Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Transfer #4 - December 10, 2013

 
 
About 1/2 mile away from our apartment, we have a pretty good sized mall. The have this sweet Christmas tree set up. It's so BIG. They had this beauty set up before Thanksgiving!! I love looking at a Christmas tree. It reminds me of my purpose as a missionary-to devote my life to giving special gifts to God.
 
December 10, 2013
 
おはいようございます。 Ohaiyou gozaimasu. Good Morning.
 
I hope you are all enjoying the cheery atmosphere that December brings. We sure have been.
 
Miracles of the week:
1. I went on splits with Kelson Shimai to Okegawa (which is about an hour train ride away from Kasukabe). While in Okegawa, they had their district meeting. As a result, we had to travel by train (and had quite a few norikais-train transfers). When we first got on the train early in the morning, the train was packed and we didn't really have any space to move. The lady next to me was reading a book and I asked her if she liked reading. She said she did and we talked for quite a while about what type of books we like. I then told her that I came to Japan to share my favorite boook. She was so intrigued by the Book of Mormon and I gave her an introdution to the book. The Book of Mormon in Japanese is a little different from the Book of Mormon in English. The Japanese Book of Mormon uses lots of old words and grammer, so its hard for a lot of people to understand. However, there is a little dictionary at the back of the Book of Mormon that explains what certain words mean in simpler terms. When I testified of the power that it has brought into my life, she asked if she could look at it. She was completely shocked when I said I wanted to give it to her and was so honored to take it. She said she knew that it was an important book. I honestly probably won't ever talk to this lady again until after this life, but I hope and pray that the Book of Mormon will change her life forever. I think that's how it is with a lot of the things we do in life. Sometimes we don't know what our efforts will do, but I testify that our efforts do change people's lives. The Lord uses the small and simple things of the world to bring about HIs greatness. I know that!
2. On the next norikai on our way to Okegawa's district meeting, I talked to a 19 year old girl who is studying Chinese and English in college. The cool thing about it...she is from the Kasukabe area! She has interest in church and in getting help with her English. Last night, we had a lesson with her and some members. The young people of the world are soooo amazing. This Reina-san told us that she has always believed in God. Another testimony to me that God truly does prepare his people. She was willing to pray the very first time we asked her (even though she's never prayed before in her life). I just talked to her a couple hours ago and set up an appointment to meet tonight. She is honestly the most adorable person ever. It's fun to teach someone who is your own age. We are the best of friends and I would do anything for her. I am forever thankful for the people the Lord has allowed me to meet.
3. Our kid's eikaiwa class that we started last transfer is doing well. At first, it was a little slow starting However, as we have gotten the members involved in telling their friends about it, it has turned out to be quite the success.
4. We went to a less-active members house with a member on Saturday. She has said that she has been feeling God's love in a very real way recently. She has had dreams that convince her that God loves her. As we shared with her a message that we thought was fitting with her, tears ran down her cheeks. The Spirit was truly incredible in that lesson. She wants to go to church really bad, but she can't because of her job. However, in the past she hasn't had any desire to go to church. Now that she does, I know that the Lord will provide a way for her!
5. The less-active member (Sister Eto) has an 11 year old daughter who is really hard to. Unlike America (or I should say mainly Idaho and Utah) the wards are so spread out in Japan. The Kasukabe area is quite big. By car, they live about an hour away, so it is really really hard to set up appointments to meet her. In the 4 months that I have been in Kasukabe, we have been able to meet with her twice. This last weekend was one of those times-with her Mom, Eto Shimai. We told her our desires for Sayaka-chan to be baptized. Eto Shimai doesn't really want to set any specific goal for that right now, but she always says that it will happen eventually. We asked Eto Shimai if she would say the closing prayer and she agreed. She prayed for the ability to be able to go to church and also prayed that Sayaka-chan (her 11 year old daughter) would receive baptism once she understood the church a little more. Sister Hosoya (her visiting teacher of about 3 years) told us after the lesson that it was the first time she had ever heard Sister Eto pray before. What a huge miracle!
This morning we received transfer calls from the honbu (mission office). Sister Suita and I will be spending our Christmas season and New Year in............Kasukabe, in the same aparment, but we won't be companions any more. I am going to meet Sister Miaki (I'm not sure if that's spelled right) on Thursday. She is a second transfer missionary, so she I will be her 2nd trainner. Her first area was in the Tokyo 2nd ward (which is an English speaking and English teaching ward, so the mission office has asked that I really help her out with Nihongo (Japanese).
 
Speaking of Japanese, I got to translate at the Okegawa district meeting for Sister Ono. Despite the fact that we are in Japan, all of our meetings are in English. I wish they were in Japanese, but I guess because most of the missionaries are gaijin (foreigners), they do it in English. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE translating. It is one of the most rewarding jobs/responsibility ever (and good language study time).  :)
 
One last thought of the week:
Recently, we have been visiting with lots of less-active members of the church. If there's one thing that breaks my heart about missionary work, it's the less actives. It reminds me of the quote in PMG that says there is no point in doing missionary work if we do not hold on to the fruit of our efforts. As we have talked with less-active members, we have asked them if they have been praying lately. Without fail, almost every single less-active has not been praying. I have come to realize that when a member of the church stops praying (either personally, as a family, or both), that is the start of a slippery slope into inactivity. We must do the little things right. It doesn't seem like a big deal. Remember last General Coference when one of the speakers talked about skipping Sacrament Meeting once for a nice drive with the family. Those simple little things allow Satan to put a foot in the door of our spiritual house. Don't let him do this to you! It is by our small efforts that great things our brought to pass. Keep doing the small things and trusting that the Lord will never fail you!
 
I love Him and I love this great work!! Keep up the great missionary work everyone!
 
United as ONE,
山内姉妹

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