Kobe, Japan

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 16 - Light

I want to be in Akashi forever. I love this place. It is my home. 

Heimuli Shimai (front & center) with her very first District
Yes, I survived transfers! I got to see Scheffler Shimai! LOVE HER!!

She`s adorable. We WILL be companions one day! I got a new companion, Ellefson Shimai who is from Kaysville. She`s like a short, white, blonde version of me! I really love her. Our ways of dendo are the same; we let the spirit guide. Already within the last 4 days I have been able to see how much our kyudosha [investigators] and I needed transfers. They needed her fresh point of view and her amazing raw talent of instantly connecting and talking with people. We`re going to have a fun transfer!

At first, I was super nervous for transfers and I knew I would miss my wonderful trainer.

I am Area Senpai now. I am in charge of the phone and navigating and pretty much making sure that Ellefson Shimai survives on the streets. She comes from the country so she doesn`t know what it`s like to be a city girl! I LOVE the city!! We went streeting for her first time the day after she got here. Our goal was to talk to 12 people. Well, we talked to waaay more than that! We`re both pretty young in our missions, so there`s a lot we aren`t quite sure of when it comes to the language. When we teach our kyudosha, I am so surprised how much they understand what we`re trying to teach them. They`re either pretending…or the spirit is telling them the things we are unable to say. I hope it’s the latter, ha.

Yesterday, we had a lesson with our yakusokusha. I got to color with her cute daughter during our lesson.

She was telling us about how her friends have pointed out that she looks different. They told her they can see a difference in her face. She tells them it`s the gospel! When she told us that, she looked at us for confirmation to make sure her answer was correct, and we just burst with joy! I can promise you, our lessons are not normal. We are always so excited about our kyudoshas’ improvements and their answers and their questions. Of course, she is right. There is a difference. It`s called the light of Christ. Soooo many people stop and stare at us on the streets. I believe that it’s probably because, yes, we`re gaijin…but it`s more than that. I know they can see the light that we carry.

D&C 50:24-25, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light growth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.  And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you…”

This is why we have light. This is why SHE has light. Our kyudosha isn`t even baptized yet and her friends are already recognizing how different she looks. I testify that light is real! And our choices either brighten that light or dim it, so my dearest family and my dear friends, please keep doing things that brighten your light! People will notice, I promise. You don`t need to speak Japanese to have that light either (belieeeeeve me). You`ve just got to have a sincere desire to follow God`s will.

Today, we were housing at some apartments by the nearest Eki. Everyone was kekko-ing us but we met a couple of nice people who accepted our chidashi. So we were on level 6, working our way down from level 10, when this guy comes running down the stairs. He tells us really harshly, ``I`ve received complaints about you two, so leave now!`` We looked at each other. We told him we understood and we respectfully bowed. We were going to walk down the rest of the stairs but he stopped us and made us ride in the elevator. I don’t think he wanted us talking to another person there. He hurriedly escorted us all the way to the bottom level. He said it was his job to make sure the people living in those apartments were taken care of, and he didn`t want any trouble. We left peacefully and walked in the direction of where we had parked our bikes. We weren’t mad or discouraged or anything like that -- we just figured the Lord must not have needed us to go there after all. As we were walking, it began raining really hard but neither of us bothered to take out our umbrellas. So there we stood…in a downpour…waiting at a stop light. All of a sudden, a little lady came up behind us and put her umbrella over all three of us. First of all…THAT is totally uncommon here. Everyone keeps to themselves and no one else has EVER offered us their umbrellas before. Second, she was super sweet and began talking to us. After the light turned and we started walking, she asked, `Have you had lunch yet? Come, follow me.`

She totally takes us to this cool undercover shop and escorts us to the back. There were 5 little old ladies around this table sewing some cool Japanese things. Then the shop`s owner comes out and he happens to speak a little bit of English! We met all the ladies, got to talk some more with the lady who brought us in, and we talked to the store owner. Later, we sat while they brought all this food out to us.

AMAZING, right? Turns out that sweet lady who gave us her umbrella also paid for our lunch. We ate and talked. When we left we exchanged numbers and made an appointment to see her again. I testify that there are no coincidences when you align your will with the Lord’s. If we hadn`t been sent out of that building at the time and if we hadn’t been standing at the light without umbrellas, we wouldn`t have met such a sweet lady, nor would we have made an appointment to teach her the gospel. All the people in that shop were so kind. Hopefully, we will find a way to contact them as well. This wonderful lady was so sweet and kept commenting on how kind we looked, and how she was so grateful we came to have lunch with her. What?! We were just two souls trying to make our way to our bikes without making anyone else mad, ha. There are no such things as coincidences. The Lord knows what He`s doing. We just have to be willing to follow Him.

You said that at your Stake Conference the theme was “Hastening the Work”. I know God is hastening His work, we just have to let Him do it! Once we let go of our way of doing things and start doing it His way, I promise this work will continue to hasten until it`s complete. God will continue to bless us as we continue to obey Him. I promise that the biggest beauty secret is reading His word, keeping His commandments and seeking His guidance. Praying and reading and going to church are so simple, yet they are the things that make ALL the difference in the brightness of the light we have. Like my kyudosha said, people will really notice and ask why you look different, or comment on how happy you look. There`s no better way to move the Lord`s work forward than by being an example of truth and having it shine through your face. I promise, people can see your light.

This next transfer is going to be full of some amazing opportunities to grow. Throughout it all, I hope to continue to grow that light – in my kyudosha and in myself – I am learning soooo much!

God knows YOU. He is aware of YOU. God loves His children. He loves His work because it`s what brings us back to Him, to immortality and to eternal life. I know without a doubt that things happen according to the Lord`s time table. We`ve just got to adjust ourselves and keep pushing forward. The Lord will be with us the whole time.

Sorry to be so short, we`ve got some souls to save and not a lot of time to do it. Love you all the way from Japan!

All my love,

Heimuli 姉妹

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