Monday, January 19, 2015

Dawn of a New Transfer

**A note from Alex's mom: Thanks to all of you who sent Alex a note of love this week. I'm sure it made a difference! Also, just for your info (and possible amusement), Alex seems to be forgetting how to speak and write English. I have to be more and more diligent in my proofreading as his mission goes on. :)

Hello. How are you? Things went well this week. We were able to work hard and get a lot done.

On Monday, before Elder W transferred, we went to "Hida no Sato" which is this folk village place that's near the apartment. They had lots of old buildings that were made with thatched roofs, many of which had been moved there from other places near here. That was pretty fun.

Tuesday was transfers, so I got to see some friends that I don't usually get to see, and I picked up my new companion, Elder U. He is from Kyoto and is 20 years old. He's been on his mission for about 9 months, but he already is pretty skilled from what I've seen. He helps me a lot. We've been able to work hard this week, and though we haven't seen any new investigators or anything, it feels really good to work hard.

Something that I have been happy to know is that God is aware of our particular trials, and he knows just how to comfort us in our times of need. It's easy to get frustrated when things don't go the way we planned, or when we realize our own limitations. Especially when we are doing our best to serve the Lord. But He is aware of our desires. He knows the thoughts of our hearts. So when we are humble and are honestly striving, he is full of bounteous mercy and strengthens us in our weakness. I am grateful for the power of the Atonement, and that through it Christ knows me perfectly. There are many things that don't make much sense when they happen. But we can know that "all these things shall give [us] experience, and shall be for [our] good." (D&C 122:7) All happens, not necessarily so that we can be happy and free of sorrow now, but it does happen so that we can be even happier in the future.

With love,

Elder Mueller

P.S. Hida no Sato pictures!




Monday, January 12, 2015

Excerpts

A note from Alex's mom:
Alex has been struggling a bit with various things. He could really use some extra support from home, so if you have a minute or two, it would be lovely to flood his inbox with love this week. :) alexander.mueller@myldsmail.net. Here are excerpts from his emails to me the last two weeks. 

From last week...

As for the rest of this week, it was good. New Year's was really quiet. No one was on the streets, and we weren't able to make any appointments. But Elder W and I wandered the streets of the city, trying to find people to talk to, and going past the shrines. As well as doing our weekly planning session.

We also had our Christmas Zone Conference the day before New Year's, and it was excellent. President Yamashita asked us to "Back-up and Reset" for the new year. So on the 1st, we read the whole missionary handbook (Da Rules) and started reading the 4 gospels to prepare for Mission Conference with Elder Ballard.

We also learned who the new mission president will be in July when President Yamashita is released. His name is Ishii. He is actually from a ward in the mission, which is rare. He is also Japanese, which is also kind of rare. So it should be very special. I'm excited to see what will happen.

From this week...

Lately I have been getting my Frodo Baggins/Pioneer experience in. Due to the snow and the fact that both my companion's bicycles have problems, we have been walking a lot.

On Tuesday​ I had the chance to talk to President Yamashita, it was really good, and he gave me some suggestions.

But  things have been kind of rough this week....

But it's the end of the transfer, and we had transfer calls and Elder W is transferring. I am staying in Takayama, and my new companion is Elder U. I haven't met him yet, but I heard that he is from Kyoto, Japan. So I'm going to have another Japanese companion.

I'm hopeful for the next transfer. I don't know what will happen, but the Lord will support me through any difficulties that occur, just as he has every transfer up until now.

With all of this going on though, it's easy to wonder what the Lord wants me to get done on my mission. I feel like I've just been extremely hindered in the good that I've tried to do. A lot of the time I don't even feel like I can do the things that I'm expected to do as a missionary. But when I pray, I feel that the Lord is pleased with me. Perhaps even just because I haven't given up. Maybe there are many that would just go home after experiencing so much opposition and difficulty as I have. But I won't give up. I won't go home. I don't know what the Lord has in store for me yet. I don't know if the rest of my mission will just turn out to be what the first part has been, but I know that I have not failed, and I will not fail.

Something that my Mission President said in the last Zone Conference we had struck me. It was near the end, and my mind started to wander for a few seconds, but what he said just stuck in my mind.

"Wait with hope," he said.

Those words stayed with me. Perhaps the thing I have learned the most about on my mission is hope. Hope leads to patience, and humility. And true hope is based on the firm principle that Jesus is the Christ and that He prepared an Atonement.

Of this truth I testify, and declare that I have hope.

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