Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 4 in Japan

 Yummy food...curries of sorts

 Apartment view at night
Looks like she found some chocolate she likes:)

Dearest Family, 

So many wonderful things have happened this week! Sister Trent and I have seen some more great miracles! I'm excited to tell you about them. :) 

Last week I mentioned that we had come in contact with a family who once upon a time had baptismal dates, but all of a sudden stopped meeting with the missionaries and hadn't been heard from despite countless efforts to find them. President Budge has been encouraging us to continue searching for them, so many missionaries in my area for many months have been trying to find them. Well, as I mentioned last week, this family found us! We were able to meet with them this week and have dinner with them. Sister Trent and I felt very strongly that it would be good to share a message about the Savior and his love for us. This family is Filipino! The mother of the family is Single and she has three kids. The three speak 3 languages, Filipino, Japanese, and (gratefully) English! Anyway, our lesson with them was very powerful. We had the children read from the account of Christ's appearance to the Nephites. After we helped them understand a little bit, we watched the Easter videos I was also telling you about last week. As we watched and read together, the spirit was so strong. This single mother had tears in her eyes, and both sister Trent and I were able to bare powerful testimonies about our own experiences with Christ's love. I'm so grateful for this family! They are so wonderful. I love them so much. We will see what happens with them in the next couple weeks! President Budge is really happy that we've found them again. :) 
As a mission, we have some really great goals to accomplish before President Budge is released as mission president. Sister Trent and I have been working really hard to try and meet the expectations he has given us. We know God will allow us to see miracles if we exercise our faith and follow the spirit. 
I had a really funny experience yesterday, haha. We were invited over to a recent converts house for dinner. Her name is C, and we love her to death! She is Cambodian, and she loves to feed the missionaries. She doesn't speak very good Nehongo, but I feel like I understand her lots better than most people because she is very expressive and pantomime when she speaks. 
Anyway, before knocking on her door for the apartment, sister Trent was telling me about how C likes to make curry. She said it would probably be a good idea for me to just try a little bit first because she makes it incredibly spicy! C answered the door, and welcomed us inside. As soon as we walked into the dining room, sister Trent and I saw 2 big bowls of curry that had already been dished up, haha. It smelt really good, and looked super good to me! Haha. Sister Trent gave me a look of, "oh no" as we sat down to eat. C, after we prayed, starred at us as we lifted our spoons to eat. C was looking at me in particular (probably because she thought I had never eaten this kind of food before). Anyway, my companion sister Trent took the first bite. It was so spicy that she started coughing like she had choked on something. She grabbed her water and started eating the plain rice beside her, haha! After seeing this, I was a little bit concerned about what my experience would be. C just laughed at her, and then turned to me. I took a bite, and it was so good!! It was a little spicy, but nothing as spicy as I had had before. The flavor was so good! C looked at me mysteriously. I continued eating. I hadn't even noticed the fact that I hadn't touched my water until half way through the meal when C said, "wow! You like Spicy! I am Happy! You no drink water! Haha, she is so cute. I think, she really liked me, because she went and got me another huge bowl of spicy curry. After that, C and I just laughed at my companion Sister Trent because she was having a hard time with how spicy the curry was, but she also wanted to be polite. She ended up finishing it, (I helped her by taking big bites of her food as C left the room to get her MANY glasses of water) haha. It was so fun. 

Tomorrow is an exciting day for me! I get to go to the temple with all of the sister in our mission! I will get to see my friends from the MTC, and go to the temple! Also, I will be visiting the mission home to finish my new missionary training with President and Sister Budge. I'm really excited!! :) 
Sister Trent is excited too. I'm not sure how much I have told you about Sister Trent, but she is so amazing! I'm really grateful for her. She is a really good missionary and everyone I meet tells me I am lucky to have her! ...I don't think luck had anything to do with it, but they have it about right otherwise. ;) I am so blessed. I feel that so much everyday I am here. 

Our investigator K San is doing really great too! We are planning to ask her to be baptized in the next week here, according to the spirit. We are excited about her. S San is also making great progress. We may have to extend her baptism date, but she still has the desire and is working hard to overcome her struggles. (She is the one I had the dream about) I went to her house for the first time last night, and the inside of her house was a perfect likeness to my dream. As I walked in and saw the table, I had tears in my eyes, because I felt the spirit confirming the truth of my dream. Although our lesson with her was not the one we taught in the dream, I felt at great peace being there with her. She is very special to sister Trent and I. All of our investigators are. :) 

I did have the opportunity to watch conference this week! It was amazing! Wow. I feel like the conference talks of the past have never been so direct and consistently themed. Almost every single talk referenced the important of families and the great duty have to protect them as the basic unit of society. I feel very strongly that the apostles warnings of the disintegration of the family, and the patterns foretold in the scriptures of Christ's second coming, will prove to continue to show the calamities foretold by prophets. We are already beginning to see these calamities. As elder Anderson said: 

"We live, brothers and sisters, in the days preceding the Lord’s Second Coming, a time long anticipated by believers through the ages. We live in days of wars and rumors of wars, days of natural disasters, days when the world is pulled by confusion and commotion. But we also live in the glorious time of the Restoration, when the gospel is being taken to all the world--a time when the Lord has promised that He “will raise up … a pure people” and arm them “with righteousness and with the power of God." 

I love what he said! We are the people who God will raise up to be strong in the power of our God in this world
Along with this, there were a lot of talks which focused on protecting our testimonies and hearts against the evil in this world. Many talks focused on our relationships with God and how to strengthen them. They focused on the things we need to be doing everyday to protect ourselves from the evil around us. With all the things happening in the world, and the great amount of wickedness, President Monson asks us to go to the temple. I'm grateful for the temple. :) It is an amazing safeguard for us. I know that we will be safe from everything in the world as we go to the temple. I get to go tomorrow to the Tokyo temple, and I'm really excited. :) 
I also thought it was very interesting that Elder Hales shared Official declarations stating the rights to religious freedom, emphasizing the need to protect it. For me, these sayings echoed every single other talk given. This being, our cause for religious freedom, and how these freedoms are slowly degrading in our world. Elder Eyring spoke at a world gathering of religious leaders to discuss the family. In this meeting, world religious leaders made a stand to protect the family as defined by God. It made me think...As a result of the things happening, What is our world turning to? What are we turning to? 
While the world is moving faster and faster down hill, the members of the church work hard to help hasten the work of the Lord in preparation for his coming. We are so lucky to be apart of this wonderful work! 
Many apostles also stated the great need to follow the commandments with our whole hearts. Almost every talk directly invited us to prepare our hearts and minds, reverting them to the 2nd coming of the Lord. The Prophecies revealed concerning the last days, and the saints of the church have been revealed and will continue to be revealed. Incredible! Many apostles also reminded us of the signs and wonders around us and related them to the signs before Christ came to earth. Christ is coming again. Now, more than ever before, I feel a great urgency to evaluate my own level of conversion. My mind is turned to the temple, to family history work, to my friends and family, and to my brothers and sisters her in Japan. 
It is so important that we are prepared for the times ahead of us. 

To my family and loved ones: 

Do everything you can to be valiant servants of the Lord. Follow the spirit everyday and you will be ready for whatever comes your way. Continue to fast and pray. Evaluate your own level of conversion. Be excited about the gospel! Do whatever you need to do to come closer to Christ. Remember the covenants you have made, and do all you can every day to live them valiantly. Make time every week to go to the temple. Seek revelation for yourself and for God's will concerning you in His work of Salvation. As you do these things, I know that you will be protected and that your conversion will be strong enough to withstand every adversary that comes against you. 
I echo the invitation of Elder Nelson concluding the General Conference: 

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
(Moroni 10:32-33)

I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers in my behalf. I feel the Lord's strength as I serve each day. I know it is because of our prayers that I am able to be strengthened. 
Love always, 

Sister Hubbard 

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