Monday, June 30, 2014
June 30, 2014
On Monday, June 30, 2014 Sister Johnson wrote:
Hey Momma! This was a great week, and I am so excited to tell you all about it!
I will start with last Monday! So, we had a wonderful Family Home Evening with the Kawatsuna family! They have three young boys, Kouta, Yuuta, and Souta. Souta is preparing to get baptized in a year or so, and so Sister Kawatsuna asked us to talk about baptism! They also are living with Sister Kawatsuna's mother, who is not a member of the church, and she joined in for the lesson! It was so wonderful to teach so simply for Souta and for Sasaki San (the Mom), and then we were able to invite them all to come to Shimizu San's baptism! And guess what? They all did, even Sasaki San! And the great thing was that she came to church the next day too! She loves the Church, and thinks that it is a great thing for her grandsons, so maybe we will be able to talk with her more about the Gospel in the future.
On Tuesday morning, we had another opportunity to go to a temporary housing unit and do hand massages! We get to go every third Saturday and fourth Tuesday. So, we went and it was great, as usual. Then, our investigator Yuki San showed up, and told us that Sister Usui (a member who is my favorite Japanese person EVER) had invited her to come! It was SO GREAT to hear that Sister Usui is reaching out and becoming friends with our investigators. Yuki San especially needs the support, so I cannot even say how grateful I am for Sister Usui. Then, Sister Alcazar started telling the woman she was massaging that I have a great singing voice, and then Sister Usui chimed in and said "Sister Johnson, why don't you get up in front of everyone and sing??" And then everyone got involved and rallied me up to the front to sing for everyone. It was pretty nerve-wracking, not going to lie, haha. But, I decided to sing Amazing Grace. It was amazing the silence and the Spirit that filled the room. Almost all of the people there are not members of the Church and they ALL had a terrible experience with the tsunami. I could feel my Heavenly Father and Savior's love pulsing through me as I looked into their eyes. I know that they could feel it too. I absolutely love volunteering with those who have been so affected by the tsunami disaster. I am grateful for the opportunity that I had to share my love and the Savior's love for them though my music. Now I just need a cello!
Later on Tuesday, we had companion exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders! I will be honest, I was dreading it. It is not that I don't like the STLS; in fact, I love them both so much! But I always get the feeling that when they come to visit, they are "checking up" on us and making sure that we are doing what we are "supposed" to be doing. So, it has always been stressful for me because the way that I do missionary work is very untraditional, and I feel like they will try and correct me or something. But, it ended up being a WONDERFUL split! I picked the theme of "I want to introduce you (Sister Hamano) to people that I love here in Ishinomaki!" We spent our time visiting with members, potential investigators, and other people that I just LOVE!!!! And it was time very well spent. Sister Hamano and I really bonded over our desire to share love with everyone, and it ended up being a very uplifting time for both of us. Before the split, I had been feeling kind of down because I felt like I wasn't being a very successful missionary because the numbers have been really low recently. But through the split, and then through the Spirit, Heavenly Father assured me that I am doing EXACTLY what He needs me to be doing, and that I am loving in the way that the Savior would love if He were here. I am being the kind of missionary that the Savior needs in Ishinomaki right now. It was such a blessing to gain that reassurance though the Spirit this week. It was something that I really needed. And so, I am grateful.
This week, our beloved friend Yuka Chan moved to Canada! I miss her so, SO much! But I bet she is having the time of her life. Before she left, she handed me a letter that she wrote. In the letter, she thanked me for teaching her English, and for also teaching her about God. She said that she didn't understand anything really that we told her about God, but that because we taught her with love and friendship, she wants to know more about God! She said that she even wants to continue praying! She thanked me for being such an awesome big sister and that she hopes she will be able to come to Colorado to visit me when I come home! I love Yuka Chan so much. She is growing in her relationship with the Divine, and I am so blessed that I got to be a part of that seed being planted in her heart.
And then there was Saturday. Oh, Saturday was such a wonderful day! It was so full of joy! I thought my heart was going to burst because of the joy! On Saturday night, Brother Shimizu got baptized! It was a beautiful service and the Spirit was very strong. We all could tell that when he first got there, Shimizu San was suuuuuuuper stressed out and nervous, but as the evening went on, he was able to relax a little bit. The baptismal service was only about 35 minutes long, but it was perfect. Shimizu Kyodai (Brother) bore his testimony at the end, and the Spirit was so strong as he talked about his faith and hope in a brighter future. There were lots of other investigators and less-active members that came, and I can tell that this was the miracle that was needed to bring some changes in people's hearts. It was so wonderful to welcome Shimizu Kyodai into the Ishinomaki branch, and to see the light and joy that filled his countenance. The confirmation on Sunday during Sacrament meeting was also great! It was branch conference, and so there were a record number of people in attendance. Shimizu Kyodai was so happy and at peace. It was so great. During Sacrament meeting, we also get a new branch president! President Onuma was released after eight years of service (WOW!) and President Abe was called. Abe Kyodai got baptized a year and seven months ago, and is one of the most incredible people I have ever met. He is so full of love and he radiates with the light of the Savior. I am so happy to be working with him and I know that he is just the right person for Ishinomaki right now. I am excited for the future of the Church here in Ishinomaki.
So yes, it really was a great week. I am feeling very blessed and very loved. I am being better about recognizing the blessings that have come from my Heavenly Parents and from my Savior. I am being better about following Their guidance and direction. I am being better about giving myself enough credit and about not being so self-critical. I am so blessed to be serving my Jesus here in Ishinomaki. I love Him, and He is my light.
Let's keep seeing miracles! I love you Momma. Have a happy day!