Kobe, Japan

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 57 - Ganbarimasu

It`s been an unreal past 2 transfers. I`m going to miss this pretty lady so much!

I am being transferred to Niihama on Shikoku. It`s an island right off the coast of Japan.
 We went to Kyoto on Monday with our district.

Little did I know it was going to be my last week in the Kyoto area!
Elder Jackson and I were looking at some really cool ancient graveyards that were around the Kiyomizudera Shrine.

We decided to switch things up a bit, and proselyte in yukatas.

It was way fun and people loved it! More people stopped and talked to us.
These are my japanese teachers that I go to every week during language study. They`re awesome! I will miss them!

We went out with Yoshikawa and her Husband! This is us at a little cafe on the banks of Lake Biwa in Ootsu :) I`m really really going to miss this place!

As missionaries, we can`t wear backpacks because we`ll look too much like tourists, but we have SO many things we HAVE to carry around so our bags get pretty heavy sometimes. My shoulders were sore so I decided to put my bag somewhere else where it wouldn`t hurt my shoulders while we waited for the train, Scheffler shimai took some sneaky pics...i had NO idea.

We had `Super Saturday` at the Shimogamo stake center in Kyoto with the YSA and youth of the Kyoto stake. We each got either 1 or 2 new companions (ysa, yw/ym) and you take them out and proselyte.

I was put in a threesome with Sister Hayashi and Sister Fukuda. I only got a pic with Sister Hayashi, but here`s what the turn out was! It was SO fun! I hope my next area does this!

Me and the Sister Training Leaders! Sister Griffins and Sister Lofthouse. I love these sisters!

After Super Saturday we had to walk to the bus stop in the rain, but it`s always a good time when you`re with the missionaries!

These are the elders in my area.

Speaking of elders, we had to save one who got in an accident last week. hahaha no it`s a cool story...we were doing personal study and we were trying to prepare for 3 lessons but we were both not getting anywhere and we just couldn`t focus. As soon as personal study was over and we started companion study our District Leader called and said our Elder got in a bike accident and was in the hospital. I called the elders right away to see if we could help and the one elder that was ok said he was dealing with doctors and policemen and insurance people, so obviously that`s japanese that`s WAY too hard for us. The elders also don`t know anyone in the ward really to ask for help and I`ve been here the longest so I know everyone the best. I called the Bishop`s wife who just happened to have the afternoon off of work so she hurried and picked us up, went to the hospital, she took care of the hard stuff and we just got juice and treats for the elders.
So we moved all our lessons into the evening and were able to help the elders AND teach all our lessons that day. It was cool to see how the Lord makes time in everyone`s schedules to get what needs to be done, done! The elder that got in the accident took meds and was feeling pretty good until right before the missionaries from the office came to pick him up. We had to stay there all day until he left and the other elder got his new emergency-transferred companion. It was a crazy day but every day is an eventful day here on the mission.

As far as a package..there`s nothing I really want for my 21st bday. You mentioned it may be a tough week at work. Why?? Can I help you in anyway?? Yes please survive this week, I`m going to have to figure out how to survive this next week as well! We`ll just try hard together! In japanese you say `Ganbarimasu` (gan-ba-ree-mah-s) なのでがんばってください!We`ll try our very best and we will both make it just fine!

Just a really quick experience from this past week...So you know that Sister that we are teaching ukulele and gospel lessons to? Yeah well this past week she just committed to becoming fully active in January and she`s agreed to preparing to receive her patriarchal blessing. Her mom stood up in sacrament and bore testimony about how meeting with the missionaries has blessed every individual in her family not just her LA daughter. As she bore her testimony I sat in the back and just cried. I`ve been here for so long and it`s so nice to know. Knowing that makes me feel like my work here in Ootsu is done and it`s time to be somewhere else. I feel so at peace with transferring. Of course I will miss this area, but it`s one thing knowing that you did what you were sent to do. 
Yesterday, another Less active sister committed to becoming fully active by the end of the year. That makes a total of 3 newly actived members and 2 working their way back here in the Ootsu ward! It`s funny how excited I get talking about members who are feeling their way back to the church. Before my mission, I didn`t really care or notice those that weren`t attending church every week. Sometimes we think we have to be `worthy enough` to step into a church building. I think that we often think of church as a building made for perfect people to sit on chairs and sing hymns. When in reality, church is a safe haven for those who need the nourishment of the gospel, who are working towards perfecting themselves. As I meet with and talk with Less Actives and Recent Converts I`ve seen how this image of church -- being a perfect place only for perfect people -- have hindered their testimonies, making them lose their confidence, avoiding anything that has to do with religion.

I testify to you that church is not for perfect people. It`s a place where God, through Christ`s atonement, will fill our missing pieces, make up the difference when we fall short, and perfect our imperfections.

Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-12
2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

Notice the scripture says, `For the perfectING of the saints...` not for the PERFECT saints. We`re all in our own phases of perfecting. But like Pres. Uchtdorf says, it`s not in this life that we are perfect but in the next. I know that as an imperfect servant of the Lord, only through the gospel of Jesus Christ can I endeavor to pursue perfection. These beautiful saints of Japan are trying their hardest to become perfect through Christ`s atonement and I`m so grateful for their humble examples. Change is hard, but it`s what we need in order to grow and become perfect even as our Savior. I`ll be making quite a few changes myself this week but I`m excited to see where those changes will take me! I love this gospel. I love this work. I love you all. I love being a missionary. I hope you love being a missionary`s mom!

Have a great week!

Love always,

Sister Heimuli

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