Well, here we are. As a missionary, when you first get to the field, you get a booklet for training called "The First 12 Weeks".... But they don't prepare you for the last 12 weeks! What a whirlwind I am about to enter!
First off, transfer call. I got a call from President Wada this morning informing me that I would be staying with Sister Blake in Kofu, and also that I will be taking on some Sister Training Leader responsibilities. My first Mission Leader Conference is next week. I honestly thought that I would never be STL and still don't really feel like I am... I don't want it to just be a pity calling. But I trust President Wada and I trust God.
We have done some fun things this week, like go all the way down near Mt. Fuji to visit some members there, have a lesson in half Spanish, half Japanese, Blake Shimai be sick with a cold, and most importantly, see various miracles!
One happened while I was on exchanges with Sister Bickmore! On the way back to Kofu from interviews that morning, we invited a woman to sit down next to us. We quickly discovered that she is deaf and she quickly discovered that I was probably the only person on that train who could somewhat communicate in Shuwa, or Japanese Sign Language. Can you imagine! Sitting next to some foreigner, and suddenly they whip out some Shuwa! I have had the opportunity to learn Shuwa little by little throughout my mission and have really enjoyed the opportunity. I love Shuwa and perhaps I learned it just so I could invite one of Gods children to learn more about Jesus Christ.
Another miracle happened at a big Thanksgiving dinner that a family in our Ward invited us to. Their children invited their coworkers and etc. and it ended up that there were several non members there! It was such a great environment to talk to people and introduce them to us and church. One person who came immediately had interest in learning more and practically invited herself to church. Only yesterday did we find out that the son who invited her is less active and his wife is against the church. It continually amazes me the power of member missionary work. I doubt that that member meant to refer that friend to us, but God always has a plan that is better than our own.
I look forward to another amazing transfer. So many miracles are ahead! I am really going to begin to finish things off with a BANG!! Lots of love!
What a great week! Let me see if I can file down my experiences into one action-packed blog post for you!
There are a few colleges that are pretty close to here, so we decided to walk down and around and see if we could talk to some people.... Yeah, we didn't talk to any college students BUT we did set up an appointment with a not-college student and that was a miracle in itself! Boom!!
Thursday, I got to spend then day in Hachioji with Sister Brox! and promptly forgot to take any pictures. Basically.... It was very cold and rainy and the other sisters were sick. But I did not get sick! So there is that! We also talked to some really cute students studying art and being awesome. Learned weird Japanese words, like "the four seasons"-- yes, there is a single word for that. We also met a girl who really loves hymns and we were able to invite her to come to church. I'm not very good at stopping people on the street, but I always know when I was suppose to talk to someone because the spirit makes it really easy to talk to them. I never notice until afterwards, but I am really grateful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost each and every day.
On the way back, we got to help this SUPER ADORABLE Thai couple get to Mt. Fuji. They were on their honeymoon and spoke English but no Japanese, haha. I'm glad we could help.
We were also very lucky to have two lessons with our investigator with a baptismal date. She is doing wonderful. She has so much faith. She had read up to 1 Nephi 8 and her and her son are praying together each day. She has a friend she wants to share the gospel with. She promised to keep the word of wisdom. There are only a few weeks until baptism. I'm getting really excited! She is such a great example of faith. She is already recognizing answers to her prayers and says that whenever she prays, she feels bright. It has been so awesome to see her grow in the gospel. :)
We did a FHE with one of the LAs in the ward and her 13 year old daughter. We tried to show them how to build a happy home! We talk about love and communication and prayer and trust. I think it went well... I hope it at least opened their hearts up a little bit. We gave treats afterwards. The kids especially liked that part, haha.
Then today we went to the zoo!! The thing I have been waiting for!! I got to hold a guinea pig!! I love guinea pigs!! It was so much fun and the weather was nice and the kids were adorable.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. I am so liking the person I am becoming. I can hardly believe, only 3 months left? I am worried about going home, haha! Maybe I will just live go hide in a hole and live in Japan forever, muahahaha!!
Whoa, where did this week go? It feel like only a second ago we set the baptismal date and now the week is already over and we are beginning again?! And before I know it, I am going to be home, and married, and pregnant with 5 kids and I CANT DO THIS GUYS SOMEONE SEND HELP. But seriously, I tried to imagine getting married... And I couldn't do it. I think this is all a dream and one day I am going to wake up and be 6 years old again. Wouldn't that be strange?
This week, a lot of... Interesting things happened. For example, one member asked us to come to the edge of our area to meet her mother. Then, she cancelled on us... Only she didn't tell us that she cancelled on us. So we show up and wait and wait and try and try to call her, only to discover that he phone was dead. We went through a back sneaky way and found out her moms home phone number, in which we found out she canceled-not cancelled. When we got home, we were exhausted. Nothing like 2 hours on a train.
This week, my testimony of family home evening was strengthened. So many people complain about this or that about their families and wonder why they aren't closer or why their children went less-active when they didn't follow the basic direction of the church to gather as a family and learn the gospel. It is certainly a must in my own future family. No matter how difficult a course it may seem. It is simply too important to overlook.
We had another appointment where we biked for an hour just to discover that they completely forgot about the appointment. We decided just to leave them with a short message, and it went surprisingly well. The spirit was felt and seeds were planted. Also, clams were eaten. Surprisingly delicious. Lots of surprises that day. Also, exhausting.
We also ate this thing called "Takoyaki" which is delicious batter ball with a piece of octopus is the middle. Seriously delicious!! I suggest it every day of the week. Ate too many of them, to be honest, haha.
Yesterday was especially spectacular. We had a lesson with our investigator with a baptismal date and she has been praying every day! She has been feeling the power of prayer in her life and it is amazing to see it in her. She is so cute. She loves flowers and brought one of her flower plants to show to us. SO CUTE. I love her to pieces!
Today was an adventure in itself. It was district p-day! We all went and ate ramen together and then CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN to go to a science museum... Which was closed. So we just played the giant awesome playground they had. The elders were hilarious. Pictures to come.
Here are some things I liked this week!!
☀️He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.☀️
I hope that you are all doing well. Shout out to Elder Clark's girlfriend. Thank you for your patronage.
That is really all I can say! It was such an amazing week. Let me try and recount just a few of the amazing blessing we saw.
We ate sushi with Mai, a recent convert and talked about how she could help her mom understand the church more clearly. Afterwards, we biked to a salon where we met and talked with a less-active member. She said that she would prefer if we just were never resurrected and didn't have a final judgement. She was also kind enough to trim my hair for me! Though she did end up cutting off more than anticipated... It was probably a good 3-5 inches. She had quite the nice dog and cat. And that evening, I made some friends at English class! ... It is more exciting in my memory, haha.
The next day we spent a good part of the day harvesting! Literally! We help harvest some rice fields that belong to a member. It was a great experience and a lot of fun. The weather was nice and no one chopped off any fingers. Now THAT is what I call a successful harvest! When we returned home, we were able to give a few copies of the Book of Mormon to some sweet high school girls. We really pray that they will read and come to know of the truth of its message!
The family that we harvested with decided to take us all for sushi. It was Elder Clark's first time eating sushi... Or really fish for that matter. Turned out he wasn't a big fan of wasabi, haha.
On Sunday, we were really blessed to have Elder and Sister Whiting come and speak in our Ward. It was fantastic. The spirit was so strong. They both speak Japanese, and the members were really grateful for that. Our investigator was there. We had planned to teach her about pray that evening and it turned out that church was all about prayer that day! It was perfect.
Even more amazing was our lesson that night. The members present were such a help. The spirit was incredibly strong as they bore testimony. We weren't expecting to, but we were able to set a baptismal date with her. How blessed are we!! I couldn't be happier!
Every day is filled with miracles! The hand of the Lord is in everything we do! I am eternal grateful for these amazing experiences!
May you all trust in the Lord, that you may have joy.
Good Afternoon, everyone! Today was temple p-day! We are on a fancy bus because Kofu is just so gosh darn far away from everything, especially Tokyo.
I think one interesting thing that I've really learned about myself on my mission is that I am a planner. I like to plan. I don't like it when there is no plan. I get frustrated when others make bad plans. I like to plan for today, tomorrow, next month, and next year. I am on edge without a plan.
That being said, this week, our plans got continually scattered!! We would make plans and then we would just change them all of the sudden and do something else and I was so confused most the time, haha. I do not like a planner full of question marks, but it was only question marks! It was all okay in the end, but at the same time, I do not remember what we did all to well.
Tuesday we had Spainkaiwa! Spanish class! I do not speak Spanish is what I learned, nor do I know anything about Spanish. We tried to find a members home, but instead met her friend from childhood! What are the chances right? We had a great conversation with her.
Another miracle that happened was that we met with a member for a lesson and wanted to ask her to come with us to visit someone with us. As we were talking, she mentioned this one person who she wa thinking about visiting and as we listened, we thought "waaaait..." And asked her if it was the same person we wanted to visit. It was! How crazy is that! No such thing as coincidence when it comes to the work of salvation.
Then on Friday we had a great opportunity to go and listen to Elder Ringwood and his wonderful wife speak! And what a great opportunity that was! It was so good to spend time with them and feel the spirit and receive revelation. I definitely know several thing that I need to work on!! But being in Kofu, it takes time--long time--to get to a from other places in the mission. But that is okay! Because it is beautiful and wonderful and lovely and I love it here! I am so grateful to be here!!!
Saturday we got to go to a members delicious Brazilian barbecue restaurant. All of my dreams came true, haha, it was soooo delicious! And it was good to talk with Sister Agren. We had no luck with trains that day and if you miss a train in Kofu, the next one doesn't come for 30-50 more minutes! Sister Agren was kind enough to drive us back after missing the train for the second time. She is looking for the missionary who first gave her a flyer. If anyone knows someone 60-70 years old who served in Japan by the name of Crosland, LET ME KNOW!! We've been doing some serious Facebook stalking.
And then on Sunday, or WML's mom came to church! And opened up to us! And said she will maaaaybe take the lessons!! Miracles are everywhere!!! And the Ramos family fed us amazing food again! Another miracle! I love food! And missionary work! And being a missionary!!
Now I think I'm just gonna sleep... On this bus.... Because I woke up at 4 this morning.