Kobe, Japan

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Week 53 - Took Him to His Own House

No intruders in our house this week. However, I did wake up in the middle of the night because I had been sick for a couple days, and I thought my stomach was going crazy. But then I realized it wasn`t just me that was moving, things outside were moving. So I put my hand on the ground and sure enough it was an earthquake. A million things rushed through my head like `I should probably wake up my companion and get under something` and `If we jumped out the balcony is it too far up to survive?` but then I thought, `Or you could just keep sleeping...` and that thought won. I rolled over and went to sleep. No worries! The shaking stopped after a few minutes and I got a good night`s sleep!

Yesterday was pretty crazy though. We got emails and calls from our Bishop telling us alarms had gone off to warn everyone about the typhoon and so church was canceled.
Scheffler shimai watching the typhoon from our balcony. I was afraid she was gonna blow away!

Our zone leaders told us to fill up our bathtub just in case. I was kinda excited to use it but the storm blew over quickly.
You know you`re a missionary when the first thing you think as you hear such news is, `Dang! We had investigators coming today!` and `Darn, I really wanted to take the sacrament today.` Before my mission I would`ve been outrageously happy if I found out there was no church...funny how things change. So no investigators or less actives came to church. But real quick while on the subject of Bishop. He told me about Nick`s (Boettcher) mission call! I'm so MAD I will be home before he gets out here. Maybe I will ask for an extension.....

Anyways after study time we were so sick of being inside so even though it was raining we rode around the neighborhoods to see if we could give any service.
YESSS! Opportunities for service!
We tried to help people sand bag an overflowing river but they weren`t too happy to see two foreigners with Christ`s name on them. So we rode around and picked up fallen bicycles and things in people`s yards. We stopped by some investigators and less actives houses just to make sure they were okay. That was my first typhoon here in Japan, definitely one I won`t forget.

The best part of my week was a lesson we had with a less active sister. We have had the last 3 lessons more focused around her, for example we talk about her work, her family, and about why she liked certain principles of the gospel while she was first learning with the missionaries years ago. We started putting more effort into listening instead of talking. As we have been doing this, she`s changed a little. She`s more happy when we meet, she`s more open. This past week when we met and talked about the sacrament she committed to becoming fully active again by the end of October. Like the scriptures say, we were `truly astonished` by what she committed to. When we first met with her she told us she wouldn`t ever go back to church because she thought it was boring and long. However, only 2 months later she`s now totally committed to being a fully active member in the church. You can`t imagine how happy we were to hear this.

It`s kind of like Amulek and Alma in Alma 15. Amulek was a less active himself when he met Alma, then became active again and started preaching alongside Alma. Now Amulek was a really wealthy guy, he had lots of money, lots of land, a big family, yet he chose to put all those things on hold to preach the gospel with Alma. He went through a lot of affliction, being cast into prison, etc. As they were converting the Lamanites and establishing a church in Sidom verse 16 says, `...Amulek having forsaken all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred;` What happened next?

Alma checked on the church, saw that it was doing alright and the people of the church were okay, then verse 18 `...Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord.`

`...took him to his own house...` what exactly does that mean? It means Alma loved Amulek, just as I love my companion.
Love her. Just love her.
Although what Alma and Amulek were doing was -- and is -- the most important work on earth, Alma still saw that Amulek also needed a friend. He needed to be retained and rescued. Alma saw his companion every day, knew his struggles, and Alma took Amulek back to Alma`s home to help him out and to strengthen him again. As missionaries sometimes we forget that we are not teaching lessons...we are teaching people. I`ve seen over and over again that helping people feel our love for them will help them out more in the long run, than just trying to spit out a quick 20 minute presentation about things we think are important. Only after we show love and genuine interest in the things our investigators care about, can we truly help them.

So earthquakes, typhoons, and love...it`s been quite the week in Ootsu!

Love always,
Sister Heimuli

Speaking of love, here are some pics from this week:
Me and Yamaoka-san. She is like our grandma here. She said she is already planning her first trip to America for my wedding. Wedding? Whoa.
I love Japan.....'s food. Yamaoka-san made this for us. Almost too beautiful to eat, right? Almost.

No place does fireworks like Japan!
Aunty Nei sent a ton of stuff for my one-year mark. She loves me. I love her. Thanks, Aunty!
If you're reading this family and friends, I hope you know I love you. All the way from Japan.

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