Wednesday, February 18, 2015

E-mail, 2/16/2015

My dear wonderful family,

We had a wonderful week!

Monday night we visited less actives and were able to share a scripture with the first one and then the second one's wife (nonmember) came to the door instead of him and started talking to us and we were able to share a scripture with her and she was super receptive! It made me think of Obuchi shimai [Sister Obuchi] (an RC [recent convert] in Nagamachi). Her conversion story is: the missionary elders went to go reactive her husband and she answered the door. They talked to her about the church and she got baptized. There are miracles waiting for us to find them! Maybe this brother's wife is one of them! 

Tuesday I finished reading the Book of Mormon again. I started it exactly 1 year ago when I was a brand new missionary in Kamisugi. And I finally finished it! What stuck out to me this time was Moroni's attitude--Chapter 10 is so happy--and it's his last words! He'd been through soooo much. But you read Chapter 10 and it has so much hope and joy and love and it just amazed me. He was happy despite his circumstances and it's because of the gospel. Just amazing. I felt: this book is true. No need to ask. It just is. I know it's true. And I'm so grateful for the examples in it--like Moroni! I want so much to become like them! I'm thinking I may try to finish the Book of Mormon again before the end of my mission--we'll see! 

Also Tuesday, the Harmons (senior missionary couple) inspected our apartment during gengo [language study]. They were way cute and friendly and gave us chocolate and chips for passing inspection so we had tacos for lunch! Then we had a mogi [roleplay] with Toriyabe shimai [Sister Toriyabe] at the church on the Atonement. She asked lots of good questions. Then we visited some LAs [less-active members], shared a message about blessings with Takenoko shimai [Sister Takenoko] and then went housing. A 15 year old boy listened.

Wednesday we had a mogi with Koshiboso shimai [Sister Koshiboso] and then prepared for Eikaiwa [English class]. Then another mogi with Kanehama shimai [Sister Kanehama]. Then shuwa [sign language class]. Then DCS [district companionship study?] with our new ward missionary Tairabune shimai [Sister Tairabune]! She has dendo [missionary work] FIRE!! She's been ready and waiting for this calling since she got her patriarchical blessing and has been studying up. So cool! So prepared! One thing she said was "If we didn't have you missionaries the dendo in our branch would stop." That made me think--no! We got to get the members dendoing so much that even if the missionaries leave the dendo won't ever stop! Then visited an LA and gave her a birthday card and treat and were able to share a scripture with her--the first time we've been able to!  Housing. Eikaiwa. Iwahashi shimai [Sister Iwahashi] and I figured out a better way to teach Eikaiwa together and it's awesome!

Thursday we had FFEP [Free Family English Program] with Yamashita-san. She kept her commitment to pray--and became a new investigator! We talked about the Creation. Felt the Holy Ghost. Then we had Bibimbap [a Korean dish of warm white rice topped with sautéed and seasoned vegetables and chili pepper paste, soy sauce, or a salty soybean paste. A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions] for lunch on our way to our lesson with Miyaji-san. We taught her about the Atonement. It was sooo hard for her. (Why did he have to take my sins? Why did he have to suffer? Why can't I do it? That's so sad. There's no excuse for making someone else suffer like that. Why was he beaten?) She cried when she said the closing prayer and prayed for us to always have good stuff. She feels the Spirit but don't understand the Atonement yet. That's okay. We'll teach her again next week. She'll get it, but not in just one or two lessons. It's hard to understand. I think it's particularly hard because she has no Christian background. But we'll help her until she understands. 

Biked back to the church and taught Kato shimai [Sister Kato] (RC) about prophets. I love her! Then we taught the Ishita family (FFEP investigators). They focused!! (Miracle for a mom with very genki [energetic] 6-year-old and a 2-year-old). And they are progressing SO WELL! We watched the Restoration and during the video her 6-year-old asked "Mommy, which one is Jesus?" and Ishita-san answered immediately "He's the one on the left. Shh, listen." She knew without asking us! Sugoi [amazing]! We testified of how the Book of Mormon is how we know Joseph Smith is a prophet and of all the blessings we get from the Book of Mormon. I felt the Spirit so strong. Testifying to people this week about how the Book of Mormon is true after I've just finished it is so powerful. The Spirit just flies in and fills the room. It's incredible. 

Friday we had District Meeting. Elder Anderson brought me a new bike (my old one couldn't switch gears). Mine is...interesting. It's like a hybrid of a mama chari [granny’s bike] and a mountain bike. But (maybe because I'm too tall for it) I totally had to hunch over to hold the handle bars and that made my back hurt. So Iwahashi shimai (angel!) swapped bikes with me. So grateful! She said it's a funny bike to ride but it doesn't make her back hurt and the breaks [brakes] are really good. She's about a foot and a half shorter than me so maybe that helps. I'm just so grateful she's willing to ride it! It's so hard to get bikes up here from the honbu [mission home] (5 hours). It would be a pain if Elder Anderson had to bring another bike up here again. Then we (the district) had lunch with Brother Ono to say thank you for being Ward Mission Leader for 3 years (he just got released). Then he did a mogi [roleplay] with us. Then we set up for our Valentines Activity. Finished early so we biked 30 minutes to a LAs house to visit her. She was busy so we went housing close by. Then started back to the church. The minute we started biking back the weather turned INTO A BLIZZARD. We couldn't look forward because of the snow. We both ran into a flagpole (good thing we wear helmets). Got to the church and the holes in our helmets were packed with snow and my skirt was completely white. :8 But people still came to the Valentines' Activity! We rotated between a card making booth, cookie decorating booth, and a photo story booth. (we did the photo booth). Way fun! We taught the spiritual message on love and everyone was super receptive!

Saturday we heart attacked the Elder's apartment and left chocolate for them (the tradition for Valentines in Japan is the girls give to the boys). Then we had a lesson with Sugiura shimai [Sister Sugiura] (RC). Then a lesson with Yagita shimai [Sister Yagita] (active member) on scripture study. Felt the Spirit so strong! She hasn't been reading lately and was feeling like it's okay to miss days of reading. I felt the Spirit so strongly. No! You need to read every day! In 1 Nephi 8 the people who didn't hold continually to the word of God were lost or fell away. We are in the midst of Satan's temptations--we need the word daily! We need it to have the power we need to endure to the end. And conversion's not a normal oil lamp that you can fill up by reading the entire book of mormon in one day. Like the lamps of the 10 virgins it's an oil lamp that you have to fill up daily, drop by drop. I felt the spirit so strongly as we testified and saw it change Yagita shimai's heart. We hugged her goodbye as we finished the lesson and she left smiling and the Holy Ghost said to me: Tell them to read their scripture and pray everyday. So I'm telling you: READ YOUR SCRIPTURES AND PRAY EVERY DAY!

Sunday Sae-chan came to church. Mogied with 2 members. Went follow-up housing. First person was busy. I was praying so hard in my heart: Heavenly Father, please help us share the gospel with someone today. The next two people we visited BOTH listened to us! One had read the pamphlet we gave her and we shared a message about the Plan of Salvation and asked if we could come back and the next we shared a scripture with. Prayer totally answered!

Taught 21 lessons this week!

Saw a Hitachi excavator on the way home! Totally felt like it was a message from Heavenly Father saying 'I know you and I love you!'

Read this in my personal study today: "Devoted disciples of Jesus Christ always have and always will be valiant missionaries. A missionary is a follower of Christ who testifies of Him as the Redeemer and proclaims the truths of His gospel. Sharing with other people things that are most meaningful to us or have helped us."

I know He lives! I love Him and I love bearing testimony of Him.

Have a great week!

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. Happy Valentines Day!
Candice, I love translator headsets and microphones! They are so fun! Like spies! Good luck with your 10-minute lecture!
I love your stories of service Mom!
Good job babysitting Lauren!
Congrats on National Merit Zach! Also Congrats on Lysander! You will have to remind me which one of the comical characters he is. :)
I had Mr. Hultburg for a social studies class! Something having to do with citizenship I think...
We haven't recieved any water bottles for emergency preparedness but all the missionary apartments have at least many liters of emergency water.
Sounds like it was cold in NC this week too!
Do you know the schedule for the Tokyo temple? Do you have to make a reservation? 

I'm excited to live with Paige!

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