Kobe, Japan

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Week 34 - Claim the Gospel

That`s probably the hardest question you always ask me every week, `What was the best part of your week?` because it`s so hard to choose! I feel like everything, all of it, was good! Even being stuck in a rain storm with no umbrellas, walking for 4 hours because we were super lost, and waking up way too early to study because of all the lessons we were going to be teaching in Japanese and Spanish. I love all of it, the good and the hard parts!

I guess a highlight was getting an awesome package from Aunty Nei! I loved everything in it. Right when I thought, `Wow I think it`s time to go shopping. I wore out all of my clothes this winter,` a huge package came and it`s full of exactly what I needed! Now I can focus on finding instead of shopping! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

Our week started off great! We taught a lesson to an investigator who loves to learn the facts about the Church but has a hard time feeling the spirit because he`s not understanding with his heart. We had the Boettcher boys come sit in on the lesson even though they don`t speak a lot of Japanese. We taught about the Book of Mormon and we taught him how to use it. Then we ended with sharing our favorite scriptures and bearing testimony about it. Usually that investigator has a hard time sitting still and listening to our message. But when the Boettcher boys shared their scriptures and bore simple testimony in English, I saw that investigator change a little bit. He felt the spirit so strong and he said in Japanese, `Even though they`re young they understand` and it`s true! We don`t have to be old to understand the scriptures. Years of study has its benefits, but age isn`t all there is to it. I was so grateful for the testimonies of these 2 young men because I could see it helped my investigator more than anything I could`ve said. After that lesson we walked to the Boettcher house and had the yummiest dinner ever! Brother Boettcher made Shoyu chicken...amazing right?? I told him how I haven`t had shoyu chicken in ages and it tasted even better than I remembered! It`s a blessing having members who are willing to help and serve with you.

Later that week we had lunch with a Potential investigator and all her girlfriends. They`re all crazy old grandmas who are hilarious! They made us a super good traditional Japanese lunch and I thought they were going to have to roll me out of there. They just kept feeding us and feeding us! What was really cute is that we had told her earlier that we don`t drink tea or coffee so she went out of her way to buy lots of juices and sodas so that we wouldn`t be thirsty because she and her friends all drank tea. We didn`t have time to teach a lesson and it didn`t feel quite right so as a thank you we sang them a song. We sang "I Am a Child of God" in English and Japanese and it was amazing how much they loved it! They started asking us questions about the Church and why we were volunteering to be here. We have an appointment to see them except this time they want me to teach them how to cook something Hawaiian. And they want to learn how to Hula so it looks like we`ll be having a luau at her house sometime in the near future! I love those ladies even though their Japanese can be hard to understand and I can`t speak Japanese very well. I feel like language doesn`t really matter. I know this sounds cliche, but if you sincerely listen to a person and they understand how much you love them, you really don`t need to say anything. All people just want to feel like they belong, and this gospel has a great way of doing that.

Alma 42:31 says, `Preach the word unto this people....declare the word with truth...that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them.` God`s plan for us is simple. He wants us to become like Him and enjoy all the blessings He enjoys. He`s created a plan for us to do that!

Regardless of the language you speak or the circumstances you came from, you`ve always got a Father in Heaven who loves you. He`s always cheering you on, even when you think there`s no one in the stands `that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them.` He wants us to claim His plan. He wants to claim us. It`s there -- we just need to reach out and grab it. I was so blessed to be born and raised in the church. I never thought about how blessed I was to be claimed by God`s plan. I work with people and talk with people everyday who have no idea that there even is a plan. We all have to work to help those (who aren`t claimed by the plan yet) to be claimed, so they too can enjoy the blessings the Lord has in store for us.

Thanks for the prayers and the packages. I know you all love me and I feel it everyday! Just go out and find someone whom you know would benefit from all the blessings the Lord has, and help them claim the gospel. We`ll try hard together!

Love always,

Your Sister Heimuli

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