Monday, August 5, 2013
August 5, 2013
Two weeks worth this time! Sorry about that!
On Monday, August 5 Sister Johnson wrote:
So yeah, size 6 earthquake! I am totally fine, so don't worry about that. But wow, that was so crazy!! We were sitting in Relief Society talking about how to prepare things like food storage and emergency water for an earthquake, and the timing was impeccable. Right as we were talking, the whole building started shaking. My chair was lifted off the ground because it was shaking like crazy! The walls started to sway, and everyone started screaming. I don't think I've ever felt my heart beat so fast! But it stopped after about 12 seconds, and then there were a few after-shocks, but everyone was fine, and we all were kept nice and safe. Those 12 seconds were so intense for me. I was so caught up in my own head, that I didn't even think about what to do, but as I looked around, it was absolutely incredible and beautiful to watch the sisters in Relief Society rush to the aide of the older women and help them make it safely out from under the air conditioner and other big things. Everyone was so concerned about the welfare of others, and it really made me think about the Japanese people and how outward-thinking they are. I was amazed by the love and concern that I felt in that room. Yes, it was one of the most terrifying things I've ever experienced in my life, but I learned so much from it. Wow! The Izumi ward members are great! Elvis's song has a whole new meaning now! Haha. ;) You would not believe how scary it is to watch a building sway from side to side. I understand more the parts of 3 Nephi that talk about the earth trembling, and how terrifying that is. It makes that part even more real than it was already! But, we are all fine, and life continues on as normal.
This week was so weird! We had another earthquake earlier this week, but it was very small, and I hardly felt it. But that same day, it was Wednesday, we were able to have some great appointments with a member in our ward named Kikkawa Shimai. We went with her to the grocery store where we, with her, started talking to this woman about the Gospel. It was so wonderful to do missionary work with a member standing right there beside us! The woman gave us her address, and we intend to go follow-up with her this week. After that, we went to Kikkawa Shimai's house and did a mogi lesson with her and her daughter, Minori. She is 15, and it was way good! We talked about the Plan of Salvation, and the Spirit was definitely there. After that, Kikkawa Shimai gave us huge amounts of food, and then drove us back to the Church, but on the way there, we rescued a cat. It was a little bitty kitten that looked like Luna, and he had been hit by a car. So we picked him up and took him to the animal hospital. Needless to say, that was a very eventful day! But it was good.
Yesterday, we had two non-members at Church! One was our investigator, Tomomi San, and the other was an 18 year old guy we met on the street the day before. We talked with him at a stop light for about 20 minutes, and prayed with him, and invited him to come to church and he actually did! His name is Hawamura San, and we have an appointment with him this Wednesday evening.
So this week, the rain FINALLY stopped!!! We finally saw the sun after 17 days of pouring rain! What a great blessing that was! Wow. I am so grateful. But now, it is HOT HOT HOT! Woo! But, it is good.
This week, I have gotten a LOT of birthday love! Grandma and Grandpa O sent me a really pretty watch and some chocolate, and I've gotten a lot of cards from people, including the Goulds. That was absolutely wonderful! I think mail only takes 8 days to get here... So, yeah! Happy birthday to me for two weeks! Haha. :) Thank you to everyone.
Thanks for the love. I need it. Sending prayers and sunshine your way. Miss you all.
And last week, on Monday, July 29 Sister Johnson wrote:
I am so relieved to hear that you got my letter!!! Yay! I was hoping and wishing and praying that it would get there okay! That makes my day. I've gotten some mail, but my companions get mail everyday! I just get advertisements...haha. But it's okay.
So, I had a great week! Wow! It was absolutely incredible to see the Lord's hand in my life this week! We FINALLY had our first lesson, and we now have TWO investigators! Our first is named Takahashi Tomomi San, and she is interesting. She has been investigating the Church for over seven years. Our lesson with her was unproductive, and I really don't see us going anywhere with her, so after our lesson with her this next week, we will decide if we are going to continue teaching her. She is really sweet, and so SO cute, but she doesn't have a real desire to meet with us, so we'll see what happens. Our other lesson this week was with a woman named Miyata Kazuko San. She is the mother of one of the brothers in our ward, Miyata Kyodai. It was a good lesson! We taught about Heavenly Father and about His love for us. We also talked about the prophet Joseph Smith, and the Restoration of the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and about how the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It was really great, and we don't have a set appointment with her yet, but we will see her again soon. That was a weird day for me, Saturday. That was the first day I had to eat seafood! We had that absolutely gross cabbage pancake thing again, but this time, it had white fish paste (in the shape of tentacles...) on top, with nori and dried fish skin. Yeah....I died. I just about threw up on the Miyata family's table, and I felt so bad. I just couldn't do it. So Kubota Shimai ate the rest for me. It was awful, and I've felt gross ever since. But, it was funny.
Also this week, we were able to meet with several less-active members. Those are my favorite lessons to teach. This week, we met with Ueno Junko Shimai, with the Relief Society president, Kanazawa Shimai. That was a great lesson! Ueno Shimai has had a lot of trials lately, and so we decided to talk about the Atonement of Christ and about how we can overcome our hardships with the help of the Savior. I don't remember what was said, really, but I can remember the incredible love and Spirit that filled the room as we testified of Jesus Christ. I love having the privilege of being able to do that on a daily basis. We also taught Nishimura Yoko Shimai the same lesson, but it was much different! It was joyful and so loving, and I am grateful for the guidance of the Spirit.
This week, I had a really hilariously awesome finding experience. The three of us, and two of the Elders were biking super fast to a lunch appointment with a member, and we zoomed past this woman. I was in the back of the group, so I heard the woman yell something at me in Japanese. I translated it to say ``HEY!!! Are you all volunteer Eikaiwa teachers???`` So I slammed on my brakes and yelled GOMENASAI! And ran back to her! Then, the miracle happened. She started speaking to me in very fast Japanese and asking me all kinds of questions, and I was able to not only understand what she said, but I was able to reply and answer all of her questions!! Wow, Gift of Tongues! It was only for two minutes, but it was incredible! The woman's name was Harada-San, and she ended up coming to Eikaiwa this week! It was so wonderful, and so humbling. When I tell myself that I can't speak Japanese, I am absolutely right, but I can do all things through Christ. He is the only way. His blessings are how I am able to communicate, and for that, I am thankful.
The Lord has also blessed me with more love and patience this week. I finally am feeling like I am having fun and being a successful missionary. We are busy and working hard, and I have more patience with my companions. The Lord is shaping me into the missionary He wants me to become.
This week, we had ward Family Home Evening and it was SO MUCH FUN! We had missionary music night! I got to play a cello! YAY! It was so fun! And I got to sing with Merkley Choro, and I also go to learn and play a traditional Japanese instrument called Shamisen, which is like the Japanese equivalent of a banjo! It was so cool, and I want to buy one SO BAD! Probably during my last transfer.
Lean on the Savior. He is so full of love, and is mighty to save. You should read John 15 and 16. It's all about abiding in the love of Christ. Some very much-needed light for me this week. Jesus is my sunshine. Let Him be yours, too.
I love you!