Today we went to the temple. Oh how I love the temple. I have to listen in Japanese. I understand it so much better. I seriously do have a hard time listening in English any more. In fact, one of the new investigators that we met today is a Fillipino and he was telling us stuff and I just could not understand what he was saying in English. Luckily he speaks Japanese and Spanish too, so we could talk to him pretty good. Turns out he has read the Book of Mormon and studied about our church before. He is 60 years old now, but he studied when he was 23 years old in the Filipinos. How cool it is that we meet him in Japan and get to teach him. Oh, he's the dad of the family of 14 that I have been telling you about. We literally go over there to teach them and get a new investigators every time because someone different always answers the door. ;) Anyway, back to the temple. I love it so much. So much inspiration and power it's incredible. I saw Kitahara Kyoudai and Marutani Shimai in the temple from Kasukabe ward. Man, I love and miss them so much! I love the temple!!
This week we had companion exchanges with the other Koga Sisters( Sistee Miyaki and Sister Requilman). It was so fun to be companions with Sister Miyaki again...it's been a long time. I love this sister so much. We have always made quite the team. Sister Miyaki and her
companion have been having a really difficult time for some reason. It's really hard when you have a companion that doesn't want to do missionary work. Sister Miyaki is such a great missionary and I know how hard it must be for her. Luckily, from past experiences with companions, I understood that. I now know why the Lord wanted me to have those experiences...because He needed me to comfort Sister Miyaki at this time in her mission. Anyway, that day we literally set Koga on fire with missionary work. With found tons of new investigators and taught tons of lessons. It's a great way to get them off for the coming weeks. I am so thankful that The Lord blesses us so much. I have taken particular notice to how much he blesses us leaders. It is incredible. He really consecrates our time.
So when I first came to Koga and was going back to the apartment, I remember seeing the Statue of Liberty and wondering what in the world it was doing in such a awkward place. So, today on pday on our way home from the temple, I had to get a picture with it. Enjoy ;) Then we went grocery shopping and I saw this lady from a distance and I just thought I had to talk to her. We ended up talking for about 30 minutes. She lives really close to our church, doesn't have a job, doesn't live with family, and likes talking about church things. SWEEEETTTT!! So excited to work with her. Her name is Joyce.
My companion caught a cold for about a week, but she has been a champion and still does missionary work with me. There is no time to
waste. Our investigators and members have been so sweet to her. This is a scarf
and a hat she got from Nakajima shimai. She is better now. Me and her come from totally different climates. She is always used to way hot climates, so just a little bit of cool weather and she is freezing. Me on the other hand, Japan is almost always hot/warm. :)
Shabu shabu with the nakamura family
Ever since I have come to Koga, we have been trying to work with a less active family. The mom is the only active one and then the husband and children are less active. They are sooooo cute. I still remember when we first met each of them and they seemed super skeptical and kind of hesitant to talk. I did all I could to be their best friend every time I saw of talked to them. It has been amazing to see the transformation in their family. They invited us over for shabu shabu this last Sunday night. It is one of my favorite meals. Basically tons of steamed vegis and then you shabu shabu the meat. I don't really know how to explain it in English. You use chopsticks, pick up a please of meat, and kind of weave it around in the boiling water and it cooks within about 10 seconds. So yummy. They are coming together as a family to church this next week and also to Ueda Shimai's baptism! So excited for that!
I love to ride my bicycle! It really is a joy ride. Here in Koga, we get to ride our bikes a lot and get lots of thinking time. It is such a great time to receive revelation for our area. Missionary work is soooooo fun. Work is sooooo fun!
What a wonderful week we have had in Koga. This is truly the land of miracles. Ueda Shimai is all set for baptism this coming week! Thanks for all your prayers everyone. One wards baptism is our whole church's baptism! So congratulations to you all! She will be confirmed the following week in sacrament meeting. Because she doesn't have a cell phone, we have plans to meet with her every day of the week just for a little bit. The ward is super excited to welcome her in. She really already acts and seems like she is a member. I love is woman so much. She has had a lot of hard things in her life, but she has changed completely. Seeing that change and the atonement's power is unlike any other experience I have ever had. She isn't all to big into pictures, so getting one with her was a little tricky. But I wanted to show you who she is so you can put a face to the name you are praying for.
This is my awesome Mission President. He is the best. So funny and yet so serious when it comes to missionary work, which I love. On Monday, I got to have a personal interview with him. We have interviews with him every other transfer as well as one at the beginning of our mission and one at the end of our mission. I always prepare spiritually so that I can receive revelation. President Budge is a super successful man. Not only in being a mission president, but in almost every phase of his life. One of the questions I really wanted to ask him was... How have you found success? I told him I left It really broad on purpose. His answer was very inspiring and something I wanted to share will all of you. He said he never set out to be famous or well off or anything like most people in this world do. He said keeping the commandments is pretty much it. If you keep there commandments, you will find success. What a simple, yet so profound a statement. Something I will always remember. All you have to do is keep the commandments and the rest will fall into place. He also said, Don't be two faced...live the gospel...all the time. I love that. Then he said, Follow the spirit? Lately, he told me about how in the world, there is an infinite addiction for more, more, more in order to be happy. You must continually seek to understand if you have enough, but don't think you need more. Find a good balance. I love President and Sister Budge and sustain them with all my heart!
lately. Outside of my apartment, there is this little bush that has cute heart-shaped leaves. Then me and my companion started talking about the tree of life and I was thinking about how the tree of life is the love of god. What a great little thought! If we really love God, we will do what it takes to return to his presence.THE
Here are a few other thoughts from the week that I don't have pictures to go with. Kenson came to church this week again!! We teach him along with his sisters, but we haven't been able to get the sisters to come to church yet. He really enjoyed it and I can see him changing so much. He loves the words of god and so do his sisters. Although he works a lot, his sisters don't, which makes it nice because we can meet with them during the week. We have been trying to talk to him about baptism and the importance of it. Hopefully, we will be able to set a date with him this week. His sisters will then see that example and want to follow. The Ayabe family is doing so wonderful. They are one of my favoritest families ever. We are doing the family eikaiwa program with them. (30 minutes English and 30 minutes of them listening to our message). They listen to the gospel lessons so intently. The kids were taught from the time they were young to pray to their ancestors, but as of last week, they have been praying every day to Heavenly Father and have really grown to love the fact that they have a Heavenly Father. The mom has been reading the Book of Mormon and this next week will be applying Moroni's promise. Pray for her to be able to feel the Holy Spirit. We we're housing about a month ago and ran across a lady named Itou san. She is pretty much the cutest mother of two I have ever seen in my life. We have been visiting her on and off and this week she has just sky rocketed! She loves the plan of salvation and when we gave her the Book of Mormon and told her why it is so important to us, she was so humble when she took it and so excited. Way excited to continue working with her. Pray for her that she can come to the Halloween party this coming Saturday at our church and also to church and Ueda Shimai's baptism service! There are so many wonderful miracles and people to tell you about, but I'll save you the time and stop there because if I were to keep going I don't think I'd ever end. I am so excited for another week...as always. When I think of my desires as a missionary, I think of John. In 3 Nephi we read: Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me...for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand. And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one. Love you all!! Peace out from Japan! Until next week ️ 山内姉妹