Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello JULY

On Saturday our Relief Society president, Nisshimura Shimai, came out with us on our bikes to visit some less-active members and recent converts. I was pretty impressed at how genki she was! We rode a pretty decent distance to get to people's homes, and she right with us the whole way. Afterwards she took us out to eat...members here ALWAYS love to feed us....and we had this interesting noodle dish that looked fairly normal at first. Haha. Then on closer examination I found that some of the noodles were transparent with strange texture. I held one up and asked, "Kore wa nan desu ka?" What is this? To which I got the reply. "Kurage." Jellyfish tentacles. Haha! I didn't even know you could eat those. They tasted like jellified celery.

Last week we focused a lot on Ida Shimai. I think we had five lessons with her total. She is a deep thinker and has had somewhat of a challenging family life. She is strong though. She has a strong passion for learning. Sometimes she shows up to our lessons, not knowing beforehand what we are going to talk about, and has studied for exactly what we planned to teach her. It's happened twice! The second time this happened she read a scripture in Mosiah about Alma and how he felt after receiving a remission of his sins...and we were planning to share that exact story with her! We couldn't believe it. It was funny actually Tomura Shimai and I both said at the same time, "Keiji o ukemashita!" You received revelation! Her baptism is still set for the 15th. Every prayer sent in her direction would be greatly appreciated. I really love her. As for something to send her, that would be so sweet. A subscription to the Liahona would be wonderful, I believe. I will get you her address this week. Thank you! :)

The Lord has been teaching me many things this week. One...being a missionary is sometimes much more complicated then I anticipated. There are a lot of problems in the world. A lot of really dark things. It can be hard to understand sometimes why children have to grow up amidst such turmoil...but I know that we are in His hands. The gospel is incredible. The church is miraculous. It is DESPERATELY needed in this world. Having grown up swimming deeply in the church and now being out again where its influence is still small, I can testify to what a difference it makes in communities and in families. The church is true! :) Its message is one of hope. And though darkness and evil run rampant, the gospel, carried forth in the hearts of the righteous, cannot be defeated. No unhallowed hand can stop this work. I am really humbled to think that I was given the blessing of growing up in an LDS family. I am beginning to see what a small percentage I am a part of.

About missionary work being complicated...this week we've had some problems come up with investigators being too dependant on the missionaries. This is such a frustrating situation, because we want to pour out love on these people but sometimes we have to be careful because if they depend on us they become less active as soon as we are gone. We are always trying hard to involve the members but sometimes the investigators don't like this. It is really difficult. I don't think I was anticipating how hard it would be to love people and then have to watch them choose not to embrace the gospel.

President and Sister Budge arrived in Japan on Friday! We will meet them next week. He is interviewing all 170 missionaries in 11 days. Crazy! We are all excited and anxious to meet and work with the Budges. It is fun that they will have one of their kids living with them in the mission home.

Something fun this week...we started kodomo (children) English class!! We will now be having it every Sunday after church. We had about 13 kids show up this week...quite the party! We have two really talented women in the ward who helped us put everything together and will help with the class. They have both been children's English teachers and have so many great ideas and materials. I am so happy to finally have the chance to work with these adorable little children! We are hoping the members will encourage their non-member friends to bring their kids, so that it will be a missionary opportunity.

Thank you so much for all the prayers and love and support. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. I cannot say that enough. I miss you. Happy forth of July!! 

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