This week was AWESOME! We had the opportunity to have a visit from Elder R of the Seventy (Asia North Area President), and it was fantastic. I think the purpose of the visit was just to check on the mission after getting a new Mission President and making sure we`re working efficiently. He had a ton of good things to say about us over here in Kobe. Right now our main goal is to Establish the Church and work well with the members. As of now really none of the members are doing anything as far as missionary work goes, but slowly and surely things are starting to change! The Takatsuki Bishop and Ward Mission Leader are awesome and are really looking forward to getting the work moving in the ward.
I`ll give a quick update on my good friend, S, for the week. As some of you might have thought, we should have seen a baptism yesterday. Unfortunately for reasons out of our control, mainly do to a crazy work schedule, S was unable to be baptized. Don`t worry, he will absolutely be getting baptized here in Takatsuki in the short term, it was just not the will of the Lord for him to enter the waters of baptism this weekend. He`s crazy busy trying to keep up on his work and supporting his wife in Hawaii while she has her baby (She will be born on October 24). He was able to come by the church on Saturday for basketball and he told us all about his trip to Hawaii. He said the craziest thing happened! When they first got to Hawaii they starting talking to this lady sitting next to them on their shuttle. Just so happens the lady was a member and offered to take S's wife to church with her and help her out while S went back to Japan. Craziest thing! The Lord saw that these people needed help and provided a sweet church member to take care of them. I was way touched! The church is true!
This week we taught probably one of the most powerful lessons, at least to me anyway, that I`ve ever experienced. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we had a great example for teaching the Atonement. As we were studying I remembered a lesson I got at a Young Men's Camp called Apple 08` where my former Bishop, Bishop T, gave us an amazing lesson on the Atonement with his son. I`m sure you probably know of the `push up` example in regards to the Atonement, but pretty much it goes like this: One person volunteers to do push ups and one person offers the others in the room some sort of treat. He gives it to them but says that in order for them to eat it. The chosen person has to do ten push ups. He then asks that person if he would be willing to do push ups so this person can partake of the treat. This goes on until somebody refuses the treat because they don`t want the person doing the push ups to suffer any longer. Even though the person refuses the treat, the person still has to do the push ups because even if we don`t access the power of the Atonement in our own lives, Jesus still suffered for all of us. All in all I think I did somewhere between 100 and 150 pushups. It was crazy! It was so powerful. We had most everyone crying that was present and the Spirit of the Lord could be felt so powerfully. This lesson was taught to our investigator, K, the one we found while doing service a few weeks ago and he accepted an invitation to be baptized! It was way powerful.
Those were just a few cool things that happened this last week! We`re truly seeing miracles over here on this side of the world and I feel so blessed to be a part of it! Thank you so much for all the love and support! I love you all so much!
Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles