Monday, August 18, 2014

E-mail, 8/17/2014

My dear wonderful family!!

I am doing great! This past week was our week as a a three-some (Sister Tsuchida, Sister Yim and I)--it was so fun!!--and we had splits with the Sister Training Leaders. The weather is really good! It has been cloudly all week but not really much rain and it has been cool! So nice! The members have been saying that fall is coming and it may keep getting cooler from here or have one more hot burst before October. We'll see! It is humid but about the same as North Carolina or Iowa so I am very used to it haha. 

When we contact people and try to talk about Jesus Christ most people say "I'm Buddhist!" like that's the conversation ender. They really don't have any idea who he is. Most people perceive him as our equivalent of Buddha. A good person, started Christianity, historical person, but not God. Most people don't really even believe in God. A lot of them believe in a creator/or some powerful influence that made the Earth but don't necessarily believe that he is still around. We did service at Pocket house this week and taught Anazawa-san and Endo-san (our two investigators). Japanese is ooookay. I may be translating but it's not a very good translation! Nishikawa shimai [Sister Nishikawa, her new Japanese companion] will probably help though! 

They have this cool chart on the wall of the seminary room that says; Seminary -> Dendo [proselyting] -> Temple Marriage -> Eternal Life. I love it! I'm glad Shelby and Michelle are doing good and that Tyler and Kelsea got to Utah safely! I have a sister's bike now and it is so nice! That's crazy that school is starting so soon! What an incredible summer! When we talked about Moses and the Serpent on the Staff today in Seminary we tried to think of all the reasons why some people looked at the staff and some didn't. Maybe the staff was a hard to get to place or it was really small or people thought they didn't need it/didn't think they would die from the snake bites. But because they didn't look they perished. What am I doing that hurts me spiritually that I am not paying attention to and need to fix? The teacher said the bites represented our sin. I never thought about that before. I always thought the bites represented mortality (we all die) or the sicknesses/trials of life. But the bites also representing sin is so vivid--so easy to understand! I'm glad you come to Japan a lot Dad! :) 

With transfers Tsuchida shimai [Sister Tsuchida] will go to Morioka and be our Sister Training Leader (Yay!), Sister Yim and Sister Arashiyama (Nihonjin [Japanese]) will be companions here in Nagamachi and Nishikawa shimai and I will be companions here in Nagamachi. I'm excited! But soooo nervous! I have only been here 6 weeks and don't remember everyone's names or how to get places. Ahhhhh!! Sister Yim and I have divided all of the Less Actives and Potential Investigators and Investigators so I will be meeting some new people. Pray!

Currently there are 50-ish sisters in our mission. By next year we will be down to 25 sisters. CRAZY!!

Good luck with all the wildlife! Glad to hear Kelsea found a job! She and Tyler should buy futons! No frame needed! 

I would call a seminary teacher with dendo [proselyting] fire! Help all the young people reach out to their friends and invite them to learn the gospel! Help the youth dendo! Start sharing the gospel while you're young and share it for your entire life! 

I don't know if I'm a particularly good missionary, I can't speak or understand the language very well, and I can't remember everyone's names or teach perfectly, but I love Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and want to follow them and become more like Him and I want and try to love everyone I meet and be full of the guidance and help the the Holy Ghost. Hopefully that is enough.

Candice I love your explanation to Oliver. And that is the coolest thing about Belonging to Heaven! What a wonderful birthday!!

This week during personal study I learned:
  • Repent and then don't mind
  • (a quote from Sister Tsuchida's sister) "My mission is the best experience for my life."
  • Don't forget your end goal. It's easy to forget. Remember!
  • Where your treasure is: Of the possessions that I have what do I really need? What attributes/skills/qualities do I want to acquire? How am I doing at becoming the person Heavenly Father wants me to be? Who and what do I want to become?
  • Use your talents to dendo
  • Pray for missionary opportunities
  • Reach out in normal, pleasant ways
  • Introduce people to Jesus Christ
  • Can God trust me to invite people to learn His gospel?
  • from "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" The number of people we are teaching, converts, numbers, etc. depends not on our area it depends on us. Our faith, how we dendo, how we use God's time, if God trusts us. (I never realized this in this way before--it made me think I need to change my entire method of dendo!)
  • Rules give us opportunities to be blessed because when we follow a rule we are blessed. No rule, no blessings. Exactly obedient, more blessings. 
  • Alma 45:6-7 "And Alma said unto him again: Will ye keep my commandments? And he said: Yea, I will keep they commandments with all my heart." LOVED THAT. When we obey we show our love and respect and honor those who we obey.
This week has been the Japanese Festival for the Dead (O-bon) where everyone goes back home and visits their family grave and pays tribute to their dead. Kind of like the Japanese equivilent of Thanksgiving. There are lots of festivals and there were SO many people who came back to Nagamachi to be with their families--the traffic was crazy! We also heard really loud music a few blocks away for a festival when we were eating dinner last night. Really interesting!

Tuesday we taught Anazawa-san. We were trying to teach the first half of lesson 3 but when we got to faith she had such a hard time with it. But we were able to show her on a map the address of the church in Kamisugi (where she's planning to move at some point). Thank goodness I served there and know the address! After we left Sister Tsuchida said: I think Anazawa-san has waves in her heart; I believe! I can't. Maybe... etc. I thought that was a really good insight. That principle is true for everyone! We just need to be patient, pray for her, help her. No one gets baptized all at once and everyone has their agency. We just have to do our best to encourage her to use hers to try out the gospel so her faith can grow. Anazawa-san made a good point though; the gospel is hard for her because everything we're teaching her is completely new. We agreed that it's hard but encouraged her to commit to doing something daily like prayer or scriptures and coming to church and that through that her faith will grow if she works at it. After her lesson we went to a volunteer place called Pocket House. A government service that makes bentos (packed lunches) and take them to old people who live alone. The service we do is wash all the boxes/dishes. Fun! Very specific steps, lots to remember. 

Wednesday we had District Meeting and our trio did training on testimony and then had a mini testimony meeting. They were all so good and the Spirit was so strong! Then we had Eikaiwa [English class]. 

Thursday we had splits with the Morioka Sister Training Leaders. Tsuchida shimai went with one and Yim shimai [Sister Yim] and I went with another. Good.

Friday we had lunch with Hanzawa shimai [Sister Hanzawa]--sooo nice! She's probably 40. She gives all the sisters who serve in Nagamachi these beautiful cute bracelets she makes and she said when she makes them she prayer that we can dendo [proselyte] with genki [vigor, energy] and not cry too much (because she knows missions are hard). So sweet!! Soooo kind. She says the primary girls are her little daughters and the sister missionaries are her grown up daughters. She feed us delicious tofu hamburgers and talked about meeting up again with one of the sister missionaries who taught her. It made me think; I want to find someone like Hanzawa shimai! Imagine contacting her after the mission and seeing her grow and progress in the gospel--I want that! And then this idea popped into my head; it doesn't just have to be on my mission that I find people like that. If I am a faithful, valiant missionary throughout my whole life I can have that same experience anytime, anywhere. The time for me to dendo is my entire life! After my mission too!

And I was showing my family pictures to Hanzawa shimai and Tsuchida shimai recognized one of Tyler's companions!! Tyler were you ever companions with a Kawahara choro [Elder Kawahara]???? AND Tsuchida shimai's hometown has a volcano that sends out ash every day--and it's the only place in the Fukuoka Mission that does that. Did, did you ever serve in Kagoshima?

Saturday we had lunch with a less active and a lesson with another less active.

Yesterday we got transfer calls!

It's been fun to serve with Tsuchida shimai and Yim shimai. They are so kind and wonderful. Like family! I'm so grateful I got to be with both of them! They are so full of the spirit and of love! We have had lots of interesting conversations. One conversation we had was: Would you have accepted the gospel from the missionaries? Yim shimai said: No. Tsuchida shimai said: I would say no! I am Nihongin [Japanese] I am buddhist! I said: I don't know. I used to think no, but as I've thought about it more on my mission I've thought I really like to be happy. If the missionaries told me I could be happier because of the gospel I might listen. Maybe that's what I need to tell more people!

I am so grateful for this gospel. It is true. I know it. I live it. I love it. I share it.

Thank you for your beautiful emails and love and always helping me. You are wonderful!!!

Thank you for all that you do to share the gospel! There are people you are supposed to find for the missionaries! Please don't miss out on the blessings of sharing the gospel!

Thank you for being so wonderful. :)

I love you!!!!!


Bellows shimai :)

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