Tuesday, December 16, 2014

E-mail, 12/14/2014

My dear wonderful family,

So I am transferring up to Hachinohe! It is snowing today just to prepare me for it! 

Sorry, that was probably anticlimactic for you. I really tried to think of a more interesting way to say that but I couldn't think of anything. :D One cool thing is I get to learn Japanese sign language!

We had a great week! We were able to meet with Sato-san and it was an amazing lesson and she is progressing! 

Tuesday we had the Christmas Zone Conference!! My notes on it are currently in my suitcase which is hopefully on it's way to Hachinohe but we four sisters sang O Come [O Come] Emmanuel as the special musical number, we got presents, watched lots of Christmas videos and learned about Jesus Christ and letting Him reclaim us. Made me so grateful for my Savior and want to talk to more people about Him!

Wednesday we had chirashi kubari [flyer distribution], Japanese class, District lunch at an awesome sushi restaurant (kurazushi), planned and taught Eikaiwa [English class]. At Eikaiwa I got your packages!!! Thank you so much!! The Taylors drove us home with them since they were so big. :) Wong-san came to Eikaiwa and went to the Taylor's class (advanced) and we set up an appointment to make lunch together with her and her husband!!

Thursday we did hand massage volunteer with Okumura shimai [Sister Okumura]. Came back and set up the church for our Christmas Open House. Then we stapled Ward Christmas Party flyers together with Sister Abe and then posted them in the tsunami victim housing close to the church. Then we came home and had companion study to prepare for our lesson with Sato-san but we were having the hardest time trying to figure out what to teach her; we had all these ideas of what we needed to teach her but couldn't figure out how to organize them into a lesson plan, so we went into the lesson with only a commitment invitation written down. But our District members were praying for us and the Spirit was there and guided the entire lesson adn [and] everything we had thought about needing to teach her came up!! The spirit!! We followed with Book of Mormon reading and prayer (she said the opening prayer) and she said pryaing [praying] isn't hard now and she feels like God exists. She called Him "Heavenly Father" all the time now. And she read up through Chapter 11 in the Book of Mormon!! She is understanding--not so confused about it anymore. We asked what parts she liked and she liked 1 Nephi 10:10-11 (about Christ's baptism) and so I asked her who it was talking about there and she figured out it was Christ and she asked why is Christ called the Lamb of God? We explained that its because of the Atonement (something we'd felt when we were planning that we needed to teach her about)--he offered himself as a sacrifice for us. She understood super well and was able to explain it back in her own words. Then we explained (L3 [lesson 3]) how because of the Atonement Christ can cleanse us from sin as we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ so we can get back to God--and that her commitments are helping her with the first 2 steps--faith and repentance. By her reading and praying she is showing faith and repenting. We recommitted her to Book of Mormon reading and family prayer and committed her to daily personal prayer. 

So grateful for the Spirit!!!!

Friday as we studied I was thinking about how wonderful teaching people about the gospel is and how I want to teach more and I really felt "If you want to teach more you need to talk to more people." At first I thought--I already talk to a lot of people! But then I decided if that's what the Spirit specifically said to me and I need to do it. Recommitting to talk to everyone at all times as prompted by the Spirit. Then we had lunch with and shared a message with Sister Hanzawa. Then we had a lesson with Sister Obuchi (less active [member]). We talked about "Filling the Earth with Christ's Love". She said: Oh, the world really does need the gospel. I know it. Then she explained an article she and her husband read in the newspaper about a boy who died in Japan and she started crying as she talked about the article (opened up like I've never seen her open up before) and she was just so sad and I wanted to help her so much and I wanted to comfort her so much, it was so strong. I felt like I should share a scripture with her about God always being with us and first I shared D&C 84:88 and then I remembered Carr shimai [Sister Carr] and [I had] found a scripture about that earlier so I had her share it Isaiah 41:10 and they seemed to comfort Obuchi shimai [Sister Obuchi] and she said she would share the Isaiah scripture with her friend and invite her friend to the ward Christmas party.

Saturday we studied and made pie for Wong-san and her husband (Chen-san) and then went up to her apartment and made and ate lunch together. It was so good! We asked them if we could pray before we ate and they said yes and then during the meal we were able to talk a lot about the church. Not an offic[i]al lesson but I think we--and the Spirit--were able to do enough groundwork that they may be open to lessons soon. They are an incredible family. I pray for them so much!!

Then we came back and got transfer calls and then got everything ready for the Christmas Open House. It was kind of a musical fireside kind of a program with LOTS of musical numbers and scriptures and Bible videos about the first Christmas including He is the Gift. We sister missionaries sang The First Noel, O Come [O Come] Emmanuel and Silent Night by ourselves and sang 3 other Christmas songs with a YSA choir. Many ward members and Eikaiwa students came and the other sisters' investigator Endo-san came. Some of Eikaiwa students expressed how touched they were--good potential!! We had lots of heavenly help.

Sunday we had a member of the 70--Elder Otohara--there so he and President Sugawara (stake president) spoke. President Sugawara said he printed 50 pamphlets with the words to the church videos "Because of Him" and "He is the Gift" and is giving them out to all his neighbors for Christmas--I love that idea!! I want to get one of those pamphlets. The ward announced our transfers in sacrament meeting and allowed us 4 sisters to sing O Come [O Come] Emmanuel--it was so nice to sing as kind of a bye-bye to everyone. Elder Otohara heard Sister Morgan was going home and said to her "The Lord recieves your work and will bless you for it for the rest of your life." Then he talked about the Loving kindness of God. Amazing and inspiring. During Relief Society they teacher had the missionaries lead 4 discussion groups about how to explain what Christmas is to those who don't know--I love the dendo [missionary work] fire in Nagamachi!!

Then we had dinner with the Furusawa family.

I got up waaay early this morning and just barely finished packing at 8 o'clock for the shippers to pick up my bags today. I will be sending home a box of clothes and things that I can unpack when I get home and a smaller box for you all for Christmas. It's not anything amazing but I put lots of love and hugs and kisses in it for you! There is a lot to get done today--warm clothes, a ukelele case, a lesson with Sato-san and many other things so pray it all goes well and we can get all we need accomplished!

I got your boxes and sent them up to Hachinohe for me to open them! I'm so excited!! Thanks for coming to Japan Dad! Is Dad still not finding out what the gender of the baby is? I'm glad Kelsea is doing well! Did Where is Jeremy? How is Maria doing?

I will find out more about skype when I get to Hachinohe. I don't think I personally can do google hangout but if you can use it while you're using skype--like I think you did when I skyped you in Izumi--then they should be at least able to hear and see me even if I can't see them. Wow does Candice have her cello already?

Well my dear family, I [am] just so filled with gratitude today. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve here in Nagamachi. I love the people, the members, the investigators, the missionaries, the people we meet on the street. I love the area and the beauty and the hills and the bridges. I love our Sister Carr and Sister Nishikawa and Sister Morgan and our Bishop and Ward and Stake Leaders and the Obuchi family and the Sato family and Sato Nobuko shimai [Sister Sato Nobuko] and the Furusawa family and the Wong family and the Japanese class and the Eikaiwa students and the Taylors and the Yamada family and the Shingaki family and I could go on and on and on. Watching videos of the Savior this week and studying about Him has strengthened my faith and my desire to ever be more like Him. I hope to be able to more fully follow His example and be a true disciple. I love this work! Thank you for all your support. You are a wonderful support. My favorite cheerleaders! Thank you for your letters and emails and pictures. I love you so much!

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. Mom, can you email me your Sams and Walmart shopping lists? I want to compare them to my Japanese shopping list. :D

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