Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hope In Action

Hey everyone!!! How are you all doing??? This week was way difficult and awesome! My arm and leg are pretty much all healed, and something awesome happened this week, but I will get to that in a little bit.  At the beginning of the week I was thinking about how much left I have of my mission, and if I could really do this.  I have a lot of time left, I still can't understand as much Japanese as I need to, it is freezing every single night, and very few people actually take the time to listen to anything at all.  Missionary work is difficult.  Then I realized how selfish I was being.  I need to do this. I want to do this, and because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want me to do this, they will prepare a way for me to serve an effective mission that I will enjoy and love.  I am so grateful for the Atonement. The strength I receive from it every day is so essential. I think we did probably more bike riding and housing this week than we ever have before because almost all of our appointments fell through.  We found a lot of potential investigators.  Also, there are some more Spanish speaking people who started coming to our English class. Hopefully we can start teaching them the Gospel soon :)  Probably the most exciting thing that happened this week is that we met a guy named Eik from Thailand!  He actually just saw our name tags and walked up to us.  He then pointed to a picture of a book of Mormon on an LDS pass-a-long card and said, "Do you have this book?"  I smiled at hearing those words.  I gave a Japanese one that I had bought in America a long time ago because we have actually been out at our apartment. Anyways, he was taught by some sisters in Thailand and came to Japan for 3 weeks.  (He leaves this Wednesday)  We actually went and did missionary work with him that same day, and then he took us to his apartment and made some Thai food for us.  It was way spicy but way amazing. He also came to church the next day and did more stuff with us last night.  I was just thinking though how amazing it is that as members of this church, we can be almost anywhere around the world and have an instant friend, just because we have the same beliefs. Eik actually told us that as soon as he started talking to us it felt like he had known us his whole life.  That whole experience just made my week.  This week I have been studying about Charity and trying to develop that Christlike attribute.  Moroni 7:45-48 are quite amazing and I love the definition it gives in the Bible dictionary-the first line is amazing :) I actually don't have more time, but I love you all so very much and I appreciate all of you so very much!!
They are doing construction on our church!!!!
Bedard 長老

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lessons Learned: the Coat, the Accident, and the Investigators

Well, I am just going to say that this was a little unexpected :D  To start the week off, last P day afternoon, I was cleaning the apartment and I pulled back my chair with my nice Adrian`s coat on it so that I could sweep under my desk.  However, I didn't realize that our open space heater was on just behind.  I went into the other room, and then I hear my companion say, "Elder Bedard.... you are not going to like this..."  The heater had burned a whole right through my coat-some of the coat had even melted onto the heater.  But wait there is more, after that we went to a store so I could buy a smaller shoulder bag because mine started tearing, is a little annoying to take everywhere because of how big it is, and I don't really need that much room.  Anyways, on the way there, the craziest thing happened... I got hit by a car on my bicycle!!! I was going down a hill alongside a highway and at a blind corner, a car suddenly came out of a small ally, and I saw it when it was about two feet away from me. I thought to myself, "Oh crap there is nothing I can do..."  Then we collided.  Good thing missionaries are required to wear bicycle helmets 'cause I flew off my bike and my arm and head made contact with the ground first.  We went into the hospital and I got X-rays this week, and nothing is wrong with my bones, so that made me happy.  I still can't use my arm very much though.  It is scraped up pretty bad and has some internal bruising, so I can't use it to pick up things or put pressure on it (which means no push ups in the morning :(  Other then that, there are some giant bruises on my leg.  However, please don't worry about me because I am fine, recovering fast, and I still get to do missionary work every day yay!!! That was probably the craziest thing that happened this week, but I have some more positive news.  We got two new investigators this week!  They speak Portuguese and a little bit of Japanese, so we had our atachiai (member at the lesson) translate for us, which was really nice.  Also, the other day on the train, I talked to a guy who I swear was a perfect Japanese version of Harry Potter. He was even wearing his school uniform, so all he needed was a robe and a wand :D  He is going to come to our next English class hopefully, and maybe become an investigator and get baptized.  Moroni 7:13, Alma 5:38, Mosiah 26:18- Missionary work is such a special blessing and opportunity. I feel the Lord's protection and guidance in my life every day.  I am lucky enough to help people receive the Lord's message and come unto Him.  We can all be diligently looking for opportunities to share the Gospel with others, and as we do so we become more like Christ.  I love you all so very much and I hope you are doing well! 

-Elder Bedard

From Lis: Abe really would love to hear from ya'll in letter format, which is so much more personal! It only takes 3 stamps to send a letter to Japan simply from your own mailbox so take just a lil bit of time to write and warm our Elder Bedard's heart with a letter from home! Thanks so much for supporting Abe :D

My coat that had a hole melted through it
 Me, my companion and our zone leader
He is freaking awesome, but this is his last transfer.

My arm after the accident, while my nerves were still in shock so I couldn't really feel much.
It didn't look too bad that night :) I love being protected by the Lord!!

Last Week's Email

Lis: Sorry I got behind on the email updates! This is what Abe sent last week. Enjoy!

Hey how is everyone doing?! So the first week of my second transfer was pretty good I would have to say, especially considering I got to celebrate Shogatsu in Japan, but I will talk about that in a little bit.  On Tuesday we went to the mission home to have a mission conference, which is called trainers' training, and it was really good.  A fun time and I got to see everyone from my doki (people who came here from the MTC with me) so that was really nice.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I found out that one of the Elders who was on the 2 week MTC program because he was already fluent in Japanese will be training after this transfer, which is crazy fast, but then again a lot of sisters have to do that because of how many are coming in to the field compared to how many are here.  We spent a lot of time on the train that day, and I loved it because I have told you before that train dendou (missionary work) is my favorite.  I realized also that my Japanese is beginning to get pretty decent because I was able to carry on conversations with those people on the train the whole ride-some of them were a half an hour and some 40 minutes. But I just love talking to people in Japanese because it is so fun.  I actually met a  kid  who is really into tennis like myself, and we're going to invite his  family to the next church event we have.  I can't really play tennis with him yet because he is only 15 and his parents don't know me and I am a 19 year-old gaijin :D That night we spent New Year's Eve at a member's family, which was really really awesome.  The Members in Inuyama are just the best.  Whenever we get an investigator to come to church, everyone greets them and are just  super friendly.  We don't have to ask any one person to be a fellow shipper.  Then New Year's Day, we spent with ward members because we're not really suppose to proselyte, and even if we could it would be really ineffective.  So these past couple of days have been a little slower, but we did get a new investigator named Daisuke.  He is fourteen I think and really awesome.  I am super excited to work with him.  Oh yeah, I have been using some Spanish from the book my sister gave me.  In our gospel principles class at church yesterday, we had to have a translator go from Japanese to Spanish for some of the people in the class, and the translator didn't know the word for Spirit World, and randomly I'm just like "Oh its el mundo de los espiritus."  My companion was like you have the gift of tongues.  We laughed about it for a while afterwards, but anyways before I go I want to share I scripture I read recently. Mosiah 2:41 It talks about the happy state of those who keep the commandments, and towards the end it talks about what we can have if we endure to the end.  "Never-ending happiness."  Through Christ we have the opportunity to partake of some of that never-ending happiness every day.  The are many ways we can feel that happiness and all of them come from good: sports, music, friends, food, but one of my favorites is that we get to have ETERNAL FAMILIES.  What a special blessing that is. Speaking of families, I love you guys so much and I hope you are well.  Happy New years!
Me at a Shrine. Don't I look look such a missionary ninja ;D

Elder  Bedard
ベダード 長老

The entrance to the shrine a couple days after new years. That line of cars went back forever-every Japanese person has to get in their shrine visit before shogatsu ends. Some things they might do is burn last year's good luck charm and buy a new one, or cleanse themselves with holy water from a fountain. It was a really unique and cool place.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Serving Japan with the Whole Soul

Dear Everyone,
     I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas! I know I certainly did. I had the chance to Skype my family, and that was easily the best part of my Christmas day.  Other then that, we tried to visit some investigators (but our appointments fell through), and then spent the rest of the day visiting with members, and helped one of them try and find a coach.  I missed Christmas at home, but I would say it was still definitely an enjoyable Christmas. The day after Christmas we had an appointment with an investigator, and it went pretty well, but after I asked her if she would be baptized she showed little desire to do so.  We will continue to work with her and try to teach her how the Gospel will bless her and her kids as they grow up.  We also did some train dendou (missionary work), which is my favorite because there are so many people just right there, and it is really easy to start a casual conversation then invite them to something or get a dinner appointment sometime.  The only tricky part is that you never know how much time you have to talk with them until they get off, but after riding the trains and waiting at various train stations we return home.  Hey guess what? My first transfer is over and I am on to my second, yay!  Nobody in our District transferred, but we get to meet the two new sisters coming to Inuyama tomorrow.  Also, I will get to see three missionaries that also came to the Nagoya Mission from my MTC district!  Missionary work is getting harder and harder for me, but I am growing more confident in my Japanese which is awesome.  We are working hard and praying so that we can find some new investigators soon.  I was reading in Mosiah the other day and I loved verses 21 and 22 from chapter 2. Particularly when it talks about how God literally preserves us day by day and supports us from one moment to another.  We have the power of God with us every second of our lives If we do the only thing he requires of us, which is to keep his commandments.  That was just really comforting to me to know that he is with us in every moment of every day.  Well I love you all and I hope you are enjoying life :)  Hey everyone, write me a letter and I will write you one back, I would be most grateful.  I really enjoy being able to hear about anything and everything back home :) Happy New Year! I love you guys! Bye. 
     Elder Bedard

From Lis: Abe's address is posted at the top right hand corner of each page under Write Elder Bedard!
Also the link is to Abe's recommended scriptures on LDS.org

This was our Christmas breakfast. We also had pancakes-it was delicious!!!