Monday, August 26, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
On Monday, August 26, 2013 Sister Johnson wrote:
So, this week, I had some good experiences! I was able to do some real old-fashioned Japanese farming! We worked in the bishop's storehouse with some of the ward members, and we farmed daikon, which is like a potato, but with way more flavor, and it's delicious. We also farmed nasu (eggplant!!!) and other things, that I didn't know what they were... but it was way fun! Rural Japan is GORGEOUS! It is so green, and the rice fields are beautiful! Also, Japanese scarecrows are hilarious, and they definitely fooled me... haha.
This week, we were given whale meat from the sisters serving in Tagajo! They got it from a member, and then gave it to us! It is still in the freezer, and I am terrified of it. It makes me so sad. Poor whales.
Last P-Day, it was zone P-Day, so we got together with all the Sendai missionaries and had a great big water fight! It was way fun, and we even got the Stake President involved! On Saturday evening, we had the opportunity to go to the final matsuri (festival) of the season! Matsuri are HUGE here! There are so many booths with food and toys and everything you can imagine! There were SO MANY PEOPLE, I could not believe it! Unfortunately, we went at night, so we didn't get an opportunity to really explore the festival. But we got to watch the fireworks! Fireworks here in Japan are incredible! They last for about an hour and are so big and creative and beautiful! They were so fun. The best part about the matsuri was going with the young single adults that are in Izumi. We were able to spent time with them and really build good relationships with them. It was wonderful. One of the pictures is a friend of mine, Shimajiri Yuko Kyodai. He is the one in the Johnny Cash shirt, which is AWESOME. Yuko is so funny though, and he's awesome.
This week, I did a lot of studying Jacob 5. I had never before taken the time to sit and study it, and boy, was I missing out! What beautiful, intricate, incredible scripture that is! In particular, I studied a lot the character of the Lord of the Vineyard. He is so full of love. More than seven times, he says, "It grieveth me that I should lose this tree." In the allegory, the Lord of the Vineyard does everything he possibly can for his olive trees. He loves every single one of them, and wants all of them to bring forth good fruit. I also loved that he labored WITH the servant. It wasn't just a bunch of servants out in the vineyard working, but the Lord of the vineyard was right there next to them. I am not alone. My best companion is the Savior, Jesus Christ. He is working right alongside me. When I speak of Him, He is on my right and my left, and He goes before my face. His spirit carries the message of His love into the hearts of those I talk to. These are grand blessings. And I am thankful.
I think the best thing that happened this week was that we finally got to teach Akazawa San! Akazawa San is the man that we first contacted on the street back in the beginning of July! He is so busy with work, and we had long given up on trying to meet with him, but he called us this last week and set an appointment with us! It was so cool! We met him at the Church and gave him a tour of the building, and then we ended in the Chapel, and we ended up teaching him in there. We talked a lot about him, and he said that he doesn't understand God or know anything about Jesus Christ, but he has always felt like there was something bigger driving the forces of the world. He has a great desire to help people and to serve others. We were able to bear testimony to him of the relationship we have with God, and that we all lived together before we came to this earth. We talked about family and about how we have the opportunity to establish relationships for eternity. We talked about how through the teachings of Jesus Christ, Akazawa San could know more happiness than he had ever before experienced. Afterwards, we sang Families Can Be Together Forever, and it was incredible the Spirit that filled the room. We sat in silence for several moments, and afterwards, Akazawa San said very quietly, "I don:t know anything about Jesus Christ, but there is something different about you three. You are glowing with light. The words of that song have pierced my soul, and I want to know why." Oh, what joy filled my heart and soul as he said those words! We have another appointment with him this week, and I can't wait to teach him more about the love and light and joy that I receive through my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I am so grateful for this miracle. This is why I am here. I am here in Japan to share light and love and joy. I am here to share the glory and knowledge that I have of Jesus Christ. I am here to "glory in my Jesus, because He hath redeemed my soul from Hell," (2 Nephi 33?) and I am so grateful for the privilege that I have to do so.
Jesus Christ is the light and life of the world. His Gospel is one of eternal love, everlasting joy, and perfect peace. I am so grateful for Him, and for Japan, and for the love that fills my soul as I proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in the Japanese language. There is just so much love I feel that I don't know what to do with it all! All I can do is share it, and so that's what I'll do. :)
I love you. I am so glad that I am here, even though it's hard. I have learned so much.