Dear Family & Friends,
How is everyone doing? Surviving the winter blahs?! We hope so—
We are doing great because this has been a great week. We had Elder David F. Evans, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and President of the Northeast Asia Area, speak at our Mission Conference this past week. Because of how big our mission is, we did it over two days. Sis. Hill asked Jim and I to help with the luncheon on the first day. So Tuesday, Feb. 17th, we went to the church in Kichijoji and put together nice salads for everyone. The Zone Leaders in the area had ordered bentos (box lunches), and with the salads and a great dessert, Oatmeal Cake, that Sis. Hill had made, everyone ate well. We stayed and cleaned up after and then headed back to the honbu to do our regular work. Then on Wednesday, Feb. 18th, we got to attend the Conference. Pres. Evans spoke for 2 ½ hours in the morning session, and again for 1 ½ hours in the afternoon. Plus we had Elder and Sister Aoyagi speak (he is an Area Authority Seventy), and President and Sister Hill. We were well taught and felt such a wonderful spirit there.
Elder Evans taught about the doctrine of desire, quoting from scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Mormon primarily. These are some of the notes that Jim took: “If we have desire we are called to the work. Those who put their whole heart, might, mind and strength into the work are sanctified for their efforts and are greatly blessed. This sanctification process cleanses us, even though we know we are not perfect. Work all the day long and then when you lie down at night you will know you have done your best. Some of us have lingered too long, we need to linger less and get back to work. After much labor then they begin to have success. We need to pray for success, get to work, and have a greater sense of urgency for the work. He quoted President Kimball who stated a number of years ago that we have paused on some plateaus long enough and need to rise up. We need to begin to increase our desire by having prayer, we are not stuck, we can move forward. We need to awaken and focus on the goal. He quoted Elder Oaks who said we need to start with our feelings and pray about our feelings and our desire. You have to change, the promises we have is after we have made the change into someone new and better than we are now. Ultimately it is the love of the Savior that will cause us to change or desire. It is up to us. No one can do it for us. God will facilitate but not force. The Lord works when we step forward in faith.” We were so uplifted and strengthened by all he said, and also enjoyed what the others had to say, too.
Our luncheon was Okinawan Tacos which were DELICIOUS!! It’s like taco salad with all the taco fixings but served on rice instead of tortilla chips. Plus we had the Oatmeal Cake, so we were fed well physically, too!!
Jim has had several experiences this past week in dealing with the new iMOS financial program, and is able to give the people in SLC feedback to help them improve the program and reports that it has to generate. I am so proud of all his hard work. I have been frustrated with my iMOS stuff and keep going back to the old MOS program to do things. But each week I will try again—improvements have been made and I have also given the people in SLC input on how to improve things. We will see how long it will take them to make the changes and how long it will take for me to learn to do things a new way!!! (you know—old dogs, new tricks!!!)
Our word for the week is an old one—otsukare sama des (oat-scar-eh sama des) which means “you look like you work hard”! We use it for a lot of the delivery people who come here and have to carry heavy boxes and stuff in and out, and also for our regular mail and package people. We appreciate so much all they do for us and this is how we compliment them.
Our thought for the week is: “For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” Doctrine and Covenants 84:44. As we live by God’s words and commandments, we are truly blessed!!
We love you all—
Jim & Pat