I can honestly say I can`t believe I`m back in this chair sending my weekly email home again. This week went by so fast! I`m not even really sure I can remember all the cool things we did this week but I`ll try my best! I have to start out with some bad news.. The other day one of our potential investigators came to the church to play ping pong and have a lesson and I managed to completely tear the seam on the pants of my gray suit... I was so bummed! Six months in and I already wrecked one of my suits. I`m sure you`re all wondering how on Earth either ping pong or a lesson could destroy a suit. Lets just say in the last four and a half months of biking the hills of Japan, I`ve put about three inches on my quads making my suit pants just a LITTLE tight. Needless to say when I reached down to pick up the ping pong ball they finally broke lose at the seam. I`ll attach a picture so you can all see what I was working with..
On the other hand the lesson with our Potential Investigator went great and he is now an Investigator with a Baptismal Date! He`s a 17 year old high school student that we contacted on the street a week or so ago. He wasn`t really that interested in learning about a church but he agreed to come anyway. After the first lesson he agreed to come back two days later to talk again. The second time we taught him about God and played some Ping Pong again (don`t worry, I was careful with my pants this time). We taught him about Heavenly Father and his interest started to increase! He now understands that God is our Father in Heaven and we are his children, our goal is to be able to return to his presence, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is how we prepare. We committed him to be baptized and he agreed! His baptismal date is set for Mom`s birthday, April 20! We`re way excited.
This week at our District Meeting we got a big surprise. Apparently, as a mission, we weren`t doing a great job of applying our training plan about relying on Jesus Christ so our Mission President gave us a new one focused only on who exactly the Savior is. Its so awesome. In order to hit our Baptismal Goal by March 23 we need to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ perfectly. Not only that but we need to establish our working relationship with him in order to do HIS work the way HE wants it done. I`ve learned so much in the last few days about Christ. I`ve read a lot from Elder James E. Talmage`s `Jesus the Christ` and it has brought new light and knowledge to my life about who exactly Jesus Christ is. I absolutely love that book. On page on 21 of that book he talks about why the Savior was qualified to be just that, our Savior. He talks about how he was the only perfect sinless man, how he was chosen in the grand councils before the Earth was, and how he is the only man that is literally the physical son of Heavenly Father. Truly the firstborn of the Father, and the Only Begotten in the Flesh.
Its the simple truths of Jesus Christ that really build my testimony of him. I`m so grateful that this is his work. I can`t even imagine trying to do this alone. Aside from all the stresses of missionary work, obedience, daily schedule, minimal food, ect. I have this incredibly difficult language to try and learn to the best of my ability. Without the help of Jesus Christ I would be no where right now. Sometimes it gets tough. Its really hard. I read a really cool quote from President Hinckley that said something along the lines of, `Isn`t it great that the Lord allows us to experience the lowest of lows so that the highest of highs feels so great?` Thats really how it is. I`ve experienced just about every single emotion a human is capable of experiencing in the last six months. I`ve been sad, mad, happy, content, angry, depressed, ecstatic, and felt the greatest joys in life and I`m so grateful for each and every one because they have made me, and continue to make me, the man I am now. I`ve grown so much on my mission and it`s because I know my Lord and Savior better than I ever have in my life.
This morning I read 2 Nephi 7:7 and I loved how simple it is. I won`t spoil it here but go and read it for yourself. The simple message is this, `I know he will help me.`
I love you all and I hope you all have an awesome week! I got the family calendar in a package this week and I absolutely loved it! I loved the grandkids picture on the front with everyone holding a picture of some guy in a suit. Wasn`t really sure what that was about but It was pretty cool I guess... :). I love you guys!!!!!!
Elder Jeffrey M. Giles
Thank you for the 6 month care package!!! It was awesome!!!!