To sum up this week in a nutshell, it has been emotional. It was strange to kill one missionary(sister reeves), send off my first child (Sister Suzuki), and en have another child(sister Demoss) all in one week. (Btw if you don’t know mission lingo this will sound so strange to you). But, this last week together as a trio and with my new companion sister Demoss, we have been able to witness some sweet miracles!!
So this last week with sister reeves and Suzuki, we met with Noriko San. She is an amazing woman, who did a home stay (English learning program where they live in a foreign country to enhance their language skill) with a Mormon family in Utah, I’ve never met this sweet family, but I am eternally grateful for them. We didn’t know what to share with Noriko or how to begin talking about religion with her, because in the past she would beat around the bush, but thanks to her home stay family she opened up so much about her experience with them. She was impressed with how close their family was and she always felt a warm feeling with them, she even told us that she aspired and even now aspires to have a family like theirs. We told her we can teach her about those teachings that have helped shape that family. She was so eager and happily accepted a Book of Mormon! I LOVE the home stay program and all of the kind hearted families that take in all these precious people into their homes, it is an amazing dendo resource, I am definitely doing home stays in my future home all the time!
This week we were also able to meet with our sweet friend Hiura San from Osaka. Hiura is a fireball, and speaks some way hard Japanese, so we rely heavily on the spirit in her lessons and are non stop praying for the gift of tongues with her! But anyway Hiura has been coming to church practically every week for the last three months but has refused the invitation to take lessons with us. Well this kind lady also gardens the church’s plants because she feels it is not suitable and we don’t take proper care of it so she took it upon herself to be the grounds keeper(boy does this woman have a strong opinion!) well the elders talked to her as she was trimming a tree and she said that in order for this tree to grow she must cut it down to size, the elders seized that opportunity, and discussed how that is exactly how life is in order for God to help us we are given trials and are “cut down” to help us grow and shared a Mormon message with this exact analogy. Hiuras heart was touched and she agreed to meet with Us. We met and she had some strong opinions and had no problem boldly expressing her thoughts or feelings about everything we had, but as we bore simple testimony of a loving Heavenly Father and savior, Jesus Christ, she was silent and I know the spirit touched her heart. We are going to continue to work with her and let the spirit work slowly into her heart.
On Thursday we had to part our ways. It was so hard to say goodbye to Suzuki shimai. We cried the night before and then cried again at the train station, it’s so strange how you can be with people for only six weeks and yet you make eternal friendships that will last forever. I’m so grateful for the last transfer, I was able to grow and learn so much from both of my companions Suzuki and Reeves Shimai. Goodbyes are never easy, but grateful for the sistership I have with all of my companions.
My new companion is sister Demoss and she is half Japanese from Colorado. She’s a way sweet sister, she’s got a lot of faith and because she’s half, she is a pro at Japanese the ward was way shocked. I love training because new missionaries have a special brightness and fiery faith and hope and that always results in miracles. As we left the mission home on the train, we talked to a sweet woman named akiko San. She was very curious about who we were, so we explained our purpose and she told us of her Christian friend who always posts such uplifting posts that have gotten her more curious about religion. We then told her about the Book of Mormon and the truth contained in it and shared with her some uplifting scriptures that have helped us in times of need, the scripture made her so happy and was stunned but grateful when we told her she could keep it. I hope to meet this sweet lady again.
A few other good miracles were we had a mistaken address of a referral a member gave us, but the house we ended up at turned out to be someone new and a new friendship was made with our new friends Hiroshi and kimiko these way cool surf shop owners, who knew missionaries before, God definitely knows each of his children individually, and through a false address brought us to meet these two! Also yamauchi shimai, our recent convert, when she was preparing to go to the temple, and getting her shoes fixed, she loves to talk and tell everyone her life’s story and as she talked to a man at the shoe repair store, he asked which church she belonged to she told him and lo behold he is an inactive member from kichijoji! God truly knows us all individually and desires each of us to return to him, and in order to bring about his work, he puts people in our lives to guide us back to his presence. There are miracles happening all around us, we just need to take off those worldly sunglasses and put on our spiritual lenses and see the opportunities God needs us to take and he people we need to reach out to. You never know how great your influence is! I hope we can all strive to look for those moments where we can make a difference in another’s life. I LOVE being a missionary here, especially in Hachioji!!!!
Sister Natalie Wilson