八王子heat is a killer, but we are trying to just as pres wada says to beat the heat, it’s a scorcher, but instead of looking at the heat as a hindrance we have been applying the phrase, ‘refiners fire’ as a literal meaning. President wada has continuously told us this is to be the best summer of our lives and so far it has proved to be correct, met some incredible people lately.
This week we had a lesson with a less active that the sisters have been working with for almost a year now and her faith and testimony has grown leaps and bounds. Each lesson we have with her, I feel like I learn so much more than anything I teach. She has such strong desires to come back and has been able to rekindle old friendships she had ten years ago. We felt very strongly that we needed to address the issue of her coming to church, it’s been the biggest obstacle in helping her return back. As we talked it was much of the same, we talked about how Sunday’s are her busiest days and there are so many complications as to why she wouldn’t be able to, but as we talked about the story of when Jesus called his disciples and they forsook their nets she understood what we were asking and was burdened with pressure. She expressed that she wasn’t sure she could talk with her boss, but something felt like that wasn’t the only reason, that there was much more lying beneath her iceberg. As we expressed our love to her, and told her how we have felt gods love for her and we ask her these hard things because we desire for her to experience the full blessings of the gospel, she broke down and opened up to us. She told us of how she has loved church and all of the nice families there, but has never felt worthy to be amongst all of them. She expressed feelings that she didn’t belong and was not perfect like all of the families and people she saw. We simply told her you are exactly enough, God loves her perfectly despite her imperfections, and that although this is gods one true church it is filled with imperfect people. This sister was a powerful witness to me of what it means to possess the Christlike attribute of humility and coming forward with a broken heart and contrite spirit. We will continue to Love.Wait.Watch.and Pray for her and I know that in gods timing she will no doubt be able to experience the fullness of the blessings of the gospel.
This week I was able to go on another exchange in 甲府kofu with sister Hayashi. I have come to love the two hour train ride to kofu, there are always so many good people and I have been able to have so many good teaching opportunities. On the way down to kofu we met a nice woman named nimata San who was coming back from her own church seminar, as she expressed some of her views and teachings we were able to share some things from the Book of Mormon that have changed our lives. In this mission we use a tool called questions of the soul where people look at a question they may have thought of and there is a page number where they can directly find it. Nimata San in her eighty something years has had a lot of time to think and we ended up reading like four scriptures together. She was really touched by the Book of Mormon and refused four times before right before we were leaving we asked one more time and she said yes, she’s curious. We told her that this book was true and if she read and prayed about it she would be able to find the answers she needed. Also in kofu we taught marina San, she’s great and has strong faith in Christ, we had a wonderful lesson with her and she said when she knew these things were true she would be baptized. Even though we will not continue to teach her English she wants to continue to strengthen her faith in Christ and keep studying. So many good people in kofu!
So this week our ward out on a lil matsuri and they brought their friends and we ate somen and kakigori かき氷(shaved ice) and no Japanese ward party is complete without some good karaoke カラオケ so everyone just sang the night away it was way fun and cute. Hachioji ward is such a tight knit family, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, they welcome in everyone. I love Hachioji because they make everyone feel like they matter, kids, investigators, the old folks, everyone is exactly enough. I look up to the Hachioji members so much, I’m grateful to labor with them.
Last miracle for the week, sister demoss’s grandparents from Chiba, about a three hour train ride, came unexpectedly to Hachioji. They are not members so it was a great experience for demoss shimai to dendo her family. They were the cutest couple everywhere, such sweet humble people. We taught about God and sister demoss testified boldly and powerful of the divinity of God and how he knows each of us and that is why she chose to come here to teach this special message that God lives and loves his children. #proudmommymoment lol just kidding she’s a great missionary, her testimony touched their hearts.
I love being a missionary and sharing with people that they are children of a loving heavenly being who desires the greatest and utmost joys for them. That he loves them exactly as they are, they are exactly enough, and as they choose to follow the plan he has laid before us they will each reach the divine potential he desires for each of us. If you’re reading this, I hope you know and always remember you are exactly enough, no matter who you are, where you have been, what you have gone through, you are loved by an eternal father in heaven and his beloved son Jesus Christ. You should feel pretty special.
Thank you for the love, prayers and encouragement! 愛してますよ
Sister Natalie Wilson