Tuesday, September 9, 2014

E-mail 9/7/2014

Hello my dear wonderful family!

We taught a lot of lessons this week. We have this new goal to try and teach 20 lessons a week to members, LAs [less-active members], anyone so we've been working really hard on that.

Tuesday we had a lesson with Anazawa-san and talked a little about the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she agreed to try to pray before she eats meals (because she is too tired when she wakes up or goes to bed). 

Wednesday, we had a mogi [roleplay] with Sister Shimizu at her house. (First half of the Plan of Salvation). Was very helpful and super good feeling. And she gave us homemade pita bread leftovers!! (You can't buy them in Japan). YUMMY! And because "pan" is "bread" they call pita bread "pita pan". Isn't that the cutest thing ever??!! Then we mogied with Sister Uchiyama. (Second half of the Plan of Salvation). Was very helpful. And President and Sister Smith came to Eikaiwa [English class]. Pretty cool.

Thursday we went to Sister Nishimura's house and mogied the 10 commandments with her and then ate lunch together. Then we went to Sister Obuchi's house (LA) and taught her the 10 commandments. (Super good because she didn't remember them.) Then we had a mogi with the Relief Society President (Tithing) and she gave us some great ideas of how we can help Sister Obuchi and her family attend all of church together (she had a special-needs son). So good! Getting help from the members is the best. They are so much wiser than us 19 and 20-year-olds! Then had a mogi with Sister Ishikawa while her son was at Seminary. That was so good. One of the coolest mogis I've ever had. We taught Plan of Salvation. Just did a quick recap and then asked what questions she had (what we want to do with Anazawa-san). She asked about the Spirit World and the resurrection and Sister Nishikawa answered her questions very smoothly using Alma 40 and then I testified about how the Plan of Salvation brought me peace when loved ones have died and how I look forward to the resurrection day when I will meet my Grandparents again and they will be able to walk. We read Enos 1:27 and talked about the Peace the Plan of Salvation brings to us. The Spirit was very strong. After the mogi Sister Ishikawa said "Wow. Missionaries really do have power from God." That touched my heart so much. Really felt love from her because of that. I hope I can be that kind of member for missionaries when I get back--help them to feel good, gain confidence that the Lord is with them. Really neat experience.

Friday we went to Yamagata for Zone Training Meeting. It was one of the most amazing Zone Training Meetings I've been to. The Spirit was so strong. Really really amazing. The big news from the business is that President Smith has asked all the missionaries to memorize all the words we don't know from Chapter 3 in PMG [Preach My Gospel] in Japanese (if you're not from Japan) or English (if you're from Japan). Cool! This month's goal is lesson one. I'm excited! 

Then we talked about our results from August and our goals for September and then prayed together as a Zone to be able to achieve our goals, to receive help from Heavenly Father, and for Unity. Elder Fukuchi (Zone Leader) gave the prayer and we all knelt down and he prayed for everyone in the Zone by name. It was amazing. So unifying. And you could tell by how he said everyone's names without hesitation that he prays for us all by name regularly. That was pretty amazing. I was very impressed with Elder Fukuchi and Elder Paxton (Zone Leaders). You could see them working together in unity and love and faith with the blessings of the Spirit upon them. Really increased my trust in them and my faith that I can do that as a missionary too. Amazing what the Spirit can do. 

Then they did training on inspired questions and 2 sisters did training on Finding Needs and did a really awesome mogi of a doctor not listening to the patient to demonstrate how we have to listen to find out people's needs. Then the Zone Leaders did training on Charity and we broke into small groups to talk about it and then came back and discussed and then they taught about the Motivation Ladder; the lowest motivation is doing something because you want praise. The next level is doing it because it's your duty. The next level is doing something because people love you or listen to you. But the highest motivation is doing something because you love God. I found that pretty amazing. That's why I came on a mission! I'm glad it's the best reason. Then we read a quote from Elder Yamashita's talk "Missionaries are a Treasure of the Church." (Family: Please read this! It is so good! It talks about past, current, and future missionaries. It's not long but it's so good! Please read!) Then I had the assignment to share an experience I had as a missionary with Charity. That was a really special experience. I had thought all week about what to share and I just kept on coming back to one experience but didn't really want to share it. But finally I just felt like that's really what Heavenly Father wanted me to share so I decided to obey. I wrote down what I wanted to say in simple English sentences and thought about how I would translate them into Japanese and felt like that was enough and then kind of said to Heavenly Father "well, stop me if this isn't the experience you want me to share." And then when I shared my experience I really felt the Spirit strongly and had no problem with the Japanese at all. Gift of Tounges [Tongues]. Gift of the Spirit. I don't know, something amazing. It was a really neat experience. 

Really one of the best Zone Training Meetings I have attended. Probably partially due to having a part in the program and having to specially prepare spiritually beforehand but also probably due to the great leadership in this Zone. Whatever the reason, when I woke up Saturday morning I was just so happy to be a missionary. :) I was brushing my teething in the bathroom and looked in the mirror and was just like "I'm a missionary! This is the best thing in the world!" :) Also I dreamed the night before that the grocery store was trying to steal Nishikawa shimai [Sister Nishikawa] and I's bikes. #dendodreaming [#missionaryworkdreaming] Pretty funny. Probably because we talked in Zone Training Meeting about how we need to write down our bike registration number so we can give it to the Police to find our bikes if they ever get stolen. Pretty funny.

Saturday we had a mogi with Hanzawa shimai [Sister Hanzawa] and she asked some pretty deep questions about Plan of Salvation that I have no idea the answers to! Any ideas you have, I'd love to hear! Then we visited Less Actives with a service missionary couple in our ward. Very cool. Then had another mogi with Kaori-chan (YSA [young single adult]) in our ward. Did both English and the gospel and used the "Who is God" pamphlet and she really liked it. So that was cool.

Yesterday Elder Aoyagi spoke about the Atonement and how can use that and daily reading, praying, and applying the scriptures and the Holy Ghost to overcome anything in our lives and do anything that we can't do for ourselves. Super amazing. And Obuchi shimai [Sister Obuchi] came to church and stayed for all of sacrament meeting!! YAY! So happy! We are hoping so much to help her do the 3 hour program so she can go to the temple! Happy!! After church we had another mogi. Lots and lots of teaching! It's super good for us!

Don't worry I won't be one year older until I email you next week. ;D Birthday package will probably arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday when we see the office mail couple--right on time! I haven't heard anything about the Hatachi party so we'll see. Yay for Lauren soccer, Zach work, Candice job and Stake Primary and Dance. Did Tyler and Kelsea go to the BYU game? Either that or you could do google hangout and watch the game together. :) Mom the event planner. Dad the traveler. Is it already fall in Carolina? Tyler I was thinking our mission president experiences are quite similar. It seems like President Rasmussen and President Daniels match up in personality and President Evans and President Smith match up in personality as well. How long was President Daniels your mission president for? Yeah Dad for dendoing [doing missionary work]! Thank you so much for the wedding pictures! I LOVE the one with Tyler and Kelsea sitting together in front of the temple!! They look so good! And I like the big one with all the family and friends! Mom, I remember going off to BYU too and feeling the same way. Bloom where you are planted! BYU sure was good mission prep!  Kumon sounds cool. Candice, nice screenwriting upgrade. All those beats and arcs and non-speaking characters... and look at you learning how to speak High King in your spare time. ;)

With doing lots of teaching this week it's been good practice at answering questions about the lessons. Which has made me think of a favor for my favorite family: Can you think of frequently asked/or questions people might about about the missionary lessons for me and send me a list. Answers are not required, just the questions! I want to build my foundation to prepare to be able to answer peoples' questions really well. 

I've been thinking a lot this week about how we have been commanded by God to love everyone and that includes every member in our area. I want to watch over my area and be a good steward of it and nourish it and help it to grow and leave it better than I found it. I read part of Jacob 5 and just thought about how much the Lord of the Vineyard loved his vineyard and did everything he could for it and labored with his servants and when they were faithful and kept his commandments and helped the vineyard to grow they had joy with the Lord of the Vineyard and has [had] success. That's what I want to do. I know I'm planting seeds. I also want to nourish and cherish the growing blossoms. I want to be a good steward. I know the Lord loves Nagamachi and is counting on me to do my best to help it blossom. I think of other areas I served that are now seeing blossoms and miracles and I want to do my part to help Nagamachi do that as well. I'm so glad the Lord is willing to work through me and I hope he can trust me to follow the promptings he gives me to help the people in my area. I love this gospel! I want to do all I can to establish the church and help it to grow. I'm so grateful for the priviledge of being able to serve.

Thank you for all that you do! You are amazing! I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai ;D

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