Things are figuratively and literally heating up here in Hachioji! Speaking of fire, Also I set giyoza on fire, like literally flaming, nearly burned our apartment, but It ’twas a great week here in the promised land of Hachioji!
So this past week has been a great learning experience, so when we started the transfer a few weeks ago, we were crazy busy and really felt like we could not get everything done and it all felt like it was all piling up between lessons with members, investigators, zone affairs, everything felt relentless. Now this is just the usual mission life, but it felt like we could not get a handle on everything on our plate, but sister Demoss and I decided to take another approach this week, and simplify. At first in my mind I was thinking no way, we can’t cut anything out if we are to accomplish our purpose he way we should be doing, but I have come to learn that simplifying is not cutting and minimizing per say, but it’s simply prioritizing in the lords way. Elder Ballard once said in a general conference,
“As we work to magnify our callings, we should seek the inspiration of the Spirit to solve problems in ways that will best help the people we serve…….The instruction to magnify our callings is not a command to embellish and complicate them. To innovate does not necessarily mean to expand; very often it means to simplify.”
This week we learned to earnestly pray and asked God who he needed us to focus on and as a result, we were blessed to have lessons with those that the lord needed us to be with.
This week we had a lesson with Ai chan. She is a sweet nineteen year old girl, and she has been taught by many missionaries before and knows a lot, so we were a little stumped about what we can teach her and how we could help her when she knows so much already. We decided to simplify our teaching and talk about her divine identity. The spirit was there and we were able to simply teach other principles she was confused on and things that seemed so complicated and as through spirit touched her heart we were able to help her learn simple truths of who she is and what God expects of her. She is a bright ball of sunshine, love her and hoping for good things for her. We also met with Haruka San, she’s so sweet, and we are not sure about her interest, but again as we taught simply about who we are and what our role is as missionaries, we were able to invite her to take lessons and she said she wants to learn, yes!
Ok so Sundays seriously are the best day of the week. As a missionary, they are the most stressful and hectic days, but boy are they full of miracles and spiritual enlightenment. Ok super sweet and spectacular miracle was shiori San came to church for he first time ever!!! It was so awesome to see her come. She’s way awesome and understands the bible and Book of Mormon so well and has such an intellectual way of looking at stories from the scriptures, I learn so much from her. I hope we will continue to see her at church. Also we are teaching Kanon and Yuna chan, Kobayashi shimai’s daughters who will be baptized in September. Teaching them has been a huge defining moment for my mission. Since they are young, we have to teach very simply, which was exactly what sister Demoss and I needed. Our two members that helped us teach Kanon and Yuna chan were shiki chan who is 9 years old and mei chan who is 11years old. We taught about the restoration and used some cups to illustrate the lesson, as we taught the spirit was so strong. Although these girls were young, shiki and mei chan bore Simple but Powerful testimonies of the restored gospel, and I know it helped Yuna and Kanon chan develop their seeds of faith. Also during the lesson, my brilliant companion felt like we should ask their mom, sister Kobayashi if she would share her testimony of the restored gospel and Joseph smith. As she bore her testimony of how she came to know Joseph smith was a true prophet, all four girls were completely silent and the spirit was very strong. After the lesson sister Kobayashi said it has been fourteen years since she’s borne her testimony. I love being able to not only teach Kanon and Yuna chan but to be taught by them, I have come to see how precious children are to God. I have seen the gospel fill these little girls lives with light, and I have felt gods pure love for them. I look up to these four little girls, Kanon, Yuna, mei, and shiki chan; I have learned so much about Christ-like love through these little girls examples to me. These are the moments that matter most.
To wrap up a wonderful Sunday night, we met with our good Chinese friend shou San, we have never had lessons with her, but sister Demoss and I decided to teach her about prayer. As we taught her about prayer and her Heavenly Father, in the beginning she was not inclined on what we taught. She felt like God was there but all of this felt too foreign for her. With encouragement and the spirit, we asked her to pray and she prayed in Chinese and I had no idea what was said, but the spirit was felt amongst all of us. Shou said she had prayed to God at a shrine, but her first experience of praying like how we did, was something she had never experienced before. Yay for defining moments!
I am so grateful for the gospel and its simplicity. A wise man in the church once said, the gospel is simply beautiful and beautifully simple. As we learn to pattern our lives after the gospel and simplify in the lords way, miracles happen, we are edified, hearts are changed and God is able to make more of our lives than anything we could do amongst ourselves. I love this special opportunity to find my friends and share the simple but powerful message of the gospel!!
Sister Natalie Wilson