Sunday, May 6, 2012

七尾で死ぬことになりました!Now to die in Nanao! 23 April 2012

Dear Family,
          Well, today was transfer calls! It has been decided that I will die [finish] in Nanao! I will be here for my last transfer, and I will be staying companions with Elder Larkin. Didn`t come as a whole lot of a surprise, but it is a kind of an odd/relieving feeling to know that here is where I will be ending my mission at. There were only two elders going home this transfer, and about  thirteen new elders and sisters coming in, so there have been a lot of changes. We are still in a district with Kanazawa, but Elder Gottfredson our district leader is going to be training, and his companion is becoming comanions with an old companion of mine! Do you remember Elder Numakura? He is going to be coming to Kanazawa! I`m pretty excited about that, it will be a lot of fun I think...all in all, for this transfer we will be a six elder district. Another cool thing is that Elder DeMille over in Toyama went senior! He was an awesome missionary back when we were companions, and is just becoming even more awesome.
           This another pretty tough one with meeting with people and having lessons. We were however able to meet with Sister --------, and we finished teaching her the message of the restoration, and invited her to prepare to be baptized! She didn`t accept, because she says that she doesn`t feel comfortable yet with the concept of there only being one correct religion...well, that and she feels like she has already found happiness and peace in life through meditation and those types of things, but we were able to understand a lot better of how she is feeling, and she was able to understand a lot better the goal that we are trying to help her achieve, so we feel it turned out really well all in all. She will be a lot more prepared to accept when we invite her again :) Unfortunately, she won`t be able to meet with us again until about May 6th, because of "Golden Week" that they have in Japan...but we are keeping contact with her through texts and dropping off notes to her house when we are in the area. The other couple that we hav been teaching...this past weekend they finally finished all of the celebrations and everything for their son`s wedding, so it looks like we will most likely be able to meet again this week. In the mean time, we have just been trying to talk to everyone that we can, and working with the members. We were able to find a lot of great potential investigators, and we actually had a really funny moment at one of the houses that we visited...involving a lady coming to the door with about a 15 inch brown stained knife...but I`ll save the details for later. haha.
              By the way, I got the package this past Saturday! :) Thank you so much! I love the journal, it`s way nice! It totally faked me out the first time I looked at the cover...I thought it was actually little ripped pieces of maps, all finely glued together! I spent a few seconds feeling the edges of it just to be sure...looks pretty convincing ! Also you just happened to include two of my favorite candies ever...soo good! (Elder Larkin enjoyed the ones that you sent for him too) And last of all, the card brought back so many memories. The very hungry caterpillar...brought back so many times sitting on the sofa and reading that with you mom. That was definitely one of my favorite books when I was a kid. Anyway, upon receiving that package, I really felt that I had turned thanks for the great birthday! I love you guys :)
             This past week I have been studying about the Atonement quite a bit, and I have just been struck again by what a wonderful blessing it is. I was reading through the section in PMG about our life on earth,  and the part where it says "in our mortal condition, we often yield to temptation, break God`s commandments, and sin..." caught my eye in particular. As mortals we often yield to temptation...and because of those sins, we are unable to return to our father in heaven unless we accept the atonement in our lives. I read that, and had a very vivid mental image of the process of repentance...we will make countless mistakes during our lives, and Christ has payed the price for them. When we repent, instead of desperately trying to cling to an ever increasing burden that is dragging us down to the ground, we lift up those burdens, show to them our Savior, and witness unto him that we recognize it as a burden that he has payed the price for.  We allow him to lift it from us through our sincere desire to change and to obtain forgiveness. We become more firm in the knowledge that there is not room for anything but the iron rod in our grip. I am so grateful for that gift in my life, and that is the gift that I desire so much for the people that we are teaching here to receive.
               My time is running short, so I will finish this, but thank you for being the wonderful, supportive family that you are! I you guys so much, have a great week!
                                                                                                                 -Elder Voss

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