29 November 2015
Courtesy of Elder Hansen's mom. I swear my companion was in this photo.
*Adjusts mic volume, nods in apology.*
Hello, fellow saints. This week was great of course because I'm a
missionary. Too much happiness and blessings. Y'all should try it.
Sister Gunn and I had some great adventures going to really really
really far places. We went to cities like Azumino and Yamagata, such
beautiful night skies and long country roads. All the rice is
harvested and the fields are bare now, just like when I first arrived
in Japan. Weird!
All creatures of our God and King are stunning! I'm so grateful to be
in a biking mission, enjoying all the outside has to offer. I am also
extremely grateful for the spirit, which like a fire is burning and
keeping us warm.
On Wednesday we had a fun Thanksgiving party at our English class. It
was fascinating trying to describe the concept of stuffing to
everybody. They were convinced that it was disgusting and that we were
joking. Also, they couldn't understand the difference between
cranberry sauce and cranberry jam. We said a cranberry jam just didn't
exist. Is that right? I don't really know. Why do we only eat super
good food like that once a year?
On Friday, we actually had three lessons! It was so exciting! We had
district training meeting in the morning and actually didn't leave the
church until it was time to go home again. I felt like such a
missionary! It was a very invigorating day.
On Sunday, the Elders had a baptism. WHOO HOO! Ando Kyoudai was a
referral from his friend, Hirabayahi Kyoudai. He started taking the
lessons about a month ago and is got baptized yesterday. We know he
will stay because he has a good friend and fellowship from the ward
members. Faith is all about edifying each other with the spirit!
Member missionary work rocks! We also had Elder and Sister Murai, a
family services missionary from Kanazawa come and speak to us in
sacrament meeting. He talked a lot about member missionary work and it
was so wonderful! We were praying the members were feeling the fire.
I'm blessed with a terrific branch, companion, fellow bunch of
missionaries, Mission president and and experiences.
My ponderizing scripture for this week is probably Phillipians
3:13-14. We repent fully and gain a remission of our sins by following
the Gospel of Jesus Christ today, not worrying about what happened
yesterday. I know that as we keep our eyes on Jesus Christ and try to
emulate his attributes we will progress. This gospel is about growth
in knowledge, personal use of agency, and PROGRESS. Christ will help
us get there. All my love!
22 November 2015
We are definitely neglecting the picture taking recently, sorry. So this is an accidental screenshot of our weekly report video we send to the area presidency each week. Enjoy. (なさい？笑)
This week was a lot of up and down, of course! Quite a few cancelled
appointments and a couple no-shows. We set a baptismal date with our
investigator Manami, which was so exciting, her desire is so pure! She
has been progressing wonderfully lately. Unfortunately, the meeting
with her parents did not go well and the date has been cancelled.
Another one of our investigators has been an investigator since 1945.
Yes! She is 91 years old, going very strong. She spoke at a public
event for seniors on Wednesday, and she talked about her experiences
with missionaries. We got to go listen which became excellent language
study and city introduction to the church! No, we can't figure out why
she hasn't gotten in the water yet.
Thursday I got to go on a companion exchange in Suwa with Sister
Tyler! I love her so much! Suwa is also impossibly beautiful, along
with the rest of Nagano Ken. We even found a cute new investigator
together, the spirit was so strong! I love meeting children of God
every day, it's a very enlightening experience. Sister Tyler also made
exceedingly delicious Omu Raisu. Yes.
Okay so thanksgiving is this week?? We were getting ready for bed and
Sister Tyler was like "wait, it's the third Thursday of November
right? Happy Thanksgiving?"
So we were belatedly/prematurely grateful. Psych.
Friday was a rocking District Training Meeting from the one and only
Elder Tanaka! He is so shy and Japanese but the meeting was excellent!
We shared about our Book of Mormon heroes. There's too many! We all
pick everyone! But you can say all the colors, that's tacky, so I
picked Mormon. His faith is immovable! He experienced so much
destruction and was humanely alone through most of his life. But, he
Covenanted when he was ten to preserve the record, and he did so very
faithfully! And look what happened! True church, living prophets,
eternal families. 1,000 points to Gryffindor (I'm assuming Mormon was
a Gryffindor, probably, right?).
On Sunday one of our new
investigators came to church! Hurrah!
I am deeply grateful for the love, faith, and support I have from you
people I love. I am grateful for mine and yours, the Savior Jesus
Christ. I'm grateful for this gospel of infinite happiness.
08 November 2015
And that's what companions are for, taking secret pictures of your back in scenic Japan.
This week I've have a new favorite food. It's called
オムライス(omuraisu)、which is rice and vegetables in an omelette. SO GOOD.
I crave it all the time. Don't worry though, I am still fully faithful
to my kitsune udon and Mac and cheese favorites. (I'm coming up on one
whole year without eating mac and cheese, can you believe it? How is
she surviving. Faith, that's how).
Speaking of foods, we visited a really awesome member this week whose
house is hidden away in a secret beautiful mountain of smallness. I
swear we bike 200 years backwards into this little yamavillage she
lives in. That's was great! Her testimony is rocking. Japanese members
are like celebrities. They have sacrificed a lot to become members,
and they way they show their faith and pure love of Christ is
exemplary. And she fed us tsukemono. Japan has this food called
tsukemono. What would that be in English? I don't even know. Oh, I
guess pickles. Yeah, they are like pickles, but for all vegetables.
They pickle all these vegetables and feed them to you. It's not my
Remember our adorable 18-year-old investigator from a few weeks ago
who was in love with the Book of Mormon as soon as we handed it to
her? Yeah, we finally got to meet with her again! She prayed for the
first time and it was magical. Yay! Happy spirit moments.
Also, we went to the Kawabata's on Thursday and she made omuraisu.
Happy food moments. Sigh. Happy.
On Friday we went to Nagoya for Mission Leadership Council Yaaaay!
President Ishii announced a mission-wide goal to have 70 more baptisms
before the end of the year, which is one per companionship! Whoo! I
felt the spirit testify really strongly to me that we can do it if we
work hard enough and have enough faith, ganbaro! At the end we knelt
in a circle and President Ishii said the prayer. POWER.
Sunday was district (like a stake but little because here) conference,
where my favorites Elder and Sister Whiting came! They gave such great
talks in Japanese!
The Book of Mormon is the word of God!
Read it, please. I testify that the promises in Mosiah 2:41 are sure,
living the teachings of Christ brings temporal and spiritual
01 November 2015
As you know, Halloween is my very favorite holiday so I was so excited ALL week even though it's not a very big deal in Japan. However, we had successful Halloween parties for both Eikaiwa and the Branch. A lot of people came, it was so great! We didn't get the OK on costumes from the assistants until right before, so we had to run to the dollar store and see what we could do. We had a lot of fun and met a few new people with potential for gospel investigation. Yay!
Monday we had a lesson with a newer investigator who brought one of her friends! Whoo-hoo! He was listening the whole time, the spirit was strong, then we asked him to read one of the passages in the Book of Mormon. He did, then flipped through it a bit and asked, (the first thing he has said all lesson) "Hm. I need to buy myself one of these books."
So then we gave him that one and exploded internally with joy (I feel like I type that a lot, but it happens a lot on your mission. Very hard on your internal organs, but it's okay, because we have the resurrection). We had another lesson yesterday with them, they had read thirteen chapters into first Nephi! Whoo! Introducing other commitments was a little rough but we have something to work with.
On Tuesday we finally had Zone Conference! We were the very last for the transfer, because sometimes they forget there is a Zone way up here in the middle of mountains. Just kidding, best for last of course! Right? Some excellent training on love, diligence and gratitude. I love President and Sister Ishii. I am learning so much about the missionary I want to be just front their example. Then they bear testimony, and the spirit is purely there. This Zone overall has just been incredible this transfer, truly it felt different. It felt like everyone's desire increased, and we were really ONE working for the cause. Whoo. It was powerful. I'm sad four missionaries are transferring out, won't be the same! But, new missionaries, new learning experiences. One of the marvelous things about missions. You meet some many people with experiences and testimonies. Glorious, really. Eternal learning hooray! Oh, and Sister Gunn and I are staying together in Matsumoto! Ha ha, for which I am grateful. I love this place!
Wednesday was English class Halloween Party, Thursday was Trainers meeting in Nagoya, and Saturday was Branch Halloween Party! Oh, Friday. Hm...Friday was kind of a blur, plans kept changing, we met some weird (children of God) people. A 92-year-old woman insisted incessantly that we drink the coffee she was serving, that allegedly missionaries before had drank, but we politely (so, in Japanese culture, very rudely) declined. She called us later that night to say she was testing our level of Mormonaucity. We passed. Phew.
Sunday- great testimony meeting from the branch! All I can is please- bear your testimony in word and deed! Testimony is when the spirit comes in and conquers all! So POWERFUL!
This week my ponderization is in Moroni chapter 8-
25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;
26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.