Wednesday, March 18, 2015

E-mail, 3/16/2015

My dear wonderful family!!!

We taught 20 lessons again this week!

Tuesday we had a mogi [roleplay]-lesson with Degai shimai [Sister Degai] and then lunch with Kitamura shimai [Sister Kitamura] at Otoya. Then we biked to Takenoko shimai's [Sister Takenoko’s] (LA [less-active member]) (45 minutes away uphill). The wind was so strong! It took us an extra 15 minutes to get there but thankfully the wind pushed us up some of the hills! Takenoko shimai wasn't home so we vis[i]ted a nice couple we found housing nearby and they let us in and the Dad did magic tricks for us and the Mom had a lot of questions about the church. We haven't been able to pray with them yet but they have a good chance of becoming investigators! They asked us what time church is at and said they went by the church the other day and that it's a beautiful building. We invited them to come but it's pretty far and I don't think they have a car. After that visit we went back to Takenoko shimai's house and she was home and we were able to share a message with her in her genkan [entryway]! Then we came back to the church and had FFEP [Free Family English Program] with Ishita-san. It was so good! Sister Tairabune jointed and Ishita-san was so interested in the lesson. She has been reading the Book of Mormon on her own and said she loved the part where Laman and Lemuel fight with Nephi after they lose all their money to Laban--she said it's so real to life. She's progressing! It's so cool to see!

Wednesday we had a mogi lesson with Sister Sato about the Word of Wisdom. It's always interesting to teach the Word of Wisdom to members in Japan because most of them think caffeine is bad and a small amount of alcohol in food is okay. And even though we try to explain the correct doctrine to them, if they've been a strong member of the church for a long time they don't always listen. I guess we just have to teach the younger generation. Then we had a lesson with Sister Kato (RC [recent convert]). Really good! Then another mogi. Then we had a lesson with Shion-chan (RC) about family history--and she invited Sae-chan and Sae-chan came! Way good! Shion-shimai gave Sae-chan a leather triple combination. Sae-chan was so excited. I have never known such a strong PI [potential investigator] before. I'm praying so hard her mom gives her permission to take the lessons soon! Eikaiwa [English class]. It was a blizzard (snow and wind so hard it blew us around on our bikes) so not many people. I caught a cold. Whoops.

Thursday we had a lesson with Yamashita-san about the Atonement--and she understood! And she said she thinks she she should use that gift!! Holy cow! She has progressed so much from since I got here! From being just an Eikaiwa student, to an investigator, to understanding and applying what she is learning! Wow wow wow! After that our appointment was cancelled so we went housing but it was too cold so no one was out and no one was home so we visited a member and left a note for her. 

Friday I was sooo sick. Head, nose, throat, ears, eyes hurt. Runny nose, fever. I took the last of the medicine I brought from America but it didn't do anything so we went to the doctor. I've never been to the doctor in Japan before Hachinohe and in Hachinohe I've been to 3 different clinics! Very exciting. The physicians try to speak English to me, but then usually revert back to Japanese. The nurses only speak Japanese to me. Haha. I know a lot about Japanese hospitals now. Anyway. The doctor said my throat was really swollen and the medicine I took prevents high fever so he thought I may have the flu, but not sure so will you take a test? Okay. Took the test, not flu, so they gave me 3 different cold medicines. From the doctor we went to the church for District Meeting and then ate lunch. Came back to the church and Smith shimai [Sister Smith, the mission president’s wife] called saying I needed to take the TB test [tuberculosis test, for work when Katie gets home]. Luckily Iwahashi shimai [Sister Iwahashi] and I are well familiar with the clinicis [clinics] in Hachinohe, but we didn't have time to call right then because Tanaka shimai [Sister Tanaka] arrived for our mogi. Then we called Matsuda shimai [Sister Matsuda] (LA). Her health is very poor so we just did a message on the phone rather than visit her. Then we went to Saito shimai's [Sister Sato’s] house for a mogi. Then housing. Ate delicious Chinese food for dinner. Then went to the church and called hospitals to find somewhere to take a TB test. Good thing I have a Japanese companion because the name of the test is different in Japanese. Iwahashi shimai called the hospital and found out the names of the tests they do for TB in Japan and I looked them up in my dictionary and we found the right one and found a place open Saturday! (most Japanese clinics aren't really open on the weekends) Heavenly help! Then we had our Fun Friday (FHE [family home evening]) activity! We were in charge of the activity so for language study I translated what I could remember of "Spy" (the board game we have at home that's like mofia [Mafia]. Remember that one? We played it a lot at the Bellows Family Reunion [it’s actually called The Resistance]) and made a board game and cards and had it all in Japanese and we played that for the activity. I learned a lot of Japanese military vocabulary, which is great because most of our Eikaiwa students are in the Japanese navy. :) All of the people who came loved it, so it was great fun. Glad I was able to remember all the rules for it! I'm sure I messed up some stuff, but it worked out just fine! We came home and TRANSFER CALLS CAME! I'm staying in Hachinohe!!!!! My new companion is Isogai shimai [Sister Iosgai]. She's Japanese. From down south. I went on splits with her this transfer and lived with her my second transfer in Kamisugi (when I couldn't speak Japanese). So she's one transfer behind me. She's the senior companion and I'm the STL. :8 (Because our mission is rapidly dropping in terms of the number of sisters President Smith has changed STL [sister training leaders] to 4 people, not 4 companionships.) I was pretty surprised. I'm tanto [in charge?] over the Aomori sisters and the Akita sister because President Smith closed Hirosaki and Odate to sisters (because of the dropping numbers). I don't remember if I told you this, but because Iwahashi shimai has to take entrance exams for college she goes home this transfer instead of next transfer. So sad she's leaving! I love her so much!

Saturday we went to the clinic to get my TB test--never have been so happy to get a TB test in my life! I was cheering! I was pretty happy when I thanked the nurse for giving me the shot, haha. Anyway, it was perfect because the clinic was on our way to a lesson we were teaching with the Elders and Brother Ono to their investigator. Then we came back an[d] had a... I don't know what to call it... Kimono Photoshoot? Haha, one of the ward members loves kimonos and so she invited us to have a kimono photoshoot for our high-school aged investigators and recent converts to help them build friendships so we did! Way fun! Then we had ward coordination meeting and then did a mogi. Then we visited a less active and did follow up housing and were able to teach some lessons! Then the new family (that came to Eikaiwa last week) came to Eikaiwa again this week—and they brought another family!!! Yay!!

Sunday was Yoshi-kun's confirmation during sacrament meeting. Sae-chan came to church! And so did Moe-chan!!!!! It's been so long!!! We had a lesson with her after church and asked her how she felt about being baptized and she said; I still want to!! We invited her to be baptized the first week of May and she said yes!!! Then there was a potluck after church and we did a mogi with the Ward mission leader. Then as I was sitting, pondering trying to decide what we needed to do to Sae-chan came up to me and started talking to me about what she's been praying about recently and where she has been reading in the Book of Mormon recently and the prayers that have been answered and it was so amazing! She said she wants to be baptized and that she wants so much for her mom to give her permission to hear the lessons--she said by watching us teach other people she knows she can learn so much if we could teach her. She said sometimes when she reads the Book of Mormon she sees things and she sometimes feels like; there's something I can learn from this, but I don't know what but if I had a teacher I know I could understand. Everything she said just touched my heart!! She's only 17 but she's reading and praying every day! She said she was praying about transfers but didn't know what to pray for because she knows missionaries need to transfer to meet with the people who need to meet them but she didn't want any of us to transfer so she prayed to know what to pray for about transfers!! I'm so amazed by her! Please pray for her to be able to get permission to take the lessons. I love her so much. We also had the special chance to watch a broadcast from Tokyo of Elder Nelson speaking. He talked about missionary work and how we need to be able to give short, easy to understand answers to important topics. It was so amazing!!

Please also pray for Miyaji-san and Natsuko-san. Miyaji-san said she's too busy right now to take the lessons and Natsuko-san said she's too sick (with depression) right now to take the lessons or come to Eikaiwa. :( 

Today we went to the doctor and everything was okay for the TB test! And Iwahashi shimai also caught the same cold I did so she got cold medicine at the same time. So grateful! I was worried the TB test would malfunction or something and we wouldn't be able to send the scans to you in time! Miracles! So grateful!

Father has reading glasses!
Glad Zach ended up in a ditch close to home.
TB was a miracle!
Free Family English Program is
Sae-chan is doing awesome!
Shion-chan is doing good!
It's very convenient I needed a TB test the week we were going to the doctor. :)
I thought the same thing—my prayer was answered that I would get to see another baptism before I go home! Love Yoshi-kun!
I need to practice my flute before we can play any trios.
I love the Book of Mormon.  How is your reading going?

I really learned this week how the Lord is interested in the details of our lives. There were so many times I prayed for help with such small things that were so important to me and He answered. He knew! Even though they were so tiny! And things I didn't even think to pray for were worked out for my good by His tender mercy. I was so amazed. One week I was reading my Book of Mormon in the evening and I read "Nevertheless, the Nephites being strengthened by the hand of the Lord, having prayed mightily to him that he would deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, therefore the Lord did hear their cries, and did strengthen them" and I just knew the Lord had done that for me this week, that even though Iwahashi shimai and I were both sick we were able to go to all our appointments and teach 20 lessons and get a TB test and it worked! He strengthened us and He heard our cries. Because He loves us. And He will help everyone who cries to Him.

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

E-mail, 3/9/2015

My dear wonderful family,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!! I know you don’t want to celebrate but we like celebrating your birthday because we like you so you’re just going to have to be celebrated anyway. :D I love you so much! I’m glad you got my birthday card. You are a wonderful man and dad and I’m so happy you’re my dad. Many happy returns! I love you!!!!! Happy birthday!!!!!

This week was not too cold but way busy with lots of traveling and we saw lots of miracles and received lots of revelation!

Tuesday we went to Sendai for MLC [mission leadership council]. I talked to a really interesting gentleman on the bus. I asked him ‘What’s most important to you, your family?’ He said, ‘Not really, money is most important.’ Wasn’t really sure what to talk about with him after that…. At MLC each companionship talked about a challenge in their Zone and we discussed ways to overcome them. So helpful! I really liked it! That was the first time we’d had that discussion. Then Brother Nasekawa from Nagamachi Ward introduced the “Lesson Moniter [Monitor?] Program” a member missionary tool for members to naturally invite their friends to hear the gospel without pressuring them or sacrificing their friendship. It’s like a free lesson tester—we’ll teach the friend the member referred with the member for 3 twenty-five minute lessons and give them a survey at the end where they can decided if they want to keep taking the lessons and become a real investigator or if they’re fine with ending the trial. A really cool idea! The members in Sendai Stake are starting to do it so they’re introducing the concept to all the missionaries so if a member asks us to do it we can help them. The drive to do it is coming from the Stake Leadership and Ward Leaderships so it’s pretty cool. They’re not starting it up here in Aomori yet but they want to at some point. They’re starting it in Sendai first for trial runs. It will be interesting to see how it goes! I learned lots from MLC.

Wednesday we continued MLC. The theme was Revelation. I learned so much! I felt like knowledge was just pouring into the room and into my soul. It was such a powerful testimony to me of the power of the Spirit and of how important it is that we seek it and receive it.
l  President Smith: We need revelation to resolve questions we can’t answer on our own. Build on the foundation of Revelation and Christ and you are safe, saved.
l  Sister Smith: Faith leads to strong character which can be used in times of trial and temptation. We become who we want to be by consistently doing what the person we want to be does every day. What have you done to build your firm foundation? The building blocks are in place. What are you going to do about it? The mansions prepared for us are build on a firm foundation of faith. We won’t be happy taking that path by ourselves—take others with you. The Lord has given you everything you need to be successful.
l  You need to ask God if you’re a successful missionary. That knowledge can only come through revelation. Work on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Learn to be happy no matter what.
l  Revelation is communication from God. He gives us just enough for us to know what to do, but generally not more than that.
l  We receive revelation for ourselves and for our stewardships and our leaders can receive revelation for us too. We can receive the revelation that their words are from God (ex; I will go and do the things the Lord commanded through my leaders).
l  Revelation is received in small ways, through strong feelings, in our hearts and minds, and answers that are different than we expected.
l  Our prayers become more like the Saviors as we become more meek and pray to know His will. It increases our desire to change ourselves, unifies us with God, helps us come to know Him and come closer to Him.
l  We need to search the scriptures for answers, not—I’ve read the scriptures so many times, I’ll just review my knowledge. Read to learn what you haven’t learned/become yet.
l  Coals together keep burning, take one away and it dies. We need to go to church. We need to be with the Saints.
l  How do I tell if it’s me or God? First; ask—why do I want to do it? If it’s a good desire, do it now. A lot of “thoughts” are inspiration. Learn.
l  When the crisis comes the time for preparation is over so always be ready by being worthy. Worthiness allows us to receive revelation which allows us to have God’s power and to do miracles.
l  Testimony is a witness. Conversion is a process of bringing thought, mind, and action into line with God’s will to become a Saint. It leads to desire to share the gospel.
l  Our goal is to get to the point when God’s thoughts/desires are the same as ours. When we get to that point, then the Lord can perfectly trust us. We can get to that point through prayer, the scriptures, and church. Continuing revelation.
After MLC finished we came back to Hachinohe and started working on Zone Training Meeting preparations.

Thursday we had a lesson with Ishita-san about prayer and the Holy Ghost. She understood really well and she read 3 chapters of the Book of Mormon on her own! We asked her to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. The rest of the day we did Zone Training Meeting prep. We had 2 trainings, 1 was 15 minutes (about being lifted up by Christ and those around us, using the book “Adjusting to Missionary Life”), the other was 30 minutes. We felt really inspired about the things we needed to share in our training for Adjusting to Missionary Life and really felt strongly that it was something this Zone needed and preparing that training went really, really well, so I really feel like God wanted us to do that training. The revelation we received for that was like the sun rising on a clear day with no clouds. Gradual, but super clear. The other training (about revelation) we knew we wanted to talk about how by receiving revelation we can go through the process of changing from a natural man to becoming a Saint and be truly converted. And we knew we wanted to focus on the importance of prayer, Book of Mormon, and the Sacrament, but we weren’t sure what order we needed to teach the principles in. It felt like a day that was so foggy you couldn’t see in any direction, and weren’t sure where to go. So we prayed and after that there was a light leading us through the fog, giving us just enough light to step in the right direction and we suddenly knew what order we needed to teach everything in and what we needed to say and it all came together. It was so cool to know we were receiving revelation to teach about revelation! Principles in action! It really was a miracle and we were truly blessed by God.

Friday we got up at 4:30, left at 5:45, train at 6:11, got to Aomori at 8, prepped, and then had Zone Training Meeting! Our AML training went exactly as we felt inspired to plan it and there was a really sweet spirit there. The Zone Leaders gave a really inspired training on the Spirit of Revelation. Then we gave our second training which we called “Conversion—The Process of Becoming a Saint by Receiving and Following Divine Revelation”. I was so shocked by what happened; the things we taught were things I had never thought of before. We used analogies I had never heard before. I learned from things that I said that I didn’t think of until the moment I was speaking them. We were moved upon by the Spirit to speak and I felt this connection with Heaven. And even though we were doing things we hadn’t planned, my companion and I were 100 percent on the same page. My heart was so touched. I was so surprised. It was really the Spirit teaching, not us. I have felt this way before, but I felt it in a new and powerful way. I am so grateful we had this training about revelation! It has really changed my perspective. It has made me hungry to strengthen my connection with Heaven because there is nothing more important than that.

We had a district leader meeting after ZTM [zone training meeting] and got good feedback from the leaders. Then we got on the train back for Hachinohe. Since most of our time was gone from the day our plan was to do personal study on the train and I was sitting down and getting ready to do that when I felt this little nudge, a tiny thought; you should talk to the girl sitting next to you. I thought; but I need to study and I’m tired. Again; you should talk to her. Well, we’d been studying revelation for the past 3 weeks and just has 3 days of very clear instructions that many thoughts are actually inspiration so I decided to follow President Smith’s advice to “If it’s a good thing, do it now” and started talking to her. Turns out she’s a college student on spring break on her way to Hachinohe for the night because she’s been visiting all of Japan’s 47 perfections [prefectures?] for the past 5 years—and she’s going to visit the last one tomorrow! Her major has to do with family science/history and she has researched her family history all the way back to the Endo period (WAAAAY far) and her name is Chie (wisdom). We talked all the way back to Hachinohe and I invited her to come to the FHE [family home evening] activity at the church that night. She said “I’d love to! I don’t have any plans tonight. What time?” So she met us at the church at 7pm for FHE and she loved it! She looked up Eikaiwa [English class] by herself on her phone and found the address of a church near her home (near Tokyo) and she said she wants to go! She said; I’m so glad you talked to me on the train! And we exchanged contact information—and I got an email from her today!! Miracle! My heart was so touched and grateful that I talked to her. Just amazed. Holy cow. Wow, wow, wow. So grateful.

At the end of the day we weren’t able to do personal study, so during our preparation for bed I chose to read the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes instead of the other things I usually do. I’m so glad I did. My heart was so touched. It was all about the relationship between conversion and revelation. I cried. Mosiah 3:19 “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” So touched. So perfect. We have the Holy Ghost to help us become converted. Mosiah 3:20 “And moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.” I want this!! I’m on a mission for this!! Mosiah 4:2-3 “And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men. And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.” There is a relationship between conversion and the Holy Ghost! Mosiah 5:2 “And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.” The Holy Ghost leads us to conversion. So thankful.

Saturday we had a lesson with Sugiura shimai [Sister Sugiura] (RC [recent convert]) about tithing. Her income is only a pension but she still pays tithing because she wants to. Amazing. Then we had cake with Shion shimai [Sister Shion] (RC) for her birthday. Then we had kids Eikaiwa. A new family came—a mom, dad, and 3 kids all came and learned together. So cool! Way good people. I explained Free Family English Program and they took a pamphlet.

Sunday Sae-chan and Shion-shimai both came to church! Yoshi-kun’s baptism (Elder’s investigator) was after church. Yoshi is 16 and from the Philippines (half Japanese, half Philippines) so his native language is Tagalog but he learned some English in the Philippines so he took the lessons in English from an Elder from America and an Elder from Tahiti (native language of French) and his aunt (a member, she is Japanese) would come to lessons with them so during the lessons they would be reading the scriptures in 4 different languages. Wow! Since Yoshi doesn’t speak Japanese quite yet I was blessed to be able to translate the baptismal service for him (all the talks, etc.). That was the first time I’ve ever translated for the person being baptized. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that opportunity again. But it was so amazing to be translating the words the speakers were saying to him to him and see his joy at the things they were saying about him and the blessings they were promising him. He really understands the gospel. He bore his testimony in Japanese and it was so amazing. I just think it is so amazing that he came all the way to Japan to hear the lessons in English from an American and a Tahitian. So amazing. God really wanted him to learn the gospel. What a wonderful miracle. Touched my heart.

Way to go Zach on scoring a tri!
Hyrum Jackson is also playing Lysander!
That's awesome that the missionaries will usher for Lamb of God!
Candice started cello lessons!
Mom your emails are so spiritual--so amazing
How did Zach end up in a ditch?
Glad Kelsea is doing good.
If Sister Burton has any questions about Sendai I'd be happy to answer them if she wants to email me!
Spring is coming?
Way to go on inviting! We succeed when we invite regardless of the outcome!
I’m glad you aren’t bored of my emails yet!

Dad, you asked about emergency preparedness in our mission. All the missionaries have a big heavy-duty backpack in their apartment with enough food and water for 3 days and a first aid kit, flashlight, and some other basic emergency supplies. We have a practice evacuation drill for earthquakes or natural disasters once a month where all the missionaries go to their area’s evacuation center (usually a school) and do a practice call to an emergency number which can record messages and save them and other people can call in and listen to your message to know you are safe. In case of a tsunami we are instructed to run to the altitudes, not the evacuation centers (since not all the centers are on high ground). In a real emergency where cell phones are useable, all the district leaders check their district member’s safety and report to the Zone leaders who report to the assistants who report to the President. If cell phones aren’t useable we call the emergency number. President and Sister Smith watch the news to be aware of situations that may be dangerous and we get called if we need to evacuate. Just some of the emergency preparedness here.

Lately I’ve been trying to read 7 pages in the Book of Mormon every day and I am currently reading in Mosiah and just finished reading Abinadah's [Abinadi’s] last testimony today. I was so touched by how true and valiant and faithful he was in his testimony—even unto death he would not deny the Christ and that his words were true. Such courage. Such integrity. He was always faithful. An amazing example. I know that as we strive to strengthen our testimonies by following the promptings of the Holy Spirit to change ourselves to become better, we too can have the strength of character needed to withstand all storms of life and do so smiling, with faith in Jesus Christ, the rock of our salvation, our Lord and loving Redeemer. If we do this and hold out faithful to the end, we will rejoice to meet him at the judgment bar where we—at last!—will see Him again. It’s such an exciting thought; to see Him again. I’m excited for that.

I love you all so much! Have a great week!

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


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)

P.S. Oh, and CONGRATULATIONS ZACH ON BYU!!!! Excited to be there with you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

E-mail, 3/2/2015

My dear wonderful family,

It was a great week! We taught 15 lesson and had splits!

This week:

Monday, all the missionaries had dinner with the Kanezawa family. Ate lots of Okonomiyaki [pancakes]. Delicious!!

Tuesday we had district meeting and a lesson with Ishita-san about the Book of Mormon. She’s starting to read it! Praying she will understand what she reads and know it is true!

Wednesday was a great day for less active visits! We had Shuwa [sign language] class and visited Takenoko shimai [Sister Takenoko] and were able to share a message about hymns with her. Turns out she loves music. Inspired! Then we were able to meet Koizumi kyoudai [Brother Koizumi]! (LA [less-active member]) And he wasn’t hanti [opposed]! Then we visited Manami shimai [Manami] and were able to share a message with her too. Decided to talk about hymns again…and turns out her favorite hymn is “Teach Me to Walk in the Light”. Amazing or what? Then Eikaiwa [English class].

Thursday we had a lesson with Yamashita-san and she read the pamphlet about the Fall!! She won’t read the Book of Mormon in our lessons so I’m so excited she read the pamphlet! We talked about the purpose of life and her interest is still strong. So excited for her! Then we went and visited Awaji kyoudai [Brother Awaji] (LA)—actually, we went to visit his wife who is not a member but who seems open to the church and as we were talking to her he came to the door and we all talked for a little bit and then she gave us “smoked garlic” as a parting gift—wow! That stuff is strong! She gave us a piece to eat right then. Wow, wow! I don’t want to eat that again!

Then we took the train to Hirosaki for splits and Takahashi shimai [Sister Takahashi] and Isogai shimai [Sister Isogai] mogied [roleplayed] for us. They are very good teachers. I was very impressed.

Then we planned for splits.

I spent Friday in Hirosaki with Isogai shimai. We taught Family English Program to an investigator, did housing and chirashi kubari [flyer distribution], had a dendo [missionary work] fireside meeting with the district and ward mission leader, and had a phone call lesson with a less active. Really good dendo!

Saturday I came back to Hachinohe with Iwahashi shimai [Sister Iwahashi] and then we had lunch with Saito shimai [Sister Saito] (Hachinohe Branch) and Brother Miake (service missionary couple from Nagamachi who was in Hachinohe this week) at a seafood barbeque—you pick the raw seafood you want and cook it on a barbeque (not yakiniku—different). We had lots of oysters and huge shrimp and fish and it was so delicious! Then we had coordination meeting with the ward and then a lesson with Shion-chan (RC [recent convert]) and Sae-chan (PI [potential investigator]) came too. We taught about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon daily and they both said they wanted to and Shion-chan asked Sae-chan to give the closing prayer and Sae-chan said it perfectly! She’s been praying and reading the Book of Mormon on her own! And she’s not even an investigator yet! Amazing!!! Then Eikaiwa.

Sunday we taught gospel principles about prayer and combined Third hour about scripture study and we’re teaching in MLC [mission leadership council] on Wednesday about revelation through church attendance. Just getting in all the knowledge we can about the 3-piece-backbone to testimony! It is a huge blessing to us and our investigators! We can truly see them progressing by their efforts to pray, read, and attend church! In combined Third hour we committed the ward to try and read the Book of Mormon every day for the month of March. We know they will see great blessings if they keep their commitment! After church we taught Kato shimai [Sister Kato] (RC) about fasting and then came home and did weekly [planning?].

For our gospel principles lesson about prayer Iwahashi shimai and I translated a song Zach sent me when I was still new in the field. I don’t know if you remember but around my 3rd and 4th transfers I was having such a hard time feeling like a good missionary and felt so alone but when I heard this song Zach sent me for the first time it touched my soul. I listened to it over and over and over again. It touched my heart and spoke peace and truth to my soul. It helped me so much and it answered the questions that I had. I felt we really had to translate it and give it out to the people in our gospel principles class. And it touched hearts just like it had touched mine. Here’s the lyrics (a little off because I only have the Japanese copy right now so I’m translating it back into English);

If you’re feeling alone and you just need someone to love you
And you don’t know you’ll ever make it through
If you’re worried and just need someone to listen
There is someone who is always there for you

Though the road keeps getting longer
And you’re far away from home
Just remember someone loves you more then you could ever know
Every night and every morning, in sunshine or in rain
No matter where, He’s always there
Just one prayer away

If you’ve done all that you can and it’s still not enough
And you feel the life you want is just a dream
If you’ve given all you can and don’t have the strength to stand
All you got to do is get down on your knees

Though whatever storms this life may bring
You’ll hear His voice if you’re listening

I hope that touches your heart like it touches mine! Thank you so much Zach for sending me that music so long ago. It answered my prayers!

I’m so excited for Easter and for General Conference! I’m so grateful Christ willingly came to earth and lived His live so that we can live again and receive all the help in life we need to become like Him. I hope our investigators, recent converts, and less actives can understand this as we continue to fellowship and teach them.

I love you my dear family!

So excited to keep hearing about Lamb of God! Yep, transfers are coming up—who knows what will happen?? WHAT! Someone from Greensboro got called to Sendai! So excited!! I got the package!!! Thank you so much!! I loved the “Prophetic Council and Temple Blessings” talk! Elder Aoyagi toured our mission last year and he is such an amazing example. Zach—are you going to email me to tell me your exciting news???? Praying for Kelsea. Mom, I am excited for you and Dad to come!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your missionary,

Bellows shimai :)