To the Best Family in the World, no matter which side of the continent!
How I love you. I just love you. I love you so so much. This has been a really big week...I really feel the privilege of being a missionary. This is such a sacred time, and I feel so grateful that the Lord trusts me to come to talk to His children about Him. It is hard when they don't listen a lot, and I've had some soul-searching times as well, the result being an even greater commitment to His work. I love Jesus Christ. I love Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness. I love being a missionary!!! This is hand's down the hardest thing I've ever done in my life; I thought I knew how to do this disciple thing before I left. I thought I knew how to love, I thought I knew I was committed, I thought I knew how to be unselfish, I thought I knew the value of work... but I didn't! I only tasted those things! ha ha. What did I do with my time before I came on a mission? :)
Last night we taught a girl from Mongolia who speaks English and no Japanese. She was wandering around the park and is a medical student. I just love testifying to people of their divine identity, and suddenly the Plan of Salvation started popping out of my lips. I happened (or not just happened...the Lord is so aware of His children and blessing them!) to have an English "Plan of Salvation" pamphlet with me. Can you believe it??? I have been studying the plan a little bit this week, and even that tiny bit of studying has just flooded my capacity of understanding. Heavenly Father loves us so much! I am amazed at the depth and the simple principles of the Plan. I love this Gospel. I love you. I love that Heavenly Father would provide us a way to come to this earth in families and be together forever.
This week we had a Sports Taikai where I played sports again... I'm so sore ha ha! It was really fun and two of our investigators were there. We started teaching a new investigator this week, she is 18 and follows us pretty closely. We taught her about faith and asked her to pray and... it was like 20 minutes before she did. She was nervous and sweating - I wasn't sure if she was going to make it but she did! So good...
We had dinner with a less-active woman this week and her girls are so cute. The Zone leaders here in Tokushima helped us some this week with a little training. The work is good, and hard, but the BEST. This really is the best work. I feel it so deep in my bones.
I am excited for Nate's big adventures - wow...just wow! So he is coming to Japan and then heading for Korea. Awesome. A month in Asia and getting to see his friends - especially those in Korea from his mission. And I can't believe its been so long since he worked at universal Studios Japan. He will love being in his old stompin' grounds and meeting up with everyone. I can just picture him playing his garbage cans on the streets with his drum sticks just flying! haha...Lucky guy!
From the pictures I've received, I am having to look twice - all of the kids look so big and grown-up. Keep those pictures coming or I won't recognize my nieces and nephews when I get home! And graduation! Tell everyone congrats from me!!! [Bran, Chelsea B, Ben's Chelsea, Cammy, Dora, Vilate, Mary Ann Stewart (Anderson),Melissa A, Jake Garner]. How proud our corner of the neighborhood must have been this week. :)
Funny thing from the weekly announcement to the missionaries from the President (true story): "Now we are not going to name any names, but we wanted to remind everyone that for the sacred ordiance of baptism, you must first fill the font. Water is needed." haha!
I love you! The work is true. I promise that the Lord is intent on making each of us a masterpiece, and is not content with us just sliding by in regard to discipleship. He is so amazing, and will help us as we turn to Him. How I love my Eternal King! Sometimes I get so overflowing that poetry just runs out of me. (gospel poetry, don't worry!) This is the best work in the world. I don't want to be anywhere else. I want to be here, in Tokushima, where the Lord wants me. I want to give anything He wants me to give. This week at Church a paper was passed out in mostly Kanji, and I was actually picking up a little bit! I am amazed. I know that it is Him helping me, and that prayers are answered. I switched up my Japanese study a little bit and it is helping SO much more! I love that the Lord has equipped us so well on our mortal journey!
Lastly, if there is anyone who is reading this who does not feel loved by Heavenly Father on high: You are loved. He loves you completely and perfectly, and is proud of every small, noble sacrifice you make.Thank you for making those sacrifices! He knows those and numbers them. You are more accompanied that you can ever realize. We are spiritual beings having a mortal exerience. He is so good! He is so good. I love Heavenly Father. I know that the way to return to Him is simple but incredibly remarkable, and that the gate is open to all. As we serve, it is amazing what happens. I love you sweet fam, and I love the God who has given us all breath. How amazing He is!
The work is true, so true. "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"
With love, love, love,
PS And! I thought of a game that the nieces and nephews can play like madgab. So, katakana words are usually English (this is probably for the older ones who want to play) I'll occasionally send pictures and all you do is look at a katakana chart on english, and try to figure out the word like you do when you play madgab... it's japanese and I can be close to you! ha ha.
Here are this week's! (the longer one is bonus! it's harder!)Here is a game for the kids - and anyone else!