Tuesday, January 21, 2014

E-mail 1/20/2014

My dear wonderful family,

As I am typing this letter to you I am snacking on octopus and eating with chopsticks. I think I might be in Japan or something! It has been an AMAZING week!

Tuesday, during personal study I was reading in Alma 37:16-17

16 But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words.
 17 For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.

and it made me think about the promises God has made to me about my mission. So I reread the notes Candice took for me during my setting apart--and everything in there is either something I've prayed for since becoming a missionary or something I've tried to become. It was amazing!

We also got 2 potential investigators during companion study! We were calling former investigators and saying we'd heard about them from previous missionaries and could we meet? And 2 said yes! We have 1 appointment and the other said to call back later this week when she knows her work schedule. Yay! We also went to this udon [wheat noodle] shop for dinner and I had udon curry. So yummy!

And DCS was awesome. Ishizaki kyodai [Brother Ishizaki] (Ward Mission Leader) said to share your desire to baptize and see miracles with people--to be LOUD about it. Believe in these things. Have faith and hope and always ask yourself "what should we do next?" Commit yourself to finding and baptizing and believe that you can do it and find out God's heart for you in this area. It was great!

Wednesday was awesome! We had district meeting about consecration and got this amazing talk called "The Fourth Missionary." Our theme was "Consecration is the only surrender that is also a victory" (Neil A. Maxwell). They shared the John Tanner video (clips). I've never seen it before so it was way good. McClellen chorro [Elder McClellen] (to whom President Rasmussen tells everything) said President said that since this area hasn't seen baptisms in a while he sent missionaries he that he trusts and that through our sacrifices we will see miracles. It was an awesome meeting!

After District Meeting we were back studying at the apartment when Tomita-san called us and said "Hey, I have 40 minutes. Can we do a lesson?" So we ran over to the church and quickly made a lesson plan and she goet there and it was amazing! She is such a kinjin (golden investigator). We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ [one of the lessons] and I was able to understand and jump in and give input and share experiences. She says she's felt the Spirit before! It was incredible. Now we just need to pray that her husband will let her be baptized! MY FIRST LESSON WITH AN INVESTIGATOR! Yay! I'm glad I didn't go my whole first transfer without one. :)

Then we had a lesson with Kanae shimai [Sister Kanae] (LA) [a less-active member] and Eikaiwai [English class]. It was fun! And I got your letter/package Mom! It was an awesome day. :) It was SO fun to read all your goals and see that everyone's personalities are still intact. :) I loved it. :)

Thursday we went to Morioka for a Sister Training Leader Split! We took a 2 hour bus up there into the snow and jumped right into the split with a mogi [roleplay] with the members. I was with Hyodo shimai [Sister Hyodo] (Nihongin [Japanese]). She's so cute! She finishes on Wednesday! Then we came back together and Orgill shimai and I mogied for them and then we split again and visited members and then had dinner and came back and planned. Hydo shimai has very good English but we spoke mostly Japanese and since she studied programming before her mission she was able to switch our phone into English mode! Hooray!!

Friday, we wrapped up the split with morning study and lunch and then bussed back to Sendai and went to Shabu Shabu (really yummy food) with Cindy (Chinese LA) and read "Pray in Faith" from PMG [Preach My Gospel, the missionary study/teaching manual] (really good!).

Saturday, we went to lunch with Nagase shimai and her friend Yabe-san (who came to the ward Christmas party). At first Yabe-san was very closed off, but by the end she had opened up A TON and shared experiences she had where she felt something (aka the Spirit). And Nagase shimai even opened up more to us (and she'd been way open before). It was amazing how much they trusted us. Yabe-san had lots of questions about missionary life and was very impressed with us and our testimonies of how we'd come to know the church is true and by the end she was smiling and laughing and even said she wanted to meet with us again. It was such good dendo [proselyting]! Her English is amazing.

It's funny, during lunch Yabe-san said to me "You're cute" and then to Orgill shimai "You're adult." We died laughing. (Partially because Orgill shimai told me she always hated being a kid and always wanted to be an adult and I told her that I loved being a kid and never wanted to grow up.) So then she tried correcting herself. "You're cute," she told me. "You're beautiful," she told Orgill shimai. We laughed even harder. :D

Then we came back to Sendai and made cookies for our activity with Kanae shimai (LA) Sunday.

Sunday, after church, we had our cookie decorating activity with Kanae shimai (LA) and Airi-chan [Airi, who is a woman] (preparing for a mission). It went really well! They really seemed to like each other and I hope they will be good friends (and then hopefully Kanae will come to church!).

And guess what else came last night. Transfer calls!! Don't worry, I'm safe. :) Orgill shimai and Kirby shimai and Whittle chorro [Elder Whittle] and Nation chorro and McClellen chorro and I are staying in Sendai. But Thompson chorro (aka Ton-chan) is transfering to Tagajo and Hamano shimai to Izumi and Nishikawa shimmai to Hirosaki and Kim chorro is done and going home! Whittle is getting a Nihongin [Japanese person] as his fellow Zone Leader and McClellen (new District Leader) and Nation will be companions. And guess who gets the only new missionary that's coming to the Sendai mission this transfer. Kirby shimai! And the new bean [greenie] is Nihongin! Haha, we're way excited. Everyone got what they wanted out of transfer calls. But it also means that Kamisugi ward is changing a lot and we'll be going down to only 4 companionships!

Can you believe today's my first day in my second transfer? Holy cow! Time sure does fly!

Thank you all for your support and prayers and letters and emails!!! I love it here! I feel so blessed to be a missionary at this time and to be here in Kamisugi. I can't wait to find out what the Lord has in store for us. I see his hand at work in our lives every single day!

I'm glad you guys got my letter! I'm so excited for Riley! Way to go Basketball team! (What's your team's name and colors?) Mom, your FHE [family home evening] ideas sound awesome! Middle school--what? That's crazy! Lauren, are you excited? Wow, Tyler, lots of awesome oportunities this week! You are amazing! Candice, I'm glad you're enjoying your novels about punctuation. Things sound wonderful!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

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