Wednesday, October 1, 2014

E-mail, 9/29/2014

My dear wonderful family,

About the week;

Last Monday we went to this super beautiful park as a district. Flowers and fountains and cool rocks and playgrounds. Really beautiful. We found a place to sit and eat lunch and then started walking around and ran into the Chapman family from Izumi ward!! So fun too see them! We all took a picture together and talked for a little bit. They were so nice! Sounds like they had a good summer in Utah. Then we came back and went to Honbu FHE [family home evening at the mission home].

Tuesday we went with the ward for a barbecue by a river. They were grilling whole squid. So crazy! Then biked back to the church for a sewing appointment with a referral. So cool. We had a lot of time to talk as I was sewing everything by hand and we talked about church, missionaries, her family, etc. We wanted to set a next appointment but she starts a new job this week so she doesn't know her schedule yet. But she said she:d love to come to church activities if we invite her so we're hoping we:re able to use those to share the gospel with her.

Wednesday was Zone Conference! 

·  Picture
·  Hymn, prayer
·  Training from President and Sister Smith
·  Lunch break
·  Prayer, Musical number (our District; I know that my redeemer lives. Went really well)
·  Training from the Assistants, Zone Leaders, and Us (me and Nishikawa shimai [Sister Nishikawa])
·  Testimony meeting
·  Closing remarks from President Smith
·  Review meeting

I learned:
·  2nd coming will be when we establish Zion
·  2 Ne. 16:8 (our new theme)
·  Christ wants us to reflect His light--that is done only through becoming like Him
·  Ask people; do you expect to be happy when you're 40?
·  The courage to promptly and quietly obey council in all things and at all times
·  Pray more thoughtfully
·  Rejoice in the Holy Ghost
·  Help/love--the same word
·  Be prepared people
·  Revelation
Super spiritual. Our musical number went super well and so did our training. Looking out at everyone it was just like the room was full of light and the spirit and I just felt so happy and so grateful to be a missionary at this wonderful time and in this wonderful place. There is no other place on Earth where I can be engaged in the work of the Lord. Only here as a missionary! This is absolutely His church!

Went back to Nagamachi and got back just in time for Eikaiwa [English class]. 2 earthquakes as we were all getting in bed. We put our wallets and shoes with our emergency backpacks just in case and prayed together for safety and everything was okay. 

Thursday we biked to visit LAs [less-active members] and a member and as we were biking I was singing "Praise to the Man" and just felt so grateful for Joseph Smith and all he did so we could have this wonderful gospel. And then as we were visiting the LAs we got up on top of this huge hill with all these neighborhoods and you could see down to all of Nagamachi with thousands of houses and buildings all close together and the sun was setting and it was so beautiful and I was just filled with LOVE for Japan--these wonderful, peaceful, diligent millions of people all living close together so peacefully. Just amazing. Beautiful. 

Friday we had volunteer with a member for people whose homes were destroyed by the 2011 tsunami and on our way back she took us to see where their homes used to be (where the tsunami hit). It was all just fields and a couple of broken fences. It used to be neighborhoods. No sign of houses. Only a couple of abandoned schools. She said the warning system broke but people saw the tsunami coming and the Elementary School kids were safe on the 3rd floor. Scary. Came back and went with Sister Nishimura (and her 10 month old son) to Obuchi shimai's [Sister Obuchi’s] for a lesson. It was so good! Obuchi shimai just opened right up to Nishimura shimai [Sister Nishimura] and her son. Members are the best!! Then we went to YSA FHE [young single adult family home evening] and shared a spiritual message. There were only 3 YSAs there. Our ward has at least 15 but only 5 are active. And only 2-3 come to FHE. Nishikawa shimai and I want to help them come back! We need young people in the church too! 

Saturday we went to lunch with a member and her investigator son and she asked us if she would help her practice conducting hymns (she was called as the relief society chorister) so we went back to the church and helped her. She's been practicing so much, it was the coolest thing. She is the same member we are teaching the lessons to (since she is worried she forgot some of the church doctrine because she was less active for a really long time). She is working so hard and giving all her heart to the gospel! It is the coolest thing. Then we went and visited a PI [potential investigator] we found [while] housing and she said she:s reading the Book of Mormon and we could come back but couldn't talk right then. Really hoping we can teach her! She also studies the Bible and is so friendly! And lives only a block away from the church so she could very easily come! 

Sunday morning transfer calls came. Nishikawa shimai and I are safe! Sister Yim is transferring to Yamagata. Church was so good!! Sister Obuchi came and stayed for ALL of Sacrament Meeting!! We didn't even ask her to stay, she just chose to herself!! We also went to all 3 hours of church with a 21-year-old LA (Sister Abukawa) who we met that day (hasn't been to church for at least 5 months) who came to church to hear Elder Kawamura's talk. We met that day and became friends with her and the Spirit told me to invite her to YSA FHE and I think we made a good relationship and it was so cool! But she was so excited/scared to talk to me because I'm American! (She talked just fine to Nishikawa shimai.) Did visiting teaching after church with the member we're teaching and then had dinner with the Imano family.

Mom, thank you so much for the recipes! Don't ever feel bad about not emailing me! It's okay!! I'm so happy you are studying Chapter 3!! I haven't seen the womens' conference yet. Not sure when/if we will get to. I want to go to the temple with my family!! Please don't send me a crock pot! I probably won't use it! Hope Candice has fun in DC! Sounds like Lauren had a good birthday! Good luck Zach! I'm excited for General Conference! Can't believe I've almost been out a year. I need all your advice on how to be the best missionary I can be so I can finish strong! Mom, can you take a picture of where it says "Sister Bellows-full-time missionary" on your phone? 

Well, I think that's all for this week. I love you my dear family! I am so happy to be a missionary and am praying for us to be able to find the prepared people in Nagamachi! I am not ready to be a year of the way through my mission. There is so much I want to do and become and I'm not yet! Not done yet! The next 6 months will be the best 6 missionary months yet! I love you!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai

P.S. Christmas wish list ideas

P.P.S. Sorry for not being super detailed! I didn't sleep well last night so I don't feel very good! I love you! Have a great week!

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