I went back to the doctor on Thursday and it looks like I`m back to normal! The kidney stones have made their exit and I`m back to about 90% (still dealing with a cold). I`m so thankful for all of your prayers and the love and support though. Kidney stones are definitely one of the worst things I`ve had to go through, but the Lord lifted and carried me for sure!
My District Leader, Elder H, gave me the chance to teach a little bit of our District Meeting on Friday which was an awesome experience! I chose to teach a little bit about goal setting and accountability. In preparation for it I was reading a little bit from one of Elder Richard G. Scotts` book, 21 Principles. I think its the third principle when he talks about something like `in order to reach a goal never before attained, you must do something never before done.` I`ve based my life off of that, but in that chapter he talks a lot about how creativity and goals are related. It made me think about my own goals and the goals I need to set and how creative they are. I feel like everyone basically has the same goals right now as a mission, personal goals that is. I feel like we can all be a little bit more creative. For example I set a goal to do 10,000 push ups and 25,000 crunches by the end of my mission. Thats 42 push ups a day and 104 crunches! You better believe I`ll be working toward that. I made some really effective proselyting and language goals as well that have been really really awesome. Actually as an apartment, myself, Elder H, Elder A and Elder P, last night set the goal for each of us to do a 100 push ups a day this week! It`s going to be awesome. With the Book of Mormon I committed myself to finish it TWICE by the set date of February 28, 2015. I calculated that I have to read 10 pages a day and it will happen. That has been an awesome goal and I`m actually able to apply more of what I`m learning from the Book of Mormon into my days. As far as accountability goes its all pretty much summed up in D&C 58 26:33. We are to do many things of our own free will and choice and to account to the Lord on those actions always! I think I learned more from preparing and teaching this part of District Meeting than the District did though. Its been an awesome week. I think in the past when I used to think about goals I would get a little nervous at the thought of having to stretch and grow. Its amazing how a mission can change a mind and prepare someone that much more for the future. I`ve found as well that if we`re constantly trying to work towards something like a goal, anything uninteresting or boring is erased. Sometimes, after a few hours of getting rejected on the streets or in an apartment, it gets pretty lame, but if you always have a goal in the back of your mind, you`re that much more motivated to get out and DO! There`s a video that was shown to us by one of the other Elders in the apartment a few weeks ago that I believe really applies to just about whatever we want to do in life. I`m sure its pretty popular in the States, but if you haven`t seen it, look up `Welcome to the Grind` on youtube.
Fam, I`m doing awesome. In setting my goals this week I had to figure out exactly how many days I have left as a missionary. This really kind of sucked, but it put into perspective just how much time, or lack there of, I have left in the service of the Lord. Its something like 276 days. Ahhhh. Holy cow my mission has gone so fast. I love it. I want to do this forever. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. I know with 100% surety that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I love missionary work. I love being in Takatsuki and working with the amazing people I get to work with here. I love you all. Thank you all again for all of your prayers and thoughts. It means so so much! Have a great week!
Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles