Tuesday, June 24, 2014

E-mail 6/22/2014

Hello my wonderful wonderful family!!!

I dreamed about President Rasmussen on Tuesday. I dreamed he took the missionaries to this animal preserve but it was just this giant cage out of in the forest with all these animals running around and they were all really dirty and scruff[y] and this particular raccoon kept following me around, haha. :D

Tuesday, we went up to Yakata (an hour bike away) and visited a ton of people. On our way back we went a different way out of the neighborhood than I've ever been before and made the most incredible discovery; a sidewalk above the main road that looked out from the hill over over the whole valley area. It was the most beautiful, gorgeous view with all these flower[s] and trees and layers and layers of gorgeous, green and blue Japanese mountains in the distance all misty because of the rain earlier. I was just in awe. It was the most beautiful bike ride ever. What a beautiful world Heavenly Father has created for us! He loves us! And the people who live there sure are lucky to have such a beautiful view. And one house we passed has the coolest terraced rose garden--you would've loved it Mom! 

Wednesday, I had a delicious cheese-toast, cabbage, tuna, and tomato sandwhich for lunch. It was delicious. Thought you ought to know. :D Haha, we had seminary and Best Life service (sang for them and Elder Patterson played guitar). It was super fun. Then Eikaiwa [English class].

Thursday was our last Zone Conference with President and Sister Rasmussen. Our District was singing a musical number ("I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go") so we went down to the Kamisugi church early to practice before all the missionaries got there. (We all wore white shirts and black skirts/suits and glasses and the elders wore red ties.) When everyone started arriving we all went to our places on the stage in the Relief Society Room for our Zone Picture and started singing hymns while waiting for President and Sister Rasmussen to arrive. We started singing "How Great Thou Art" when President Rasmussen walked in. He stood at the front of the room whipping tears from his eyes and watching us while we finished singing and then started singing another hymn. And then he said hi to all the visitors and sat down with Sister Rasmussen and the Assistants and Zone Leaders set up the camera and took the picture. Then President and Sister Rasmussen stood by the door and shook everyones' hands as we walked into the chapel for Zone Conference. I was trying so hard not to cry I could barely speak. I love the Rasmussens so much. Then we started Zone Conference.

Sister Rasmussen talked about how before she left for her mission the advice she got from another mission mom was to bring a project you can take with you that you love that you can do while you're waiting for your husband--because you'll do that a lot as a mission mom. :) So Sister Rasmussen bought a cross stitch of a geisha. And 3 years later she's only halfway finished. It's been a busy 3 years! But like a cross stitch we only see the underside of the weaving Heavenly Father is making of our lives. And every thread we cross makes our pattern beautiful. Then President Rasmussen talked about love and being free agents. It was everything I needed to hear. The Assistants did training on good planning. We had an incredible testimony meeting. We played the video we made for the Rasmussens. Our District sang. I said the closing prayer in Japanese. It was so wonderful wonderful wonderful. I didn't want it to end. We love them. We don't want them to leave but we are so happy they get to go back and see their family again.

Friday Watanabe shimai [Sister Watanabe] was sick so I spent the day looking up every member, less active, and old investigator's address and flagging them in our map book and writing down the page number. Then I organized our old investigator records and tabbed, flagged and wrote down why all the old investigators were dropped. Then I made some "how to pray" cards, etc. It was a good day. Then we did an hour of Weekly Planning in the evening because Watanabe shimai was feeling better. The Sister Training Leaders had splits here in Izumi with Shimith shimai [Sister Smith] (from the MTC!!) and Isogai shimai [Sister Isogai] so it was so fun to see them! Watanabe shimai said to me "Do you like organizing? You're good at it. It would be a good job for you." Haha. Yeah, I like it.

Saturday we did weekly and then went down to Kamisugi for Stake Conference. There were so many missionaries there!! Probably 60~70. CRAZY! The theme was Missionary work. So many good talks. Highlights: 
  • Missionary Work: Do what you can; pray, follow the Holy Ghost
  • Read "The Power of Everyday Missionaries", do Elder Ballard's commitment from General Conference (invite someone to recieve the missionary lessons 4 times a year), pray daily for missionary experiences, use the internet to dendo [proselyte]
  • Dendo success is opening our mouth
Sunday we had Stake Conference again--a broadcast from Salt Lake. I didn't understand a thing. Okay, I understood a few things, but I was mostly 100% confused. But some of the speakers served missions in Japan so they spoke in Japanese themselves without translation. So all and all it was really cool! Oikawa shimai [Sister Oikawa] didn't come to stake conference. :( But I did get to say hi to a lot of other Kamisugi people liek [like] Muto shimai [Sister Muto], Furukawa shimai [Sister Furukawa], Ishizaki kyoudai [Brother Ishizaki] and Aizawa shimai [Sister Aizawa] so that was cool. We also had dinner at the Chapman family's house that night which was so wonderful. Love them.

So fun to hear all you are up to! So excited for Shelby. And it soon will be JULY!! I love you guys so much. You bring me so much joy. Thank you thank you for all you are doing. I know God loves you and is watching over you for me. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. Brother Browne in Izumi Ward is SUPER good at Japanese and I'm attaching the vocab packet his mission president gave the missionaries when he served in Japan. It has a few mistakes as it's 15 years old but thought you might like it!

P.P.S. I have pictures to send you (including one in the bridesmaid's dress!) but I brought the wrong cord so I'll have to send them next week--sorry!

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