13 PaGeS LoNg

WhErE tHe PaGeS oF tHiS bOoK nEvEr EnD

Monday, April 30, 2012

"I am loving the Mission"

Niigata Zone being silly together! Hey Everybody! Great to hear that everybody is getting along. Sounds like there were a couple of crazy things and scares this week. I will remember Mandi in my prayers. Mom, you are such a hard worker, thanks for working so hard just to put a smile on other peoples faces. :o) I am super excited to hear that you will be going to Brazil with Dad. As a missionary right now, I know that Dad would have much more fun with you there by his side. :o) We have the plan for mothers day calling. This time I will be talking to you guys on your Mothers day over there. I will email you the schedule next week though because today I really don't have much time at all to email. We have to go up to Sendai again this week. It is the spring so service activities are starting up again. I have to catch a bus in just a little bit here. The week was pretty crazy though. I am with my new companion. His name is Elder Nation from Texas. He is such a great guy. He is way way different that Elder Sanders though. If you want an image of Elder Nation, just think about Elder Van Pelt from the movie The Best Two Years. He might be the exact same guy. :o) He is working so hard, and like all new missionaries is having an emotional, shocking time about it, but he will do just fine. His Japanese is actually surprisingly progressing super fast. He will have no problems. The thing I like about him the most is his smile though. Even when he is exhausted, he just does all that he can to keep his smile on his face and I love it about him. It is just great to have another son, even though I am pretty tired myself to be honest. :o) It isn't exactly the my favorite thing to have this District Leader responsibility though. My District is the biggest in the mission and the same size as a zone almost and so it is keeping me more distracted from helping Elder Nation than I like, but it has been alright. He is a BYU boy so we had something in common right from the start. Being in Sendai last week was just the greatest. Of course, I got the chance to drop into my old area, Kamisugi. I got to see Little Mei, the baptism from back in October. I was SOOOOOO happy when I got to see her. I just freaked out and had one of the happiest moments of my mission to see her for the first time in 6 months. Getting to go up there again this week has got a smile on my face, even though the 4.5 hours on a bus are pretty tough. So funny to hear about Tory just being struck by this girl. hahaha That is just too crazy for me to get my head around! Crazy because I blessed the Sacrament last week too, but I did it in a foreign language! Me and Tory and Dad doing the same thing but...ah!! So cool. I am loving the mission. Being with a new son is always a new boost of excitement and love for the work. This gospel is true and I know it with all my heart. I have to go, but I will email you next week. Oh, next week as well we have to go to Sendai again, so I won't have much time to email and I will have to do it a little earlier, so if you could make sure that you email a little earlier than usual next week that would help. I love you so much!! Have a great Week!!! Love, Elder Page

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Quick trip to Utah

This past weekend I went to Utah to visit Matthew and celebrate in Mckenna's graduation from BYU. Yea Mckenna!!! Just want to thank the Wilsons and the Ferreira's for letting me stay with them while I was there. It was so nice to finally meet Vickers, KW and Aubrey. And Julianna, Victoria and Caroline. I missed seeing alot of you that I love, but I will try to meet up with everyone in June, so hope some of you are around. Had a great time, loved kissing and hugging on Matthew :) but glad to be home with the rest of the gang ( I missed them )
With Matthew and Mckenna studying and taking their last final I Got to see Becky for a few hours right when I arrived in Utah. I missed seeing most of my favorite people in Utah. Sorry about that, it was a quick trip for Mckenna's graduation and so the schedule was pretty full. I promise to catch you in June when we bring Abigail out to school. Love you all :)
Derek it was so funny that you called not even knowing that I was in Utah, so glad you could meet up with us at the last minute for dinner. It was so good to see you, and again thanks for the yogart, and hope to see you this summer.
It was so great to see Marissa and meet KW, Vickers, and Aubrey. Thanks so much for letting me stay with y'all. Glad I could spend time with you Marissa, look forward to doing it again soon.
Went to a BYU rugby game with Matthew, his roommate,Tim and Victoria and Caroline.
Got to spend some fun time with Matt and Mckenna, at the Provo Temple, and at Riverwoods. There are some really great resturants in Utah, you could go and do nothing but eat (got to get back to my workouts now) Also ran into Elder Zire who served his mission here in NC, he has been to our home a couple of times while serving in the Concord Ward, very small world.
An the other reason for my visit Mckenna's graduation! We are so happy and proud for her. Congratulations Mckenna!

"Eagle Scout baby"...

Hello Everyone, Well I might as well get started with this email with the big news that came this morning at 6:30 when President called in my transfer announcement. The good news is that I am super excited and way happy. The bad news is that I am finally, and regrettably being separated from my son, Elder Sanders. He is transferring up to a city that I worked in a lot in Sendai zone named Yamagata. He will get his first Japanese companion and although he is sad to leave here, he is excited for the chance to grow more and learn. As for me, I will actually not be leaving Niigata. Even though I have been here for 6 months, President told me that I have at least 3 more months here because Elder Sanders is getting a brother! Yes, I will be training again here in Niigata! Son number 2! I have always wanted a big family! :o) I am super excited to get that opportunity again, especially because this time I know the area and the people that I am working with. There were quite a few changes across the mission though. Elder Shaw, a missionary in my apartment and a good buddy is transferring too which stinks. Sister Kimura will transfer while Sister Tanaka, will get a new companion and spend her last transfer here in Niigata. It makes the fifth transer that Sister Tanaka and I have been in Niigata. LONG!! Oh, and also, President asked that while I train this new missionary that I also serve as the District Leader here. We have a district of 8 missionaries here and so I am kind of excited about that. I have never done District Leader before because before I just went straight to ZL. I can't wait to meet my new son and get working with him. Other than that, it was a great week last week. There was a lot that happened and I don't really have time to tell it all. We had the opportunity to go to the park with a less active and an investigator. It was so beautiful outside. I sent you a bunch of pictures from that. Our investigator cut her leg and so I had to clean her wound and get it all wrapped up. Eagle Scout baby!!! hahaha ;oD All of the Sakura flowers are blooming and this country is just the most beautiful place in the world right now. I love it here so so much. I am pretty excited to be able to be here a little longer and it is reassuring to know that if I am still here, that God has a little bit more work he needs me to do. I have learned through experiences, both as a missionary, and even at a more personal level, that God will guide and direct our lives in the sense that he will keep us on worthy pathways. Doctrine and Covenants 6:14 teaches us that we would not be in the place that we are now if God had not of been guiding us. Read that scripture on your own, find the meaning and value of that principle for you in your own life, and be grateful to God for it. I am so grateful for this gospel and for the opportunity we have to live this wonderful life. This life is wonderful and will bring us much joy if we will but count our blessings. I love the mission so much. I love my family so much. Mom and Dad, I am so grateful for your love and council in my life. I was so lucky to be born as your son. :o) I have to go, no time, but I will let you know how things with my new son are next week! Have a great week! Abby, your shoes are awesome, Dad, keep working hard on your rehab, I am praying for you! Smiling makes life better!!! I love you!! Love always, Elder Page

Monday, April 16, 2012

"there was never a happier time among the people..."

A P-DAY ZONE ACTIVITY! Hello Everybody!! Sounds like everybody had a really great spring break. I am glad to hear that everybody had such a fun time. Everybody said something about Zach's song, but I don't know anything about it. Can you get me the words or something please? Thanks! :o) It is crazy that you said 10 months from now we will get to hug because I just thought about it a little, and when I left on my mission Matt had about 10 months left. Crazy stuff huh? I am so proud of my family. It brings me great joy to hear about all of your efforts to share the gospel. :o) The blessings from your efforts I know are blessing my time here in Japan. It just cracks me up to think about Tory actually liking a girl! Dad, what on earth are you going to do? Tory is more of a stud than all the rest of us! haha Mom, I got your letter about the Dolls and a couple people said that I can find them here. They are the round doll kind of things right? I have a couple of other Japanese-like things to send home as soon as I make time to send them. That sweet old woman that gave me your Christmas present, she still gives me presents all the time that I can send to you. Crazy to think about Austin and Jared going on missions. Everybody just keeps getting old! :o) Well, I had a really great week. After things being pretty hard for a while, the Lord blessed us very abundantly. First of all, yesterday Elder Sanders and I had the opportunity to go to Sado Island and visit the tiny branch there again. As always it was a great experience and it was sad to think that it may have been my last opportunity to go there as a missionary(if I transfer next week, you know?). The weather here is amazing. It is exactly a year from the time I came to Japan last year and this time of year is just amazing. This week the Sakura are supposed to bloom and it will just make us want to be outside all the time. I will be sure to take lots of pictures. We had a church activity that we planned and we did it Easter themed. We hid a bunch of eggs around the church and then we did a hunt. Then once we found them all we used food coloring, water, and vinegar to dye them and decorate all of the eggs. People don't do anything for Easter Japan and so everybody had a really great time. It made me think of the old days at Grandma Peggy's house hunting for eggs in the yard. :o) We have a new investigator this week. Her name is Rina and she is from Peru. Pretty crazy huh? Jordan, I am getting a little taste of the stuff over there! She is so nice and super humble. She hasn't been to church in all the years she has been in Japan. We taught her about the restoration and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and her faith in what we are saying is so strong. She prayed on her knees for us at the end of the lesson yesterday and she was so happy. El Spirito Santo was super strong. :o) She has been a blessing to my mission as the gospel is becoming a blessing in her life. Guys, I love the mission so so much. Even the super tough days where we just truck in on the road all day bring joy and satisfaction to my life. In Alma 50, in the middle of the great war between the Nephites and the Lamanites, it says that there was never a happier time amongst the Nephites. Why was that the case? They were in the middle of a war! It was because of the gospel. As a servant of God, I testify that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has that power. It has the power to heal us in our pain, brighten our dark places, and bring satisfaction in the most unpleasant times in life. I truly believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He did see God and Jesus Christ and I have confirmed that in my heart through the Power of the Book of Mormon, which stands as a witness to the world of the truthfulness of this work. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keep it up Dad, sounds like you are just getting so much better. I am praying for you! Mom, I love you so much. Sometimes I feel like such the imperfect and flaw-filled son, but knowing that you always understand me and have my back brings me much peace and joy. I love you! Next week are transfers so I will tell you next week whether I will be going or not. It has been 6 months so I think I might go! I love you! Love, Elder Page

Monday, April 9, 2012

"right road"

Hey Mom, Thanks so so much for the email! So much going on down there it feels like! Great to hear that Dad has been doing good, I have been thinking and praying about him. Stinks that your beach trip didnt happen! I bet that it won't be nearly as fun with the awkward, return-culture shock stricken return missionary, but I am super excited. It is super weird to think about things in a "year after now" perspective because they can all be spelled the same way, HOME. This week I break into the single digit month countdown which is just too crazy to handle! Well, to change from that subject, it was super relieving to hear about grandma. I really do think about and pray about and worry about her often. To hear that she is doing better is a nice relief. Things with the work are kind of hard right now. We still have our friend, Ishizuka with a baptismal date, but he is our only investigator right now. We only taught two lessons all last week, and neither were to an investigator. But, things go up and down all the time. It is tough right now, but it will pick up, it always does. Conference was a good lift up though. Like you guys said, there were so many wonderful talks! I have to say though that my favorite one was probably Elder Scott's talk about revelation. I think the principle that he taught about the fact that we often are already receiving the revelation that we so diligently seek was pretty interesting. I have done a lot of thinking about and studying of revelation and how we direct our lives recently. Many of my ponderings and concerns were addressed by Elder Scott and I was able to confirm many of my feelings and decisions. He said it himself, that we don't understand everything about how it works, agency and revelation. We have the freedom to choose totally independent of any other being, but at the same time, God can and will provide the right path for us. So, how does that work, agency along with being told what to do? Like Elder Scott, I don't fully understand, but what I have come to understand is that there is not only one "right road" for us. There is only one "right destination." In our lives, there may be many roads, about a variety of different decisions, that all ultimately lead to the same place, eternal life with our Father in Heaven. We have the ability to make the choices we choose to make. The purpose of God and revelation is to keep us on A road that leads to the right place. I know that we have the ability to choose, and that as we do so with righteous intent, worthily living our lives in the Gospel, God will help us stay on a path of joy, and away from those of darkness and pain. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. I am grateful for the ability to choose and to grow from those choices. I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. He has made this perfect plan of choosing possible for us. When we choose wrongly, it is through the power of His Atonement that God can bring us back into the fold which leads to eternal life. This Easter, I didn't have the opportunity to teach one single person about the Atonement of their savior Jesus Christ. However, I know that he lived, died, and lives again for me and for us. I believe with all of my heart that his power is real, and that power, through faith, is adequate for deliverance from all pain. Thanks so much for the email Mom, also the package that I got this week. It was all perfect so thank you very much. You are one heck of a Mama and I love you and Dad so much. Dad, keep on truckin in your rehab! I am praying for you. I am doing well. I am happy and I have an understanding of why I am where I am. Have a great week everybody!! Love Always, Elder Page

Monday, April 2, 2012

On the path that will allow us the most growth through trials...

Hey everybody!!!! I am super glad to hear about Dad's surgery going alright. I couldn't help but chuckle when I pictured Dad hauling around with a walker and Tory just teasing him. Tory, that is so terrible, but I just couldn't hold back a laugh about that image. I am super glad to hear that he is doing alright, and the fact that he is working so hard to get back on his feet was actually a big inspiration to me as I read it. I can only imagine the pain, but the fact that you are doing that Dad just makes me so grateful for your example. You truly are an amazing example in word and deed, in spiritual and temporal things. I am super duper excited for conference. I can hardly believe that it is here already, but it came at the perfect timing for spiritual refreshment as usual. Can't wait to hear about your thoughts more as I get the chance to watch this weekend! So so glad to hear that Dallin and Jacs are doing so good, I love those two and look up to them as an example so much, especially realizing that I will have to follow in making some of the big decisions that they have made in not too too long here. Funny that you mentioned that you watched a tv show about Japan. It is a way different place, that is for sure. I love it so much here though. I wouldn't even mind taking a little time to live here at some point in my life. Who knows, we will see! Thanks always for sending emails, packages, and letters Mom. Just so you know, there isn't anybody that I love to hear from more than my Mama. I had a pretty good week. There were some things that happened that weren't the best and that caused some stress, but the Lord just keeps pouring out miracles on us so I have no reason to complain. That guy, Ishizuka-san, we made a baptismal date with him this past week. He is planned to be baptized for now on 4/28. He came to church on sunday and is doing great so hopefully things keep going well. It feels nice because it is the first investigator that I have had with a baptismal date in almost 8 months! I am totally loving being with Elder Sanders still. He is my longest companion and I couldn't be more grateful than to be with him for as long as I have. It amazes me sometimes how the Lord always has on the path that will allow us the most growth through trials, but also providing us with more than enough help-meets and blessings at the same time. Elder Sanders has been one of those blessings that has allowed me to overcome trials when I have faced them in these past 4 transfers. Something fun that happened last week was that we had the opportunity to go and watch live Sumo wrestling for the first time. They even let us put on the underwear belt thing! I have pictures that I will send, but that was a super fun experience. The weather around here is finally gotten kind of sort of nice. It is still pretty cold because the wind is always blowing, but the sun is out more and pretty soon here all of the Sakura flowers (Cherry Blossoms) will bloom which I am excited for. I will be sure to take plenty of pictures. I can feel the love Mom, no worries about that. I had a dream the other night that I came home and the first night we did family prayer, and then as everybody started to head to bed I freaked out. You all asked me why I was panicking an I said, "we can't just go to bed, we haven't done daily planning for tomorrow! How are we going to know what to do!?!?!" hahaha Mom, I am probably going to be kind of strange right when I get back. :o) I love you guys back home so much!! Keep being such great examples of light and truth!! Have a wonderful week and remember that I can feel your prayers! Love always, Elder Page

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