Elder Samuel Mischa Chun
Japan Tokyo Mission
4-25-12 Nishi-ochiai,
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

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Week 14 - October 20, 2013

Hello, everyone! I'm sure you've all been anxiously waiting to hear the news about Takumi (last week's miracle). Well, turns out he wasn't interested....

Disappointing, right? Yeah. I know.

That's why I wanted to set it up so that you have even a better emotional YES when I say that he has a baptismal date! But it really is a sad story.

We met with him on Tuesday night. He came with us and we taught him the 1st lesson. For those who know, the 1st lesson's 1st point it "God is our Loving HEavenly Father". We talked to him about his family, and asked him if he had one.

He said no.

He told us about how he'd lost a lot of his Dad's money, so he'd been abandoned by them. Lost, scarred, and alone, he was wandering the streets of Niigata (my area) probably wondering if he had any worth; probably praying in his soul, without consciously knowing how, that he could experience the feeling of the prodigal son (like his email adress title) and return home, loved and secured.

That was when an awkward, bumbling foreigner that couldn't speak Japanese very well stopped him asking in chopped up Japanese if he was ok. Surprised, but still utterly hopeless, he responded, "no. I'm not." This awkward foreigner said something about religion and some sort of free class, but said to ignore that. The stranger gave a flyer with a phone number and a map to a church. He then ordered, quite impolitley, "Give me your number. I call later."

This hopeless young man, abandoned by family and aching for anything, gave out his number.

4 days later, he sat, learning about a boy called Joseph Smith, who had read the bible. This abandoned young man said that he, too, had read all of the New Testament in his life. Then, two strange foreigners and one stranger from Japan asked this poor young man if he would consider following Jesus Christ, and be accepted into His church.

Takumi said yes. And since Tuesday, he has become so much happier. He reads the Book of Mormon daily, and has read up to 2nd Nephi 9 (this was on Friday. I don't know how far he is now).

But, he's 19. In Japan, you can't get baptized without parental permission before the age of 20.

WHat do we do?

We had a member-present lesson with our Mission President this Saturday. In in, President Budge asked how old Takumi was, ready to break bad news.

Takumi said, "I turn 20 November 13th."

His baptismal date is on the 16th of November.

God is preparing people. This is my burning testimony. "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" Every member a missionary, eh? Let's do this.

Elder Chun

Week 13 - October 13, 2013

Hello, everybody! How was conference? Is everyone happy? Does everyone have their Articles of Faith memorized? Is everyone doing missionary work? :D
Anyway, I had a miracle happen the other day. I was doing the flyer proselyting when this guy walked past. He looked rushed; sad; hurt; broken; off; something. I dunno how to exactly describe it. But immediately, I felt an overpowering and overwhelming love for him. I stopped him, and in broken Japanese asked him if he was ok. He said, "No, not really." I asked if there was anything I could help him with. "I'm going to work right now. I'm a bit busy." I said, "Give me your number. I will call and check on you tonight."
Yeah. Not the most smooth approach to someone. But hey, I haven't tried asking ANYONE for their number since probably January at BYU or so, and it didn't go much better.
But he gave me his number. I was honestly surprised. But I called that night, but he was at work. I called the next day, but he had work. I emailed him, "Hey, I just wanted to tell you about how prayer lets us get help from God."
It was at this point, with that much interaction and conversation between us, that he sends me an email saying, "Yestarday, I'm in sevent heaven. coz I'm abandon all hope, I was saved thanks to you. I wanna learn mormon. My dream is to travel the world. Is it possible for mormon to make my dream come true?" (word for word in english.
:D Not only that is possible, but so much more, my friend.
His name is Takumi. And he is just one of many people being prepared by Heavenly Father to receive the gospel. So let's all do missionary work together, eh? :D
Chun 長老

Week 12 - October 6, 2013

Hello! How are you all doing? I'd wish you to be as happy as me, but I know that's impossible. Sorry! haha :D

So. Miracles. They are everywhere. Before we left for Japan from the MTC, someone said a quote, "Thank the Lord at the end of the day for miracles you didn't see." I thought this was amazing. But I realized something new while in the field: "Thank the Lord for miracles you take for granted." This is how I came to that thought.

This Thursday, my trainers left for a conference. So it was me and another 3rd week missionary doing our very best to serve the Lord. Let me tell you: Our best isn't very good. Hard things happened, and one of our progressing investigators actually came to church and returned all of his materials. He'd been offended by something dumb, and used it as an excuse to cop out. I was lost and worried. The next day, as we woke up at 6 to work out with another Prog. Inv. I didn't want to go. I was tired; I was sore; I was scared. Yes. I confess that my heart was failing me. I didn't understand why I was out without trainers; why I was trying so hard, only to fail repeatedly. I had seen very little success in my weeks here. The rational part of my brain said, "Oi. You've been here for 3 weeks." But my emotional side was reigning. I was aching, uncertain of my own capacities to serve the Lord. I didn't doubt Him whatsoever. Never have, probably never will.

But I doubted myself.

After the work out, we came back and got ready for an exchange. While my companion was in the shower, I knelt down and prayed. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to change me to be something He could utilize. Then, I turned on Elder Holland's talk, "Lord, I believe". I was uplifted and strengthened. From that point, whenever I doubted myself, I fell on my faith first. I'd pray by starting with, "Heavenly Father, I know you to be the one who called me." And this would put things in perspective. I began to work more faithfully. Not harder; not longer. But I began to believe I could succeed. And I did.

Saturday, I was working hard at finding. My 4 man companionship was on 4 corners right in front of the train statioin, and we were talking to everyone. I ran into a kid called Kazuhiro. He is 17, and he listened. I told him that I speak WITH God every day. I told him that God is our Heavenly Father, who wants us to be happy. I told him that in order to talk to us, Heavenly Father uses Prophets. I told him about the 1st vision and the restoration. I gave him a book of mormon, and testified of it's truthfulness. I set up an appointment. And I felt wonderful afterwards.

My companions congratulated me afterwards for doing it by myself. But I squirmed at the compliment. I didn't do it by myself. THat was ALL Heavenly Father. Without Him, Kazuhiro wouldn't have been there. Without Him, I wouldn't have been there. Without Him, I wouldn't have been on a mission. Without Him, I wouldn't have had faith. Without Him, this world wouldn't exist. Without Him, I wouldn't exist. I began to thank the Lord for one of my greatest miracles I have always taken for granted: Me.

I encourage you all to do the same. Take a moment; think of who you are; find the Hand of the Lord that IS your life. Thank Him. Serve Him. There is NOTHING that brings more joy than that.

That is why I am happier than you all. Bahaha!

Chun 長老