Tuesday, August 5, 2014

E-mail, 8/3/2014

My dear wonderful family,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I love you! So glad we got to bump into each other via email today. I hope you have a great birthday!!

Updates on the week:

Monday night we had FHE [family home evening] at the mission home (everyone is invited) and our investigator Anazawa-san came and Oikawa shimai [Sister Oikawa] came too!! It was the first time I've seen her since her baptism!! As was as wonderful as ever. We took a picture together. We tried to make funny faces at the same time but apparently we're not coordinated enough to do that... It was so good to see her!

Tuesday we did hand massage service again today and the grandmas taught us how to play this Japanese flat marble game called ohajiki. So fun! The grandmas were so good at it. Basically you have to flick 2 marbles together so that they ricochet apart and become a gate. Then you have to flick another marble through the gate. If you do it then you get to keep the middle marble and get to go again. And you have to do all this without hitting any of the other marbles. You go until all the marbles are gone. The one with the most marbles wins. Fun! Hard. Those grandmas cleaned the board! 

Wednesday we went to visit our Deaf investigator and were able to talk with her but she was too busy for a lesson. Maybe when summer break is over. Watching Yim shimai [Sister Yim] sign with her reminded me of how much I love signing. I LOVE IT! :) Then we had District Meeting and Eikaiwa [English class].

Thursday we taught a lesson with a less active and a member about how to study the Book of Mormon by reading together and stopping to discuss. She understand a lot more than I realized! And the member was a great joint. We gave them both cookies and came back to the church for our training with the APs [assistants to the mission president]. They trained us about how we can become missionaries who are full-time teachers. It was excellent. They are both very good missionaries. They both bore their testimonies at the end and Elder Kawamura said "Our hope is that as a mission we will find more investigators and teach more investigators. And then we will be able to become teaching missionaries. And we will be able to do that as we focus not just on working harder but also on using the gifts that God has given us--our intelligence, our brains, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. As we strive to work with those resources we will be able to become truly powerful and effective missionaries." Super good training! Then we had interviews with President and Sister Smith. Love them! They are so cool. Sister Smith told me about a friend of hers that translated the Book of Mormon into an African language. Her friend said that she got to know the prophets as she was translating their words and would describe to Sister Smith their personalities. When she was translating Captain Moroni's words she described him as picky! She was translate and then ask him "Is that right?" and he would say "No!" and she'd have to do it again. Picky picky! she said. She loved Moroni. So cool! As you've been reading the scriptures lately have you gotten to know the prophets who wrote them? I wonder so much what they were like--their personalities, their quirks, their stories (more than just the ones in the scriptures), their senses of humor--everything! I asked President Smith if he thought missionary work was fun and he said "Yes, I love teaching! It is work but you can whistle while you work and having someone accept the gospel is true joy." Then we went to seminary with the youth and they had a scripture mastery recitation activity where you got 1 piece of an ice-cream [sundae] for every scripture mastery you recited. Fun! 

The Tanaka family has an LDS girl from America staying with them for a few weeks to see if she wants to do a foreign exchange program, so on Friday Sister Yim and I taught her a Japanese lesson at the church. It was so fun! We taught cultural phrases of entering and leaving, eating, plain form, masu, and how to respond to the first questions people usually ask her (where are you from? how old are you? are you a student?) She is a fast learner and a really good student and cute and loves learning Japanese. We had so much fun! Then we taught a lesson to our investigator Anazawa-san about Joseph Smith. (miracle: I was able to recite the first vision in Japanese!) It went very well and she agreed to come to church!

Saturday we did weekly. :)

Sunday Anazawa-san (our investigator) and Kobayashi shimai [Sister Kobayashi] and her two kids (LA [less active]) came to church! SO happy!! Anazawa-san said she didn't understand church but had fun, haha. Kobayashi shimai was worried her kids would have a hard time in primary and she wouldn't be able to come to relief society but one of the Primary workers took care of her kids and another sister invited her to come sit by her at relief society so she came! So good for her! We were so happy! So grateful to the members who helped without us even asking! I translated testimony meeting for the Tanaka family's visiting American student :)--hard! Translating testimony meeting is so hard because lots of times people talk super fast or while they are crying and so I can't understand them so a lot of my translation was "She went to... flowers...temple...I don't know know what she said. But it strengthened her testimony!" haha! I also translated Gospel Principles and Relief Society for Sister Taylor (office senior missionary with her husband). It was so awesome because during everything she would listen really hard to both the speaker and my translation and then ask things like "How do you say word? What is desu keru demo?" And then she would write it down in a notebook. It makes me so happy that all the new senior missionaries are trying to learn Japanese!! It will make people SO happy. :) So happy!

Some things I've learned from personal study this week:

  • The holy ghost speaks to our hearts
  • Worry about what God thinks
  • If we long to be with God that's a good key indicator
  • Though faith in Jesus Christ we can be supported in trials, be relieved of the burden and pain of sin, receive joy, and desire to share the gospel. I think I want to have plenty of faith!
  • Were it not for the records, Ammon and his brethren could not have converted so many Lamanites (Alma 37:9). So use the scriptures!
  • How can we help people become genki [strong?]? By small and simple things
  • The gospel enables you to become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Learn of Him and seek to incorporate his attributes into your life. Through the Atonement you can achieve this goal.
  • The more I become like Christ the better I can preach and testify of his gospel and minister to others.

So a great week! Thank you for the letters and emails!! I love hearing from you guys. You are soooo wonderful. Do you know that? You are. :) It makes me so happy to hear from you. I love you so much!! Thank you for the clothes! So helpful!! Thank you so much! Sizes are perfect! And they are so pretty! 

I am happy. I love this work. I love this gospel. I am so grateful for my leaders and for a living prophet today. This gospel is true. I want to share it will [with] all of my heart and hope you can find people to share it with too!

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

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