Monday, July 7, 2014

E-mail 7/6/2014

My dear wonderful family,

First things first. 


What are your plans? What presents are you getting? Can anything top England? ;) I got your postcard! Thank you thank you! It was so fun to read your email and see pictures! I sent you a birthday card--I'm not sure if it's arrived yet but please know how much I love love love you! I can't wait to hang out when we both end up on the same continent again. You are so funny and smart and such a good example. Can't wait! I love you my favorite older sister!! LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

It's been an incredible week! We met our new mission president, President Smith, our District had a baptismal service, and transfer calls came! Guess where I'm going. 

To Nagamachi!!!!!!!! The place where the mission home is!! I'm so excited! I'm so sad to leave my beautiful wonderful Izumi--I love it here--but I'm also so excited to get to serve with the Mission Home missionaries. I know the Lord has people there that he wants me to meet, teach, serve, and help come unto Christ. I am so excited.

So, a recap on this crazy wonderful week. :)

Monday, we had district P-day [preparation day]--went to Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) and took pictures. Super fun!

Tuesday, we practiced our song for the baptism, taught Ishihara -san.

Wednesday, during personal study I was thinking about what makes me feel really close to God. And I just keep thinking; hearing from him. Hearing words from Him. And then I had this thought come to me; if you want to hear those words from God you have to go to where those words are: conference talks, scriptures, priesthood blessings. Those are the words of Christ spoken by angels (2 Nephi 32:3) and as you search those sources for answers the Holy Ghost will show you your answer--guide you to it and help you to recognize it.

Watanabe shimai [Sister Watanabe] had an ongoing fever ever since we became companions so after we practiced our musical number for the baptism the Elders gave her a priesthood blessing (1/2 in English, 1/2 in Japanese--I thought that was so cool!). I am so grateful for the priesthood. Through priesthood blessings I can tell how much Heavenly Father--and my earthly father :)--really knows and loves me. They help me feel closer to them. They help me feel more humble, more love, more gratitude. I've been thinking about that connection to heaven a lot lately and just been thinking Revelation revelation revelation. I want to know the Spirit. I want to know God. I want to become so much better, so good at receiving and recognizing revelation.

We came back from the priesthood blessing and I reread my patriarchal blessing (I got your letter Mom that asked me if I'd read it recently so I decided to read it again!). So many things stood out to me. 

Before Elder Igawa gave Watanabe shimai the blessing he asked her what she was sick with, how high her fever was, what medicine she was taking, etc. And I thought--of course, standard procedure before giving a blessing...but then I remembered that Elder Igawa was a nursing graduate before his mission and he could actually give professional medical advice. And then her gave her a blessing--attending to both her physical and spiritual needs. Hmm.

Thursday we had our 'Meet the President' Zone Conference. It was so cool! We went to Kamisugi. President and Sister Smith talked to Sendai Zone. Izumi District did a musical number again. The Smiths interviewed everyone. We came to Izumi and did free English class with Misaki chan and Yuriko chan. Had English choir. Super good day. The Smiths are so cool! Sister Smith seems super smart, stylish and bubbly. She can bear her testimony in Japanese! She says she listens to these Japanese tapes to learn how (I want a copy). One of their daughters just got back from a mission in Korea. President Smith served in Fukuoka and was an orthepedic surgeon who did artificial hip and knee replacements. He talked about a dream he had about the tsunami of sin that will destroy us if we are not worthy to exercise our spiritual power to part the tsunami. That power is righteousness. We receive that power through obedience. Obedience is the first law in Heaven. It is the foundation of unlocking the Heavens. We cannot fake it. We either are or we aren't. If we are obedient, if we are worthy to be in the temple, we have the high ground and will have the power to part the waves of the tsunami of sin. Then we can be God's angels in Tohoku to save others from that tsunami. God calls the best that he has. This is the best mission are Earth for you. Let's work together with all our might. 

It was so powerful. I learned so much. He is full of the spirit from all his training from the General Authorities. I am so excited to learn from him.

Acting on what I learned on Wednesday, when I went into my interview with him I asked him if he would give me a blessing. (Thanks for the advice Mom!) It was one of the most powerful blessings I have recieved--with some of the most incredible promises which were the most earnest desires of my heart. Not all of my questions were answered. But the answers and blessings I was promised helped me feel grounded and closer to haven again with the strength to work ever onward and upward to more and more revelation and answers and ever closer and closer to heaven. So if you're praying and you feel like the Lord isn't answering your prayers, look again and remember that the Lord has extended the invitation for all of us to pray to Him and He will answer and bless us with the answers and blessings that will help us the most eternally. So please, take the time to really, truly, sincerely communicate with him! I know it's a challenge. But the blessings are worth every sacrifice.

Friday was the America Day! Haha, I realized it was the 4th of July when we were at the church this morning planning our lesson for Ota-san with Elder Ceasar and Elder Igawa and was about to say "Happy Fourth of July" when I realized I was the only American there. Haha. So I waited until we met up as a District that evening for song rehearsal and Elder Ceasar (Australian) said "Oh, it's America Day today?" Haha. Our lesson with Ota-san went so well! We watched the "Restoration" and he really liked it and he said he would pray and read the Book of Mormon and come to Kawase-san's baptismal service and he really liked the movie. 

Saturday was the baptismal service! It was amazing! Miracle day. Everything worked out. We were even able to have the Sports Activity because the weather was good and one of our Eikaiwa [English class] students who runs Marathons came! I gave a talk about the Holy Ghost, our musical number went really well (If the Savior Stood Beside Me), Elder Patterson (same MTC district) baptized Kawase-san, Ota-san came, Kawase-san (now Brother Kawase) bore his testimony---miracle after miracle after miracle! And Kawase-san asked the missionaries to start teaching him because someone in Sendai stake had a link to on his facebook. Two months of lessons later and he's a member of the church! Miracles! The power of the internet! Use it to do missionary work please! And after the baptism one of the PIs [potential investigators] who came asked if he could start receiving lessons. 

Church was wonderful on Sunday. We went home teaching again. 

God is so good. I feel so blessed.

And you guys sound so wonderful! Zach has a smartphone and Lauren has a cellphone?? Candice it was so fun to hear about your adventures in England! It sounds like it was a cultural experience. :) I love the pictures! Do you have any from Nottingham or Les Mis or Anthony and Cleopatra?

Thank you for all the updates! I love you all so much! Hearing from you makes my week!

Well, I got to go pack. Nagamachi here I come! Wish me luck and the Spirit and happiness!!!

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

[No pictures this week.]

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