To start off this week, on Monday we went to the at president and sister wadas home, it’s amazing, people from all over the mission bring their friends and we have a massive family reunion complete with spiritual and some good physical nourishment(from wada shimais desserts). We went with Ai chan and yamauchi shimai. Fhe was great, everyone just feels like family, Learning and laughing together, I’m sure before we came to earth a lot of us may have known each other before, but we all had to come to this beautiful island of japan to meet up again.
On Thursday we had mission leadership conference, but instead of doing it in kichijoji like we do every month, we went down to Yokohama to my little bean area of Yamate. It was so crazy to be back there and see some familiar places and faces, and memories resurfacing. Over a year ago I remember being there and being terrified out of my mind not understanding people or knowing how to be a missionary, but after coming back I can’t say I know everything now but I have felt a significant change as I have been able to learn and grow from the experiences and people I have met this past year. For our council, we met at a park where Pres. Heber J. Grant, bro. Ensign, bro.kelsch, and alma o. Taylor dedicated japan for missionary work. It was peaceful and so beautiful as we sat together under a tree and bore testimony and read prophecies about japan, at the conclusion of the meeting, president wada offered a humble prayer to re dedicate ourselves to the lords work. It was beautiful to feel the spirit so strong, at the park there were many children running around and playing as we read through the prophecies about japan, one stood out in my mind, it’s one from President Gordon B. Hinckley, ” This land is called the Land of the Rising Sun. I have felt this is the land of the rising church,…… This is a place where the church has a tremendous future….. Brethren and sisters, let us as we look to the future, build Zion in this favored land.” I can’t imagine what it must have been like for those four men to embark on a completely unknown journey and bring the gospel to a people who were spiritually starving. But through divine guidance and the lord leading these four men along with many other missionaries who followed after them, I have never seen stronger or stalwart members, the church has flourished and continues to grow in this beautiful land. This place is so special and dear to my heart, I have been blessed greatly as I have served amongst the humble people of Japan, they have changed my heart forever. I’m grateful to continue the legacy pres. Heber j. Grant, alma o. Taylor, bro. Kelsch, and brother ensign began here and I know the lords work is and will continue to roll forward.
This week, was a roller coaster, nakamura shimai has been progressing, but do to a run in with a member, she was about ready to walk away and discontinue our meetings. Sister Watkins had sick feelings all day worrying about what to do, but after praying we asked her to meet with us once more. We brought in the big guns and asked kitahara shimai to join in our lesson. We calmly discussed her feelings and instead of telling her every reason of why she needed to stay, we listened with love, and expressed our love and most importantly the love her Heavenly Father has for her. As we spoke with her the spirit was able to soften and change her heart. Sister Watkins, being a new missionary, didn’t know everything we were saying, but bore a powerful testimony of love. She made nakamura shimai a little card with the words to the song I am a child of God, written on it. She simply told nakamura shimai she loved her and her Heavenly Father loved her, but in her simple words he spirit spoke to each of our hearts and sasuga we all began crying. We invited her to start from the beginning with us and promised that this message we share would bring her closer to her Heavenly Father. The spirit definitely spoke louder than we did in that lesson and we were relieved when at the end, she said she still wished to be baptized. I was so grateful for sister Watkins for saying exactly what nakamura shimai needed that night, God is good!
One more sweet miracle, as we were teaching nakamura shimai on another occasion, we were interrupted when the elders came in saying one of our friends we met on the street had come to church. Well we went to meet them and didn’t recognize either one of the ladies. One of the ladies said I had met her and invited her to church, and she didn’t have any interest but she met a young Chinese woman at city hall who was interested in English and church and decided to introduce her to our church. We talked for a brief couple of minutes, exchanged phone numbers and then got a message that night from her telling as she really wants to learn about Jesus Christ. Sister Watkins and I were ecstatic, the lord is truly orchestrating each of the encounters we have been blessed to have. I know this is the work of the lord, the miracles and experiences we have been blessed with have come through the lord’s hand, just super grateful for each moment we have with these precious people! Thanks for all the love and prayers, we are feeling them with each miracle we witness along this journey! 愛してます️
Sister Natalie Wilson