Greetings from your missionary in beautiful Akashi!You asked what a typical day is like for me. SO BUSY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We get up, exercise, shower, breakfast, study... seek revelation, prepare for teaching investigators, eat lunch, hit the streets on our bikes while trying to keep our skirts from flying up in the wind. haha. Teach a lesson (hopefully!) Seek revelation where to go next and go - knocking on door after door to try to find those seeking truth...every working day. Pray lots. See miracles. Eat. Pray more. Go to bed. :) There you have it in a nutshell! And...I love it!
Wow, my sweet family. I love you so, so much. Happy birthday 誕生日おめでと to all of you who have one this month - I hope you have fun celebrating! Thank you for the letters, packages, and prayers. I could never be grateful enough for my wonderful family and friends! Thanks for the very fun package Child fam - loved it!!!
Thanks so much for everything you all do for me - I love you! I wish I could show you all of the wonderful parts of dendo (missionary work). Like the other day, walking out of the park from a lesson, seeing a PI (potential investigator) who we have been calling to come to Eikaiwa for like 2 months (who I've met once) who stopped us to talk, and was actually able to come to the baptism on Sunday!! The baptism was a man whose door we knocked on my first transfer in Akashi. His body is partially paralyzed. We visited once more (with a different companion) just to ask if we could send the Elders to visit him. He didn't really want the Book of Mormon. We were able to pass him to the Elders, and they taught him. This week he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was such a neat meeting. Even Kaicho (President) came!
Other things this week... there have been so many wonderful days. Sometimes we just fall into our beds at night we are so tired. It is so great. It is so fun to be thinking and studying and seeking ways to bring Heavenly Father's children to a knowledge of His Gospel. We got a challenge from our leaders to contact all of our potential investigators before a certain day, and we were doing that. We went to this random store where this lady worked, but she wasn't working. As we were leaving, (we bought some chocolate to check out and see if she was there and... to eat!). Eating our chocolate, we went to grab a drink. This other lady was eating ice cream by the vending machine, and we started talking. She asked us to come visit her anytime! She is a housewife and not doing anything (in her words) and asked for a paper with a map of the church on it, and said she would come to Church with her husband this week or next... have we even told her about our church yet? awesome! the Lord is preparing His children. It is so amazing that they are out there, and though we spend a lot of time talking to people who aren't interested, we hang onto hope and faith that there are people who are ready to accept the truth here, in Akashi, and it keeps us going. And we go! We've been so busy, it is the best way to be in the service of the Lord.
I started reading Jesus the Christ again this week, and it felt like going home. I love that. I love those experiences. Heaven is so close, my sweet fam. We are on the verge of miracles. That is Heavenly Father's love, just pouring through the cracks of our separation. I love you!
We taught a lesson this week about the Restoration but employed more of what President Zinke had taught about teaching the Restoration to the beautiful people of Japan. We talked about how Heavenly Father called Joseph Smith by name. Our investigator seemed so surprised when we told her that He knows her name. We who have grown up with the truth sometimes forget how precious it is. Yes, he does know each of us! And he hears every prayer, anytime we pray, in our hearts or out loud. There's not a certain time of day or time where if we miss it, when He won't listen. Isn't that amazing? I love Heavenly Father so much. I got His beautiful guidance IN a lesson to help our investigator understand. It just left me in awe of His glory. Oh, our Heavenly Father and our Savior! Oh, how this work is amazing. My sweet family. I do nothing of myself. We all cannot do it alone. I know that my Redeemer lives, how I love His majesty and glory. My sweet, sweet family, what a gift it is to know the truth.
I got a letter from Grandma Jan this week!! I loved it so much, I put it in my journal. Thank you Grammie!! Thanks to all of you sweet people who have been writing! You are all so wonderful. Thank you for your time and thoughtfulness - it means so much to me and helps me soooooo much - you don't even know!
I felt this week a lot about trust as well. WOW I LOVE REVELATION. I love this Church! I probably forget to tell you what we've done in our weeks because I just get writing my testimony and it keeps bursting out. I love this Church. I love the SPIRIT. I love Heavenly Father. I am amazed at how the Spirit can lift us up. I know Heavenly Father blesses us with experiences so that we can help others.
I don't know what I did before I came. haha! have all of these random, disjointed memories but the time just flows here, it goes so fast! AH! Oh, it is so great. To anyone thinking of serving a mission: DO IT. The Lord will bless you, but more than that--we are too blessed. We are way too blessed. Our brothers and sisters are starving for this Gospel. The Lord will shape you and hone you and it will hurt, but it will be the best thing you've ever done. You will learn lessons you couldn't learn any other way. He will push you, but never too much. I know you can do it, sweet missionary-thinking friends. GO! You will LOVE IT, experience a joy deeper than you've ever felt before, learn to live as you never have before. (Probably, my awesome brothers knew this when they went. Thanks for your examples Spen, Jon, Nate! Dad, thank you for your example! And all you other returned missionaries in my life...) I want to become the kind of teacher who teaches with the Holy Ghost to help my investigators REMEMBER. As President Packer says in PMG, "we are making touch with the light of Christ that is already there. The Gospel will have a familiar 'ring' to them."
I love you folks! Thank you for everything! You are so precious to me, and so eternally precious to Him. I love you all! YOU ARE ALL WONDERFUL!!!
Also, yesterday we made banana bread to try to take to a dinner appointment and... we were like, why is this so moist? We keep cooking it and it is not getting any less moist... and I was telling my comp the ingredients, sugar, eggs, flour... wait. Flour? Ha ha ha ha! I will attach a pic. We decided that we would rather have the "gift of tongues" than the gift of baking. :)
my Doki (people i came with...) all serving as trainers now.
Met at trainer/trainee training (that's a lot of train in one sentence)!
Zone conference in August
Note from Sister Jen's mom:
I thought it might be fun to include some comments from Sister Dobson:
I got assigned to be with the genki-est missionary in Kobe. Actually probably in all of Japan. Anderson Shimai is just the greatest!!! She is from Bluffdale and is the youngest of 7 kids. We are on flipped ends of the family cycle [oldest, youngest]. She was at BYU studying a conglomeration of things before the mission. She`s still not exactly sure what she wants to do.
She has been here in Japan since March, and is as courageous as a Lion when it comes to dendoing (proselyting).
... I`m way way WAY excited to be with Anderson Shimai. I think she is just what I need to learn how to become a great missionary.
The ward members here are great! They are all very nice and supportive. When they met me on Sunday they kept saying that Anderson Shimai and I have the same `environment` - the direct translation. We act a lot alike I guess. To me, that was a huge compliment. I want to be able to emulate some of the love and joy that Anderson Shimai has.
...Anderson Shimai is very funny. She is very good at being happy all the time. She never has anything negative to say about missionary work. She has an awesome can do attitude that can be hard to keep up with. She is good at listening when I have a hard day. She`s really good at seeing the bright side of things.
Pics of the two of them when they first met.
These pics are from Sister Zinke's blog of the sweet missionaries and their families who cook for some of the zone conferences - so darling and so giving!
So cute! Love the aprons...