So I had a good paragraph of this email written about four hours ago and I accidentally deleted it, so instead of being persistent and starting over back then, I procrastinated and am starting again now. My apologies for the lateness of the hour.
This last week was a lot of fun. We`re basically done with all the things we have to do for the release of the iPads, so things have been fairly quiet around here for the most part. We had another meeting with President W this morning. I can`t release any details about what`s going to happen, but I`m super excited for the coming week! Its actually going to be an extremely special week because Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and President Ringwood of the Asia North Area Presidency will be visiting the Kobe Mission this Friday. We actually got to go to a satalite broadcast from Tokyo last night where Elder Nelson spoke and it was awesome! He was really pushing the members to participate in missionary work. It was an awesome night. Actually President W told us this morning that he spoke with the Stake President of the Kobe Stake after the broadcast and he said that he has never seen members and missionaries working together like we are now. It was awesome! Huge compliment. We`re really focusing on working with members right now and its definitely having a big impact on our work. We made two appointments in church to visit members and we`re super excited! One of the familes is from the Philippines so that message will be in English. Super stoked. I also gave training during our Missionary Coordination Meeting where I shared a little bit about the restoration, then did an activity where everyone thought of an idea of a newspaper headlines for the Restoration. We had some great ideas like, "Truth. Restored.", "One Morning in New York", and "God STILL Speaks!". After we did that I had the members take a picture with all of us, then post a status update on Facebook with the photo and an explanation of what they learned from that message. It was awesome! We`re really getting people excited about using social media to share the gospel with their friends. It will lead to some miracles for sure!
I had a really cool experience yesterday after church. We were helping the relief society clean up after a ward lunch after church and the Bishop came up and asked me if I would mind helping him with some translating. There`s an American family in the ward right now and their oldest son just turned twelve so he was getting his Aaronic Priesthood interview and they needed someone to translate because he doesn`t speak Japanese and the Bishop doesn`t really speak English. It was an awesome experience being able to relay an interview by a man of God. I felt the confirming witness that the Priesthood has been restored and it really is the power of God delegated to man to act in his name. It was something I`ll never forget.
Elder DS and I had another really cool experience when we were walking home from finding at the train station the other night. We were talking about the Prophet Joseph Smith and what an amazing man and servant of the Lord he was and how we cannot even begin to imagine what he had to go through. It was a very very special time for me because it was the second time in my life that the Spirit has really brought deep emotions to my soul and I`ve truly felt that he was and is a Prophet of the Most High. We, as members, get a lot of flack and grief about the Prophet Joseph, but I`m 100% confident in my knowledge that he was indeed called of God. I know that he saw what he said he saw. I know he translated the Nephite record by the power of God and that record is available to us today. I had the chance to finish the Book of Mormon, along with our Book of Mormon challenge, last week and it was amazing. I love the Book of Mormon. The last few chapters will always be some of my favorite. I love the Book of Mormon with everything that I have and I know that its true.
Well until next week! I love you guys. I`m grateful for a loving family that I receive an endless ammount of support and encouragement from. I wouldn`t be the man, or the missionary for that matter, that I am today were it not for the influences I`ve had thus far in my life. I will never be able to thank you all for the blessings you`ve been in my life. Thank you. I love you! I`ll see you soon!
Elder Jeffrey M. Giles