Tuesday, June 17, 2014

E-mail 6/15/2014

My dear wonderful family,

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!! I love my Daddy! You are amazing! Favorite memories are just spending time with you--watching movies together, playing sports, at the beach, roller coaster rides, family vacations, seeing you at church. I love you!! Always my hero. Rescuing me from bad dreams. Sharing your love and your testimony. You are wonderful. I love you. I hope you have a wonderful father's day!!! Have you done anything fun yet? You'll have to tell me all about it.


Tuesday, all 4 sisters went to Kaneko shimai's [Sister Kaneko's] house and did service with her family. It was so fun! We weeded their entire yard. It took about 4 hours. 

Wednesday started off with an awesome District Meeting about knowing God's will through personal revelation by repentance, humility, and charity. I loved it. It made me want to study that topic more. After that we went to Best Life (retirement home service) for the first time with Elder Patterson and Elder Bethea. It was way cool. We made tissue paper flowers with the residents and talked about English, haha. After that we went to Ueno Junko shimai's [Sister Ueno Junko's] house (LA) [less active] and talked about faith and miracles and then Eikaiwa [English class].

Thursday we had Ladies' Eikaiwa. The topic was illnesses and [we] ended up teaching the students words like "blood transfusion," "911," and "ambulance" and then talking about blood types. They have lots of good questions, haha. Then we had Izumi Meeting and set up the room for our first English choir--which was awesome! We started teaching "I am a Child of God" and it was way cool. Oh, and that night I got your package!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!! The bridesmaid's dress is so cute. I will take a picture in it and send it to you. :) And then maybe you can make a cardboard cutout of me for the wedding.... ;)

Friday morning in personal study I read Alma 26:35.

"Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name."

I love love loved that. We have so many reasons to rejoice and the biggest reason is that we have father in Heaven who has so mercifully given us so many blessings--like our families and the gospel and everything about it. I love him! I love the scriptures! I love my family!

We also had a lesson with Wako-san on Friday. And since I have a Nihongin [Japanese] companion now we have to seiza (kneel) for a lot longer. We seiza-ed for 40 minutes (yes, I was counting). I thought I was going to die. My legs and feet were completely just-got-a-cavity-and-your-mouth-feels-like-rubber numb. I need to practice seiza until I can do it without dying. It's a super handy skill. I should probably teach my kids that too. :) We were able to teach Wako-san a tiny bit of an overview of the Plan of Salvation but she's not really ready to accept the gospel for herself right now. I pray that will change and that her family in the spirit world will can be a part of helping her be ready to accept it.

After Wako-san's lesson we biked up to the Akatsuka's and shared a message about missionary work with Sister Akatsuka and her twins (Lauren's age) using cookies. It was really fun. The cool thing was that after that they walked us over to a less active's house down the street and introduced us to her and then we sang a hymn to her together and then walked us to a couple other houses. Such good member missionary work!! I want to do that when I get back. A perfect way for members and missionaries to come together.

Saturday we had a super fun sports activity--Eikaiwa students came, the Chapman family come, two of the Browne family kids came--and we played soccer and frizbee [frisbee]. It was perfect weather and so much fun. Then we had song practice for Zone Conference as a District. Orr shimai [Sister Orr] is in charge and she's really good. She could definitely go into music education. It was really cool too because she explained why she wanted to sing our song ("I'll go where you want me to go") for President and Sister Rasmussen--that we've been serving with them for so long and now they're going where God wants them to go and we are too just they're two completely different places. And the verse that says "There may be now in the paths of sin some wanderer whom should seek" is about us saying to them I know I've been sent here to Japan to the Sendai Mission to find someone who needs me specifically. And you know what, maybe today I'll find that person, so I'm going to go out there and work as hard as I can so I can find them. That really motivated me. Who am here to find? Who will I connect with instantly? How can I find and recognize them? Orr shimai said she had that experience--and it was with a girl that came to Japan all the way from Switzerland and when they met they connected instantly. So maybe I need to pay more attention to when I feel a connection with someone and then act on it.

And guess what I got in the mail that night. JESSICA JACKSON'S letter. SHE'S GOING TO THE GERMANY FRANKFORT [Frankfurt] MISSION AND REPORTS ON MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone planned that! Oh yeah, I know who... ;) LOVE YOU JESS! SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!!!

Sunday, I translated for YW's [Young Women's], Sunday School and Relief Society. That was pretty funny. Remember how I don't really understand quite yet? There were times when I was translating where I'd have no idea what they were saying but I'd hear something like "shinko (faith)" and I'd understand nothing else so I'd just say "Faith is important." Watanabe shimai [Sister Watanabe] was laughing so hard. Pretty funny. Fun. :) After church I was standing next to Brother and Sister Browne and they were talking about after church plans for their family and it hit me--Oh, that's what normal people do after church. That's pretty cool. Haha, Sundays are super busy for us! We went and visited Ami chan (LA, 14 yr old) and she was home! And we were able to share a message with her about Jesus Christ. It was so good. She didn't know that much about it, so it just felt so right to just teach her about him. Ami chan loved Watanabe shimai. :) Then we visited other people (weren't home) and then on our way back to the apartment we met the Chapmans at a stoplight on their bikes to go to the park! So fun! Everyone in the crosswalk said "Woah! Holy cow!" because 5 blonde America[n]s were crossing the street together, haha. And they invited us over for dinner next week. Love them!

Watanabe shimai is so funny and cute and is really good at talking to people and has the best smile and knows so much! She knows everything. It helps me so much! I am the eternal bean-chan (greenie)--I always learn so much from my companions!! 

Orr shimai and Hamano shimai [Sister Hamano] live in our same apartment. So 4 sisters in an apartment about the size of our kitchen plus keeping room area. I am staying safe on my bike. The weather has been nice. Zone conference and Stake Conference is this week. That may be the last time we see the Rasmussens! The Chapmans are doing great! Love them! We have 8 missionaries in our ward. Hinode kyodai [Brother Hinode] is an awesome Ward Mission Leader. Our ward usually has 90 people in sacrament meeting, a LOT of youth (probably at least 25) and young kids (so fun!). Seminary is fun! I loved the picture of Lauren at graduation! Looked so cute! Summer goals--I'll have to think of some! Mom, I want to see some pictures of your garden. 

Funny story: A coworker came up to Johnson shimai's [Sister Johnson, Katie's old companion] dad and said "I just [saw] two guys in suits and wearing nametags biking in my neighborhood." 
Brother Johnson: "Oh, yeah, those are missionaries." 
Coworker: "Missionaries?" 
Brother Johnson: "Yeah, missionaries. They go around helping people and teaching about God... And they're usually hungry. Maybe you should feed them." 
(a week later, they're talking again) 
Coworker: "Hey, I saw those people you said were missionaries again, and I invited them over for dinner." 
Brother Johnson: "You did??" 
Coworker: "Yeah. They were so kind. So polite. They loved the dinner. And we had a great discussion about God too. We invited them over again next week, too." 

Hahaha! Love it! Go member missionary work!

So, I bet you can tell it's been an awesome week! Miracles miracles. I feel so blessed. I know God loves us. I think he is willing to help us even more than we realize if we are but willing to humbly seek and ask for his help. And he especially wants to help us be happy and serve his children so when we ask for help with that and are trying to do his will he will shower his blessings down on us. I am so grateful! I love this gospel and I love you guys!! You are wonderful, wonderful. 

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have an incredible week. :)


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

[No pictures this week.]

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