Dear Mom and family,
Thank you so much for all the birthday love and package!!! Birthdays on a mission have been so awesome, I have made some wonderful memories with the last two birthdays as a missionary. It is getting pretty hot here in Japan, right now it’s rainy season and it has rained nearly everyday, except for my birthday on Saturday, so that was another plus! 🙂
This week we went on exchanges with the Takao sisters, Sister Suzuki and Tister Taketomi and I worked here in Hachioji and boy was it some good dendo fun. Sister Taketomi is a sweet lil nihonjin from Okinawa and has the purest spirit and brightest personality, being with her and Suzuki Shimai was exactly what we needed this week. I love exchanges because you are always able to witness so many miracles and learn a lot from other missionaries. On our exchanges I learned a lot about genuine love from sister taketomi, we talked to this nice devout Buddhist grandma, who had no real interest, but Taketomi Thimai was persistent and as she spoke to this woman you could feel a lot of love from her. We talked to her a little about the plan of salvation, and Taketomi Shimai offered her a pamphlet and she refused very quickly and profusely, but taketomi shimai’s eyes were soft and said she needs this, this will change your life. The lady’s face changed and she humbly took the pamphlet and promised she would read it. It wasn’t very long and nothing super crazy happened, but it was one of those moments where I at least felt the spirit bear testimony to this woman’s heart that this genuine message is true. I’m so grateful for Sister Taketomi and her vibrant spirit, and seeing people as they can become and loving them enough to be persistent to see for themselves that what we teach is truth. So this day we had splits, the weather was relentless, nonstop hard rain coupled with a chilly wind made for some cold dendo but oddly enough sister Suzuki, taketomi and I had a blast talking to people, on the bus home, I met a young girl named Hitomi San. She has studied the Bible and was eager to take a Book of Mormon when I told her about it. Tons of good miracles on exchanges, gotta love it!!!
On my birthday, we went to lunch at sweets paradise, an all you can eat dessert bar with our friends Shiori, Shou, and Haruka. Lately a good portion of our investigators have either dropped off due to lack of interest or not prioritizing lessons, but we have accepted it as the Lord’s will and are prepared for whomever the Lord needs us to find and teach at this time. Lunch with them was great, we learned a lot about their interests and discovered shiori loves the bible stories and we talked about how the stories apply directly to our day today. We are hoping to begin lessons with these three, they are so bright and you can just see the light of Christ in them. Afterwards we met his way funky 90 year old woman who may come to church one day, if her little frail body can afford it. Also what made this he greatest birthday ever, was yamauchi shimai got to go to inside the temple for the first time and had an incredible experience. She went with four avid temple women from the Relief Society and she loved the special peace and spirit that she felt there. I was a little nervous with her 82 year old body, but when we saw her on Sunday she never looked better! Such a special day spent with some of my best friends!
Yesterday on Sunday we had a big dinner at my favorite family, the Tsukada’s home, and shou San had a great time win us on Saturday and she came win us on Sunday, we had a great family night with them and were so grateful for their love and for the special spirit felt in their home. Shou San felt a lot of love there.
Hachioji is Amazing, I love the people here so much, each day is different and greater than the last, I truly am grateful to be a missionary here! Before I sign off just want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the important men in my life who have influenced me and helped me along my journey in life. Grateful to two wonderful grandpas, Piligi Wilson and Filipo Lutali who have been patriarchs over my family and have set an example of what true discipleship means, grateful for the countless sacrifices you both have made to raise families in the gospel. I’m grateful for uncles who have been guardians and protectors uncles Nela, Filipo, Masao, Vea, Rick, Ed, and Bill, no one can throw down a BBQ like these guys. Grateful for Bishop Stowell, who did not hesitate to step in and go above and beyond his calling to care for a widow of three and her six fatherless children, grateful for the talks and countless advice I needed to hear from this man until it finally got passed my hard head and sunk in (it’s Father’s Day but I have to thank mama Barbie to for being patient with me and seeing me not for the strange teenager I was but the daughter of God I could become). I am also grateful for bishop Hatfield and his wise counsel he gave me as a youth and also as a missionary, “keep smiling” two words I have learned to live by from him. Happy Heavenly Father’s Day to a man who will forever hold a special place in my heart, Daddy. I have learned so much from this great man, but the greatest lesson I hold dear is putting the lord first and all will always be right. I am so grateful for the love and service you gave to help further the lord’s work, and I am even more grateful to be a missionary alongside you as you help others learn the gospel beyond the veil. Grateful for this special man I am privileged to call my coach, my mentor, my Spanish teacher, my life counselor, my future husband role model, My Hero, My dad. Love and miss you!
Thank you so much mom and family!!!! Love you all!!!!愛してます
Sister Natalie Wilson