Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Refinery

This week my mission was incredibly difficult because of Japanese. Japanese is hard! And the overwhelming task of learning this language...and eventually feeling comfortable in it was starting to really take over my mind.  I have concluded that a mission is just hard because it is supposed to be hard and the challenges and trials that come with a mission are personal and irreplaceable. The hard things about a mission change on a week to week, and even on a day to day basis depending upon what the Lord knows we need to learn and grow from. The mission is an incredibly personal experience for every missionary in the world. Through the help of my companion, the Lord and our leaders I was able to remember that the Lord knows me. He knows where I am.  He knows what I need...and He will help me to be able to accomplish the task ahead of me. 

The question posed to the Japan Kobe Missionaries this week was "whom say ye that He is?" As I have reflected on my experience as a missionary, the picture that I paint for investigators and my personal relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ, I have recognized that it needs some nourishing. The insights that my companion and I have had as we more diligently study Christ has been wonderful and enlightening. As we focus more on testifying powerfully of Christ in a way that the spirit can magnify our words, a much greater power and authority comes into our calling...because this is not our work, it is His.

My heart has been opened this week and filled with more love for the Japanese people, the Japanese language and this work! This has been one of the busiest weeks of my life and one of the hardest in Japan, but it has also been the fastest and I have learned SO MUCH. The busiest, craziest weeks are always some of the best. This week I watched one girl think about what she would ask God for the first time...a girl who is half Korean and half Japanese, who has lost all of her family and who has low self -confidence. The opportunity to teach these people, to love them and to bring light to them is the most wonderful thing that I could ever experience.  I love it! I love this work! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I will leave with my testimony of my Savior, which I have been nourishing this week. I know that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. He was born in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. He walked the paths that we walk and He experienced all that we experience. He suffered all the pain, sadness, misery and trial that the world had to offer. He took upon Him the burdens that we could not bear alone. It is only through Him and by Him that we can overcome the obstacles that could not be overcome. Only through Christ's atonement can we overcome sin and death. It is only through Christ that we can return to live with God. God's plan for us, His Children, is only possible through our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

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