Monday, August 10, 2009

Typhoon and Earthquake Update, Plus Letters from Missionaries

The Kobe Mission was hit by Typhoon Number 9 this weekend. But don't worry! Everyone is safe and dry. Parts of the mission in the mountainous region near the Japan Sea (Toyooka especially) had river flooding and some landslides. Most the serious damage and deaths were in the low populated areas bordering the Hiroshima Mission where we do not have any missionaries serving. The southern part of Wakayama, Shingu and Tanabe, were also brushed by the typhoon's arms as it roared by in the Pacific heading for Tokyo. Just as it passed there was an earthquake in Shizuoka (Nagoya Mission) that was felt in parts of southern Wakayama as well. This may all sound scary, but it was basically business as usually and no one was hurt and no damage to report. Just a lot of rain. I was in Toyooka on Sunday for church and had the opportunity to set apart Elder Takashi Tada as a missionary. He enters the JMTC tomorrow. We also had a missionary fireside in the Toyooka Branch that afternoon. As I drove home the rivers that run through the area looked very full and authorities were starting to issue flood warnings. Later, I was glad to hear everything was OK and happy I made it home safely without any problems with washed out roads or landslides.

Several of the members of Toyooka on Sunday.

On a Brighter Note
One of the greatest privileges I have is to read weekly letters from the missionaries. If you have ever wondered what they say, let me tell you, I get everything and anything. These letters are sacred and I learn so much about the missionaries and mission by reading them. It can be exhausting if I have over 100 letters stacked up to read. And as soon as I am done, I get 100 more. But it is worth it. I certainly cannot share the letters with anyone, but from time to time I would like to share a few lines anonymously that are inspiring and can help you a feel what our great missionaries are experiencing. Here are a couple.

...Zone Conference was amazing. Every time I go to Zone Conference I get chastised by the spirit and it is refreshing! Sometimes when you are told you could be doing something better, you feel bad. But at Zone Conference, it was refreshing to hear and feel that happy need to change.

During our Sunday School class, I saw something amazing. There were 9 people in the room as follows: 1 teacher, 2 missionaries, 2 recent converts of less than 3 months, 1 less active member we invited to come to church and 3 investigators who were experiencing church for the first time. Those investigators, 2 are new who were contacted referrals and one is a progressing investigator. Amazing!

This week was fantastic. We really have raised the bar. I have come to love personal study. I really enjoy that half hour in the Book of Mormon. I really have felt the Savior's love over the past little while. I used to think the atonement would not apply to me. I was so wrong. I have come to learn that true repentance is a change of heart. I am grateful for the atonement.

That is all for now!

No comments: