In the spring of 2020, we joyfully accepted a call from President Russell M. Nelson, stating that: 'Your first duty is to serve as missionaries to support our members and leaders.”
We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve God and the people in our hometown of Hakodate.
From the beginning, we thought that one way to support our members and strengthen the ward would be to study together from “Gospel Principles.” We encouraged several people to study “Gospel Principles” together with us, and we are currently working with interested individuals via Line or by phone.
Most people are taking one lesson per week; it is a great blessing to see their understanding of the gospel deepen as they joyfully endeavor to follow the Lord.
Recently, we have been working to gradually build a relationship of trust with one less-active member. At the same time, we have been hoping and praying that he would be able to study with us from “Gospel Principles.”
One day, we received inspiration from Heaven as to how to invite this brother to learn the gospel. He accepted our invitation over the phone.
Later, we delivered the Gospel Principles textbook to his home, and when we started to ask him when and how often he would like to study with us, we were very surprised when he told us that he had decided on day and time that we could study every week. Actually, what makes this a special experience is that he doesn't have a cell phone, only a home phone.
We were praying and wondering how we could teach him from “Gospel Principles,” as we can’t see him in person due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and since he doesn't have an electronic device. We came up with the idea of having him read the text beforehand, and then when it was time for the lesson, we would call him and ask him to share what he felt, and we would add a few things as well.
We are very grateful that he accepted this suggestion. We look forward to studying “Gospel Principles” with him in the future, and hope that he will establish his own salvation and help the ward.
President Kinjo has taught us that “we receive the necessary revelation by thinking morning, noon and night.” We can testify that this is true.
Now, even though the church is closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are making some visits in person. Although our visits are only brief, and we talk or deliver a message while keeping our distance at the door, when we see people smile because they feel God’s love, we are thankful that we are also energized.
The following words of Elder Boyd K. Packer give us impetus: “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior.” When we humbly pray and seek to do the Lord's work, He will prepare the way.
We testify in the name of Jesus Christ that the Lord is our Helper and Savior. Amen.
Elder and Sister Matsuhashi