Kobe, Japan

Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 25 - What Is This?

Whoooooooaaaaa!!! Heels is ENGAGED?! What is this?! Heels you need your best man, and currently I am in Japan on a mission, so sorry Alyssa, you guys will have to postpone the wedding until next February when I get back. Haha, congrats you crazy kids! I am so sorry Alyssa that you will have to deal with Helam for eternity...eternity is a long time, are you sure you want to do that?? Hahaha, all jokes aside I am SO pumped and so stoked for you two. I will have a new sister when I get home, wow, look at that! I am pretty blessed in the sister category, first Normz and soon Alyssa. And like Mosiah says, `Yea, blessed (are ye) who are willing to bear my name; for in my name (ye) shall be called...` (Okay, maybe I changed that scripture just a little but it`s the same principle, haha). But for reals I am so happy for you guys!! I promise you will be blessed for being a Heimuli. Yes, it`s rough and us Heimulis are hard to deal with sometimes, but welcome to our family!

Another girl joining the Heimuli fam!
Want to know something else really exciting, mis hermanos?? I said my first prayer ALL in Spanish last night. Mom, you asked for the highlight of my week, and yesterday was the highlight! I like to start my weeks on Mondays because Sundays are the best days ever here on the mission. I like my weeks to end with a bang, so MY calendar starts on Monday and ends on Sunday...

Anyways, we tried SO hard to invite everyone we possibly could to come to church. On Saturday we went finding at the lake because it`s been weirdly warm recently and everyone we talked to we invited to church. We got home late that night and made more phone calls and emailed people to invite them to church.

On Sunday, Sacrament Meeting was about to start and no one was there. The elders had 2 investigators but none of ours showed up! It was really sad and we were kind of discouraged. We just kept our eyes on the doors in hopes that someone we had invited would walk in. Some random Mexican guy walked in and sat in front of us. He sat right next to the Elders and I thought, `What is this?! They have a Hispanic investigator, too?!`

As soon as Sacrament Meeting was over, I introduced myself in Japanese. He looked at me kind of funny, so I spoke to him in English and his English was perfect. He`s actually a member and is here in Japan on a business trip. He`s traveled to Japan a few times for work so he knows a little bit of Japanese. I think it says a lot about his priorities and his devotion that even while working in Japan on business, he`s willing to step out of his comfort zone and attend a Japanese ward. We talked for a bit and he`s here for a week. After church we had a shokuji (it is sort of a Japanese version of a luau…except with chopsticks and waaaay smaller portions, ha) and he stayed for that, too! When it was over and we were cleaning up, my wonderful companion mentioned to him that we are teaching a Peruvian and we had an appointment later that night. He said he wanted to come and we thought, `Great!` And this is where the best part of my week began.

We met at an eki (train station) close to our investigator`s house and walked over to his apartment together. Us three caused quite a scene on the streets. Imagine a white girl, a polynesian and a mexican walking the streets of Japan! We got to the house and our investigator wasn`t home yet -- which is typical, because just like polynesians, hispanics are never on time either. So we had a good amount of time to talk with our Mexican brother. He told us about his wife and kids at home and about his business trip. He served a mission in the Mexico, Mexico City mission about 10 years ago so he knows exactly what it`s like to be a missionary. We talked about the lesson we wanted to share and told him that our investigator would benefit greatly from hearing his testimony. I have never been more excited to teach a lesson! Finally, our investigator came home and we started the lesson. I gave the opening prayer in the little Spanish that I know. Colter shimai (in her awesome Spanish) started asking our investigator follow up questions about God and who he thinks God is. He answered that he THINKS God is his father and that he`s God`s son, and Colter shimai asked, `Do you believe that?`

He replied, `Uuuhhhh, si.` Not a confident si. The guy we brought with us had quickly built a really good relationship with our investigator before we even started our lesson, so he was able to be bold with him. He said, `Whoa, wait. This is important. If you don`t believe this, then there`s no use in listening to the hermanas.` We read Alma 32 together and talked about Faith. Hermano Ari (the Mexican brother who came with us) shared his testimony and his conversion story. He joined the church when he was 19 (just a couple years older than our investigator). Then he went on a mission. He relayed to our investigator that you don`t need to know everything now but over time, sincere faith turns into knowledge. I have never felt the spirit so strong the whole almost 6 months I`ve been on my mission. Homes here don`t have central heating. We were crammed in a small room huddled around a tiny space heater. But as I listened to Hermano Ari`s testimony and read the scriptures we shared, I felt warm all over. It was a different kind of warm…a warm that starts in the heart. As Hermano Ari testified in his native language, my heart was full of gratitude for having him there. You know, people are put in our lives for a reason and Hermano Ari probably never dreamed he`d be in Japan, preaching with 2 sisters from America, in Spanish during his business trip but there he was, right when we needed him. We had originally planned to teach about prayer but as we followed the spirit, and with the help from Hermano Ari, we were able to discern our investigator`s real need, `...For it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.` (Alma 32:28)

Picking my favorite fruit ever here. MIKANS!!!
Miracles don`t produce faith. In fact, I know faith precedes miracles, but miracles also often confirm our faith. No, we didn`t have anyone show up at church after hours of inviting, but we showed our faith, and Heavenly Father blessed us with an amazing experience I will never ever forget. Faith is a principle of action and power. It`s more than mere belief. Yesterday was a miracle. We left our appointment a little late and needed to make it home on time, so we literally ran back to the eki (which was about a 20 minute run) and then we had 30 minutes to bike home, up hill, which we did miraculously! 

Running to the eki after our lesson. Hermano Ari took the picture! He`s awesome.
I am telling you, if we just work, the Lord`s got our back. We taught an amazingly powerful lesson, we made it home ON TIME, and I actually made it through a whole prayer in Spanish! Miracles are all around us. We`ve just got to have the faith (action and power) to see those miracles.

We`ll have more miracles this week, and I can`t wait to write to you about them! Love you, family and friends. Heavenly Father and I love you!

Hermana Heimuli

Went to the skate rink with our 12 year old investigator but couldn`t skate because of mission rules, lol.

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