How are you doing? How are things back at home? It sounds like they are starting to pick up with the beginning of school coming. I really can not believe that it is August!! And since it is August.....
Wow, I really can not believe that it is your birthday tomorrow. That came so fast. Man, you are going to be the best 29 year old this world has starting tomorrow! ;D haha I love you, Mom. You really are one of my best best friends, and I love you to infinity and beyond! :)
I want to share something really cool with you this week. I can't remember if I told you or not, I think that I did, but I made a goal to finish the entire standard works by the end of my mission. I know that it is definitely not going to be easy, but I feel like it is something that I need to do. I can honestly say that I have never gained a personal testimony of the Bible before this. I have noticed quite a few things that have astonished me as I have read through just the first hundred or so pages of the Bible. I would like to share a few of these with you today:
1) The Bible speaks so plainly about the nature of God that it is baffling that other Christian churches do not believe in Him the way that we do. I was incredibly impressed by the first few chapters in Genesis, where it reveals some of the fundamentals of God, such as the fact that we are the same image as he is!! It declares that! I wish that everybody would just remember that.
2) God loves His children SO SO much, and He ALWAYS provides a way for them. He always keeps His promises. Just like Nephi talks about at the very beginning of the Book of Mormon, the very beginning of the Bible talks about how the children of Israel have to rely on the Lord in order to be delivered from their trials. What I really like, too, is that the Lord promised them before they were in bondage! that he would deliver them from the hands of the Egyptians. He knew that things were going to turn south for them, and He promised them beforehand that he would make sure there was a way for them to come out of it.
3) I am really like Moses. :) haha No, I can not split the seas (well, unless the Lord needed me too). But, as you all know, I have always dealt with worry, particularly recently. So did Moses. When the Lord called him, he complains that he has a speech impediment. The Lord tells him it is okay, and that He will provide for him to speak well (not talking about providing a mouthpiece at this time). And then Moses brings it up, AGAIN, saying that he was inadequate. Moses was worrying!! Haha :) That made me feel good. Even Moses worried. But, something even better came out of realizing that Moses worried.
4) I came to a knowledge that the Bible does answer the questions that we have, when we search for the Lord's words to us in the pages contained therein. I was looking to see what could connect to my life, and at the time that I happened to be worrying, the Lord showed me His servant Moses, the one who eternally holds the keys to the gathering of Israel. The Lord speaks through the Bible. It is His word. I know that for a fact. I can't say that I had a super strong testimony of that until this past week. I would always say that I knew they were true, just because I knew that the church was true and that the Book of Mormon was true. But this past week was the first time that I really had a witness for myself that the Bible was true. It felt so good. If you or anyone in our family has not found that witness than I hope that you will do everything that you can to find that answer.
Anyway, I love the scriptures. So so much. How has your scripture reading been going, Mom? I hope that it has been going well, and that you have felt the Spirit directing and guiding you in the things that you are reading and learning. I hope that you are taking notes and that you are treasuring the things that you find in your heart all day long, not just in that moment. That which is treasured in our heart for more than a moment will sink into the depths of our memory and be drawable in a time of need. Remember, pondering is an essential step to the personal revelation that will change our lives and become a defining moment.
I hope that your health is holding up! It was so great to see the pictures of Beau and to know that he is doing okay. I hope that you also continue to improve and see the miracles in your life. I know that the Lord is performing them. Watch for them, and you will be astonished, and realize that they are just as magnificent as the plagues that hit Egypt. Oh, crazy fun fact that I just remembered that I don't know if I have told you or not. You know the red gates that you see at Japanese shrines (you have probably seen pictures of them.) Google them if you don't. But, the cool part is, whether Japanese people know it or not, those are a similitude of the doors that were painted with the blood of a lamb at passover. Incredible, huh?? :) The gospel was here in Japan years and years ago, and we are bringing it back again!! :)
I love you so much! I am going to try and send you a physical letter soon, so expect one within a month or so. (I am not exactly sure which P-day I will have the most time on, so it might take a week or two). I love you, Mom!!!
Love, your son :)