Monday, March 10, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
About the pictures: It was really cold in Ishinomaki this week. The wind was INSANE. We were standing and waiting for a light to turn green, and we got blown over. It was ridiculous.
On Monday, March 10, 2014 Sister Johnson Wrote:
This was a very discouraging week for Luk Shimai and I. Our investigator, Kato San (the lady that I found who gave me the umbrella) told us to stop coming to her home, that she feels like we are forcing her to meet with us, and that she is no longer interested in being associated with us. We have no idea what happened... We haven't been able to meet with her for about a month and a half now because she has been in and out of the hospital doing all sorts of tests, so we actually hadn't made contact with her at all in a long time! After transfers, we went over to tell her that we were both still around and that if she needs help of any kind she can always ask. She was really warm to us and was glad to hear we didn't leave. She also asked to meet with us again to talk about the Book of Mormon because she wanted to study it more! We happily agreed and set an appointment for next week. About two hours later, we got a text from her that said she was worried we were just trying to convert her, and we assured her that that wasn't the case. We truly just want to study with her and learn together. The next day, she told us that she doesn't want to see us anymore. It was really sad, and really confusing. Like I said, we have no idea what happened. So, Kato San is no longer our investigator.
In other news, Yuki San will not be getting baptized this week. We were not able to contact her all week until Friday, when she answered the phone to tell us that she wants to take a break from the Church for a while. It was really disappointing. Luk Shimai and I think that she is feeling a lot of pressure from us and from members of the Church about getting baptized. We have been trying SO HARD to help her not feel pressure, but we can't do everything perfectly. So, Yuki San won't be coming to church for a while, I guess. All we really can do is wait and pray to know what to do.
There is a part in the first chapter of Preach My Gospel that says "Even when you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself. You can feel certain the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you." Boy, have I clung to that quote this week!!! I really do think it's true though. We try our best to work hard and follow the Spirit, and that alone brings the Lord joy. People have their freedom to choose whether or not to keep the invitations that we extend to them, and sometimes, they will not choose to follow them! But, it's alright. I have faith in the Lord and His timing. Right now is not the right time for Kato San, but I believe with all of my heart and soul that she is one being prepared by the Lord to receive His Gospel. It may be in a month, a year, or ten years from now, or who knows when! But, all will work out for her good in the Lord's timing. The same is true for Yuki San. Right now, she needs this time to think and to ask God if joining this Church really is the right path for her. Her faith is so strong, that I know as she seeks inspiration from Heavenly Father that she will be led and guided to make the right decision. I have learned a lot about agency (freedom of choice) this week, and how important it is in the grand scheme of things. In the Parable of the Laborers in the New Testament, this principle is demonstrated EXACTLY. Some are hired to work at the beginning, some in the middle of the day, and some are hired at the 11th hour. All laborers receive the same wage. Why? Because the timing doesn't matter. What matters is that the people made the choice to work. It doesn't matter when we become converted to the Savior Jesus Christ. Is doesn't matter when we gain the knowledge that He is our Savior and Redeemer. What matters is that we make the choice the follow Him and act on the knowledge we receive of His Divinity. It's incredible to me the mercy that the Savior has for each and every single person. He loves with a perfect love, and knows exactly the right timing. I have faith in His timing, and I will do my best to be in tune to His will.
In better news, we had a really great lesson with our two high -school-aged investigators, Hikari Chan and Sayaka Chan, this week! We have been focusing on prayer a lot with them lately. Last week, they went to Tokyo for a class trip, and in our lesson, they told us about a wonderful experience they had. In Tokyo, there's this really big tower thing that is really cool (I guess...I've never been there! Haha), but when Hikari Chan and Sayaka Chan went, it was super cloudy so they couldn't see the cool tower! They were both really sad, but Hikari Chan turned to Sayaka Chan and said "Lets pray and ask God to make the clouds go away!" So that is exactly what they did, and within an hour, the clouds were completely gone and the sun was shining nice and bright!! They were so excited!! Hikari Chan then told us they said a prayer to thank Heavenly Father for being so nice to them.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! That was a big moment for Hikari Chan especially! She told us that it really helped her believe that there really is a God who loves her so much!
So in the lesson, we invited Hikari Chan to pray, but she said that she was way too shy to do it in front of us. So we asked Sayaka and she said "Sure! But I don't really know how!" Before Luk Shimai and I could say anything at all, Hikari Chan explained to her PERFECTLY how to pray. It was incredible. I was astonished! So, Sayaka and Hikari both, at the end of the lesson, prayed together. Yes, the same prayer, they took turns saying things. It was super cute, and the Spirit filled the room. The only thought in my head was "These are two of my precious daughters, and I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!" Those were Heavenly Father's thoughts. It was a great lesson.
So yes, there is definitely good that comes with the bad. I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Savior and of loving Heavenly Parents. They are really what makes it all worth it in the end.
I know my Savior lives, and that we have a Heavenly Father and Mother that are aware of all we do. They want to help us face the trials of life, and They are waiting with open arms for us to ask, seek, and knock. As we do those things, they will shower us with more blessings that we will ever be able to comprehend.
I love you Momma! I miss you so much this week. I really do. But wanna hear something cool? A year ago yesterday (March 9th), I went to the temple for the first time! The temple has been in my thoughts recently. How thankful I am for the covenants I have made. I really do love the temple.
Love you Momma!