Miracles with the noguchis, Questions of the soul and ELDER BALLARD CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!…..oh and transfers..

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Konnichiwa everyone!!!
Hope all is well and warm in sunny California! Well this week is transfer calls and I received mine yesterday and I will be going to Hodogaya and my new companion is Sister Brox. New challenges bring new growth. Although I am very sad to leave Tama and all the wonderful people I have come to love here, I am ready for change and new opportunities. This week has been full of so much goodness. Honestly Dansie Shimai and I have been counting our blessings and are so grateful, we don't know how we got to be so blessed, but we sure are grateful!!

Tuesday we went to the old folks home with the Relief Society and sang songs about love and family. We sang "Love At Home", "Where Love Is" and two songs in Japanese, and then Naganuma Choro, Tsumura Kyoudai and I shared our family history with the group. I was way nervous to share in Japanese, but it went well and we enjoyed talking about family history with them. As I talked about my family history, they loved hearing about how my family came from a small island in the Pacific. But as I told them about my great-great-great grandfather who was from Japan, people were stunned! It was so funny to see their faces change and they were very fascinated that a Japanese man lived in Samoa. (While preparing for this, I had to type up a little about each picture and write in Japanese and most people think Samoan names are hard to say but saying Samoan names in Katakana was quite the struggle.) As we sang the music really touched their spirits and their faces began to light up as they sang along with us. It was such a simple service opportunity but it was such a sweet moment to spend with them and they were so happy to visit with us.

Thursday we had interviews with President Wada. We also got to spend some time with Sister Wada. She made amazing cookies that tasted like a lil' piece of America and a mother's love all baked inside a cookie....Yep! They were that good (it's the little things that bring joy on a mission). So during my interview President gave me a lot of insight to help my dendo, I really love President and Sister Wada. You can always feel so much love from them. One thing I did ask President Wada about was, recently Dansie Shimai and I have noticed that when we are talking to people and we tell them we are sharing a message about how we can find a greater happiness or about God, people tell us they make their own happiness or they are their own gods. President Wada explained how many Japanese people have gone most of their lives not even thinking there is a supreme being and therefore, never seeing a greater happiness beyond that which they have. He then quoted Whitney Houston's song, "The Greatest Love of All" (shout out to my mom who used to sing this to me all the time as a child), he quoted the part where it says 'I can depend on me' and when they don't see anything else to lean on for support they develop this idea of complete self-reliance and shut out God. He said how we still show them self-reliance is necessary but help them to break down that wall and show them that God is on that other side of the wall waiting to help them and bless them with much more happiness than they could ever imagine. I love President Wada and am so grateful for his wise counsel. It has helped us so much. In dendo when we ask people and they shoot us down with similar responses, we tell them well if there was a greater happiness than what you have, wouldn't you want to know about it? We invite them and allow them to make the choice.

On Friday, we got to see President Wada again at our district meeting and he helped us to really realize our investigators needs and had us think more in depth and to really empathize with our investigators to understand how we can help them. That night President Wada held a fireside called Questions of the Soul, and the theme was Faith. We were able to have Ichikawa San and our friend Sue attend and they both had a wonderful defining moment. It was a little crazy juggling both of them but President Wada gave a great talk and showed a clip from the movie, Indiana Jones. It was the scene when Indiana goes to get the Holy Grail and he has to take a leap of faith across a big cavern, he compared it to faith and how we need to put our faith into action and specifically, we need to exercise our faith in a sure foundation, Jesus Christ. It was a great night and truly a miracle to have both of them there and to feel the spirit. We also visited a referral from the Elders and she is interested and wants to hear our message. Yay for Nishimaki San!!! :)

Sunday night we went with Junko Shimai and Yuka to watch a special broadcast with Elder Ballard for members. It was a great experience for her to hear from an apostle of the Lord. Elder Ballard spoke with so much love. You could feel the power of his message and that he truly has been called as a representative of Jesus Christ. He spoke with love, but also a voice of warning, he said he doesn't know when the Lord will come again but he said he has studied the signs of the times and knows that these are the last days. Elder Ballard said how he has been giving a voice of warning for the last two or three years. He encouraged us to study Matthew 24, after studying this chapter, I really loved verse 14. On Monday, President Budge the mission president in the Japan Tokyo Mission said how we are currently fulfilling the prophecy in verse 14. The fireside was wonderful!

Monday morning we got up bright and early and went down to nakano church and had a combined conference with the Japan Tokyo mission. We were privileged to hear from Elder M. Russell Ballard, Elder Rasband and Bishop Stevenson. Elder Rasband and Sister Rasband, Bishop Stevenson and his wife spoke. The main theme of their talks were exact obedience and the power of the message of the restoration. Elder Rasband shared how missionaries in Thailand were disobedient and took a picture on a Buddha statue and were arrested and caused so much trouble for the church that missionaries had trouble coming in to the country. Elder Ballard met with many officials to convince them to put that incident behind them and allow missionaries to come back. As he spoke with a small group of missionaries who did come to Thailand he told them, "If you are not exactly obedient, this work will never turn around." I thought about how one act of disobedience can cause so much disruption to the work, but thought about how one act of obedience could have had a great influence and help the work. Elder Stevenson told us how the Japanese people have great values that many nations do not have but they are missing some things and that is the restoration. He encouraged us to perfect our teaching skills. Elder Ballard was the best, he told us how we need to focus on the restoration, and as we teach we need to fasten our eyes on our investigators like Paul did as he healed the man near the temple. He also said how in this church we are forever missionaries. He said how not even death stops us from being missionaries in this church and shared Doctrine & Covenants 138:57. He said if you understand the atonement you will forever and always be a missionary. If we are always going to be a missionary, might as well be a good one. He told us the Lord needs us to become master teachers. It was amazing! I wish you all could feel the power and spirit that was there. This was an awesome week!!! So many blessings, I hope we can all take Elder Ballard's challenge and perfect our missionary skills and become master teachers and be bold whether you're an RM, in Primary, a Relief Society member or a young woman, as we understand the atonement we realize our duty as missionaries in the church and may we all go forward and take that leap of faith and help the Lord. Move his work forward. I love you all thanks for the love and support!!!! 
Sister Wilson
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