I got a letter from Elder Ah Sue (South Africa Johannesburg mission) this past week! It was so good to hear from my old surfing bruddah. Mom, remember when I was moving back to Utah and I was almost late for my last night at work because we lost track of time surfing all day?? Well that kook is still the same! Haha it`s really cool to see that we`re both serving missions and we`re loving the places and the people we serve. He told me that there are all kinds of people in his area, Zulus, Afrikaans, Indians, etc., and I`m here in Japan with Peruvians, Brazilians, Japanese, etc., and they`re all God`s children. They ALL deserve the opportunity to have the gospel in their lives, and it`s a blessing to know that Elder Ah Sue and I and many others have the sacred responsibility to bring it to them. I can`t even describe how great a calling it is to be here, and I know it is the same for my friends who are serving all around the world. This gospel never ceases to amaze me.
You asked me for the best thing that happened this past week? One huge miracle began on Wednesday
night. I met this really cute 23 year old girl who is an Opera singer
and is also job searching. So she came to Eikaiwa to learn English
because she thought it would help her resume look good for future jobs. I
met her before class and talked with her a little bit, but she was
headed to the beginner class. Colter Shimai and I teach the Intermediate
class. I was sad we wouldn`t be able to have her in our class, so I
invited her to stay afterward so we could meet again and chat. We also
were having a party! So Eikaiwa finished, college and high school
Eikaiwa students stayed, and we ate and laughed and had a good time
speaking half-English half-Japanese to each other. By the end of the
party, we had scheduled lunch with her on Saturday. We met up with her on Saturday
and lunched at a really good sushi place. She asked us what we were
doing after lunch. We did not have an appointment but our plan was to go
back to the church, study, then go housing. So we said, `We`re going
back to the church.` Then she said, `Okay, let`s go to the church
together. I don`t have practice until 6. So we can hang out until 5.`
We were SHOCKED. Nihonjin don`t usually invite themselves to do things
like that. We happily accepted (while also wondering what we were going
to do with her for the next 4 hours). We got back to the church and sang
some songs. Colter Shimai is amazing on the piano! We helped her with
some english songs she`s learning and talked about life.
While we were practicing her songs, a few members walked in to clean the
chapel. They absolutely loved her! The Otsu ward here isn`t huge -- we
have about 70 people who come to church every week. So it`s not very
big, but our members are very kind and very helpful. They want to dendo
alongside us, and they`re exactly the kind of people our Prophet and
apostles have been telling us to be, working together with missionaries.
Colter Shimai and I realized what was happening and thought, `Hmmm, the
Lord`s helped us out this far. If she`s interested in the gospel, we
should help her!`
After the members left, we decided to show her some Mormon Messages to
help her get a feel for what we`re all about. I asked what the number
one most important thing in life was to her, and she said Family.
Everything in the Church is centered around families, so we watched
Mormon Message after Mormon Message, and we could tell she was feeling
the spirit. She would cry after one, then laugh after another. She asked
us questions about what we do and why we do it. We knew that this was
exactly the opportunity to teach that Colter Shimai and I pray for every
We asked her if she wanted a tour of the church and if she`d like to
hear a little message we had prepared for her. She accepted right away.
After the church tour, we sat down and gave a short 15 minute lesson
about Heavenly Father and a simple overview of the gospel. She was super
focused the. whole time. She recognized that God has played a role in
her life thus far and she wanted Him to continue to be in her life. We
set up another appointment with her!! Afterwards we played ping pong for
a little bit before her train came, and then she was off.
Heavenly Father will give us what He knows we need. We needed to teach,
He gave us that opportunity. She needed to hear about the gospel, He
gave her that opportunity. We already had our day planned, down to the
T, of what we were doing, when we were doing it, and how we were going
to do it. But our plans changed real fast. We just followed the
promptings of the spirit and said and did what felt right. And we got a
new investigator from it! No, things didn`t go exactly according to what
WE had planned, but I testify that as we are willing to do what the
Lord needs us to do, we will never feel unaccomplished or empty. He`s
waiting to bless us! We`ve just got to be willing and ready to be worthy
of those blessings.
This week wasn`t crazy-eventful. Nothing really out of the ordinary
happened. We are just working in our tiny corner of the vineyard, trying
to do everything the Lord expects of us every day. It`s so fun being a
missionary, just teaching and struggling the way missionaries do. I know
that everyone reading this has normal day-to-day things they`ve got to
do, and normal people`s problems are different from missionary`s
problems. But I promise that regardless of whether you are wearing a
black nametag or not, the Lord will bless you as you do what He asks. I
know that it`s those little things He asks of us that often trip us
up...praying, reading, serving, being patient and kind.
Don`t lose faith. Just keep being faithful and He`ll keep blessing you in ways you could never even imagine.
I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!
All my love,