ok... I know it`s late. We had transfers this week so our P-day changed. But happy Father`s day Poppi!!!
This week was cool! Me and Carvalho got to go with the Hatsukaichi Ward on a temple trip down in Fukuoka! It was way fun! Road trip! Being on a bus for 8 hours reminded me of the good memories I had on Heritage Tours after high school where I toured the country on a bus, seeing all the church history sites. Gosh, such good memories. That tour taught me so much and continues to teach me even on my mission.
In other news, we went on junkai on friday and saw SO many miracles! We found 5 new investigators and handed out like a library of Book of Mormons! :D Haha okay, that`s a slight exaduation, but we did get to talk to some amazing people.
Another miracle! One of our English class students came to church! She just walked in with a skirt on and everything. She totally looked like a member. She said that it was her first time to church and that she wants to learn more! She stayed for all 3 hours and even for the potluck lunch after church! She got to talk to a lot of members and was even introduced to what the temple and baptism are. She said that she would love to go to the temple one day and be baptized. :O!!!!!!!!!! You don`t get much more golden than that. Nope! It really taught me a lesson though. Here me and Carvalho Shimai are going out and trying to find the elect who will accept this message everyday, and there was someone prepared for us right under our noses. This is just one of many times where I learn that, this really is the Lord`s work.
I`ve actually been thinking about my dad a lot this week. I was practicing teaching Repentance with Carvalho Shimai and I related this experience I had:
When I was about 7, me, my brother and his friends were playing in the garage of my house. We played in there all the time and that day we were playing the "lava" game, where you pretend that the ground is all lava and you have to use other various things like shelves, couches and tables,to get around and if you accidentally touch the ground, you`re out.
I was just goofing around and thought I'd show everyone how cool I was by showing them a new trick I learned by standing on the door knob of a door and swinging from one side to another without touching the floor.
The game started and there wasn't a proper door close by me, but we did have an old refrigerator in the garage. My little 7 year old mind must've thought that it would have the same effect as a proper door hinged into the wall, because I swung on the fridge door. To my horror the fridge began to tip over. I quickly got off right in time for it not to fall, but on top of the fridge was a big, full can of white paint. The hair on the back of everyone's neck must've stuck straight out as they heard the hard 'CLING!' of the paint can as it splattered across the garage floor, tainting the dark grey floor in white and caking the surrounding shelves around it.
Like good older brothers do at the age of 11, it only took James and his friends to say ,"Oh shoot! You're in deep trouble!" Before they made a run for it out the garage door, leaving me alone. Fear struck my heart as I could hear the loud footsteps of my dad coming though the kitchen to the garage door. He swung the door wide open. "Hey! What are you guys doing?!" He looked at the floor. He looked at the expensive empty paint can. He looked at the fridge. And then he looked at me. I knew I was in trouble and I knew I'd get it bad. Needless to say he gave me an earful. I probably cried. I usually cried when my parents got mad at me. I was banished to my room for what seemed like a life sentence. Grounded. Left with no excuse. I spent the rest of that sunny day cooped up in my room, feeling horrible. I felt so bad.
Later that day in the evening, I remembered what I had been taught in primary. We were taught to be nice like Jesus. I was taught that when we do something wrong, we're supposed to apologize. So after a lot of 7 year-old mental preparation, i got up the courage to go to my dad's office. I tip toed down the hall and peeked my head in the door. I saw my dad at his desk with his back to the door, doing his usual office work. Talking to him would be like waking up a sleeping tiger, but I knew what I had to do.
"Hey dad?" I said sheepishly.
"What?" He said with his eyes still fixed on his paper work. By the tone of his voice I could tell he was still in a bad mood from earlier.
My courage left me and I stuttered out,
"D-Dad, I'm sorry."
I expected him to just wave it aside and reprimand me for leaving my room when I'm not suppose to. But to my surprise, he turned in his chair and looked at me straight in the eyes. His chin quivered the way it does right before he's about to cry. He opens his strong arms open for a hug and says, "Come here sweety." He gives me a big hug and with watery eyes and a cracked voice he says,
"Honey, it's okay."
I probably cried. Actually, I'm almost certain I cried. The weight was lifted off. Complete forgiveness was evident in his smile. It was okay. I hadn't ruined the world. I wasn't going to spend the remainder of my days in prison. I left the office trying to smile and cry at the same time. And to this day I can still remember that experience in detail. I remember the love I felt from a warm hearted father. That is what my dad's name means in Samoan; Fatu=Heart. That's my dad for you. You won't find a more naturally cheerful and hardworking soul like him. And all who know him, know that.
I'm so thankful for my dad. He was the first to introduce me to what Heavenly Father's love feels like. How important is that calling! You do not need to have a good, loving father in your home to understand the kind of fatherly love God has for each of us. It's not impossible by any means. But I can tell you from experience that it makes it all the more easier to understand that love when you've had a father like Fatu Stevenson your whole life.
I know our Heavenly Father lives. He does. It is fact of this life. He doesn`t want to punish us. He wants us to embrace his love. He wants to forgive. He wants to bless. He wants to give us eternity and exaltation and perfect love and galaxies and worlds without end. He wants you to want that too. I know this is true and I say it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen