Kobe, Japan

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 63 - First Time You Realized God Lived

Have you all ever heard of Taiko Matsuri? Look it up on Google. It`s the coolest event that takes place every year October 16-18 and it happens here in Niihama...and guess what....I got to go to it! It was an exciting week here in Niihama last week! And people were all 10 times nicer and 10 times more interested in Americans. Japanese people love their culture, so if you show any sign of interest in a Japanese person`s culture they will love you to pieces! We had some Less actives take us, and then a member and her friend took us to another day of it. I love Japanese culture. Japanese people are so calm and reserved all the other 362 days of the year, but during these 3 days they`re the craziest, most fun people I`ve ever met! 
LA and his cute grandson. He actually proposed to me during lunch with their family.
People dress up all crazy. These girls are like the Taiko cheerleaders!
I had no idea Houston was so famous here in Japan
Asian babies are by far the cutest things. She is only 3 months old. Love that hairpiece.
Taiko! Over 30 guys carry this heavy gold object around the streets.  So fun!
These random girls asked to take a picture with me???
Dinner anyone? Daddy would love this tako (octopus) vendor!
Isn't he adorable? Did I mention he proposed?
Natsu, Crofts Shimai, me and Rina
Even though this Matsuri was a once in a lifetime experience, the most rewarding part of my week and part of missionary work is hearing people`s prayers. I think I`ve told you that before, but it was especially cool this week! We have an investigator who struggles with the Word of Wisdom. She said that if she can keep that commandment she`ll get baptized, but she can`t keep that commandment. We decided to teach her about Christ and how to use the power from His atonement to overcome her weaknesses. At the end of the lesson she prayed, `...I want to believe in Christ. I want to be baptized. Please stretch out Your hand to me...` 

I thought about how I learned through prayer that our Heavenly Father existed. It was when Marqel had her accident and we didn't know whether or not she was going to live. I remember we were fasting as a whole extended family and I was maybe 7 or so? Everyone was fasting but I was so hungry and started eating honeycomb cereal. Helam told on me. I was so mad at him and so embarrassed. Mom took me into the room and explained why we fasted: so that Heavenly Father would hear our prayers and bless Marqel. I remember mom sitting me down and tell me we should pray and tell Heavenly Father what happened and tell Him I would try again. Mom said the prayer and I remember listening to her words and thinking that if she's talking like this, it was not like a normal conversation. It was the most earnest I had ever heard my mother speak, so someone must be there listening. I had never felt so close to Heavenly Father before that, and ever since then He has been a presence in my life that I knew I could rely on. Through that small experience God helped me overcome my weakness to make it a strength, and He blessed Marqel who now has a lovely family.

Rehearsing for a musical fireside. Crofts shimai is on the piano.
It`s promised to us in the Book of Mormon that if we `open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.` (Mosiah 2:9) There are things we just simply cannot do as humans. We cannot read minds, suddenly make people desire not to drink coffee, or heal someone who is close to death. But we can rely on the Lord to give us the strength we need to endure whatever trial we have. I know the Lord will hear our investigator`s prayers, just as much as He hears the prayers of little children. I know He`ll answer your prayers and mine. You`re pouring out your heart and I know someone`s there listening. Don`t forget this as you go through your week! Someone IS listening, and the person that`s listening just happens to be our Loving Father in Heaven who desires nothing more to help us throughout this trying life.

Love you all! Have a fabulous week!

Love, Sister Heimuli

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