Tuesday, July 1, 2014

E-mail 6/30/2014

My wonderful family!!

Hello hello!

Week highlights:

Monday we went to the last Honbu FHE [mission home family home evening] with President and Sister Rasmussen with the Akatsuka family, Sato family, and Sister Sato's friend Honda-san and her daughter. We (of course) loved it and it seemed like they loved it too so that was awesome!

Tuesday, I got Tyler and Kelsea's wedding announcement!!

Wednesday in seminary they talked about the last two chapters of Mosiah which I love! One is all about missionary work and the other is all about setting up the system of judges which I find fascinating. 

Thursday we went to visit Sister Fukutsu (70 or 80 years old) and she was watering her hydrangea bush from her first floor window when we biked up and she immediately saw us and said "Come in, come in! It's hot! Come in!" So we parked our bikes and went in and she fed us fresh pineapple, Calipis (drink), senbe and chocolate. It was so amazing. (She can barely walk--the members take turns picking her up for church because she lives by herself.) Then we shared a little message about faith, asked her conversion story, and then her friend came to the door so she went and talked to her for about 20 minutes--sharing the gospel with her! (How's prayer going? Come to church! Come inside and meet my friends the missionaries!) But her friend had to go. I loved it! Called being a member missionary until the end. :D We also have been given lots of fresh cherries lately--and I successfully tied a cherry stem into a knot with my mouth. I'm very proud of myself. :D

Friday we visited Nomura-san. Her husband was very clear he doesn't like us or church (very rude/forward. I didn't understand what he said--blessing of serving in Japan.) 

Saturday we had the ward BBQ. Ate lots of very Japanese things like sweet potatoes and mushrooms and soy sauce, haha. It was delicious! Then we went to Sister Fujimura's house (LA) [less active] and did service. Brother Kikkuchi weed-wacked her huge backyard and we put all the cuttings in trash bags (trash bags are completely different in Japan--clear with red or green writing depending on if it's burnable or plastic). 

Sunday was a super cool day. Since the Browne family moves to Tokyo next Sunday Brother and Sister Browne both spoke (Brother Browne translated for Sister Browne) and Brother Chapman and Elder Igawa spoke. The Sacrament Meeting theme was missionary work!! Elder Igawa spoke about an experience that helped him become converted and want to serve a mission. Brother Chapman talked about every member being a missionary by living the gospel and always being ready to share our testimonies with all who are around us. As we live the gospel missionary opportunities will present themselves. Sister Browne talked about how she used to be afraid to invite people to learn more about the gospel. She was always so scared when the missionaries asked her if there was anyone she wanted to share the gospel with--because she did but she was afraid to. And one day she felt; just bear your testimony. And she did. And the experience she had was a day to rival her wedding and having kids. Then she bore her testimony that the people living in the Izumi area are ready to hear the gospel, the missionaries are ready to teach it, and we as the members need to share it--and then the missionary work will explode in Izumi. When we share the gospel we will feel so much joy we will want to share the gospel more--the best kind of addiction there is. Then Brother Browne talked about how we can overcome the obstacles of fear and competing priorities to actively share the gospel through showing love and prioritizing missionary work in our lives. When [he] received his mission called to Japan he had no idea what impact it would have on his life--it strengthened his testimony, helped him marry in the temple, and have a family. He said "the best thing to hear your son say is 'the Lord is answering my prayers.''

It was such a good sacrament meeting. After church we went home teaching (yes, it was a first for me) with Brother Omori to the Sasaki couple and Iwasa family. I felt like the triumphant home-teaching trio as we biked up and down the Izumi hills together with my rain coat flapping behind me in the wind. :) It was an awesome way for the members and missionaries to work together. (Also Izumi's Visiting/Home Teaching percentage is only 30 percent so we were really happy he wanted to go!) On our way back home from our appointments we weren't quite sure which way to go so Sister Watanabe turned to the person next to the stoplight and said "Michi o oshite kudasai" and the guy answered back "Nihongo [Japanese] ..." and shook his head. She said "Do you speak English?" and he said "Yes." Turns out he's from Italy and wants to speak English. His name is Michael. I'm praying he comes to Eikaiwa [English class]!!! And he helped us figure out where to go. :) It was so cool! 

Thank you so much for your emails this week! I loved them. I can always feel your love so much from your emails and it makes me feel so good--like I can do anything. 

President and Sister Rasmussen finished their mission on Saturday and went back to America. We will miss them! We should be meeting President Smith soon. I'm excited to learn more about him.

I was reading a lot of Conference talks this week and just felt the Spirit so strong, like every message was for me. I am so grateful for modern day prophets and leaders who receive revelation for US. I need revelation. Every minute. Every day. 

I love you all soooo much! I can't wait to hear each week from you. I love love love you!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

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