Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Once you find joy in your work and commit to do your best then life becomes very enjoyable

Hello Family! I'm actually really pressed on time right now because we have a district activity today and a ZTM to prepare for tomorrow so I'll just share one quick experience and be off!

This week we went on 3 splits and they were all great learning experiences. The biggest thing I learned was about my expectations and God's expectations. God expects us to try our best and always work our hardest. Sometimes we expect to see baptismal dates or lots of lessons, we expect to see results sometimes. When our expectations are different, that's when we feel sad. 
I've realized a lot more that God wants us to find joy in our work. That is something that we control--how hard we work. The results of our work are always changing, especially because we're working with people who have their agency. If we find joy only in our results our life will be a roller coaster. 
Once you find joy in your work and commit to do your best then life becomes very enjoyable :) After realizing that there were just miracles up the wazoo! Every split this week had a lot of miracles. We work our hardest and have faith and God provides the miracles. Simplicity :) 
I love dendo =D

Thanks for all the information too! I loved the stories!
I'll talk to you next week!
Bye Bye!!!

Elder Sotto

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer letters(where did it go)

Hello Dear Mother and Father! It's wonderful to be graced with your kind words and delicate phrases this lovely afternoon...:P
It's been a good week here. We were able to give our first workshop last tuesday teaching our whole zone about being bold in taking commitments. It went great! It's really fun being a Zone Leader. And my companions make it really easy because they're both very proactive and work really hard and are way smarter than I am :) One of them goes home in 2 weeks. I'll tell you what though, I get tormented and messed around with all the time by them. It's pretty fun :P haha. They teach me a lot though. There's nothing like learning from two experienced missionaries how to preach the gospel well in their language :)
We also were able to do a fast with our investigator to help him get over his smoking habits. So we'll keep praying for him!
This week we were able to go on splits with the AP's and it was way fun! I went with Elder Sakihara from Okinawa and we went around inviting everyone to church. We ended up getting about 10 phone numbers of people who might come. It was great! I'm don't think any of them came this week, but next week there should be some coming I think!
We got to ride down to Otaru in Sister Evans' (Mission Mom's) car and do an Ongaku no Yube (Music Night) in Otaru. It's a beautiful city and I'm excited to go back on wednesday for Splits with the Elders down there :)
Alright, I'll talk to you again next week!

This week has been good. We had a great lesson with an investigator that should be getting baptized next week. he just has a problem with Tobacco. So we talked with him and prayed with him about it and he said that we could take his tobacco and ash trays and lighters from his house and we told him we would give them back the next day. When we met him the next day he asked us to keep it again until we meet again, and that is tomorrow! So he seems to be doing ok! It must be so hard to get over things like that, but I know that God helps those who try to help themselves. I've really felt that lately.
I actually got to write a talk in Japanese that the ward is going to publish into a ward paper that they give to the ward members and it was about Having Faith and Works. I love Enos 1:12. After we work our hardest God grants us power beyond our own. I've felt that several times on my mission. Fushigi na koto (it's a strange thing).
We were also able to meet a young man we met on the street the other day and he sounded just like Joseph Smith, just without a Christian background. He saw our flyer that said "Ai no messeji (message of love)" and he told us he wanted to hear about that. He also said he wanted to know if there is a correct path for his life and he's searching for one. It was pretty cool talking to him about our message :) We'll hopefully be able to meet him next week as well.
We also got to meet with a cool Buddhist Monk/Priest guy. He was way nice and he had never been to a church before, so we gave him a tour and talked about his beliefs and our beliefs and it was great!
The Prophet and Apostles have really been focusing on members and their work lately and so we're really trying to focus on helping the members develop their own dendo (missionary work) plans. We met with a family last night and it went awesome! We got to talk to them about overcoming their fears and the blessings of the gospel and all sorts of cool stuff. It was great =D
That's about all I can think of for this week!
Talk to you later!
Elder Sotto
This has been a crazy transfer! We started out as a 4 man apartment, then because of illnesses in the mission there were some emergency transfers and our apartment became a 3 man ZL apartment companionship. Then because of more illnesses last thursday Moiwa became a 2 man apartment and one of my ZL companions went to Otaru for a week. And this week is transfer week so who knows what happens! I'm actually sitting next to the brother of the girl that Married Sister Braden's son (not Quinn). Just for your information :P
This week has been a good week. We've been able to go out and visit lots of inactive members with members. I can't remember too many specifics of this week because I forgot my was good!
Oh! I gave a baptismal interview to someone this week and it was a hard decision. Ultimately it was decided that he needs a little more time before he gets baptized. When I let him know I really felt a witness that it was right. It's tough to say no but it was a great experience :) The Spirit does give us feelings of comfort when we think something out in our mind and make the right decision...that's honestly all I can think of for this week :P
 I love you! Talk to you next week after transfers happen!
Bye Bye!!!
Elder Sotto
 Dear Family, I love you!!!!

This week was really crazy! We'll start from the beginning.

We celebrated our investigators birthday at his house by giving him chocolate and fruit juice :)

We usually teach English class, but my companion and I were called in to help the Honbu staff get the new missionaries from the airport. They needed another driver. So we went in at night and started preparing and we were going to go when we got a call that said the new missionaries missed their plane! That was a shock. We had just bought like 50 sandwiches from Subway and we found out they weren't coming. I thought President Evans would be a little frustrated but the first thing he said was, "Awesome, lets just have a sandwich party tonight!" :P haha. I love Evans Kaicho! So there were a lot of calls and the new missionaries had to stay at a hotel overnight. But the next morning we went to go get them.

We just slept at the Honbu so we could get the new missionaries in the morning. It was really weird going back to the airport! Especially since my companion would be there 2 days later going home. After we picked them up we drove back with all their luggage and helped with their training a little. It went later than we expected though so we asked Evans Kaicho if we could borrow the Van to get to the Moiwa church. He gave us permission and told Elder Onishi not to crash the car on his last day :P. so we went out to our appointments for the day by car! That was weird.

I got a new companion! His name is Elder Asai! he's actually my doki (was in the MTC with me) and we came to Japan together. He was in my first apartment with me as well and he's honestly one of my greatest friends in this mission! I'm so excited for this transfer! We are the Oodori Zone ZL's. We got 2 new elders in our apartment with us as well. One of them was in my MTC district and he is training. He's about 6 foot 1-2 but get this...his new missionary 6 foot 7-8 inches...He is soooooooooooooo tall! Everyone tells me I look small now! :P It's funny watching him walk around the apartment though because I see what I must look like. My head always bent over ducking under doorways and hitting my head on everything even when I try to avoid it :P He's already hit his head like 10 times in the past couple days haha. Interesting. 

Had a good lesson with an investigator :)

Had another good lesson with an investigator in a park and told him about the gospel. He said, "I understand what you're saying but I don't feel like it has as much connection to me." Then we let him know what we were here in Hokkaido acting as representatives of Jesus Christ and Servants of God and let him know that God is telling him through us...then he was like..."oh... ... ...naru hodo (I see).. ... ..." :P Then we invited him to church (he didn't come though :P).

We had a Shokujikai (like a "linger longer" after church where you bring food, eat, and talk together) and it was wonderful :)

...So ya...that was my week! 

Thanks for letting me know about yours as well!
I'll talk to you later!
Love you!
Bye Bye!!!

Elder Sotto
There were a lot of answered prayers this week just dealing with small things. We got to meet a lot of investigators and we're learning a lot.
I'm loving being a ZL and we have another Zone Training meeting soon so we're preparing to help our Zone out!
I really love being able to go on splits and help other missionaries in the zone. I got to go with my MTC comp again the other day and it was great :)

He is the Recorder in the Headquarters building and he is in charge of helping all the missionaries get the flyers and items they need for missionary work so he doesn't get a long time to go out and find people to teach, but when we went on splits we went out to eat lunch before going finding and while we were eating at a place called Mos Burger (sounds terrible I know :P) we started talking to two older people next to us. Turns out they are catholic but have a lot of interest in our church and so we offered to give them a tour of the church. So they followed us to the church and we talked and they loved everything they saw. We got another appointment as well :) It was a great lesson that there are people being prepared everywhere and we don't have to go out "finding" on the street to find them. We just talk to everyone and we will find those who are prepared. It was a great split with him :)

And that's my  biggest miracle this week I think!...other than the fact that I'm living and stuff ;) 

Actually I've had a couple thoughts this week. I was talking to some people on the street about my camp experiences and stuff and afterwards my companion said that all my stories were really cool and he loved hearing those experiences. I realized that if I hadn't been a church member I wouldn't have any of those experiences. The church really is a great place to help us live happily. One of the many blessings :)

Well, that's all for this week.
Talk to you next week!
Love you! Bye Bye!!!

Elder Sotto