Kobe, Japan

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Letter 5 - WOW

[Note from Mom: Attended the homecoming of  Scheffler shimai today. I wrote to Sister Heimuli and started out describing Tasha's testimony in basically one word: WOW]

Isn`t Sister Scheffler amazing?? What?! She thinks everyone back home is loud and obnoxious? Did she forget what our apartment used to be like?! Ha! I love her. I am so grateful for the 2 transfers we were able to serve together. It`s amazing how much we were able to grow in just those 3 short months. Now I am her trainee`s STL. Sister Kasteler showed me all these videos from when they were together and I just died laughing, thinking about all the fun and ridiculous things we did together. Love you, Sister Tasssshhhh!

WOW. That word really got me thinking.

W:  Work. There`s something scary but exciting about this word. Some people are scared of work especially hard work, while other people love to work so much that they forget about their loved ones at home, so they just go and go and...find themselves unhappy. Then there are those who work not for their own desires, but to do the Lord`s work. MLC (Mission Leadership Council) is one of the most powerful meetings a missionary can ever attend. Last week we had special guests at MLC: President Heaton (MTC coordinator...I think is what his calling is?) and his newly returned missionary daughter from Fukuoka mission. Pres. Heaton trained us and taught us a really good principle that we missionaries seem to forget when we are trying so hard to avoid becoming prideful, and trying hard to stay busy in order to feel like we`re accomplishing something. He reminded us that this is not our work, it`s the Lord`s work. And as we seek those who are prepared to be taught, sometimes we refer to them as `They are lost and it`s up to us to find them` when that`s not the case at all.

He reminded us that it is we (missionaries) who get lost if we are just going through the motions of this work. The Lord does not lose His children. He knows exactly where they are, what they are trying to accomplish in their lives, and exactly how they need help. Think about Lehi in the wilderness. God didn`t lose track of them. It was because of their own choices that they lost their way. We are human and we will lose our way, but Matt. 18:11 gives us hope, `For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.`

O:  Original. What`s the original meaning of Christmas? In emails I`ve received recently, everyone`s told me about how they are on the hunt for the perfect gift this Christmas. We had a Christmas party on Saturday the 13th with our tiny branch of 25 people who regularly attend. However, this time we had almost 100 people come and learn more about the original meaning of Christmas, the True meaning of Christmas!
I was the background music for a reading of `The True Meaning of Christmas` a Japanese rendition of Christ`s birth.
I watched tears fill their eyes, lights brighten their faces, and I watched people laugh and clap for joy as we performed hulas, sang songs and shared other dances. 


My cute little English class kids performed Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer! They did so great!

As stated in Articles of Faith 13: `...We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.`

What a fantastic time it was to spend with so many people who are not of our faith! They were able to see, hear and feel what we truly believe. Christ wasn`t born into a party with people shouting and opening presents. He was born in a stable where humble shepherds came to draw near to Him and `adore` Him. I think spending time with those we love without the noise of wrapping paper or jingling bells would be a perfect Christmas present for anyone.

W:  Will. We had a lesson with an investigator who wants to be baptized but she`s scared of what her parents will think. My companion, Sister Ichikawa, was in the same situation when she wanted to get baptized. Her father was abusive to her and her brother while they were growing up so she was scared to tell her father that she wanted to get baptized. She wrote him a letter, and bore sweet, simple testimony about how much baptism meant to her. A few days later he gave her the letter back...with written permission for her to get baptized. So, at the young age of 12 she was baptized and now she`s my amazing companion!

I just LOVE Ichikawa shimai! I am so grateful she is here with me!
We told this story to our investigator and she decided she`d write a letter to her parents and give it to them tonight.

Our own will can push us to do amazing things. Now, think about our will combined with our Father in Heaven`s. How much more would we be able to accomplish if we could some how align our will with His? I ponder this often, especially as I consider the things I`ve been able to do on my mission. I definitely see those times when I was working off of my own will, not aligned with the Father`s. Then I look at those times when I asked Heavenly Father what His will was, and I asked Him to help me to be strong enough to do His will, and I saw nothing but miracles.

I pray that the Lord continues to bless us and help us become one with His will, so that we can share the original meaning of Christmas, and help those who have lost themselves to again come to know that which they once knew. I love this work because it`s not mine. It`s the Lord`s. I love that He`s in charge and not me. We know that through His power and His guidance we cannot fail. I pray that you all can feel that too this season! Remember the greatest gift we received for Christmas, our Lord and Savior, came not in fancy wrapping paper and bows, but as a babe in swaddling clothes.

Love you all! Make it a great week!

Sister Heimuli

At the Ward Christmas Party
A couple of random pics and a couple of random thoughts:
This little tiny banana was in my bento box. Soooo cute.

Sister Scheffler looks beautiful! And I told her to go brown a looong time ago but she wouldn`t listen. Now look at how beautiful she is!

So there`s this young man in my ward here who is my best friend! He ran up to me at English class and was like `Sister! Sister! There`s a video of your brother on facebook!` and he showed me Hema on KSL last week. I was soooo happy to see that he was on the news!

I can`t believe everyone`s getting married...Jarom, Kastle, Evan...what the heck?!

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