Wednesday, December 10, 2014

E-mail, 12/7/2014

My dear wonderful family,

How are you? No snow yet? We saw some snow when we went to Zao (mountain farm) and again when we went to Yamagata with week but no snow here in Nagamachi yet.

My week was great!

Tuesday we had an appointment with a less active [member] that lives really far away but something came up and we weren't able to go so we called a member that lives right across the street from her and said "Will you go for us?" And she said Yes! And visited her and it sounds like it was really really good! So happy it worked out! I really really wanted to visit the less active but I guess maybe Heavenly Father had
different plans.

Wednesday we went to the community center Japanese class (I love it so much! It's all taught in Japanese by native speakers--the best!!) Wong-san was there and we got to talk to her and she said she wanted to come to Eikaiwa [English class] so we made plans with her to meet her at the mall and walk together to the church. Then we had a lesson with our investigator Sato-san with Sister Sato and Sister Yamagishi at the church. We taught more about the Book of Mormon and the first vision. It went well. Sister Sato was a little shy. We're hoping to help her feel more comfortable asking us more questions. Brother Sato told us on Sunday that she's reading the Book of Mormon a little every day now and they pray together every night in Japanese (she originally thought you had to pray in English--probably because the people at Eikaiwa pray in English, but we always pray in Japanese in our lessons so we had to clear that up.). Feeling so much hope for her! We're thinking we need to focus on teaching really simply so she can understand (because she's willing to believe everything we say, we need to just teach it simply enough so she can understand) and helping her feel comfortable asking questions. She also needs a testimony of her own--believing because we say so is okay but she needs to have a personal testimony too. So excited for her. After her lesson we went and picked up Wong-san from the mall and went to Eikaiwa with her. It was so fun! She is brilliant! She has a PhD in Physics. And in-between meeting us she has been researching our church on the internet and has lots of questions. (Thankfully she still has a good image of us despite information she found in places like Sherlock Holmes.) Sister Carr directed her to look up her questions on so that will probably be more helpful to her. She questions about things like the Word of Wisdom and other things so she's really been looking into our church. Strong potential. I love her! We walked halfway home with her, talking to her the whole way and she was so excited and hugged us when we said bye. I think we will be teaching some official discussions in English very shortly.... :D I hope so! She is from Shiang, China. The place with the Terracotta warriors. Do you know anything about Shiang? I think it would make her happy if we researched her hometown. She's amazing!

Thursday we searched for and picked daikon [radishes] and red daikon and carrots at a part-member family's farm (Kaneko family). It was fun!

Friday we had Zone Training Meeting in Yamagata--and it started snowing on the way over there--pretty fun! Highlights: The Yamagata District did "A Window to His Love" as their musical number--Mom do
you remember playing that for me to sing at Girl's Camp Meeting once? I do! Zone Leaders did training on gratitude; gratitude is looking beyond our present-day challenges (not focusing on them) through the
eyes of faith--hope and humility. Knowing things are good and will get better! We have hard things. We can't change them but we can change the meaning of them by having the right attitude--the attitude of

Also on Friday our new apartment heaters came! Yay! Now we don't have to study in our coats and hats anymore! So grateful!

Cool story about that; So our heaters came Friday night, but they are kerosene heaters and we didn't have kerosene. In Japan how you get the kerosene (if you ride a bike) is from trucks that drive around playing music and saying "Toyu!" (kerosene). You go out to the road and they fill up your containers and pay them and they bring them back to your apartment for you and then you have the fuel and can heat your home.

So, Friday our heaters came but we didn't have any kerosene. So we're all praying that a toyu truck will drive by our neighborhood on Satu[r]day so we can heat our apartment over the weekend, but we're only
going to be in our apartment for a few hours that day so chances were slim. So we were there, studying, when... we heard the toyu truck! Miracle! The only time we were at the apartment the truck came by!
Morgan shimai [Sister Morgan] and Nishikawa shimai [Sister Nishikawa] ran after it and it drove back to our apartment and gave us fuel. So now our apartment is warm! Small and wonderful miracles!!

Also on Saturday we had a really good dendo [missionary work] training from Sendai Stake Missionary Work high councilor, Brother Nasukawa. It was really really good! He also talked about an activity one year called a "Super Finding Saturday". They had all the YSA [young single adults] and Youth go on splits with the missionaries and go finding with them. Sounds so cool!

Sunday was Fast Sunday! So good. We went to the YW [Young Women] Sunday School class and the teacher was teaching about callings and how sometimes we don't feel like we are capable of doing them. She shared an experience of one time on her mission where she was feeling so discouraged. She felt like she had been called to be doing bigger, better, more significant things that she was doing and that she wasn't doing that and she felt so discouraged. But she had this experience of God putting her at the right place at the right time and just a small things she did had a big difference in someone's life and she realized; I thoguth [thought] I was called on a mission to do big things, but I realized I was called to do small and simple things.

Alma 37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

In other words it has been a good week!

Lauren and Contacts! Welcome back to Japan Dad! Wow, Dad, congratulations on finishing the biography! Nice first orchestra concert Lauren! Candice, otsukaresamadesu [you are a hard worker]!

I want to Skype again if we can but I won't know until next week (transfer calls are this weekend. If I'm still in Nagamachi I will probably know enough to give you the details on Monday but if I'm transfer[r]ing I may not know until the next Monday--sorry.) Would you like to do Christmas Day in Japan or America? (America would probably be best, right?) What time?

Well my dear family I love you!! I am so happy to be a missionary. I am so grateful to be able to do small and simple things daily in the service of the Lord. I will happily be his errand runner my entire life. There is no greater thing than to be on the Lord's errand and to proclaim the message of Christ to the world at this wonderful Christmas time. I know He lives and His my Savior. I love Him and I love this work!

I love you! Hope you have a great week!

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai

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