I know I say it in almost every letter, but the weeks fly by!! This week has been great, we have been meeting with Shimada San and she is still progressing great and we have a new investigator, her name is Jennifer from Shanghai, different from our other investigator Jennifer from Taiwan. Trust me, the names here really mess me up lol. So we had a lesson with Shimada San and we had decided that we were going to extend a baptismal date with Shimada San. We normally extend them in the first lesson, but since our first lesson and every other lesson has been with the Shimada’s we have had a rough time getting to everything. The Shimada’s are incredible members. During the lessons I am so grateful for their help, especially with the little Japanese I do have, they help Shimada San to really understand and feel the spirit. So we made our lesson plan and I was going to extend the invitation, we even debriefed Bishop and his wife on what needed to happen and that I would ask her. I practiced the commitment in Japanese and prayed nonstop on Wednesday that my tongue would be loosed and I would be able to say the things I needed. So the lesson is going great and I feel the build up leading up to where I should insert and ask her, but figuring how to get through Bishop and Sister Shimada is sometimes like running across an LA freeway! You don’t know when to get over and sometimes it’s a lil’ scary. They’re way intense and great, but speak crazy fast. So Bishop is so dendo Fire and is so excited answering all her questions and I’m about to interject when I hear the word baputesuma and ukette and ends the sentence with ka. Well I really can’t understand a ton of Japanese, but I def understood that Bishop just extended the invitation to her before I could go. Initially, I was like WHAAAAT? We had a plan and discussed it and he like bulldozed through me, and didn’t let us get a word in. But after the lesson, I thought about it and realized I needed to trust Bishop and maybe he received revelation that he had to ask her then. Sometimes in life things just don’t go according to plan, but we trust that Heavenly Father has a greater plan for us and we move forward in faith. It is a valuable lesson I have learned before my mission and continue to learn today.
Ok, so two really awesome miracles: so we had an outreach night and it was Japan night. We ate Japanese treats and made origami, calligraphy and played a hiragana card game and of course a lil’ round robin ping-pong (actually not a Japanese game, lol) but it was way fun. So none of our eikaiwa students or PI’s were going to be able to come so we were a little nervous, but Yuki and his mom Jenny Shimai are amazing member missionaries and Yuki brought five international friends and Jenny brought her friend from England. In our little get together we had people from: Japan, India, France, New Zealand, America, Germany, and England. It was way fun! I love working with the youth. They were from all over, but we were able to come together and share a message about gratitude, with them afterwards. They loved it and want to come to our gyoza party! 🙂
As we talked with them I started thinking a lot about my youth days and how grateful I am for the church’s youth programs and for dedicated leaders who kept me on track and helped me to learn of my divine potential as a daughter of God. I remembered how Sister Norma Wallace showed us so much love in my latter primary years and helped us to really learn and develop a love for the Savior; I remembered Sister Koford working to organize all of us in Activity Days and planned out activities and lessons to help us develop our testimonies; I thought of how Mama Risueno helped push me to get my Young Woman medallion and would always ask, “How’s your faith going?”; I remembered the special handouts and personalized messages Mama Bremmer would put together to remind us of our Infinite Worth as daughters of a Heavenly Father; I remembered how Mama Barbie told us we could be anybody we wanted to be; I remembered the love and joy Aunty Lii shared with all of us and not only told us, but showed us that the gospel is a message of happiness; and I remembered the unyielding love of a Young Woman leader who gave special care to each of us in Young Women and demonstrated Christ’s example of not talking of love but showing it in her actions, she always seemed to know exactly what I needed to hear and learn and when she didn’t she would just hug me and that was enough, thank you Sister Smith for your virtuous example. I am grateful for the experiences I was blessed to have and after meeting these youth, we encouraged them to come and join with us, I know that the church helps all people, but especially helps youth find who they are and their potential.
Second miracle. I had the opportunity to go to the mission home and participate in the mission prep, Dendo Day. So a bunch of youth got together and they were each paired up with a missionary and we were to go out and give them a raw experience of streeting. I was way freaked out and terrified of one getting lost in an uknown city, being responsible for helping this youth learn and desire the importance of missionary work, oh and did I mention that I don’t really know Japanese…haha…(nervous laugh). I was paired up with Sister Itabashi, who lived in Utah for four years and spoke fluent English (hallelujah!). I found out she already has her mission call to Kobe and she leaves in two weeks!!! We had an awesome time, she was so sweet and was super happy to talk to people. I learned so much from her. She taught me to trust in myself more and the Lord’s abilities to help me as I open my mouth. We found a rugby field and were able to talk to the coach of a team and introduce the Book of Mormon. He had heard of Mormons and we talked about our purpose and she tried twice to give it to him but alas, he was not ready yet. Sis Itabashi was still so positive and ready to baptize the world. I love her, she is way sweet and I am excited for her to experience the joys of the mission! The youth in Japan are so hardworking. I was amazed at their love for the gospel and was uplifted by the testimonies they shared, it was an awesome experience!
From these experiences, I learned to really trust I the Lord and go forward in faith, holding nothing back. I was reminded of the trust the Lord has given me in trusting me to teach those in Japan and help them come closer unto Christ. And I realized if the Lord trusts me and my humble abilities to help I need to have more trust in myself too. I am grateful for the love and trust of the savior to be a missionary. I am grateful for all of you, your love and support!
Ai shite imasu,