Another week in the Incredible Land of the Rising Sun!
Thank you so much for your love and support family and friends! I sure love getting your sweet letters and emails. Thank you!!! I so love catching up with you all!
This week... what happened? Wow time flies, I feel like I just wrote!
The exchange in Akashi was SO FUN! We got to teach a girl who had been an investigator before, and she wants to learn more. She is really fun. At Eikaiwa we got to share the Good News message. It really was so great! My Japanese is so far from perfect, but this sweet lady came up after and told me that my attitude toward God had moved her heart. It just tells me that the Spirit really works! I didn't even know half of what I was trying to say. haha! We had a slam bang finish with someone not a member getting asked to pray and reciting the Lord's Prayer... and the missionaries didn't even know he had memorized it. haha!
BTW, I know you all have been waiting to see my art work at English class...quite remarkable, no? Yes, I am quite proud of it!
So...this week definitely had some hard times and some good times. Truly the Lord is merciful unto all. I feel Him so close to me, and some of the hard times have some of the most poignant teaching moments.
We got to give Shibata San (our sweet Catholic friend) a Book of Mormon with our testimonies in it. She headed back to her shusshin (home town) this week. We met a lot of Gaijin this week. One was from Germany and didn't believe in God, we got to eat with her and gave her The Book of Mormon... it was neat. She actually left the next day for another part of Japan, so it was lucky we ran into her... I had left my bike key on the bench and we met her running back to get it! We started teaching another lady this week we met at the Eki. We met again with the Jehovah Witness ladies, but this was the grand finish! It pains my soul a lot to see people clinging so much to the truth they have that they cannot accept more. In these moments though, I truly have felt Heavenly Father with me. I love testifying of the power of the Book of Mormon - I know that it is the word of God. It is so hard to see people turn that away, but Heavenly Father's plan really is amazing. Don't worry, we all left and it wasn't super bad, just a little sad. Our job is just to invite and testify, though. I gave them homemade muffins before we left. Weird! ha ha. I know that the Spirit is with us, and my testimony is strengthened every day. The Lord loves each of His children.
There are a lot of people in life facing real problems, but I know His work is deeper. The Lord's work is more than just simply things above the surface. The Lord cares about our hearts. I love the way that the Savior ministered to people: one by one and with divine, perfect, individual love. It gives me so much courage that I can grow in the way that I minister. He did more than just smile with people when the sun shined. Ultimately, He descended below each of our darkest times and took the pain there, the pain for us so that we could return to Him through grace. Oh, how I love Him - Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer. How grateful I am that He knows us perfectly. How grateful I am that He knows those we love and seek to help in Japan; and through His love, we can love them even more. Isn't the Gospel amazing?
So! There it is. We had a lesson with one of our investigators about commandments, and it is tough because when it comes down to it... you just have to act in faith and do it. The work is so good and so hard. I feel like I learn so much about Heavenly Father in these experiences. How grateful I am for Him, how often He must wait for us to turn to Him. :) I feel so blessed to be involved in His work, learning His ways. What a magnificent Father in Heaven we have! He loves each of us!! Onward and upward! (and our inactive friend came again to church this week! I got a little bag and coloring book for her sons... thank you sisters and mom for ideas! ha ha.)
You are loved!
Here is a picture of a Tokushima specialty, hot azuki beans in a pancake-y.... thing. Eating is such an enlightening experience here!