Sunday, February 16, 2014

With God

Hey everyone!  Happy Valentines day! (I am not quite sure if that is how you spell that) This week has been crazy busy-I am so exhausted.  Since transfers, we have just had so much to do because we are working with so many people now.  The most exciting thing that happened this week was probably that our investigator Manuel came to church!  He said he enjoyed it, but there were a lot of words and things he didn't understand which is as expected.  It is really interesting, but because Japan hasn't grown up with a Christian background, there are a lot of church words that nobody understands because they are simply not used here, where as in America most people are familiar with Christianity and the words associated with it.  One other cool thing that happened this week was that me and my companion gave a blessing to one of our investigators who may have had a minor stroke.  He is still fairly young so it won't affect him too much, but it was amazing that he had the opportunity to see the priesthood authority of God being exercised.  This week we got two new investigators through our free English classes we teach. Both of them are starting to do our other 30 30 program where we teach them one on one English for 30 minutes and then a Gospel message for 30 minutes.  Well, today I am going to have to cut this email a little short, but one thing I have been studying lately is what are the most important parts of missionary work.  I have learned through last transfer especially that the most important part of the work is the Lord God.  This is His work and He will hasten it in His own time D&C 88:73.  Without God, there would be no missionary work to be done because it is His purpose. We are merely God's tools, but He will cause success to happen.  We have to do our best, but no matter what it is in Their Hands, Moses 1:39, Ezekiel 34:11-13, Mathew 4:19.  The Lord is causing miracles to happen, and I am so happy to be serving in Japan right now!  I love you all so much, stay well!

Me, my first companion and a member at Sushiro which is a way sick sushi place.

Ping Pong dendou - ping pong missionary work

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Short and Sweet

     Hey everyone!  I hope you are well.  Sorry this week I don't have very much time, so my email will be short, but I love you guys so much. This week flew by way fast. It is still way cold. We had transfer calls Saturday, and I didn't get transferred, but I am getting a new companion, so that is exciting-ish :D  One quick funny story: so I was on a companion exchange with Elder Emery from my ward back home, and we wanted to give some Eikaiwa fliers to various popular businesses so they would set them and people could take them.  We ended up going to this super hipster place called Swan's Cafe, and we walk in and get super nervous. The reason being that when we walked in there were only women there and it was way full.  As soon as we walked in they all started staring at us, and we thought it was lady's night or something (even though it was lunch time :D) We awkwardly communicated with the waitress who came up to us and asked if we could leave these here. Neither of us actually knew how to say that in Japanese, but we managed to do it.  The waitress actually made it fairly easy, but anyways that was my laugh for the week.  Ether 4:15 is a great verse I read the other day.  God has promised to help us in any and every aspect of our life, if we will simply believe and ask in humility.  God loves us and desires our happiness.  Similarly I love all of you! So if there is ever anything I can do for you even while I am in Japan let me know!
     Elder Bedard

Thursday, February 6, 2014

That Kind of Faith and Courage

Hey everyone!! I love you guys!! Thanks so much for all the support!!  This week was pretty awesome, partly because I got to play tennis for the first time in 5 months, and we used that to teach the Gospel as well.  Last P day, we went to Inuyama castle,which was way sick; it is one of the most original castles in Japan, they haven't redone like any of it.  Japanese culture is really amazing, and I can't wait to come back after my mission to tour all of it.  On Tuesday we taught our first full lesson to Imanuel, and wow what a special experience it was to do that.  He is one of those golden investigators that has been prepared by the Lord and there is no doubt about it.  He has some family in Peru that are members so he already knew a little about the church and the Book of Mormon.  Wow, what great faith he has. I just can't explain it, but I feel like he should be a missionary :D On Wednesday, we went and did missionary work in the pouring rain all day.  It also happened to be a companion exchange, so I was with my district leader.  Anyways, we went and had lunch with an awesome member.  Kato kyodai is his name, and he has one of the coolest hobbies ever-he makes guitars and plays them.  There are so many cool people here, when you actually get to know them.  I guess it is like that everywhere in the world.  You never know who someone really is until you spend some quality time with them.  Which reminds me I am very ready for transfers, only one week left yay!  The tennis courts we played on the other day were way funky and it was almost like astro turf mixed with sand... super slippery. It was way fun, and we got to spend some time with a woman who will hopefully become an investigator soon.  There were also two families and some other people from the ward there so it was a blast for everyone.  I spent the first half teaching everyone the basics and how to play and the second half playing with everyone.  Everyone enjoyed it so much that the ward mission leader is going to make it a monthly ward activity.  It is amazing how we are able to do missionary work through almost anything.  Recently I have been reading about the 2000 stripling warriors in Alma and I have been able to learn a lot about their faith that has really inspired me. Alma 57:26-27 talks about the result of their exceeding faith.  I truly want to have that kind of faith and courage.  I believe we all can develop it through the help of our Savior Jesus Christ.  We need to be warriors against the devil and his angels in order to win this war of the eternities, and we will win because we have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on our side.  With them there is nothing that we can not do.  I love you all so much, take care!
Me and my tennis group, they are all so fun and awesome,
a couple of them are actually pretty good at tennis too :D

     Elder Bedard

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trains, Transfers, and Teaching

     Hey everyone!! How are you all doing? I feel like the weeks are going by faster and faster even though they are all the exact same amount of time :D  This week was super fantastic.  People are amazing.  This week I realized something kind of interesting.  When I am on the trains, I see people and want to talk to them, but for some reason people in Japan look like they are in a bad mood and slightly intimidating, especially when they are sitting by themselves, (which is more often then not) like they will yell at me if I talk to them.  However, on quite the contrary, as soon as I start talking to them, most Nihonjin will just start smiling and look really nice. I think as a foreigner, I just look kinda funny. Anyways it is always  fun talking to them.  I get to meet so many interesting people.  Before I forget, I want to thank everyone who has written me any emails or letter. I always seem to get them right when I need them, so thank you everyone for all of your support. I love you guys!  Haha So I have been studying a little Spanish, because I speak to a lot of Spanish and/or Portuguese speakers. But I had my first interview with the mission president the other day, and he decided it probably wasn't a good idea, so I am going to have to slow down on my Spanish ideas, maybe just on P day or something.  I am excited for transfers coming up in a couple of week, a change could be really nice. I have some pretty great missionaries in my District/zone, but I want to see some new things, but then I remember there is so much work that need to be done in Inuyama :D  One of our investigators committed to following the Word of Wisdom today so that was way exciting. She is progressing really well, basically the main thing holding her back is her husband.  We have been trying to teach her that her kids can grow up with a good influence if she will get them involved in the Gospel because she has told us that she doesn't want her kids to grow up like her husband. It just made me think about how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to grow up in this amazing Gospel.  It has turned me into such a better person than I ever could have been without it.  So the other day I learned a very important lesson about missionary work.  We had a full day planned with several appointments scheduled, but then that morning everything began falling through.  I was a little annoyed, but we went out and worked hard anyways, and that night after a lot of housing we finally find a guy named Imanuel.  He is from Peru and has been prepared by the Lord for us teach. This is the Lord's work and he will lead us to the people we need to help, it just might not always be in the way expect. I know that Imanuel is going to get baptized.  He was taught a little before he moved to Japan, and I am super excited for him!  Today I read Alma 37:33-37 in my personal study, and I was reminded that turning to the Lord in all things is essential if we are to become who he needs us to be.  Well, I love all of you and I hope you are doing well. I miss you guys.

Love Elder Bedard