Friday, December 20, 2013

Mom, Dad, and Family,


So This week has been absolutely awesome.  We have had a lot of stuff happen.  Firstly, this week is the first time that our district has had two investigators at the same time (both of them are our teachers who are acting as investigators they taught and baptized while in Korea).  It is really difficult sometimes for us to plan for both investigators and not having a lot of time to do so.  And then on top of it all, we still dont have mastery of the language well enough to actually have conversations with our investigators.  However, the Lord has blessed all of us with the gift of Tongues and Translation.  Just yesterday (Thursday) Me and my companion Elder Jarrett taught two lessons back to back, as I missed our lesson the night before because of new missionary orientation (more on that later).  As we sat in the rooms talking with them I had words and phrases come to me that I didn't even know.  I tried to bear my testimony sincerely to both of them and it came out so fluidly.  I was surprised as I came out that the spirit was so strong within me!  


Now these new missionaries.  So when our group came in we had 37 new missionaries in the zone.  Now with this group we have 7.... Such a tiny group! Only one district, with 6 elders and 1 sister.  They are all really nice people, but I feel so old talking to them even though most are only 1-2 years younger than me.  They really look up to all of us as we speak the language and give them advice and tips on what they should and shouldnt be doing.  Its really fun kind of being a mentor to these younguns.  It was funny last night though, as almost every thursday, we hang bed sheets over the shower area door and turn all the showers to hot to make a makeshift sauna.  The new missionaries just walked into the bathroom and were kind of surprised to see massive sheets covering their shower area.  Me and a couple other missionaries were inside relaxing, getting ready for our pday and service today.  We also talk about a lot of district and zone leader stuff as most of us who sauna are in leadership positions.  Some of them thought it was pretty funny and just walked out.  


The older 덕지 (Dongi, Group) left us this past sunday and shrank our branch by half!  40 of them left to korea, excited to start the real work!  We had passdowns the day before they left, where they give us stuff that has been passed down from generations of elders.  We have a robe, a womans cardigan, slippers, boots, a mini fridge, blankets foam pads and more!  I got the mini fridge, and was told I would be getting the blanket soon, its for all the zone leaders and was started last year! It has been passed down from all the zone leaders since then and it will be mine in about 3 weeks.  It was really fun to see everyone get so excited over such small things.  Probably the craziest one was the model of the Salt Lake City temple made of cactus cooler cans.  It was passed to Elder Hendricks who now has the charge to finish it and pass it on.  The Traditions here are amazing and I love every second of it.  


Our Devotional this tuesday was with Elder Rasband, of the presidency of the 70. (I forgot to mention too but last week our devotional was with Quentin L Cook!)  Elder Rasband had an interesting talk prepared that had lots of slides that he called on missionaries to read.  Some of them unfortunately took that time to be silly and cast the spirit away from our presence.  One even got up and did a President Monson impersonation, to which Elder Rasband told him to go sit down, someone told me later that he was pulled out and talked to by his Branch President and the MTC president.  However, the talk was about spiritual gifts and how we are all blessed to have them.  Some people talked about the obvious ones, the gift of Tongues or of Translation.  Some brought up more obscure topics, the Gift of Patience, Diligence, Understanding, Love, Empathy.  Elder Rasband finished with a short bit about the Gift of the Atonement.  I could not believe as I sat in my seat, that I had never considered the atonement as a Gift.  Our Heavenly Father has given his only son for the redeeming of this people. How great a gift!  We are Truly blessed for the Atonement in our lives and the opportunity that we have to utilize it to the fullest extent.  I ask Heavenly Father everyday to bless me with power from the atonement.  I am so grateful for this amazing gift that the father has given to us.  


In our leadership training meeting this week we were talked to about receiving revelation for our respective areas.  Near the end as our Branch President was taking questions, I asked what if we don't receive revelation for our areas, and don't know how to lead them because of that?  He replied by telling me a story of how his son had sent him a letter a couple of months away from the end of his mission.  In it, the son told his family how he didn't know if he had a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  His mother sent him one back promptly, stating how he had a testimony, that if he were to doubt it, the Adversary would make it seem like he didn't have one.  The Branch President looked at all of us and recounted some of the things that we have done as leaders that have been through revelation and inspiration.  Taking care of emotional breakdowns, and rowdy missionaries, and guiding the branch in the direction it needs to through our exact obedience.  I was happy to hear that and all of us left there with big hearts, ready to make sure these missionaries are prepared to head into the mission field.  


I can't wait to leave to the mission field, already a bunch of us are getting anxious and are wanting to leave.  It's not the most fun thing being stuck in a class for 13 hours a day, but we are getting prepared.  


As Christmas comes upon us I wish I was at home with family.  But I would much rather be here serving the Lord where I know my family will be blessed.  I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas Season! It will be amazing here as we are given the day off and are having a talent show that day as well as some other things!  


I love all of you and miss you all!


-Elder Yamagata

Our District!

Me, Elder Jarett and the sisters that called me prison because of my "convict workout routines"

Older missionaries that just left for Korea

At the Provo Temple!


1 comment:

  1. Yeah das ma boi!! The Spirit is definitely touching you as you prepare yourself to get out into the field. Keep up the great work!