This has been probably the most emotional week I have ever had, my heart hurts to think that this is the last email home. Choosing to serve a mission has truly been the best and most incredible journey I have ever experienced. As I have reflected on my experiences I have been filled with so much gratitude and love for my family and the sacrifices they have made on my behalf and the support you have given and also for my wonderful ward family and the constant love and support and encouragement they have given me. I am eternally grateful for my friends that have become family here in Japan, from companions, to members and investigators, each person I have met here has changed my life for the better. I am truly grateful for the miracles and experiences He has blessed me with and the beautiful people he blessed in my path.
This week sister Yano and I have been riding trains for days but the one day we didn’t have to go anywhere, we had no idea where to go so said a prayer and started walking it was freezing but while housing together we met this sweet man named tori. We literally talked to him through his barred window the entire time but he listened intently as we taught about God and prayer. He had never really thought about God but was very interested as we explained more about how he loved and cared about each of us. We taught him prayer, a completely foreign concept to him and after we prayed and he prayed we asked him what he felt and he said he felt a mysterious warmth. We explained that what he was feeling was the spirit and it was God communicating to tori San that he loved him. Tori San was so baffled that someone he never met could love him so much he couldn’t seem to understand why or how he could love him so much. After bearing our testimonies of God and the reality of him and his love, we left. I walked away from this experience marveling, 1. That god’s timing is absolutely exact and he guides our paths to find Those of whom are in need of this great message we are blessed to share and 2. God loves each of his children individually, I’m grateful that as a missionary I can feel a portion of that love he has for his children and help them come to the realization of that love.
This week in between running around from the mission home for my last interview with president wada (president wada is amazing, one of my heartbreaks of going home is not being able to talk and see president and sister wada, it was like talking with my dad, always joking but at the same time being straight up and honest with me about what he thinks) and then training the new sister training leaders we made our way down to one of my favorite places of Tama and went on splits with the sisters. Sister Yano worked with sister Watson while I went with sister Norris and visited junko shimai who is preparing to enter the temple very soon. It was good to see her and bid her farewell. After sister Norris and I taught a lesson to my dear friend sister ichikawa. Sister Padelsky and I taught ichikawa for the first time a year ago at about this time, through gods guidance we were able to meet her with the help of a sweet member. A year ago sister Padelsky and I helped her get a priesthood blessing and then we’re teaching her in the middle of a food court in a mall and to see the change and events that have led her to this point is astonishing! It has been a year of her studying the gospel and preparing to follow the example of the savior, she has had various roadblocks but I have seen her overcome these challenges and difficulties and her testimony has been strengthened. It was so nostalgic to teach her again one last time before her baptismal service on Sunday. She was so humble and excited, I have witnessed a mighty change of heart within her as the gospel of Jesus Christ has enlightened her life. It has been a year but what a humbling experience for her to at last enter into the waters of baptism and follow the example of our savior Jesus Christ. I was not able to attend the service but was overjoyed for her and this next step of her life!
This week we also went caroling with the missionaries in the stake and it was great to talk to people about the real meaning of Christmas. I was great!
ThIs Sunday was hard but my heart was so full! My sweet friends lee, an chan, Hiura and Teraoka San came. It’s been a hard realization to have to say goodbye to the people I have come to love so deeply. Shimizu shimai also for the second time came to church she has not been to church in ten years and came and I saw as the spirit touched her heart from the first hymn to reconnecting with all the members who still love her and have prayed for her over the years. It was the most beautiful experience to see all the people I love together. I cannot accurately describe the things I saw or the way I felt but it was the greatest most I describe able joyful feeling I have ever had. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ truly unites us and I know that only through Jesus Christ and his atonement can we experience the greatest happiness. I have loved every experience here and am so so thankful for the sacred experiences I have had with this beautiful people. I wish I could accurately explain and show how truly beautiful the people of Japan are. I love this work and will continue to bring as many of my brothers and sisters to the knowledge of the savior and the restored gospel. I love being a missionary and grateful for this wonderful experience to serve in the Japan Tokyo south mission. I love this work. I know it is the work of the lord. I’m grateful for all my friends and family that have played an important role in helping me on my mission. I love you. 心から愛しています