Monday, September 28, 2015

Shizuoka

Hello! My new area is great. Shizuoka is a good place to be. And other

than the occasional rain, the weather is great too.




This is my companion, Elder McC, at the beach.

This week has been pretty exciting. I left Nakatsugawa on Tuesday and said goodbye to my trainee. That was quite the relief. Then we spent three or four hours getting to Shizuoka, not counting the stop for lunch/dinner in Hamamatsu. So it was already pretty late once we got back. 

I'm staying with three other Elders here, and one of them happens to be my former companion, Elder M from Toyohashi. I haven't been able to see him at all ever since he transferred away from Toyohashi about six months ago, so it was nice to be able to see him again. It's a pretty fun apartment to be in.




Elders McC, N...moto, M, and Mueller

The other two missionaries in our apartment are Zone Leaders, so I get a peek into what the mission leaders are doing. Which is kind of fun. I've always wanted to be a Zone Leaders just for a little while just to see how the mission leadership works, but it looks like I'm not going to be able to get that opportunity after all.

Things are a lot more low key this transfer. Last time I had a lot of responsibility, what with being District leader of a really big district and being a trainer. But this transfer is a lot simpler. I'm actually junior companion, technically. So it's a nice opportunity just to work hard on my own area with my companion and not worry about much else.

Elder McClellan, my companion right now, is a really good guy. He's pretty mild mannered, but he does get passionate about one thing: food. If you ask him what his favorite food is, he says "pretty much anything." He's always on the hunt for good restaurants. We don't have much money right now because it cost a lot to get here and it's almost the end of the month, but I'm sure we're going to eat some pretty good food this transfer.

Since there were not missionaries working in our places before we got here, we have to start from zero. When I first got here, that was a little daunting, due to the fact that I still don't like knocking on doors or talking to people on the street much. But we found an investigator yesterday, so hopefully we will be able to get things off the ground here!

I got a blessing yesterday, because I've just been really fatigued and felt kind of sick for weeks and a little down too, and the Lord told me to remember that He is always there, which is something that I tend to forget.  It was emphasized two or three times in the blessing. I remember another blessing that I got when almost the exact same thing was said too. Also in the blessing it said that I have done the right thing on my mission. It was really comforting. As you know I tend to take things too seriously, and so it's easy to think that a lot of things that have happened or didn't happen on my mission are my fault. That if I had been better, my mission would have been a lot different. But that's not the case. I have done what I'm supposed to. And I have tried so hard to be good. 

It also said that the Lord wants me to pray about everything, even things that it seems like God wouldn't really care about and that I would be helped.I took comfort in that and almost immediately put that promise to test when five minutes later, I was looking for my name tag, and couldn't find it. I said a short prayer, and thirty seconds later I realized where it must have been. That was the same day that we found our new investigator. 

I guess the Lord doesn't just like playing games with us. He's not just waiting for us to fulfill a huge list of requirements before He blesses us. He is anxious to bless us always. Blessings are not like a computer where if even just one little thing is wrong it won't work. Being a missionary isn't about just trying to find the perfect combination of good things to do in order to magically get people into the baptismal font. It's about faith in Christ and patience. And hope that the Lord will lead you to the people that He needs you to. And "a perfect brightness of hope" that as long as you are doing your best you cannot fail the Lord. 

My mission is nearly over, which I am grateful for, because nothing has ever made me feel so inadequate and vulnerable than missionary work. But I'm so grateful to know that my two years in the Lord's service has not been a waste, but that it will bless me so much and everyone I've met so much and everyone I meet ever again. Because I'm different now. And Japan is just a little different now because I had the faith enough to accept the call to serve. So I'm happy. And less worried that I'll mess up now.

With love,
Elder Mueller

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