Monday, November 17, 2014

Introspection - November 10, 2014

Welcome to the "Highlights of this week" Email. Enjoy! 
So while I sent you my mail last Monday night (we have to go to seven
eleven where there is wifi) this lady came up to me and said, hey, are
you the Mormon missionaries. Now maybe in America, that is common, I
don't know, but it just about shocked me. Wow, huge miracle! After
talking to this lady for a little while, come to find out that she
lives close to the church and has come to our church before. Another
shocker. And then,  bout 10 minutes into our conversation, she pulls
out a picture of the Salt Lake City temple from her bag and says how
bad she wants to go into the temple, but can't because she isn't a
member. She said she always keeps it in her bag with her! Woooo, crazy
miracle, right?! Her name is Satou san and she is quite the character.
We will see where things go with her. It reminded me of our mission
song, oh may it spread from pole to pole till all shall know His name.
Satou san and Me
We have been talking with Jiao's (received baptism last week) wife a
little this week. She thinks it is amazing that we believe families
are so important and hold them close to our heart. She is studying in
Nara right now, so we are going to continue to try to talk with her
over Facebook and the phone and hopefully she gets baptized soon. 
Guess who is getting married?! Two of our recent converts. Kakuhata
Kyoudai and Okada Shimai. I am way pumped up. They told us, but said
to keep it a secret for now. They were going to get married in
January, but I told them they have to do it before I go home. They
didn't know about me going home and quickly rearranged. They are going
to get married before I go home and I am so pumped. Love those two to
death. I call them my mom and dad and they love it. Pretty much I call
everyone my mom and dad. Because, really, everyone is. I just feel
instant family contact with everyone I meet. So thankful for that gift
from God. 
Last eikaiwa picture of the transfer 
I had a really cool experience with Nakajima Shimai this week. So
everyone was asleep in our apartment (this is about 4:30 am) and then
I hear our phone vibrating so I look to see who it is. I missed the
call but then I see that we have three missed calls, voicemails, and a
cmail (texting) all from her. She had a bad migrine and she called us
to ask to come over and help her. I prayed about what to do, thinking
that we couldn't do to much for her. The thought came to my mind, she
helps you with missionary work all the time, you can help her by
getting out of bed. I called her back and asked what we could do to
help. She said she didn't know, but she needed us. I woke up Sister
Cortés and we went over to her house. We talked to her for a little
while, or rather she talked to us. She couldn't go to sleep. She was
worried about her family. The idea popped into my mind to sing hymns
to her. So me and Sister Cortés softly sang one hymn after the next.
After about 15 minutes she was saying that she felt so much better.
The last words before she went to bed was 「神�に感�します。」In English, that
would be, I'm thankful for God. After a few minutes we snuck out of
the house and let her sleep. That experience touched my heart in so
many ways. One thing that I learned was that she was healed on faith.
She just knew we as sister missionaries could help heal her. Also, she
remembered to thank God. 

The move of Sister Requilman and Sister Cortes.
My new companion came in for the Niigata zone (her last area was an
island). It's the only island we have our mission. It's called Sado.
The bus came into the mission home really late, which is unusual. So I
did missionary work with Miyaki shimai pretty well all day while we
waited for our two new companions to arrive. 
We "randomly" met Hiroshi san on the street (the deaf investigator).
My Japanese sign language has improved a little and I am developing a
little more confidence in it, but I still had to write most of it and
we discussed through writing. He is slowly progressing. It might be a
slow process. He still hasn't been able to meet our members that are
fluent in sign language. I think when we start getting appointments
with them, the process will start speeding up. 
By the time our new companions got to the area, it was planing time (9
pm). Sisters Owens was amazed at how busy we were. I told her there is
no way we won't be busy. This work is too important, time is too precious, 
so many things to do and so many people to baptize. I love missionary work!! 
Ueda Shimai is doing real great. She still really needs our constant
care and encouragement, but she is still continuing to change and
improve. For example, in the mornings, instead of watching tv before
going to work, she reads the Book of Mormon. What a wonderful example
to us all. 
We had our zone meeting this week. It was so wonderful. I love doing
trainings. It just fits my personality. Also, once again, I translated
for our two Japanese missionaries in our zone, Sister Yasui and Elder
Hibino. Love Japanese people! Love translating! I feel like our zone
has been empowered to do our part in helping the Christmas miracle
come to pass. 
Went to Japanese class with our two recent converts and also had
lessons with two of he he Japanese students. Shibuya and Shiela. They
are super cute. Talked about the restoration and they loved it. In
talking with them, it made me remember that I can't tell anyone to do
anything. That is the spirit's job. What a miracle it is when someone
keeps a commitment. The spirit is so real! 
We met Tashiro Shimai! It had been a while. So thankful for that
opportunity. She is doing good and not in the hospital like we thought
she was. 
When we were riding our bikes back to the apartment, we found 5
Filipinos walking to the grocery store. I love Filipinos. I want to go
to the Phillipeans some day. Gave out 6 Book of Mormons!! Woot! 
Tashiro san was still feeling really insecure about her decision to be
baptized next week. We moved her date to December 7. She does want to
be baptized, she just feels like it was a little too fast for her. Her
body is really struggling with different challenges right now. Pray
for her to be baptized on December 7 for me please. :) 
This week we are working on getting permission for Okada Shimai's
baptism from her husband. Everything is looking pretty good for the
30th of this month. Pray for her for me too...onegai shimasu. Oh, ps,
when I talk about this Okada shimai, I'm talking about he
investigator, not the recent convert. ;) In all my areas on my
mission, I have come to learn that if you have the name Okada, you are
a golden person. ;) 
We have been working with a few Filipino families. I am still trying
to figure out Filipinos. They love God so much and want to follow him,
but are sometimes so stubborn with becoming a member of our church. 
Hasegawa san, another one of Nakajima Shimai's numerous referrals, was
another miracle for us on Sunday night. She is reading the Book of
Mormon and Nakajima shimai invited her herself to go to church with
her. So excited for next Sunday. She is the cutest lady ever. 
Lastly, I just wanted to take about the word "introspection." I love
this quote given in General Conference many years ago...「Each of us
might well ask, “In what ways am I shrinking or holding back?” Meek
introspection may yield some bold insights! For example, we can tell
much by what we have already willingly discarded along the pathway of
discipleship. It is the only pathway where littering is permissible,
even encouraged. In the early stages, the debris left behind includes
the grosser sins of commission. Later debris differs; things begin to
be discarded which have caused the misuse or under use of our time and
Isn't that wonderful. You know that you are walking the path of
discipleship when you are constantly changing. I am so thankful for
the change that has taken place in my life, especially from the time
that I started my missionary service. I know that God loves me. He
loves each and every one of us individually. What a blessing!! 

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