Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Monday, May 19, 2014
On Monday, May 19, 2014 Sister Johnson wrote:
Hey Momma! I am sorry that I am late in emailing; we had zone p-day today in a beautiful place called Matsushima! It is one of the top three must-see most-beautiful-sites in all of Japan! It was very beautiful and so rich in religious history! It was absolutely incredible, and I loved every minute of it, except perhaps the sunburn that I now have. That won't be fun tomorrow. But, Matsushima means something along the lines of "group of many islands," which is exactly what it is! Matsushima is a town right on the beach of a beautiful bay that has hundreds of little islands (and lots of big ones too), and they are all so beautiful! The city also has many shrines that date back as much as 2000 years ago. There were so many statues of different Gods and different people, and there were so many temples! I went to a dera (temple) that was right on the coast and I prayed there. It was a beautiful experience! I needed to do that. We also rode on a ferry that took us on an hour long tour of the islands in Matsushima, and it was beautiful! A lot of the Elders were feeding the seagulls, and it was hilarious. At one point, they were putting peanuts in their mouths and the seagulls would fly up and basically kiss them to get the peanuts. It was pretty hilarious until they got yelled at by the ferry staff, haha. Fun times! But, I am really glad that I got some time to commune. I needed that. This has been a pretty exhausting week, mentally.
This week, we had a great lesson with Yuka Chan! She read the passage in the children's Book of Mormon that we gave her, 3 Nephi 17. She didn't really understand it, so we read it with her again, and talked about Christ and who He is. We talked about how loving He is and that He performed many miracles. We then talked again about prayer. We are really focusing on her building a relationship with God. I felt inspired to ask her if she thought that prayer was scary, and she immediately said yes. When we asked her what was scary about it, she had a hard time expressing her feelings and she couldn't really figure out why it is scary to her. There are lots of reasons for that though; she has never really even thought about God, let alone prayed before. She might be afraid of the result of praying, or she might just be embarrassed. She could even be afraid of God Himself, or maybe she feels like if there really is a God, her life would have to change? Maybe. We are not sure. But! I love her from the very bottom of my heart, and I hope that as I love her, the Lord will help me understand how to help her. She has become such a great friend to me, and I love her so much! I will miss her when she goes to Canada!
We were finally able to contact Yuki San again! She has been pretty AWOL lately, and we haven't had much contact with her. But, we called her this week, and she wants to meet with us next week! So, we have an appointment with her on Wednesday, and we are so excited!
A really wonderful cool Wow-this-is-totally-a-prompting-that-I-am-glad-I-followed moment happened just a little bit ago when we got back from Matsushima! We were biking from the station to the Church to email and I all-of-a-sudden remembered that I had NO money to buy groceries, and the ATM closes at 5 (it was about 4 at this point), and so I asked Alcazar Shimai if she had money, and she said no, so we turned around and headed to the ATM. When we got there, guess who was standing outside the ATM? My old investigator and long-lost friend Kato San! She is the woman that I found in my first transfer here in Ishinomaki when I was on splits with Sister Smith! We were doing some Christmas Caroling and she gave me an umbrella as we left! We ended up teaching her, but she eventually dropped us, which was absolutely heartbreaking because she is SO prepared to hear the Gospel. But! We were able to see her and talk to her for a little bit, which was great! She still likes us, and I can tell that she is a little bit apprehensive still about us and what we are doing, but I was able to tell her that I still love her and care about her, and that I think and pray about her often. I hope that she was able to feel some of Heavenly Father's love through me today. I think that she did because she told me, ONCE AGAIN, that it wasn't a coincidence that we ran in to her today, that Ten no Otosama (Heavenly Father) guided us to make us meet. It was really wonderful to see her though, and I am so glad that the Spirit reminded me to get money to buy food.
So, this transfer has gone by remarkably fast! It has been the most fun transfer of my mission, and I am so loving this district. I am loving Alcazar Shimai. She is my favorite. We have become so close and we are seeing lots of miracles together. One thing that I love about her is that she is so full of love for EVERYONE. She talks with everyone and loves them and helps them know that someone is interested in their lives. It is so inspiring to see her talk with and bond with people. She is so great, and I am so blessed to be her companion.
I am grateful for the guidance of the Spirit. I have been really sensitive to it this week, and the Lord is blessing me with the recognition of so many beautiful tender mercies. Like trees. Have you ever taken the time to feel the soul and wisdom of an old tree? Or the lively energy of a young tree? It is truly amazing, and I have felt my Savior in the trees this last week. What a beautiful thing.
I love you Momma! Please keep me in your prayers. Please pray that I will have the knowledge and the wisdom I need to make the right decision for what I need to do after my mission! Also, please pray for me that I will be able to focus.
I love you and pray for you!!!!! I hope that you can feel the miles shrink!