Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Here in Japan, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving obviously because it is just about Columbus coming to America...or something like that. So I figured the way I would celebrate thanksgiving the best with you this year is to tell you all of the things I am thankful for from this week. Here goes... I am thankful for... Akiko san. She is the one we found who was walking her dog that speaks English. We actually didn't end up getting her number right, and so we couldn't call her. But we knew where her house was, and so we went to visit her this past week. She said that she even thought about coming to church this last week! It was incredible to find out that she has a lot of our same beliefs. For her first lesson, we ended up teaching her the word of wisdom and the law of chastity because she is takes her body as being very important. I have to say that is the first time I have ever taught that for a first lesson. She told us that she would love to learn and talk with us and go to church, but she said she probably won't get baptized and wanted to know if that was okay. I told her, the reason that I came to Japan was not just to make friends. I came to help people get closer to Christ. As we teach you, the purpose will be to help you be baptized. She seemed okay with it. I am so thankful that I feel so strongly about just telling people how it is. There is no sense in beating around the bush with God's work. We are going to meet with her tomorrow and I'm really excited. She is super cute. I'll have to send you pictures next week. Ko san. Picture 1.
She met the missionaries about a year ago and we called her up to see if she would be willing to meet with us. She said that was okay. She said she would bring her son as well. As it turned out, Ko san just wanted to talk, but not about the gospel. However, her son was very nice and interested in what we have to say. I know that The Lord blessed us so much because even though she wasn't interested, she was prompted by god to bring a family member that would be. Hasegawa san. Picture 2 and 3.
If you put Hasegawa san and Nakajima shimai together you've got yourself
a wonderful video, all you need is popcorn. I love these two so much.
Hasegawa sans mother is 97 and in the hospital right now, so she spends
quite a bit of time taking care of her mother.
However, if she is home, we are able to visit with her. We had two lunch appointments with her at Nakajima Shimai's house this week. You know how sometimes when you plan a church activity and you know you have to have food in order to get lots of people there. Well, in missionary work, we do that a lot too. :) I asked her this week that if if she knew the message we taught was true, would she be baptized? She looked at me for a few seconds and then said, yeah I will. Then she said, I just can't say "no" to Sister Yamauchi. In my heart I was thinking, "oh, yeah!!" :) Hasegawa Mari san. She is Hasegawa sans daughter. She is one of my best friends. So sweet, super stylish, and has a way smart head on her shoulders. She came to eikaiwa with us this past week and had a blast. She is like my long lost twin. We are both perfectionists and we both know it. Ayabe family. Picture 4 and 5.
We went with Horie shimai this week. It was a really good experience. They learned about the temple. Shoma kun finished reading the children's Book of Mormon. Amazing!! Also, isn't saki chan the cutest thing you have ever seen in your life?! Your prayers and the Lords allowing a huge miracle to happen this week. I am also grateful for fasting. So we go this past Tuesday to see Okada shimai with Nakajima shimai prepared to share with her the lesson about tithing. We get there and I can just feel that something was wrong. I asked if there was, and she said there was, but it was private. But she said she couldn't be baptized. I felt like it was dei ja vu with ueda shimai. So, in order to open up her heart, we allowed for a little silence and questions just a little at a time. She ended up saying that her husband and her aren't getting along too well, money is a little hard, she doesn't know how she is going to live in the future, her husband had been in the hospital for so long that his employment was in jeopardy. We just talked it out and she felt better by the end and we commited her again to baptism and told her she would need to talk to her husband. So we set the date she could talk to her husband. The plan was for on Friday, so we were all going to fast for her that day. But then on exchanges on Thursday, me and Sister Chander and Nakajima shimai go to her house and she said she met with her husband today and told her her desires in her heart and the husband didn't understand it too well and kind of thought she was crazy, but was okay with it and said that when he gets out of the hospital, he wants to hear what we teach!! I am so excited!! I am so thankful for everyone's prayers in her behalf. You made a huge difference. I know it. She came to stake conference with members. Mom, I remember when you always had a baby bag for us at church. I made one for toma kun. Picture 6 and 7.
Cute, right!? Had her interview Sunday night and she is all good!! Pray for her to safely receive baptism and confirmation this next week. I am so excited!!! Service opportunities. Fun times with the relief society and Okada san this week. We made cute Christmas tree ornaments for the senior citizens. Way fun. Picture 8 The gift of tongues. I got asked without warning at the stake conference to translate from Japanese to English for all those who were listening in English. It was quite the deal. I had on this big headphone set. I know The Lord helped me so much. I love translating and am so thankful the gift of languages. P.S. I am a little better at translating from English to Japanese than I am for Japanese to English. So we wanted to pass off Ken Son to Elder Killpack and Elder Higbee so I set up an appointment for this past Sunday night. On the way there, we ran into Tsukahara Hiroshi san, the deaf man. He ended up coming to the church and me and Nakajima shimai taught him while the others taught Ken Son. And...we had the best lesson yet with Tsukahara san. He actually understood a lot. We even got a baptism date with him!! In April. A ways away, but he will need a little time to absorb things I think. Picture 15.