Sunday, March 23, 2014

E-mail 2/24/2014

Hello my wonderful wonderful family!

I've been informed that the last 2 or 3 weeks of a transfer are the busiest and boy are things busy! It's been wonderful! So many amazing things happening I can hardly remember them all but I'll try my best!

Because the church wants to be able to start having times available to people to be able to take tours of the church buildings, the Kamisugi area is test-running having missionaries do their studying at the church in the mornings--thus being available to give tours--to see if it's effective. Therefore, Tuesday morning we had our first study block at the church. We [put] these giant shopping bags full of books into our bike baskets and bike/skated to teh [the] church (boy wa[s] it icy!). We settled into the Primary room for personal study while Kirby shimaitachi [Sister Kirby] set up the "Visitors Welcome"/tour sign up out front. (About 30 minutes into study time Kirby shimaitachi came into our room holding the sign and said "It blew off and ten cars ran over it, but it's okay we washed it off but we think we'll wait until we get a better sign before putting it up again." XD) After that we totsu-zen [totally?] visited one of our investigators who's been too busy to meet with us lately (Shibata-san) and she actually let us in! My first real chance to talk with her! She's a practicing Buddhist so she told us lots of cools tudy about that and we were able to share a message about prayer with her. She said her heart was touched by the missionaries and she needs their words because of her marriage problems. She just wants to be happy and have a lasting marriage. We think if she can see that how we can help is through the gospel message she will progress. You can tell she's a really good mom and has a wonderful relationship with her 7-year-old daughter. I learned a ton about them. It was a super good first meeting (for me).

From there we hurried over to Muto shimai's [Sister Muto's] house for our mogi [roleplay] and she fed us this GIANT delicious dinner. From there we biked over to the church for DCS during which Ishizaki kyodai [Brother Ishizaki] shared a message about teaching to people's needs. He said: Take really good care of your (new) investigators. You coudl be their first and last missionaries. What are they looking for? What are they searching for? What are THEIR needs? What are they hungry for? They won't feast when they're not hungry. How can you relate the gospel to them? Find out what they like, waht they want and apply the gospel principles they're hungry for to them. What if this is their last chance ot meet missionaries? Calling out and talking to every person is very important. Have faith and talk to everyone.

Wednesday, we mogied The Gospel of Jesus Christ with Aizawa shimai [Sister Aizawa] and she gave us some really helpful advice and then asked us "So are you excited for Aoyagi chorro [Elder Aoyagi] (the 70) to come?" Of course! "I'm nervous!" And then she told us stories about times when Seventies have come with great power and the Spirit of Prophecy. Let's you know that these people really are the judges of Israel. :) Then we went over to Oikawa shimai's house and talked about which teas are and aren't dame [bad] and she wrote them down on a piece of paper and taped it on her wall. :) Then we had district practice for our dist[r]ict musical number (for Sacrament Meeting). Then we had Eikaiwa [English class]!

Thursday as I was flipping through D&C during personal study the pages fell open to Section 31--one of my most favorite sections. What I love most about that section is that the voice with which the Lord speaks in that section is FULL of love. God's love is perfect. He is full of love. He wants to bless us. He is not a harsh God. He is a loving God. And if we truly want to become like Him, we must also be filled with love.

After study that morning we had District Meeting and talked about 1 Cor. 12:9-10 and John 15:16 and how you don't need to fear defeat when you're engaged in a good cause. We also read the conversion stories of people in our stake and talked about how most converst [converts] in Japan were exposed to Eikaiwa, and through feeling love from tehmissionareis [the missionaries] they pursued our message.

After District Meeting we all decided to get Indian food, so we went on this crazy path down tot he Eki adn [to the station and] then took a bike elevator all the way up to park on the roof ot his [of this] 9 floor building. It was beautiful! Fluffly blue sky, shinning sun, I insisted on taking pictures. :) And then, of course, we had Indian curry for lunch.

Then we went to visit Oikawa shimai but she wasn't home so we housed her apartment building (9 floors) and found 2 PIs [potential investigators] and then went back to see if she was home and she was! So we watched the Restoration video with her... and she said she'd be baptizedon March 14th if she knows it's true!

Friday we studied at the church again and then visited a bunch of PIs and LAs [less-actives] but none of them were home so we started weekly and Tomita-san called us and said she could meet so we met her at the church and talked a long time (teaching/listening). She has a lot of doubts about baptism. She said "In Japan you belong to your family and accept whatever beliefs they have." So when she married into the Tomita family she adopted their religion of shinto and departing from that would mean leaving her family. She thinks all Christian religions teach the same doctrines and that there are good things written in the Book of Mormon, but she's "a Tomita and Tomitas aren't Christian." :/ We invited her to church but she says she's busy until she moves to Tokyo next month. It seems like culturally Japanese people are uncomfortable with being happy or different and because of that they struggle with accepting the gospel because that's what the gospel is all about.

After that we had a Fireside Planning Meeting with the ward Missionaries and Ishizaki kyodai [Brother Ishizaki] shared a spiritual message about how we need God's power to do HIs work. He said: Ke[e]p your spiritual ears open. With all your own power you cannot succeed. It is HIs work. You need His power. You get it through finding out what he wants you to do. There is success in the work when you have God's power. Pray to know how you are supposed to help these people and to find out why you're supposed to be here with your companion. God put you two together for a reason--find it out! It was way good.

Then we had song practiced, planned, prayed. :)

As a result of District Meeting on Thursday we set a goal to achieve the mission Standards of Excellence by having 1 new baptismal date and 6 LA rescue points. We'd been trying super hard to get into contact with our LAs all week but none of them had returned our calls. So Saturday we decided to try a different tactic. We found scriptures for each othem, copied them at the church and taped them to cute notes, and took the notes and Ishiiya [a bakery they like] goodies to each of their doorsteps. It was super good dendo [proselyting]! They loved it!

Sunday morning we went over to pick up Oikawa-san for church but she said she was sick so we went to the chruch and practiced the District Musical Number (Be Still My Soul) with everyone, which we then performed in Sacrament Meeting. :) After church we had a potluck/fireside about our ward goal of making our ward friendly to new people who come. Then we tried visiting Oikawa shimai and calling some other people but none of them answered. (Turns out Oikawa shimai tried to come to church but got lost again!)

Yesterday we biked up the mountain and taught Ishibashi-san about prophets and gave her a General Conference talk. She wasn't super interested in the idea of modern prophets but says she wants to learn about the Word of Wisdom again so we took that as a good sign. Then we subwayed to the Eki [station] for district Chirashi kubari [flyer distribution] and then biked to the church and carpooled over to Oikawa shimai's and picked her up for Honbu FHE [mission home family home evening], had FHE at the honbu (Oikawa shimai fell asleep during the spiritual message but loved the des[s]ert and afterward told me all about how she loves William Faulkner and his book "Absolam, Absolam"--she's classy :D).

So, yeah, been a little busy lately. :D

I'm glad things went so well with Tyler getting back to Utah! Keeping busy as usual. ;) Dad, that meeting with Elder Parker sounds amazing! That's crazy that you ran into Taylor! Candice that ski trip sounds like a blast! I am keeping nice and warm in my boots and coat. :) I love my coat! I was the leader for everything this week (for my 12 week training) but I managed not to get us lost once even biking, bussing, and subwaying. :) Zone conference is Friday. The trio won't be accompanied. (Pray our voices all stay healthy so we can sing well!) Nation chorro [Elder Nation] can sing but doesn't really--but improvises really well on the piano. Aoyagi chorro [Elder Aoyagi of the Seventy] will be coming. :) Our appointment with Shizuka-can (the 20 year old NQ babysitter) fell through (we knocked but no one answered). So we haven't been able to contact her yet but hopefully soon. I'll have to ask if people celebrate greenery day here. Woah, I've been out for 5 months? Wow! Getting your wisdom teeth out will be fun Zach! :D My talent-show little sister--way to go! Shelby's putting her papers in??? That's awesome!!

Thank you so much for all your letters and email and love and support and prayers and sending me the music and FHE pictures! Thank you thank you! I love hearing about all you are up to and how the ward is and the missionary work--I love it! I hope you are all doing well. :) I'm so happy about all that you are doing. :)

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. Got a letter from Justine yesterday! Sounds like she's doing great. :)

P.P.P.S. Candice I was thinking about the Colors book the other day and how it works with companions. So far I've had a Yellow-white and a Red-yellow. What do you think?

P.P.P.P.S. Paige (Winegar) is becoming a Sister Training Leader. Crazy!

P.P.P.P.P.S. I love you!!!!

P.....S. We will be coming back to email again later today, probably at 3pm our time, so don't worry if you haven't had a chance to email yet or had any questions about anything because I will be back later so check again if you have any of those things. :) Love you!!!!!!!

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