Dearest Family in America!
Wow! That's weird. I'm sitting in Japan right now and you are sitting in America, on a Sunday night I've already lived on my hemisphere. Ha ha! How I loved talking with you all on Mother's Day!! What a treat! All my nieces and nephews sound so grown-up. :)
Happy Mother's day to all you moms...thanks for your example to me and to so many others. I am so grateful that you love being mothers. Thanks again to everyone for all your support and love!
My beautiful Japan...
We have some great miracles to tell you about. This week, I just felt at the beginning of the week that this would be a week of miracles. Last week, before we called, three of our investigators came to Church on Sunday. Three! We were so stoked. I love seeing Heavenly Father's children progressing.
The first person I want to tell you about is Noguchi Asuka San. Probably two or three weeks ago, I started talking to a girl on a bridge (she was the one that said "I'm interested in Christian churches!"). This past week she came to church, and we gave her a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet, and scheduled a meeting for Tuesday. On Tuesday when she came, she apologetically pulled out the Book of Mormon and said she hadn't finished it. I said was that was fine, of course. When my companion asked her where she'd read to, neither of us quite understood what she said, and we would have missed it if a member hadn't stopped and said, 300 pages?? Ha ha. It turns out, she'd read 300 PAGES! She came again to Church this week. She really is incredible. We had a lesson and it was a lot for her to take in (mostly just answering some questions she had). We are actually teaching her today, soon after I write! It was so neat though. At one point, she asked us what it would be like if people chose not to follow Christianity (or something like that?). I just cried as I got to testify of Jesus Christ to this sweet girl who is coming to know Him. He is everything. He is the reason we can go home, the reason we have peace and can overcome. He is "the light and the life of the world." It's so amazing to be a missionary. The Lord is helping us so much. Even today in front of the Hyaku Yen shop, a girl just started talking to me and in the midst of our conversation, we told her why we were in Japan. It's so incredible to wear Jesus Christ's name, where people can see us and ask us about Him so that we can invite people to come closer to Him. So! Noguchi San is super great. We are also teaching a girl named Sarah that we met, who is a member of a Baptist church. She is so great!! I love these two girls. She is 24 and has wonderful faith in Jesus Christ. We talked a little bit about baptism this week, but our next lesson (tomorrow) will be on the Priesthood and proper authority. Both of them are "ii kanji," like... good feelings? ha ha, they both are doing so well and we have a great feeling about them. It was so exciting when we were talking about the Plan of Salvation with Sarah. We have a few other investigators we are working with, but these are the ones we were able to meet with this week. I love Japan! Sometimes, I think like Nephi in 2 Nephi 4... and my soul feels all the stress of life. Things can be hard. But I do know that "Nephi's lament" turned around with the words, "I know in whom I have trusted." I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that Heavenly Father loves us. You are so great fam!
This week, I guess another miracle is... I ate raw squid and raw eel! (This can be a follow up question for Ellie and Hyrum who asked about the food!) I had my first sushi shop experience. It is so fun, there is a conveyer belt and you just grab whichever plate looks appealing and pay at the end... they are about 100 yen a plate. I lived! They are actually not that bad... I also realized I like beans more than I like cake, and that was a weird experience. Ha ha!
I love you sweet fam. It's such a weird place to be in, sometimes I look around and I am surprised at what kind of life I'm living. Every once in a while something will catch me off guard, but I'm amazed at how at home I feel. Thank you for your prayers, they help so much. I know that Heavenly Father answers the prayers of little girls (President Monson's story from conference), and of everyone else. I know He hears us. I know that He is just waiting. This week in one of our lessons, I realized anew that this work is ONLY possible through Jesus Christ. This work HAS to be done with the Spirit. When you step back and look at someone changing their life, in ways we can't understand or comprehend, it is amazing that it happens at all. And yet it is happening everywhere. I know that Heavenly Father knows His children. Oh, the work is so good. I studied patience on Sunday and realized I was a little afraid to pray for patience from the many stories I've heard of seemingly bad experiences that come from asking for a virtue! ha ha. I realized in Church yesterday that Heavenly Father can tutor us with good things. I realized anew my dependence on Him this week. Without the Spirit, we cannot do this work.
Our investigators have some big decisions to make this week. Tomorrow, Sarah will have a big decision to make about baptism. Would you pray for her and for our other investigators? Both of the investigators I've mentioned are making big steps. I'm so excited. I can only imagine what Heavenly Father feels for us, even as we begin to progress. How He loves us!
Well my sweet Fam, I wish I had 3 hours to plop you in Japan and walk you around, to put you on my bike over the red cobbled streets, to have you nod and say "konichiwa" to the sweet old ladies bicycling and walking by, to stop by Hozawa's shoe stop on the corner of two lights, and say hi to the shopkeeper who must be in her fifties or sixties but dances and feeds the birds as she sells shoes. I wish you could come with me to visit the members, how you would love them and how you would cry over their humility and love. Someday we will be eating Otis Spunkmeyer cookies and talking about these stories that are happening now. (but don't worry! I'm not thinking about it! ha ha)... but for now these letters will have to do. :) Oh how I love you sweet people. How the Lord loves us. How He loves His children.
Ice cream tag line... and they thought everything was smaller in Japan! hahahahahah!
Things are so great. I can't believe my first twelve weeks are almost over in the field! Transfers are in two weeks, how crazy is that?
So... everyone has a dog in Japan, but we aren't allowed to have pets... but I think we finally found one President could approve of! ha ha.
Another pic of us...how I loved seeing my brother!!!
Who would have thought???
Eating at the member's homes:
Treats i made the other day (pie looking with raspberries) - yum!
This is to show Ryan the green hills!
Today is supposed to be a solar eclipse! This is the beginnings. It's pretty cloudy but the pic is still cool. Can you see it?
Sister Anderson in Japan