...you are walking, and then... you see this guy above the drink machine
Thanks for all the updates! How I love to hear about all the families and the
goings-on. The performances, high school dances and parties (Mook is 16!!!),
track meets, triathlons, half marathons, gymnastics, theater group, the
marriage retreat at Aspen Grove (my old stompin' grounds...and the family's
too!), harvesting and canning, Lolly and Rob's new house in CA, trips, school,
hikes in the beautiful mountains, etc. etc.
I love all the news...its like sitting around around our kitchen table for a
moment or two, eating together and laughing, sipping apple juice...ahhhhhhh!
I love you so much! I'm so grateful that the Lord sent me to such a wonderful
family. You are all such examples to me. I am so proud of all the good you are
doing, and all the faith you have. i want to be like you!
I've been thinking a lot about goal-setting - even long-term goal setting,
and it is amazing. "Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision
of what we can accomplish." (PMG) And then... they "transform our hopes
into action." If we really set a goal with Heavenly
Father and let that influence our daily lives in bite-sized portions, we begin
living to fulfill the potential He has created us to fulfill. We will become
the tools and servants He needs us to become. Sometimes I turn around
and think, "I definitely would not have had that thought before my
mission," So there is my essay for today! :)
This week has been so incredible. We were asked to speak in Church on
Sunday, and the Lord just poured down and helped me with what I wanted
to say. It was a day especially when I knew I couldn't do it alone, and the
Spirit came in and picked up the rest. i am so grateful!
The members are on fire with the work. I love this little branch. You would
not believe how incredible these few saints are in Takamatsu, I love them
so much. We really are so blessed. The Spirit is pouring out not only upon
the land of Japan, but it is so evident here in Takamatsu. The Lord is pouring
out "His Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children
of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught
among them at the time of his coming." And we, His servants with His
badge on, sometimes with wet hair from the rain, a wrinkle or two
from the bikes, but with the song of His redemption in our hearts, are the
ones who have the privilege to introduce Him to them. I am so blessed. I am
privileged to be here. I just love it. I love it so much. I love missionary work!!!
We are working with a wonderful family that we hope will become investigators
this week. The father was a member and recently passed away. The Lord has
really put us in situations (the two times we have met) to be able to strengthen
our relationship with them. Also, after our talks on Sunday, a sweet less-active
sister who had just been beaming during our talks, ran up with one of the
wonderful "missionaries" (our members are missionaries), saying her daughter is
not a member and she wants us to put on a mini-concert for her to
hopefully begin taking the lessons! It is amazing, because the Spirit
just bore witness so powerfully to me that this is a prepared place AS I was
speaking. The members are prepared to not only see miracles, but facilitate them.
There is one of the sweet members mothers who comes every week who is not a
member, who is SO SWEET and just loves Church. Her memory isn't super but we
are going to try to do everything we can for her. "This beginning of miracles
did Jesus in [Takamatsu]." (Luke 2:11, paraphrase)
Oh my dear family, I wish you could meet this place. I wish you could
meet these people. I wish you could feel the love of the Lord for them. I wish
sometimes we COULD stand on the corner with a trump (like Alma), just so
everyone would have the chance to know, to feel His love. It is so real, so pure
for them, for these children of His... so many who do not want to listen, but still He
wants so much to just tell them, to give them the chance to choose.
This is a place prepared for miracles.
We had another amazing experience one day when we had been out all day,
and our investigator we had talked to could not meet with us, and couldn't
come to Church. We'd been housing and no one had really wanted to listen.
Then we knocked on a door, and a woman was there who began listening.
Some contacts are just guided. My companion started, and I just began praying
for the Spirit. It started pouring into my heart. It was such a powerful contact,
I don't even remember all of it, but the feelings there were so strong. We testified
of the Book of Mormon and about how she could truly know that God wasn't the
strict, impersonal God that she seemed to think He was. Things changed, and
where she hadn't wanted to take it and said she didn't have time to read it, she
said she would read it, even if it was a little bit at a time each day. That moment
was transcendent. The Spirit definitely worked through us. i felt no fear in
testifying what I know to be true! She can know of Jesus Christ through that
magnificent book, restored so that we know Heavenly Father's nature and His
beloved Son, our Savior, our Exemplar, our Best Friend and Redeemer. He is
the best missionary, and through the Spirit we can teach what He would have
I love you fam! Time is short, and it's so fun to see Elder Lythgoe's
name all over the area book - he certainly left his mark here! Sister Zinke
was saying what a great missionary he is as we drove down here together. :)
Its fun to let everyone know we are related. I hope that I can be a great
missionary like my cousin here in Takamatsu. :) I love the work and my Savior,
I love you sweet fam, and you are so close to my heart. Thank you for your
prayers and love!
I LOVE YOU!
Everyone takes such good care of us...
The view from our apartment window.
Thanks for the "hump day" package...especially the miniature candy bar poster and party stuff! oh yea...and the "over the hill" items..haha!
Over the hill and still going up!!!
Over the hill and still going up!!!
My doryo with a very original borrowed helmet from the ward. They
are so cute to us, they loaned it to her while our bags were coming, she
is just looking a little bit like she is in the army...
Thanks for all the letters to celebrate my hump day...or as Dad calls it,
my "double dedication day!"
Random blue hats we found in our apartment in Akashi...just had to wear them to clean the apartment before we left...and just had to bring them to Takamatsu with us!