Sunday, March 23, 2014

E-mail 3/2/2014

My dear wonderful family!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wish I could be there but I will be celebrating in Japan for you! I love you bunches and bunches and hope your birthday isn't too busy and you get to spend some time with the family and enjoy some tennis and the outdoors. :) Hopefully the weather will be nice! I love you!!!!! Thank you so much for all that you do for our family!!! I love you!!!
This week was incredible! Our investigators are making such progress! So happy for them! But, alas, I'm transfering! :( But only 20 minutes up the road so I'll pray I'll be able to come back for Oikawa shimai's [Sister Oikawa's] baptism. :) And Orgill shimai's [Sister Orgill's] new companions will be Hayashi shimai [Sister Hayashi] (5th transfer Nihongin [Japanese]) and Smith shimai [Sister Smith] (from my doki [MTC training group])!
Wednesday, we had a Nihongo [Japanese] lesson with Nagaoka shimai [Sister Nagaoka] and some of her non-member friends, but the funny part was when it turned into a Orgill shimai jam session. Another one of those Orgill shimai's an iPod things. It was super funny! Then we had lunch at a Sushiya with Sugawara shimai [Sister Sugawara] (Eikaiwa [English class] coordinator) and then Eikaiwa--but in the chapel because the carpet in the hall by the Relief Society room was getting redone. We had a new student in our class too so that was fun. She was super cute.
Thursday after study we bused over to "Stamina" an all-you-can eat place for Nation choro's [Elder Nation's] last District Lunch. It was super fun! Orgill shimai told the Story of Bellows shimai and I told the story of Orgill shimai. :) Then we went to Oikawa shimai's and watched the Testaments with her and afterwards she said "Oh, the Book of Mormon is definately true." :) We made a Book of Mormon reading plan with her and a prayer idea poster and Orgill shimai said "Oh, do you want to write on there 'please help me prepare for my baptism?'" And Oikawa shimai said "Oh, definately!" and wrote it down. :) Then we went over to the church for our trio practice for Zone Conference and Johnson shimai and Luk shimai [Sister Johnson and Sister Luk] stayed at our apartment that night, so Orgill shimai said to Luk shimai "Watashitachi no kasa wa anatatachi no kasa." ["My umbrella is your umbrella."] "Kasa" in Japanese is "umbrella." :D Heehee.
Friday, we went over to the church early for Orgill shimai's interview with Aoyagi choro [Elder Aoyagi of the Seventy] and ran through a couple parts in our piece. When Aoyagi choro arrive he shook hands with everyone in the hallway and then went straight into his interviews. At10:30 the converence began! Highlights:
President Rasmussen:
  • "I don't know a abetter way to put it but I love sacrificing for the Lord because it doesn't feel like a sacrifice anymore."
  • There is not one type of den[d]o [proselyting] that leads to baptisms; only faith and effort
  • This year's world-wide church theme is spiritual self-reliance
  • This is just the beginning of your service for the rest of your life. So do it well so that you'll be prepared for the rest of your life.
  • Why did God send you here?
  • (quote from the First Presidency) "The most important part of your service will be your own daily spiritual preparation, including prayer, scripture study, and obedience to the commandments. We encourage you to dedicate yourself to living the gospel with greater purpose than ever before. The Holy Ghost will help you know what to do. Your own testimony will grow, your conversion will be deepened, and you will be strengthened to meet the challenges of life."
Aoyagi Choro:
  • How does the Spirit work?
  • Have you ever experienced revelation through a dream?
  • When we feel the Holy Ghost we'll feel peace
  • This is the power of the Atonement
  • To achieve this state we must keep our covenants
  • Priesthood = powers of heaven
  • Powers of Heaven = Holy Ghost
  • The first of the 10 commandments is no other Gods before me. Why? Because we need to rely on God
  • The natural man is very good at loving himself
  • If we dont' love we can't dendo
  • We can work with anyone and do anything through repentence
Rasmussen Shimai [Sister Rasmussen, the mission president's wife]:
  • People pray for us every day--the Temple workers, our families, the General Authorities
  • We cannot fail with that kind of support behind us
  • We took a survey in prep for Zone Conference and that servey asked 2 types of questions: How obedient are you to the White Handbook? How well do you follow Preach My Gospel?
  • This was so they could see the mission's strengths and weaknesses as a whole
  • Obedience builds us an armour of protection
Aoyagi Shimai [Sister Aoyagi, the Seventy's wife]:
  • Even though you're young you can develop the skills you need to be a senpai [senior companion? leader?]
  • You are called and will be qualified
  • Fundamentals: Smile, Don't stop at 'hello', Work a lot
Aoyagi Choro:
  • We are to spread the love of Christ
  • We must be overflowing with it
  • When they feel it their hearts will be softened
  • Moroni 8:16
  • Hope is trust in the Atonement
  • It is our responsibility to gather the House of Israel and build up Zion
  • Find out from God how many people are ready to be taught and baptized in your area
President Rasmussen:
  • Heavenly Father loves us so he gave us the Holy Ghost to be our companion for our entire lives, and the Atonement to allow us to return to and become like Him
The Spirit was powerful. I felt the reality of Aoyagi Choro's calling. We sang right before Aoyagi Choro spoke the 2nd time. When we sang, God blessed us to be able to sing beautifully and the Spirit filled the room. It was incredible. It was what I'd prayed for. I felt so grateful. Aoyagi Choro was humble, kind, greeted and talked to everyone, expressed love, and used incredibly difficult Japanese. He was a wonderful example.
Oh, and Orgill shimai translated into English during the Conference. Casually being amazing. You know. :D
After the Conference we had DCS. Ishizaki kyodai [Brother Ishizaki] encouraged us to do as Aoyagi choro counseled and promised blessings. He also said he dendoed all the way home from his mission--and went streeting when he had a layover in Tokyo! :)
And that night I got letters from Mom and Paige!!! It was an incredible day!
Saturday was AWESOME! After lunch we had a mogi [roleplay] with Watanabe shimai [Sister Watanabe] about the Word of Wisdom (practice for Ishibashi-san) and she had some really great suggestions. Then we started weekly and Orgill shimai translated an entire Mormon Message video about Falconry into Japanese for our lesson. Then we had a lesson with Kanae shimai [Sister Kanae] (LA [less-active]). We started off with everyone writing down their #3 most important thigns to them down. Mine were: Family, Relationship with God, Becoming Better. Kanae shimai's were: Family, Money, and Sleep. Then we talked about the Atonement (she didn't remember what it was) and how through ti we can become better peopel and then watched the "Saved by Christ" Mormon Message (with Orgill shimai translating). Miracle: the room we needed to use for the video had previously been occupied with 3 little kids playing nintendo but when we went in there to watch the video it was empty and quiet--amazing! Kanae shimai seemed to like the video and told us she'd read Mosiah 4 (ketsui [assignment?] from last time) and said she'd read Henry B. Eyring's April 2013 Talk "Come Unto Me" and 3 Nephi 17. It was pretty good--and a miracle it came together since we'd been struggling with what to teach her.
Then we biked to Oikawa shimai's, bought her corn soup and elevatored up to the 9th floor. We ran the doorbell. She opened the door, saw the corn soup, and let us in. :D We prayed to open the lesson and she sat there after the prayer looking all sad so we said "What's wrong?" and she said "I didn't read [the commitment we'd given her]." She felt so bad--which is good, she's changing! So we encouraged her and told her we wanted to talk about baptism and she got super focused. We asked her all the interview questions and she has a super strong testimony! She needed to learn more about prophets, and a couple commandments we hadn't explained yet, but she was fine on everything else. She was so excited about her baptism; she kept on asking "What do I need to bring?" and "What should I wear?" and all these other questions. It was soooo cute. :) Then, since she's been struggling with reading the Book fo Mormon we gave her the audio CDs and popped one in her player and turned it on...
11 minutes of her reading hte first chapter of 3 Nephi in silence along with the audio.
It was AWESOME!!!
I have never seen her so focused!! It was exactly what she needed. It was so cute!
Then she said the closing prayer and she asked Heaven Father to help her prepare for baptism and to be able to draw closer to Him.
Sunday we went to Church with Oikawa shimai. And it was super cool because during Sunday School I was able to explain things to her in Japanese. Miracle! So cool! Then after church we had a joint lesson (for Oikawa shimai) with Furukawa Bishop [Bishop Furukawa] and Muto shimai [Sister Muto] and taught about prophets and tithing. It was amazing! She was so focused and loved the way Bishop explained things to her. She really liked him.
Then we came back and finished 12 weeks (my training is over!) and did weekly and then had hokoku (reporting our numbers to the District Leader--I don't know what it's called in English). Then we had the yabai [dangerous] Furukawa feast. :) Kirby shimaitachi's investigator Donna and her husband Tom (who was Furukawa shimai's high school English teacher) came. They were super interesting and interested in missionaries and what we do and asked lots of questions. They raised their family in Japan (even though they're from Illinois and Pennsylvania) and talked about how hared [hard] it was to raise bilingual kids (for some of their kids their first langauge was Japanes, not English even though they're 100% American). Then we came back to the apartment and transfer calls came!!!!!!!!
I am transfering to Izumi. Orgill shimai gets 2 new companions. Nation choro is done and will be going home. McC[l]ellen choro [Elder McClellan] will have a new companion. Crazy!
I don't want to leave, but I am choosing to be happy about it. I'm so grateful for the time I've been able to have in Kamisugi with Orgill shimai as my trainer! I've been SO blessed and learned SO much! I will always be grateful!
Thank you so much for your awesome emails and letter!!!! I love you all so much and I love hearing about all you are doing!!! How did you hear about my singing? Thank you for doing my taxes. Cool temple story! I wish I could see the new temple videos! Another vehicle to the Bellows family caravaan. Haha, you'll have to send pictures! Good luck with Vegas and Stake Conference! I want to see pictures of your creations Mom! Love the rugby pictures! Persim[m]ons! Mom, thank you for your spiritual insights! Lauren, you will be a great middle schooler! You are a super good friend and super kind and wise and that's what's most important. :) All County Choir--I loved that too! It's so fun! I'm so glad Sister Shepherd is healing! Glad Zach is staying safe during ru[g]by! I hope Nathan recovers quickly. :( Good luck with your tests and research Tyler! I'll be praying for you! Your Stake Conference sounds like it was super good! Candice, the tutoring sounds like it's keeping you busy! What's your observations/fieldwork paper on? Good luck! The ski trip sound like it was awesome! Coach Thomas--of course! I didn't know him as anything but Coach Thomas, haha. Hope school is going well Zach!
Thank you thank you thank you!! I am so blessed by my amazing family!! Happy birthday Dad!!
I'm excited to get to know my new area. Time to start packing for Izumi!
I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your missionary,
Bellows shimai :)

No comments:

Post a Comment