Monday, October 20, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
On Monday, October 20 Sister Johnson wrote:
Guess what Momma? Just over TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoa. I am so excited that I am having a hard time sleeping at night! But! With that being said, I am breathing in Japan. Oh man, do I love this place. Right now it's fall, and in Japan, it's a season called Ko-yo, which can't really be translated into English, but it basically means that the hills are on fire with the colors of the changing leaves. It is absolutely BREATHTAKING. This time last year, I was in Aizu, and the mountains were orange and yellow and red. It was amazing. This year is even better! Morioka is like Aizu; it is completely surrounded by mountains, but the mountains here are a lot closer. So, you can see everything in amazing detail. Also, in front of the church, there is a great big pond called Takamatsunoike, and it is surrounded by trees that are changing right now. It is SO BEAUTIFUL! I will be taking some pictures with my companion later and I will send them to you! So beautiful. It is impossible to not feel God's love through the nature here. The people and the nature are my favorite parts of this wonderful place. I am so happy that I have a little over two weeks left that I get to spend in Japan! YAY!
This week was a really great week! We were able to spend some really nice time with members! We had a sports activity last Monday (unfortunately, due to my foot, I couldn't really participate. It sucked.) that was really fun! We also are working with this super cute little old lady in the branch, Sister Fujimura, and we were able to visit and eat dinner with her this week. She joined the church about two years ago, and it's a really great story! Her husband died three years ago and she was feeling very lonely. But her grandson that lives in southern Japan and is a member of the church decided that he wanted to serve a mission! He was called to the Sendai mission, and he had the opportunity to work here in Morioka! During that time, he taught his beautiful grandma the gospel and she was able to join the church!! Recently, she has gone to the temple and done the work for her husband, and they are now sealed together for all eternity! What an amazing story! I am so grateful for that grandson of hers and the good missionary that he was!
This week, we met again with the less-active member that we found last week, Brother Kikka. What a cool man he is! He is 85 years old and has more energy than I do! It is awesome. He took us out to a ramen shop that he loves this week, and we were able to talk to him about what he believes in. He has had some really wonderful spiritual experiences in his life that have brought him really close with God. He has strong faith. We invited him to come to the Halloween party this week, and we also made plans to have a ping pong tournament with him! Apparently he is very good! Haha, I am excited for that.
Two days ago, the other sisters and I went on companion exchanges and I got to work with Sister Smith! My goodness, do I love that girl! We were laughing the whole time! During our exchange, we had the amazing opportunity to attend a piano recital! One of the primary girls in the branch was performing and we went with her family to see her perform. Kuon Chan is her name, and she is 11 years old. Holy CRAP, is she good!!!! She performed a piece by Chopin and it was absolutely incredible! Some of the piano people that I went to CSU with aren't even as good as her! I was very seriously impressed. And it wasn't just her; the recital started with a 7 year old that performed Beethoven, and ended with a third year high school student playing Prokofiev. The high school student absolutely blew me away. I could not believe how good he was. It was awesome. Yes, I cried. It had been such a long time since I have been to a concert like that, and it was so good and healing for my soul.
Also this week, I think that Sister Hayashi and I went at least 100 kilometers on our bikes! We rode out and played in the rice fields! It was so beautiful and so.... Japanesey. It was great. We went to go contact a referral that was FOREVER away, and we had so much fun. It turns out that the woman we went to go see had retired a long time ago and no one knows where she is! So that was a bummer, but it was a really great time.
I had a really great time at church yesterday, too. Since we had General Conference last week, we didn't get to take the Sacrament, and it was amazing the difference I could feel in my life. So yesterday, when I was taking the Sacrament, I was thinking about my Savior. Jesus Christ loves us all so much. I can feel His love for the people around me. I know that He loves me too, and yesterday, I could really feel His love and forgiveness at church. It was a wonderful feeling. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He is the best.
I think the best thing that happened this week actually took place about an hour ago as I came here to check my email! Do you remember me writing about _____ in Kamisugi? She came to the church one day and we ended up talking with her and teaching her right then and there. Her and I really connected and she opened up to me that she wanted to commit suicide. We talked a lot and eventually she ended up going back to Austria, which was really sad. But I was so happy to have met her. Anyways, when I got here this morning, I opened up my email and I had an email from her!!!!!! She asked me where the nearest church to her was in Austria and she told me that she wants to go and talk to the missionaries there! What a miracle! She said that she misses me very much but that she wants to make more friends like me. I so hope that she goes and that her heart will be open to feel the love that God has for her and that I and those missionaries in Austria will have for her. What a wonderful thing! I am so happy.
Well, that is about it for me. I love you! Don't forget to feeling the sunshine.