Konnichiwa from the land of the rising sun!!!
Ok to start off, last week Monday, we went to the BYU Wind Symphony with Yamauchi San and tokita shimai. It was a way awesome experience for Yamauchi San, she loved the music and was way impressed with the BYU students #shoutouttothecougars ….she kept thanking Reeves Shimai for having such a wonderful university, it was a great way for her to build relationships with the ward too. Also had a shokuji with Misao Shimai, which is always an interesting and fun experience in itself.
This week I finally got to meet brother kawatani, who is a relatively recent convert, who has had some struggles in his life and has become less active, but with the help of his wife and President Saverstrom (stake president of Machida) we are going to really help him remember the goodness of God. Just as important as helping our brothers and sisters come unto Christ and receive baptism, president wada has really stressed retaining members and helping them continue along the covenant keeping path.
This week we have been teaching Tamauchi Shimai commandments. I feel like once you get to commandment teachings missionaries get a little edgy and wonder if this is going to make or break the investigators. It reminds me of sports when you’re tied and you’re close to the goal or scoring zone and you’re not sure if it’s going to make it over the line and score so you’re just holding your breath praying that it makes it in, as a missionary you’re praying that you’ve prepared your investigator enough and helped them to strengthen their faith enough to keep commandments. It really is a huge step of faith, but when coupled with the spirit, miracles happen and hearts are changed. We taught Yamauchi Shimai about the word of wisdom on Wednesday, and our normal members that we have were unavailable, but we felt to ask one member that stood out in our minds, Nukui Shimai, which ended up being exactly who needed to be there. To most people we teach, commandments seem to feel like such burdens and such a drastic change sometimes, and very strict rules, and when you look at a commandment like that you’re right. But if you peel back that layer and see really why we have commandments you better understand that love is the motive. Love is what motivated God to give us these commandments to keep us safe, bless us and help us reach our highest potential, it is through our motive of love for God that we keep the commandments even when we may not fully understand everything in its entirety, through keeping commandments we are demonstrating love to our Heavenly Father. We were able to teach this to Yamauchi Shimai and she was able to fully understand that these are not hindrances but helpers. We were a little nervous because the night before she had messaged us about how her day went and that she’s so happy it’s coffee time, but as we taught, her heart was softened and she’s decided to take a big leap of faith and stop drinking tea and coffee. Her faith has helped strengthen my testimony of the gospel so much, often times I feel like I’m the one being taught and following the examples of the wonderful people I have my like Yamauchi Shimai.
So this Thursday was a pretty big day too, we picked up our new companion and had a mini sister training leader training. My favorite, Sister Padelsky and a couple other sisters (Sis Ashby, Sis Molen, and Sis Matsusaka) helped us new sister training leaders be better leaders and said how our role as sister training leaders is to Support, Train, and Lead. It’s crazy I saw all of my first three companions I had on my mission and had to say some last good byes to them as they embark on a new journey. I have learned so much from my past companions, from my trainer, Sister Nakamura who had to help me through my transitional period, she was always so patient with me and taught me that there is so much more to dendo than I ever thought, she taught me that love is not expressed in words, but in action, sister Padelsky taught me how to lead with love, how to rise to my full potential, and how truly fun dendo is, from Sister Dansie I learned how to look for the hand of the Lord and to not trust in my self, she taught me to look on the bright side and see that a smile really does make a difference. I have been blessed with some amazing companions and so grateful for them…and can’t wait to be in their wedding line lol! Anyway Sister Reeves and I have been stressing about our new companion we would be training and wondering what she’s like and how we can make her feel comfortable, we had wrongfully assumed that she would be American, but were happily surprised when we found out our new companion is Sister Suzuki from Shizuoka!! She is amazing and has so much passion and motivation to carry out the work. I am learning so much from her, although she’s a bean, she is amazing and demonstrates so much love for the people, I’m so inspired and blessed to labor with her and Sister Reeves.
With new responsibilities and a million new things and new assignments as a trainer and stl, I learned a great lesson from good ol’ Sister Padelsky, to be a good leader, you need to learn to be a better follower, but a follower of who?….our brother Jesus Christ. He truly is our exemplar and as we look to him we can climb the greatest Mount Fuji in our path and come out stronger than we started. So blessed to be a missionary for the Lord at this time. Thank you for the prayers!