We had a special mission conference this week with Elder Whiting of the Seventy. He's presiding over the Asia North area, which includes Japan, Korea, and some of the small pacific islands. At the beginning of the conference, they opened up the time for some questions (in my experience with general authorities, they really like to do this. At least they do with missionaries). And I was able to ask a question: "How does one rely on the Atonement of Christ?" And after letting his wife answer and talk about grace, he started talking about faith and how it's related to power which was the topic that he was planning on speaking about. So it felt like the entire conference was just answering my question. I thought that was pretty cool.
We also performed "A Child's Prayer," and I played the violin. There were other people singing, but I had to practice with Sister Bunker, the pianist who is sitting on the right, a little more before we performed.
Anyway, what Elder Whiting related was an experience from a few months ago, when Elder Ballard visited. This was the same time that we had the special mission conference last February. But apparently Elder Ballard met with the area presidency and they gave a report about what kind of things were going on in the area. Once they had finished, Elder Ballard asked them why we aren't baptizing people here. And the only answer that he would accept, is that we don't have enough faith. So we started talking about faith and how we can exercise it and whether or not we have the faith to baptize.
It was a really good conference. And I think it will definitely help us as a mission to move forward together. It was definitely helpful to me, and has led my prayers to be more sincere and less desperate.
On Friday, after a companion exchange, we stayed in Seto, and went to play soccer with some investigators and some kids. It was really fun! I like soccer a lot. And I got to be on a team with some of the kids, and they thought I was best, because my name, Mueller, is the same as one of the best players on the German soccer team that competed at the World Cup last year. That and pass the ball in times other than when I'm in trouble.
Me and my team
Something that I've never done before Nakatsugawa is teach a English Class for kids. But we have one every week here. And it's pretty fun. The kids can get pretty crazy sometimes. And not having a native-level grasp on their language can make it easy for things to get out of hand. At least we have a native missionary here though. She helps a lot!
Also, they're all girls.
Anyway, things are going okay. Although it's hard to get anything done still with this companion of mine. This has definitely been one of my more difficult transfers.
I finished the Book of Mormon again yesterday. It's still true, in case you were wondering. And if dad was going to ask, yes, the Nephites still all die at the end. Something that I did differently this time was that I went through with my markers and marked all of the places where it mentions Christ's names, as well as His name, and where He is directly quoted. It has made me more aware of how the Lord works with us. As well as just how often it says "you will prosper if you keep the commandments." It says it so much.
We just got back from an all-you-can-eat restaurant with the district.
It's a pretty good week! The weather has been lovely ever since the typhoon passed on Tuesday (the sun started shining through the clouds in the middle of the mission conference). And it's not too hot anymore. I'm just enduring to the end with a brightness of hope and faith in Christ.