Well we just received transfer calls his Saturday, and of course Reeves Shimai is going home, and I thought for sure Suzuki Shimai and I would stay together, but alas the lord has other plans for the both of us, she will be transferred to Kanagawa in Yokohama and I will thankfully stay here in Hachioji and will be training a new missionary. So here we go bidding aloha(goodbye) to my two companions and ringing in some new growing opportunities!
This week, we had a surprise mission leadership council on Tuesday, and brother mills, a director from the MTC, was stopping by Japan and decided to come speak to us. He is an amazing missionary, he talked to us before we came out to japan basically getting us all excited for the work ahead, and it was great to hear him speak again. Brother mills talked about a great struggle that missionaries here struggle with is because Japan does not have a Christian background I guess you could say, when we begin teaching we have to start from a few steps back and thoroughly explain God and build from there. He also taught us about how right now in the world the nations that do no yet have the opportunity of the gospel being preached unto are “non Christian” societies, he said how this is no new brethren it is an ongoing problem that the brethren are continuing to work on. So in order to help these “non-christian” societies, they have created a couple of new pamphlets. Now normally as missionaries we have a few basic pamphlets that we use (the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ…etc) but before we can dive into these rich doctrines many of the people here in Japan either have a false idea of God or do not even know he exists. So in order to help us reach our friends the church has created some pamphlets explaining who is God, and Jesus Christ. Here in this mission we have been chosen to pilot these new tools to know how we can help not only the people of Japan understand God, who he is and his plan for us, but also so we can know how to better help our other brothers and sisters in other “non-christian” lands to know about their loving Heavenly Father and the path he has created specifically and individually for them. It was so inspiring and eye-opening, to be honest it hurts my heart when we are dendoing and people will say “kankei nai” or “dame” which is we don’t have relationship with Christianity or religion is bad, but brother mills reminded us that what we tell them is not anything new, they accepted this plan as much as we did in our pre-mortal existence, it’s just gonna take some work and persistence to help bring them back to remembrance. I love serving in the japan tokyo south mission, we have so many incredible opportunities, it’s such a blessing.
Also on Thursday, I was able to spend some time with the Kofu sisters, and work with Sister Bangerter, who is a new missionary, after a thirty dollar train ride which is two hours to get out to the country Sister Bangerter and I were able to see some sweet miracles. Because the train is so long, people stay on for awhile instead of crazy quick switching on and off like tokyo, We were able to teach a woman how to pray, and in the beginning she did not seemed inclined to hear a word we would say but on that train we taught very simply that we have a Heavenly Father and watched as the spirit testified to her heart and by the time she left knew how to communicate with a loving Heavenly Father who has been waiting to hear from her. I met their recent convert, nakamura shimai, who just radiates with the light of Christ, she told me her sweet testimony and conversion story and bore such a heartfelt testimony and as we taught her about temples and her next step to go in, she was so excited and desires to go. We also taught their investigator, sumire chan, cute thing about her name, her mom named her that because it is the katakana version of smile and her name is so fitting, she has the cutest smile. This little girl is only ten years old but they gave her a Book of Mormon and an animated Book of Mormon story book last week and she has read all the way up to Lehi’s vision and could teach us all the stories she read about. She loves the Book of Mormon, and as we taught about prophets, she said yeah of course it’s ‘wakariyasui’ it’s easy to understand. It was such a great experience to be with sister bangerter and see the amazing miracles and people in kofu. (If you look at our mission map it is literally half of our mission but more than half of the area is straight country but way beautiful)
So Saturday was cray, we had a meeting with the stake president In the morning, and from there had to run to kichijoji and then split so I could go to Kawasaki.So this Saturday in Kawasaki, the missionaries put on a luau, so of course they called president Wada and asked for some brown help so sister hurlbut and I my good friend from Kahuku went down and taught some classic PCC hula….why did they call me? I still have no idea I’m the fakest Polynesian they could get but hey it fooled them lol but it was great, I’m way grateful for all that I learned from my time at pcc. We always strived to spread the spirit of aloha, or help people to feel the spirit and on Saturday even though it was a simple dance, people still felt that spirit of love. It was great, the luau took place right after a baptism, what a great way to welcome a new sister into the gospel. After the luau, we went to a music night in Hachioji and machida stake has the most talented people ever it was so beautiful and three of our friends, Hiura, shiori, and miyuki came and were touched by he meeting. It was great to see some old friends form Tama too!!! I love machida stake!!!
So grateful and blessed to spend more time here in Hachioji and ready for some new challenges and experiences ahead, relishing in every moment as a missionary. Thank you for all the love and support!!!!
Sister Natalie Wilson
Sometimes as a missionary you get lost in the Lord’s work, and sometimes you just get lost in crazy Japanese cemeteries (spoken in the best nacho libre voice)