Monday, August 11, 2014

E-mail, 8/11/2014

My dear wonderful family,

It sounds like the open house was amazing!!! I LOVE THE PICTURES YOU SENT!!!! My good looking family :D. I can't wait to see the ones from Brother Yochim as well. Bishop Tanner is our new home teacher--pretty cool!! Candice--that is so exciting about starting everything! So amazing!! 

I realized the other day that I'm almost done with the only summer I will spend in Japan. Crazy!! I guess that means the Bellows Family will be going back to school in a few weeks--have you had a chance to have summer yet? :D 

Lots has happened this week!

Tuesday we had Eikaiwa meeting and then a mogi [roleplay] with Nishimura shimai (Sister Nishimura). Then we stopped by a Mr. Doughnuts for lunch before we biked the rest of the way to an LA's [less-active member's] house but it looked like she might have customers over so we housed [knocked on doors in] her neighborhood while we waited and met 2 really nice people. 1 was a man named Goto-san who wasn't interested in religion (even though he was all about Agency, haha) but kept on using English while we were talking to him so we mentioned Eikaiwa [English class] and he got super excited and we gave him a flyer and invited him and then kept housing. Then we met this lady who gave us marygolds [marigolds], sports drink, allowed us to help her husk her corn and then asked us about our message and our purpose. Really felt the Spirit while we talked to her. We sang a hymn together and read together from the Book of Mormon on her front porch. Her husband and her dog were there too and she said it was okay for us to stop by again but didn't have a specific time. Then we went back to the LA's house and rang the door but her customer was still there so she couldn't talk but she gave us her phone number so we could call and set up an appointment. 

Then we came back to the apartment and did language study and planning and then watched a Mormon Message DVD we borrowed from Elder Low. The first one was the "Because of Him" video. I like to call it the Second Chances video. With all that was going on when I watched that I just started crying. I felt such comfort and peace--that whatever happens it will all be okay because of Him. I can try again and again and again. We went on and watched other videos, but that same peace stayed with me. When I crawled into bed on my knees to say my evening prayer I could still feel it. Peace. Like a warm feeling of comfort wrapped around me. And I prayed in faith and gratitude to God. I know everything will be okay because of Him. I know that my Redeemer lives. I know my Father in Heaven loves me. I know that I am supposed to be here in this mission in this apartment with these people at this time to learn things I could not learn any other way. My experiences with these sisters has helped me develop a greater love for others and a greater desire to serve, show love, help, and be Christ-like at all times--to everyone-with the hope that I can make some difference to some one to help make their burden lighter and their journey more joyful and to be able to walk their path all the way to the end. 

It has also strengthened my desire to love and help my fellow missionaries.

Maybe I can be a helping hand to them on their 18 or 24 month journey. Maybe I can be the hand that keeps them from falling.

We can all make it. 

Our journeys are not just about ourselves making it. We can make it together better than we can alone.

We can all make it.

We don't have to beat up each other or ourselves. We don't have to be hard on people or exacting or mean.

If we just love and help and serve.

If we obey with kindness and speak without judgment, if we understand that everyone has their own ideas and comes with their own background and knowledge and that we are all equal in our Heavenly Father's eyes, if we truly see people as children of our Heavenly Father with the potential to become like Him and that our responsibility is to do all we can to help and support others in our mutual quest for salvation and eternal exaltation won't we truly be disciples of our God?

Won't we truly be filled with charity and love and hope and patience and courage and faith and obedience and humility and all other Christ-like attributes? Won't we truly desire to share the gospel with everyone? Won't we be filled with the Holy Ghost to lead us and guide us and help us find and teach an baptize and plant seeds Won't we--despite trial and sorrow--be filled with peace and joy? I think this is the key to true happiness in missionary life--and after we return.

Being disciples about Christ is about more than just ourselves and our needs. It is about looking beyond ourselves. It is thinking of others before me. The call of missionary work is the call to be Christ-like. It is not just my journey or Sister Taylor's journey or Elder Morgan's journey. It is our journey. We are the family of God. We cannot make it by ourselves. We need each other--to support and help and encourage and to inspire and most of all to remind us to look to our Savior and live. And if we look to Him in faithfulness, and love and life our brothers and sisters in diligence, we shall live. Together. Forever. We will inherit eternal life.

I'm supposed to be here.

Because of Him we have second chances.

Wednesday we had another Japanese lesson with Maquel (teaching her Japanese) and then had dinner and Eikaiwa. The twins came and we had so much fun! We are learning better how to help them learn when they just want to play. :) It was so funny--when we started class their mom asked them "Do you remember their names?" And they said "Yes! Inu (dog) and Mellon (cantaloupe)." Hahaha! So now Sister Yim and I call ourselves Sister Dog and Sister Cantaloupe. Teehee.

In case you think my Japanese is perfect now I have a story for you. Thursday we had a lesson with Obuchi shimai [Sister Obuchi] (LA) and had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation and afterwards she gave us mango smoothie ice cream because it was so hot and she asked us what our favorite music to listen to is. But I misunderstand what she was talking about and thought she was asking if either of us had musical hobbies and I said "Yes, I like to sing." But because of the way you don't have to say everything in Japanese, and with the background context of her actual question, it sounded like "Yes, I like to listen to myself sing." She laughed really hard, haha. I understand normal conversations with people most of the time now--such a blessing from Heavenly Father! But, of course, I still mess up, haha.

Then we came back to the apartment and met up with Sister Tsuchida, Sister Hall, and President and Sister Smith. They took the 4 of us to dinner and then to a baptism in Kamisugi (I got to go back to Kamisugi again!!) and then we slept at the mission home and got up early the next morning and went to Zone Training in Yamagata (which was really good) and then came back to Nagamachi.

Saturday we had a lesson with Anazawa-san and invited her to baptism and she wants to be baptized but is worried about keeping the baptismal covenant so she wants to learn more about it before she promises to be baptized. It was a really really good lesson. Then we had a lesson with Kamata shimai [Sister Kamata] (LA) about Christ healing the Nephite children which was also super good. 

Sunday we had a normal church and everything and I've been asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting in a few weeks. O.o Guess they think my Japanese is good enough. That or they want me to stop translating for the Taylors... :D 

From getting to spend a lot of time with the Smiths this week I have come to love them so much. Smith shimai [Sister Smith] especially I came to admire so much from getting to talk with her so much. She is truly poised, good with people, and full of love. A wonderful example. An incredible hostess. I am just amazing and feel so honored to get to serve and work with such outstanding people here on my mission.

Well, my dear family, I love you so much. I am so grateful to be a part of your family and to be able to feel your love from so far away. I am so grateful for your examples and how well you keep me updated. I feel your love as I hear about your adventures and read your emails every week. You are so amazing. I learn so much from you. I feel so blessed to always be associated with you and to be sealed to you for eternity. Let's all run with enthusiasm and valiance the gospel path and invite others to come to come with us and partake of the love of God. He loves us! I love you! Go fight win you wonderful Bellows[e]s!!

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. Sister Yim, Sister Tsuchida, and I are a 3-some companionship for a week until transfers are announced. We will see what happens. I feel so lucky to get to serve with them!

No comments:

Post a Comment