The missionaries with the dendo shunin (ward mission leader) and his wife-Usui Kyoudai and Shimai. Sorry no new pictures this week. This is one with my former companion.
It's miracle mail time once again. I know that the Lord will always give us the chance to see miracles if we believe in them. Enjoy :)
1. This last Sunday we decided that we were going to street near by our church with the intent to give church tours to those who wanted one. We ended up doing one church tour in our scheduled finding time. Then, we were about to leave the church because we had dinner scheduled next in our daily planners; however, there was a Mom and two boys playing in the church parking lot. We went over and started talking to the Mom. She lives right next to the church. We asked if they wanted to see the inside of our beautiful building and one of the little boys said, "Mitai, mitai!" (that means, "I want to see, I want to see.") While giving the church tour, we walked by the Bishop's door and he opened it. He just happened to be in a meeting with five other church leaders. He invited us in and was able to get to know the mother and the two boys a little more and invite them to the ward Christmas party. We also told them about Kids Eikaiwa. The mother was very excited about that. Then we asked if we could set up another appointment. She said she would like to come to church next Sunday and get a lesson. kiseki, deshou?!
2. We just finished visiting with my Japanese teacher. She wanted us to visit her home and feed us. Her name is Tanabe-san. She is one of my best friends. Today I told them that My Great-Grandma Okamura's maiden name is Tanabe. Her and her husband were shocked. They said that Tanabe is a very rare Japanese name. We are going to meet up soon and do family history with them. Maybe we're related!! Tying family history work into missionary work can be one of the most spiritually enriching experiences ever. Tanabe-san definitely reminds me of Grandma Okamura so much and I sure do hope that Grandma Okamura is helping us out on the other side of the veil. We're going to need lots of help.
While sitting in sacrament meeting with our investigators, I can't help but wonder how they must feel. I don't know how to put this in words, but I'm going to try. Our church is awesomely different. We do lots of awesomely different things like have a three hour meeting each week (that's a long meeting for those who haven't grown up in the church and even for some who have grown up in the church), ask people to give freely of their time and be happy about it, we don't drink wine or coffee, and the list goes on. Why do we do these things? The answer is so incredible simple, but profound. We do these things because the church is true! If it weren't true, I wouldn't be a member of this church, nor would I be on a mission right now. My favorite message to share with others is their personal relationship with God. We are children of God and He is literally our Heavenly Father. Love is so incredibly powerful. Knowing that God loves us, we will do anything to follow Him.
We have been so busy here in Kasukabe, so I don't really have any new pictures to send you. This picture is old (during my first transfer). The missionaries with the dendo shunin (ward mission leader) and his wife-Usui Kyoudai and Shimai. They are the cutest and I feel so blessed that they are a part of my life!!
Before I leave, I better explain the subject of this email-It's the climb that counts. I think too many people get focused on the end goal that we forget to enjoy the little moments in life. God definitely has an end goal/vision: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men. We too ought to have goals. However, this vision of our Heavenly Father's has the word "eternal." There really is no end to eternity is there? Therefore, we are never really going to get to the end of anything. Don't wish away your days. It is so important to enjoy the journey-each and every moment counts!
Please keep praying for our investigators, especially Tanabe-san, Maria-san, Yukiko-san, and Yukari-san.
Bye bye from Japan,