caring what other people are doing, I don't care what is a normal thing to do as a missionary, and I don't care if I seem strange to other people. I also started caring more this week. I only care about helping people. I only care about what I can do to help them progress eternally and help them return to their Heavenly Father. I just want people to use their agency in the right way so that they will be happy. Other than that, I do not care.

I also got this week what missionaries call "trunky papers." It is where you fill out some information so the Mission Office can get you settled and get your ticket and such to go home. Weird. I feel like I
have been here forever and now it is starting to end. Oh well.

Anyway on Monday, in Gokiso we have a tradition of visiting the Watanabe family for dinner. They are super funny and way fun to be with. They are also from Peru, so it is fun to practice my super
amazing Spanish. I am learning a lot. Other than that, it was just normal P-day stuff. We sat at the church and played some games, ate some food and that's about it.

Then on Tuesday, we had a good day for service. We went over in the morning with the other Elders in our area to a man named Dave's house and helped him move stuff around so that they could redo the wallpaper and also because he is moving to Thailand. He has a lot of really interesting stuff. And his house was pretty tall and spacious for Japan. So it was cool and he was really nice. Then that day we also got to change companions for a little bit. I got to work with Elder Yamazaki and that was fun. He had a few questions about being District Leader and just about other things so I got to train him instead of him training me (which is the normal thing). Well afterward he did give me some training, but we thought that it was funny.

Before telling about Wednesday, I need to go back and tell about something that I neglected to. Last week, we were walking to someone's house that is really close to our apartment. On the way back we
noticed a little shop that said it sells fried bananas and it is called Paprika Banana. There was only one person in there, so we weren't sure if it was really a shop, but we decided to go in and there is only one worker and she is really nice and the bananas (which are not really bananas) are good and they are also cheap. Well, that was last Saturday and since then, we have gone almost every day.

Anyway, on Wednesday, we went to Paprika as per usual. (We had also gone with the other Elders on Tuesday, but that is beside the point). There was this mosaic workshop thing going on, so it was really crowded in the shop. We went in anyway and it was super good. We got to invite everyone to eikaiwa, several of the people to the Easter Party we are having, and we were able to randomly start teaching one of the people there the Plan of Salvation. That was a pretty crazy day. #BananaPower Then we had eikaiwa that night and that was super fun! They don't usually play a game here though, so that was weird.

Then on Thursday, we went back to the Watanabe house and helped them build this thing that you put a TV on. It was like a little shelf thing. That was fun. Then we were randomly called to go teach another area's eikaiwa class that night. That was Usually I like kids' eikaiwa, but when the kids don't want to be there, it just gets a little hectic.

On Friday, we had DTM and it was really good. We got to talk about aligning our desires with God's and using our desires to hasten the work of Salvation. It was a really good meeting; Elder Yamazaki is awesome. Then that night, we went to the Yuasa family and had a great FHE. They had us play this game that was hilarious (and there are videos) and it was a good time. Then we went and visited Brother Takimoto, and he had invited his friend and so we talked about the Book of Mormon and it was really good.

On Saturday, we got to watch General Conference. That was super awesome! I love being able to listen when the prophet speaks and hear direction that is specifically for this time. There were many talks this time that all worked together to give me a little reprimand, and (as you say in Japanese) they echoed in/to my heart.

On Sunday, we got to watch more conference!!! Literally this was one of the best weekends of my entire mission. Then we got to go and have a great FHE with the bishop and his family. They were so fun! Their two little girls are a little crazy though. I think that Elder Jones is still tired from playing with them. 笑

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to share the gospel with all the people around me. The power of this calling amazes me every day and will continue to amaze me. I know that I am not perfect, and neither is anyone else, but there is a sure difference between those of us who are trying. I loved this quote from President Monson's talk in the Sunday Morning Session:

              "We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy
Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true--and I solemnly testify that it is--then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth, and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children. If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far.
However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study."

I am so grateful for the opportunity that we all have to have such great access to those things that we can gain a firm testimony of the truth of the Lord. I hope that we all take advantage of that great
miracle. I know that if we do, the things around us will start to matter less and less and the things that really matter will shine forth from the darkness of the world. I know that these things are true from my heart. I bear witness as a representative of Christ and as His disciple. In His name, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Richardson
Paprika Banana

More Paprika Banana

And more!

How Japanese medicine describes what it does

DTM (District Training Meeting)

Yuasa FHE game
iida FHE
Beloved Elder Miranda

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