Tuesday, July 29, 2014

E-mail, 7/27/2014

My dear family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I am so happy for you!! The pictures are BEAUTIFUL. Everything looks like it was perfect. I had no idea your clothes arrived 30 minutes before the wedding. We have some excellent ironers in the family. :D I am so so so happy for you. I saw the picture of Tyler and Kelsea walking out of the temple and just burst into tears. You looked so perfect. :) I am so happy you have both found the right person for each other and are moving forward with faith toward Christ! I thought of you on Friday and Saturday--On Friday I wrote in my journal "So in America Tyler and Kelsea get married on this day! I can't wait to see pictures on Monday!" and on Saturday "Tyler and Kelsea are officially married in America!" It was fun to imagine exactly when things were happening in America while I was dendoing [proselyting] in Japan. I couldn't be happier for you. You look like what I imagine heaven will look like.

What a wonderful weekend! My wonderful wonderful family! You must all be tired! Many many congratulations. This is the culmination of a lifetime of preparation. It has paid off beautifully--and will continue to pay off for the rest of eternity! Yay! Celebrate!

Speaking of celebrations, there is going to be one party after another at the Bellows family home, isn't there. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope my card gets to you soon. What a perfect time to celebrate! So many blessings to rejoice in! And my favorite blessing is YOU!!!!!!! I love you so much!! Thank you for all you have done! Your life blesses mine every day and will bless mine for the rest of eternity! I love you so much!!! You are such a good example to me!!

With all that excitement I'm surprised I've been able to sleep this week. :) Things have been great here in Japan too!

Tuesday we went up to Morioka for splits with the Sister Training Leaders. It took a train ride and a 2 hour bus ride but we arrived to beautiful weather and Sister Butler and I went around Morioka together and (after an appointment with a member) walked around Morioka talking to people and inviting them to Eikaiwa [English class] and to learn about the gospel. Lots of miracles! For instance, we met a man from Africa who has the Bible in French on his iPod. (He asked if I could speak French. All I could remember is Sa va? [How's it going?] And then when he asked me Sa va? I said "Genki desu!" [I'm fine--in Japanese. :D] haha.) Turns out he leaves for Africa next week but gave us his address in Africa so we can mail him a French Book of Mormon and he said he would meet it. The next person we met was his friend from school who gave us her cell phone number and said we can contact her to get him a Book of Mormon before he leaves to return home. Miracles!! 

Wednesday we came back to Nagamachi and got back around 3 pm went over to give cookies to our LA [less-active member] and then had Eikaiwa chirashi kubari [flyer distribution for Eikaiwa] and then Eikaiwa--and we actually had kids come for our kids' class!! They were so cute!! A boy and two little girls and they told us about Disney the entire time. So fun! We played "Mr. Wolf, Mr. Wolf, what time is it?" with them and they loved it. Love them!!

Thursday we 2 visits with members and then District Meeting and then chirashi kubari. And I met a Swedish man! He was coming out of Ikea! 

I said: Where are you from?
Swedish man: Sweden.
I said: That makes since [sense] since you were just in Ikea!
Swedish man: *laughing* I work there.
I said: Cool! I'm a missionary, but we also teach English and we're handing out flyers.
Swedish man: Near Ikea is a good place to do it then. Good luck!
What I should have said: I am a descendant of Sweden let's be friends.
My life's mission: Go to Ikea and re-find my Swedish friend and build a Swedish empire with Ikea and Eikaiwa flyers.

After chirashi kubari we went over to McDonalds and they had this quote on their wall:

I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable, beautiful,
And afraid of nothing
As though I had wings.

So it was a great day. :)

Friday the 4 sisters took the train to meet up with Okumura shimai [Sister Okumura] to do volunteer hand massage service at a temporary housing place. That sounds sketchy. It wasn't. It was so fun! We just talked to these young grandmans [grandmas] while we gave them hand massages and Hall shimai [Sister Hall] played the piano and Okumura shimai did foot massages. Okumura shimai had these fancy essential oils and everything too so we were basically a spa. It was so fun! What a great service. Love it. Nice smell too. :) 

Then we came back and visited a less active whose house was decorated exactly like Grandma Bellows' (plus Japan). It was so cool to look around and be like "if Grandma Bellows was Japanese this is what her house would look like." Suzuki shimai [Sister Suzuki] was super nice and we talked about family history and she showed us pictures of her when she was a new member of the church. Very cool.

Yim shimai [Sister Yim] let me borrow her extra copy of "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" so I've been reading it lately. It is so good!!!!!!!!!! I learned so much! I love it! The most important thing I learned is that to receive revelation from God we must learn to ask Him questions. He will reveal many great and important things to us--provided that we keep asking him questions. He wants us to ask a lot of questions! He gives us answers when we ask questions. So figure out the right questions to ask. And find the people with questions! (especially questions about religion) Because they are the ones who are ready to learn. Amazing!

Saturday we did chirashi kubari, met with a member, and had dinner with the Imano family. Delicious. They are amazing. Dinner conversation was so fun. We laughed so much. And Hall shimai and Tsuchida shimai [Sister Tsuchida] did a great spiritual message about the worth of a crumpled up 100 dollar bill. It was awesome.

In my personal study I was magically on page 107 in PMG [Preach My Gospel] which is "The Book of Mormon Answers the Question of the Soul"--an appropriate place to be considering what I learned from "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" the day before! It's such a good section of PMG! One of the things it said in there is that "God's commandments are the guideposts to a happy abundant life." And when I read that it made this image pop into my mind; imagine you're driving down a mountain in the dark and it's really steep and where the road ends is a cliff off the side of the mountain. Aren't you glad for the guideposts? They keep you safe! They help you see where the edge of the road is and keep you safely on the right side. If you didn't have those you wouldn't be able to see where the safety is and might drive off the edge and definitely get hurt. I'm so thankful for the guideposts of the gospel!

Also, I've been praying for help to be able to really be effective during language study and it's been going a lot better. It's been really helpful. I hope Heavenly Father will help me to be able to find a study plan/pattern that will work for me and best help me learn and master the language of Japanese so I can use it to help other people. I want to be able to connect with people with Japanese and really understand what they're saying and be able to translate for others and be uplifted by the Japanese I hear and read especially at church (where it's pretty tough to understand what's being said). I will do my best and ask Heavenly Father for help!

Sunday the missionaries sang "The Spirit of God" in sacrament meeting with the ward choir. 2 college girls came for a school project and we got to talk to them. I translated a little bit for Sister Taylor (new office couple missionary). Then Sister Yim and I taught the PMG class on L4 [Lesson 4]: Scripture Study and started things off with 10000 yen bill and some pens in a paper bag and said "What is in here is really important. Do you believe me?" And then 1 by 1 let people see for themselves. It was way fun! Then we talked about how it's good to believe based on others' testimonies but it's better to gain your own testimony through personal experience. Then we read PMG pg 191 and talked about why it's important to have personal spiritual experiences. Then we pointed out the last bullet point (the commandments) and asked how can keeping the commandments strengthen personal conversion? Then we explained Lesson 4 and read page 73--Study the Scriptures and listed the blessings of Scripture Study. Then we talked about [t]he study method from "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" that we can teach investigators to help them learn how to study the scriptures and invited everyone to try the method for themselves. It was really fun. 

And I made onion rings. No recipe just tried it out. And it was yummy! Cool. :)

So it's been another great week! I LOVE all the wedding pictures. You all look so happy and smiley. It made my day. Tyler and Kelsea look radiant. Mom, you look beautiful. Candice and Lauren and Zach all look sutecki [nice]!! So did you Dad, I love the tie you wore. Otsukaresamadesu [cheers for good work?]! You must all be exhausted from so much happiness. ;) HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! Take a good long nap my wonderful family of mine! I love you! Welcome to the Bellows Family--the best in the world. :)

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

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