Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 15 in Tokyo





 Looks Like Janae's avacado plants are doing well :)

 Some pretty pictures of Tokyo
My dearest family!

It sounds like things are really moving along into summer there! It sounds like everyone is happy about school being over and that everyone is excited to have a break. Josh went to Graduation?! Haha, sounds fun! I can't believe he is getting that old. He'll be driving soon too... Crazy crazy. Have fun life guarding this summer Josh! 
Jianna! Just think, you never have to do that PAT again! Now that summer is here, you can just relax and have fun. :) 
It sounds like our garden is doing well and that it may be a hot summer! I can honestly say that I miss our garden veggies and working outside in the yard. Sounds like things are going well. 

This week has really flown by! Part of me is really grateful for that, but the other half of me is wondering where my time is going. Crazy! On the 15th of July, it will be be my six month mark! It's kind of scary to think about, but it's also helped me realized how much I need to make every day here count in the mission field. Anyway, Sister Ahn and I had so many teaching opportunities this week. One of the members in our ward called us and told us that she had a Korean referral for us. Since Sister Ahn speaks Korean, we were able to get in touch with this person. We met her this week twice, and it was been really neat talking with her. Even though I couldn't understand most of the conversation, because it was in Korean, I felt the spirit and was able to bear my testimony and sister Ahn translated it for me. It certainly gave me more confidence with my Japanese while listening to Korean because I couldn't understand a thing she was saying! Haha. This lady also speaks a little Japanese, but not as well as Korean. When she did speak Japanese, I was so so grateful, haha. I can really understand more than I thought. The second time we met her, we went out to dinner in this Korean restaurant. I've had some pretty spicy foods since being here in Japan, but nothing like this! The food was so spicy!! My mouth and nose were on fire! I guess I was pretty good at hiding it though, because the lady we were teaching said that she was way impressed, haha. I was impressed too! ... It gave me a little bit of a stomach ache later, and into Sunday, but I'm doing great now. We are excited to be teaching her some more this next week. 

We will be receiving our new mission president and his wife this next week- President and Sister Nagano! On Wednesday, we will be traveling to Nakano to meet them. (Haha that's kinda funny how close the names are..) 
Sister Ahn and I went on exchanges this past week with the Sister Training leaders. Sister Ahn stayed in Koiwa with Sister Reeder, and I went to Tokyo 1st ward with Sister Franks. Tokyo 1st ward is an English ward and so the Sisters in this area teach in English. I thought it was kind of a scary experience talking to people in Japanese before on trains and such, but I can say that doing it in the English was kind of a step out of my shell. I think I've been so used to speaking simple Japanese to random people that when I turn to English my simple sentences all of a sudden turn into long explanations, haha. Anyway, it was a neat experience to teach people in English again. It made me re-appreciate how grateful I am to the Sister missionaries who took me out on splits a couple times a week before coming on my mission. The Tokyo 1st sisters live in Ebisu, which is super close to the temple. There are four sisters that live In the apartment, and one of them was a sister for my MTC district. It was nice to see her again. It was also nice to see the Temple and I'm excited to go for sisters temple p-day next week. (my p-day will be on Tuesday next week)
While dendo-ing with Sister Franks, we went to go visit a less active woman who no one had seen for a really long time. We went over to her house with a member, and it was a really neat experience. When this lady opened the door, I immediately felt this urge to help her. Her house was bare, except for 2 white blankets that were laid out on the floor for her bed. She so looked frail and she was so small. She offered us food and we just couldn't take it. She was one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met in my life. She was probably in her 40s, but she was looked small. We were able to share a short message with her and I feel like I learned so much from her. It was an experience I will probably never forget. It gave me a greater understanding and helped me realize how much God really loves all of His children. He really does watch over them, even when they are struggling. I think that if it weren't for some of the things I have been through in the last couple weeks, that I may have not been as sensitive to the people around me, or been able to more fully understand their situations. As much as our trials and troubles hurt, they really do refine us and help us become more like God. In 3rd Nephi 24 and Doctrine Covenants section 128, it talks about the Lord as a refiner of Silver. I've heard that the process of melting and refining silver is a work that requires a watchful eye. As the small pieces of silver are melted out of the stone, at a certain temperature that is neither too hot nor too cool, the silver is able to form into its perfect strength and perfection. We are the same way. The Lord with His all seeing, watchful eye, allows us to struggle and learn because He knows our potential. He know how beautiful we can become, if we only trust in Him and let him shape us into the instruments He would have us be. These experiences allow us opportunities to act and to show the Lord what we are really made of. They allow us to show our loyalty and trust in God even when the wanted or needed blessings are being put on hold. As we exercise our faith, taking that first step, slowly, we can know and recognize the Lord's will and path for us. Everything really does happen for a reason. This experience helped me to remember these truths. 
While Sister Ahn was on exchanges, she and Sister Reeder were able to go and Visit Sister Ahn's  MTC companion's Grandma. We had only just realized that she lived in our area and she is not a member! She had a lot of fun doing that, and I am excited to meet her myself. I think she will listen to our message. :) We are excited about that. She is the second of 3 new investigators that we were able to find this week. The Lord is really blessing this area. 
Our investigators are doing well, and progressing towards baptism. I love meeting with them and teaching them. It is always amazing to me how the spirit can touch people's hearts and lead us to say things we couldn't say by ourselves. I've definitely felt that while speaking Japanese, but it is so true for anything we say when being in tune with the Holy Ghost. 

With how fast this transfer is going, and how well our investigators are doing, I'm really hoping that I will be able to stay here in Koiwa for another transfer. I guess we will see what happens and where the Lord wants me to be. :) I'm excited to go to the Temple next week. I'm grateful I can go once every transfer as it is such a blessing for me to sit and ponder for a little while. 
I've had a pretty good week. I'm so grateful to have loving friends and family who support me back home. Thank you for your letters during the week, and for your prayers in my behalf. I really do feel them. Thank you so much. I have been smiling all week! -thank you Jianna. :) Sometimes, making the conscious effort to be happy is difficult, but it is always worth it! One last scripture: 2 Nephi 2:22 

2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation.

3 Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

4 And in that day shall ye say: Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.

6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. 

I love these verses so much. The Lord has done so much for me, and this work is one way that we can praise His name. If you have felt to sing this song, the "song of redeeming love, I would ask, can you feel so now?"(Alma 5:26) I invite you all to continue to share your testimonies, not only through song, but through every talent that God has blessed you with. Help others hear the music of the Gospel through your examples, so that they too can be filled with this joy, and so that you can praise your Heavenly Father for all that He has given you. The Lord will let us go through hard things sometimes, but it is always for our benefit. He is making us into more beautiful and precious. Along the way, He will always be our strength and our joy. I know that as we serve Him and rely on Him that through His Atonement, we will be able to conquer every struggle we ever encounter.  He will become our Salvation. He will never fail us or forget about us. I love this gospel so much. It is so true. I'm grateful for what it teaches me everyday. We have no need to fear, because we know in who we trust. Our God is a God of miracles, and He will always be a God of Miracles. 
Love always, 

Sister Hubbard xoxo
ハバード  姉妹 

Week 14 in Tokyo

Happy Canada Day this week!
Dear family, 

This week has been lots better! I'm mostly healthy again, and we've seen some great things this week with our investigators. Thank you so much for your prayers and letters. They really helped me at times during the week and I'm so grateful for the things you felt inspired to say. Thank you so much. :) I've really felt your strength and prayers. 

To begin, this morning we had a zone p-day at an outside basketball court in the middle of Ebisu (Shibuya area-one of the biggest and busiest parts of Tokyo) Anyway, it was pretty fun. I took some pictures with Sister Evanson from Lethbridge! We drew the Canadian flag with chalk and had fun talking together. It was nice to see the rest of our zone and a sister from my MTC district. I'll send some pictures. :)  
As far as our investigators are concerned, we have seen some big changes this week! The family we are teaching needs a little more time before they can be baptized, but they are doing well. We are so excited for them! 
Our 19 and 20 year old friends, Megumi and Minami Chan, are doing well too! Megumi Chan has decided for sure that she wants to be baptized. Right now, she plans to be baptized on August 19th. She is progressing really well, so I think we may be able to bump her date up sooner. She is an amazing young woman and I feel like I learn so much from her. I'm really grateful for her friendship. She says she wants to come and visit me in Canada after my mission, haha, (I think that's a good idea :) ). The ward loves her, and she loves church and the Book of Mormon! Her friend, Minami Chan, is also thinking about a baptismal date right now. They are both progressing so well. They are both so sensitive to the Spirit. 
We picked up a new investigator this week and her name is Shibuya San. This week, we held a Chinese night here in Koiwa for the rest of the mission and there were tons of people there! All of the missionaries in our mission brought their Chinese investigators (other investigators too) and we had a fun games night and message afterwards. At the party, I noticed a woman kind of by herself and so I approached her and began talking to her. At the time I thought nothing of it, but later that night the elders came and got us and told us that there was someone who wanted to meet with us. As we followed them to the person, I was surprised to see the same woman! She expressed her desire to learn more about everything she had learned that night. Later in the week, we met her twice and taught her. Pretty amazing! Anyway, she is progressing well now too. Tonight we taught her the plan of Salvation. :) 
Today's p-day has been super busy! After we got home from the basketball court in Shibuya area, we ran to skytree to meet Sister Trent and her parents. Sister Trent and her parents went up to the top of skytree while we were at the Zone activity, so we didn't get to go to the top with them, but we met them for dinner and were able to chat for a little while. Our friends, Chana, and Iida Shimai were there too. We ate dinner at a Raman restaurant and have lots of fun together. Afterwards, we walked around the huge mall underneath skytree for a little while and got ice cream together. It was such a blessing for me to be able to see Sister Trent and her parents one more time before they return back home. They're so wonderful. I want you all to meet them after my mission. They are really special and I feel a special closeness with all of them.  永遠の友達みたい。

Earthquakes, hmmm.. I usually feel 2-3/day, but they aren't very big. I have only felt a hands count or so of the bigger ones. They are just usually little rumbles, and the bigger ones shake everything pretty good, but they're kinda fun! Haha. I'm very safe. :) Oh, and yes, it is raining season! It's so hot here. 
We had our last zone Conference this week with President and Sister Budge. Their trainings were amazing and I feel like I learned so much from both of them. They are truly amazing people! I get to write my mission president once a week here in the mission field and together we are able to discuss everything that is going on during the week. It's amazing to me how well my mission president is able to remember every missionary individually and know their struggles and successes. Anyway, I felt like President Budge's training was spoken directly to me. It gave me so many insights to everything I need to be doing and becoming. He really helped me to see the big picture with all of my circumstance happening right now, and I found a lot of comfort in his words and spirit. It was one of those moments when everything feels like it has been zeroed in on you individually and you just know the Lord love you and will help you. I felt that so strongly. It was exactly what I needed to hear. :) He talked a lot about faith hope and charity and how they can work in our lives as missionaries. To be short, he then related that teaching to Jesus Christ and the way he responded and spoke to people. He read a scripture in John chapter 8 that I would like to share. 

29 And he that has sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 
As president Budge read these words, my heart took courage and I was able to feel the Lord's love so strong. President Budge then went on to talk about premortal life, and how we all received 'transfer calls' before coming to earth, so to speak. He talked about everyone's transfer calls to come to earth, to be put into different circumstances and families, with different struggles and strengths. He then said something that opened my mind to a whole new understanding of Christ's mission and Atonement. He then asked, 'what was Christ's transfer call?' ...answering his own question he went on the explain how Heavenly Father must have felt as He saw His only perfect son, accept the call to go down to earth and suffer all things so that we may live again with Him.... I can't imagine in any small degree what that must have been like, but I pictured Jesus Christ, smiling, looking to all of us and saying, 'Thy will be done, Father." I cant put to words the amazing thoughts and comfort that I felt while listening, but I do know that the Lord is mindful of me. Another scripture comes to mind... D&C 112:

7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

It really doesn't matter what happens to us because Christ will always be there. He has overcome the world. At the snap of his fingers the earth can vanish away, and He is all powerful and all loving. He will forever be constant and I know we can always rely on Him. I'm so grateful for His love and tender mercies. He has suffered for the world, and yet we somehow forget how wonderful and merciful He really is. We beg and complain when the smallest things upset us, and ask, "why me?"... I definitely struggle with this, but I testify that he cares- even about the small things that we struggle with. He will always be there for us. He has lifted me so many times this week. 

I woke up yesterday morning and turned to the scriptures looking for some guidance and strength. When I opened the gospel library app on my iPad, it was on a scripture in D&C 98: 1-3. The crazy thing is, the night before, I had looked up a scripture to share with a ward member I was talking on the phone with In 1 nephi and then had gone to bed. The scripture in D&C was highlighted with a blue "finding" (what happens when something has been searched and found). The thing is, I didn't search for it. When I went to a look at the search box, it was the same phrase I had typed in the night previously for the member. I have no idea how the scripture was just there, but I'm going to call It a miracle! I know is was exactly from God for me at that time. I'm so grateful for God's tender mercies. He is really is always there looking out for us. Mom and dad, it reminds me of something you both mentioned in your letter to me about the family history and angels around us to bear us up. Here is the scripture: 

1 Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;

2 Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth(meaning- the host of heaven) and are recorded with this seal and testament--the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.

3 Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord. 

I love the scriptures! God can really speak to us through them. I know that this is true. My prayers are often answered through the scriptures, and it is so amazing to me! I love this gospel so much. Scriptures can mean things to different people at different times, so I don't expect you to understand exactly how this scripture helped me, but I invite you to feast upon the scriptures. Begin a diligent study of the scriptures with questions, asking God to answer you through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost can reveal unto us all things. Sometimes, all that is needed is to ask. Ask and it will be given. 
I love you all so much. Thank you for your letters and prayers. 
Love always,
 愛しています!
Sister Hubbard 
ハバード姉妹 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 13 in Tokyo

 Sister Ahn, Janae's new companion. 

 Saying goodbye to Sister Trent



Dear Family 家族、
わたしは、イエス・キリストがみなさんを愛しているとしています。かれは、神様の 計画の中で 中心的です。本当に、イエス・キリストにようて、亡くなった後でも、わたしたちの家族と永遠に暮らすことができるとしています。(I know that Jesus Christ loves everyone. He is the center of God plan. Through him, even after death, our families can be together forever.) (or something close to that, haha) 

Thank you for sending pictures of Jare and Lys! They look so happy together. :) I'm glad you were able to see Mama Jensen and Josh too! That's so great! :) 
Well, this week has been an adventure for sure! There are so many new changes happening in my life, in our Koiwa ward, and in our mission. It's been a difficult week for me, but I have really been able to see the Lord's hand in my life as I've tried my best to carry on and work diligently. I can honestly say that saying goodbye to Sister Trent has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. She is the missionary I want to become someday, and I really miss her. She has taught me things that I could never explain with words. She is such an amazing missionary. I will be forever grateful to her. Saying goodbye to people is so difficult! I can't imagine how hard it will be when finishing my mission. There are so many people here in this area that I connect with and love. We received a new bishop in the ward, and I think he will be really great! President Budge will be leaving us soon, and on the 1st of July we will be meeting our new mission president, President Nagano. My new companion and I are having a hard time adjusting to all of our new circumstances right now, but I'm having faith that everything will be okay. :)

This week, we were able to teach our two young adult investigators (Megumi and Minami chan) . They are progressing so well! We are going to invite them to be baptized tonight and we are really excited for them! They are both so prepared. :) They are best friends and I think it is amazing that they are investigating the church together. They both love the Book of Mormon, and they love coming to church. The ward loves them too, which is so good because they have lots of fellow shippers. :) This week, we had a really powerful lesson with them about the Plan Of Salvation. It was the night before sister Trent left, and it was an amazing experience. Sister Trent and I both bore powerful testimonies about the reality of life after death by testifying of God's love and the experiences we have had. I told them about the four teenagers who were killed in a car crash in our little town, and about how after that happened I really had to know whether or not the plan of salvation was true. We talked about prayer and how to receive answers to our prayers. At the the end of the lesson, one of them prayed for the first time ever (Minami chan). It was a powerful prayer. The spirit was so strong and we were able to see them feel it and know it for themselves. They are such good friends to us. This week, (Megumi chan) only one of them could come to church, and I was so grateful that she came. She is the sweetest girl ever, and I love her so much. She has become one of my best friends, and she has helped me so much this week as I've struggled with all of these new changes. They are both amazing! 

We went over the baptismal interview questions, with the family that we are teaching, last night. There are a few things that need to happen before they can be baptized, but they are getting close and they are making amazing progress! I love them so much. They've also been such a help to me this week. It's amazing to feel the love and friendship of the people I have met here in Koiwa. Even though things are a little bit difficult right now, I know I have so many people around me who love and care about me. I'm so blessed. :) 

I've been kinda sick this week, and it's probably just my body adjusting to all of the changes and stress, but I'm alright. God is really taking good care of me. A few days ago, I woke up in a huge panic and felt so much anxiety and stress. It was one of those moments that everything just felt wrong, but reason couldn't say why. I prayed to feel peace and God's love for me in that moment. I prayed sincerely asking God for help. After I opened my eyes, a scripture phrase popped into my mind...."Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God?" ...At the time, I didn't know it was a scripture phrase, but I then I looked it up and found the scripture. ((Mormon 5:21, 23))

21 And also the Lord will remember the prayers of the righteous, which have been put up unto him for them.
23 Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power, and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll?

As I read the scripture, my mind and heart was filled with the most amazing peace. My tears turned into tears of joy, and I was able to carry on through that day. It's amazing to me how the Lord uses the small and simple things, such as a scripture, to help us in such big ways. If God has the power at the snap of his fingers to roll the earth together as a scroll, he certainly can do something as simple as comfort one of his daughters. I wouldn't want to be in anyone else's hands. This scripture really helped me to put things into perspective. I was also comforted by music as I thought about a special song. The morning sister Trent and I traveled to the Honbu, we got up an hour early so that we could go play music together at the church before saying goodbye to each other. Our whole time together as companions, we always wanted to write a song for our investigators on the piano with words, but we never had time. Although we had only played it once or twice through, we were able to make a song together. We recorded it, and if I didn't want you to hear sister Trent's amazing voice so bad, I probably wouldn't show it to you because the piano part is kind of a mess in the recording. However, I do want you all to hear her voice, so I will. :) I will attach it so that you can hear it. we definitely had God's help during this hour of practice together. Anyway, this song has been in my head all week, and I'm beginning to think that the words were written just for me because it has helped me so much this week. Sister Trent knew all along I'm sure. :) I love her so much. I'm excited to be good friends with her after my mission too. :) She is so special. 

This next upcoming week, we have zone conference and I'm excited to hear from President and Sister Budge once more before they leave. Lately they have been talking a lot about emergency response actions because there have been some bigger earthquakes here lately. They are having us practice emergency calls and actions every week now. Our new mission president is coming soon too! President Nagano is Nehongin and so if his wife! I think it will be really neat to have a new mission president. I will miss president and sister Budge though. It really has been a week of 'goodbyes' and new 'hellos,' but I think that is a big part of missionary life. I can't wait to see everyone who I have met after this life. The joy of meeting and knowing these people is way worth the pain of saying goodbye to them. I don't know what I would do without their influence in my life. 
This gospel is true. I know that more and more every single day that I am here. God does hear and answer our prayers, and not only that, but he allows us to learn and struggle under his watchful eye and caring tender touch, so that we can one day be perfect as He is perfect. The Book of Mormon has real power in it. I truly do feel that power, and it gives me strength everyday to face whatever comes my way. How could a book have so much power if it were not true and given through the gift and power of God? It is true. Every single page bears witness that Jesus is the Christ. He is The Savior of world. He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is the Prince of peace. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I testify that He lives. His Atonement is real. We can be forgiven and strengthened every single moment of all of our lives if we choose to be, and it is through His power that we are able to do these things. He speaks peace to our souls and in Him we can find true happiness. I love Him so much, and I am so grateful to be His missionary. We truly owe Him everything we are, and ever will be. I love Him so much. 
I love all of you so much. :) thank you for everything you are. 
Love always,  
愛しています!
Sister Hubbard xoxo 
ハバード姉妹 

Week 12






 some of the interesting food Janae ate this week


Dear Family, 

Thank you so much for your letters and love! You all said something that made my day and helped me. I'm so grateful for your love and for your prayers. 

This week is so exciting!! It's a week of new beginnings both in Canada and in Japan. 
Jared and Alyssa are getting married this week, and I am receiving a new companion! 
They are both really big changes and beginnings. :) I hope the wedding is everything and more than you all want it to be. This is such a special time. :) I will be praying hard for all of you, especially Jare and Lys. 

Well, this morning was transfer calls! I can't believe how fast this last week with sister Trent has been. It's been an amazing week though! We've seen so many miracles! Anyway, here's the news! Sister Trent is returning to her first area in the States where she will continue her mission, even though she will not have the name tag. She has been called to be a missionary in disguise...haha. She is sad to be finishing her mission, but she has amazing dreams and plans for herself and I know her mission is not finished. God has a great work for her to do. 
I have been assigned to stay in Koiwa and to receive a new companion. My new companions name is Sister Ahn! She is Korean and she speaks 3 languages- Japanese, Korean and English! I've dendoed with her once before, for about an hour in Hiroo, while I was waiting for sister Trent to be finished in a meeting. She seems to be a pretty great missionary! She's nice. I will be picking her up at the mission home on Wednesday and saying goodbye to sister Trent then. I'm really nervous to be starting this new transfer and leading out in Koiwa, but I have confidence that the Lord will help me. I met sister Ahn in the MTC, about a week after I came in, so she is a brand new missionary too! I think she is in her 4th transfer? Anyway, the assistants told us that president Budge is placing a lot of trust in us and giving us a huge responsibility in Koiwa. Koiwa is one of the largest wards in the mission and the work is really moving along here. I feel like I'm not ready to leave sister Trent yet, and I think next transfer there may be some challenges, but God is going to take care of me and help me learn Japanese. He promised He would. :) It will be an adventure being two new missionaries in such a big area, but because we are so new, I think the Lord will really help us everyday. We will see amazing miracles together. :) 

This week, the Zone leaders's investigator was baptized! He is a 17 year old boy, and we were able to bring 3 of our investigators to the baptism. We brought Kouno San, and the 2 new investigators we picked up last week! It was amazing. I could really tell they felt the spirit. :) We taught them a lot during church and during the sacrament meeting explaining things to them. They are both reading the Book of Mormon and during the sacrament they were taking notes and looking up the meanings of words. After the meeting, we watched the baptism. one of the girls, knew Terada Kun, the boy who was being baptized, but she didn't know that he was investigating the church or being baptized. As she watched him be baptized, she was brought to tears and really felt the spirit. I felt prompted to ask her about what she thought about baptism. She expressed that she needs to study and learn more, but that she would eventually like to be baptized. :) she felt that very strongly. It was so amazing! 
I'm totally out of time, but I wanted to share a scripture quick. 

D&C 59:21

21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

As this week moves forward, remember to be grateful for the wonderful and abundant blessings the Lord has given us. We are so blessed. :) 
Love you all so much! Take care. 
Love always, 

Sister Hubbard xoxo 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 11 in Tokyo

 Okinomiyaki sister Hubbard and sister Trent style ;) Pancake Japanese style with cupi on top (Mayonaise)
 District Picture
 Sister Hubbard and Sister Trent at Tokyo Temple



Dear Family,

I forgot to mention last week that I received Jare and Lys's engagement photo/invitation! It is so beautiful! I can't get over how wonderful they look and are together. I'm so happy for them! :) 

Well, it's sister Trent's last week! We have a lot of big plans for it and we are excited to see how everything will turn out to be! We are trying to make a special effort to always follow the Spirit and to help us many people as we can. I'm excited to work especially hard this week with all of our investigators. :) 
Our investigators are doing really great! We picked up a few new investigators this week too. They were able to come to church and I think they really felt the spirit and we are meeting with them again tonight after emails. I'm excited to see them again! They are best friends and we were able to meet them at Eikaiwa! They are our age! :D We think our lesson tonight with them will be really great. We are hoping to teach them the restoration and give them book of Mormons tonight. :) We will see how it all goes! 
One of our member friends gave us a referral and this Sunday she was able to come to church too! I think she really liked it. :) We had four investigators at church this week. Our family wasn't able to make it, but we will be talking to them later this week about another baptismal date. We are so excited for them! Our last investigator who came to church is an older lady who is about Jameson and Jarom's height. She is the sweetest this ever and is also a referral from a member. She enjoys coming to church too. :) 
This week, I had the opportunity to teach this lady (her name is Hatano San) with Sister Reeder while we were on exchanges. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and it was really amazing. I'll see if I can get pictures for you next week. She is the sweetest lady ever! Sister Trent and I love her so much. 
In Tokyo it's been really hot and humid lately and Sister Trent says it will only get hotter! I have a really nice missionary tan going on and I have a lot of freckles now, haha. It's been a really hot week! Sister Trent says the rainy season is going to bolt down pretty fast, but it's hard to believe her because it has been so hot and beautiful all week! We will see what next weeks weather is like, haha. Also, there have been a few big earthquakes this past week that were kinda fun! One of them happened really early in the morning while sister Trent and I were still sleeping. When it happened, I thought sister Trent was trying to shake me awake because I felt like I was swaying back and forth so much. I woke up and she said it was just an earthquake, haha. Usually the earthquakes here are just a little vibration, and I would compare the feeling of them to standing on one of those shaker exercise machines when the vibration is on low. There are usually 3-4 of them throughout the day that I can recognize and feel, but this week, I was able to feel a few bigger ones too! It was really neat! Haha. 
It really has been a new experience for me to feel earthquakes while being here in Japan. I know everything happens for a reason, and so I got thinking about why God allows the people in Japan to feel these earthquakes. Why doesn't the whole world feel them like Japan does? I don't think there is a lot of wisdom in what I thought next, but I what thought about helped me to love the people I'm serving in Japan here even more. It helped me realize just how aware God is of them and how much he loves them. 

"3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him."
(Helaman 12:3) 

Everything in the earth, every living thing, plant, animal, everything is a manifestation that there is a God and a creator. I think earthquakes are another way the lord helps us to remember Him. God truly does use nature and everything in it to help us understand his true nature and loving kindness. I think earthquakes are anther manifestation. Sometimes we all need something to 'shake us up' a little bit in order to turn our hearts back to God. It is through our hard times and trials that we learn how to really trust in the Lord. In the moment, it is really difficult to understand our trials and hard times, but they really are a blessing. They keep us humble and allow us to know that we are truly in the hands of God and that He is watching over us. This reminds me of another scripture in Jacob. 

(Jacob 4:6-7) 
6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.

7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

With faith in Jesus Christ, we really can do all things, but the Lord allows us to struggle in order to help us learn to become like God. He will never give us something we can't handle, but will always give us something we can learn from. All through our troubles, He will be close by ready to help us. As we turn to Him, we really can do anything that is expedient in Him, even through our trials. :) 

I love you all so much! Thank you for your emails and prayers. :) 
Keep praying for missionary opportunities! They will come as you exercise faith. :) 
Love always, 

Sister Hubbard xoxo 


Week 10 in Tokyo

 Not uncommon to see this on people's tables in tokyo. Funny thing is that Janae had been doing this for years before she ever went on her mission to Japan. Sprouting avacado seeds.
 food she ate this week...she didn't say what it was...looks like some sort of pizza!
 yummiest hamburger ever!!!!
sprouting avacado seeds

Dear family, 

Hello hello! I forgot to tell you all last week that this weeks p-day would be on Tuesday because it was temple p-day today! :) I had an amazing experience in the temple today! It is such a blessing for me to be able to go once every transfer. 
It sounds like everyone is having sun with soccer and getting ready for Jared and Lys' wedding! Congrats everyone on doing so well in your soccer games! Jameson, Jianna, and Jarom! You are all so good! I'm so proud of all off you! ...I'm sure Jared and Josh did a good job reffing too, haha. So fun. I've had the opportunity to play soccer a few times here, and it was so fun. :)

To answer a few questions-> 
Sister Trent is actually finishing her mission next month on the 12, which means I will be getting the transfer call on the 8th... Yikes!  I can't believe how fast this transfer is going! I'm a little bit nervous for sister Trent to leave, but I believe everything will be okay and work out the way it is supposed to. I will probably be staying in Koiwa, Tokyo East since we are the only sisters in our area. It will be interesting to be the 'leader' in the area for my next companion. I'm a little bit nervous, but I know that God will help me with whatever come my way. I feel like I have learned this lesson over and over again this week. There have been so many times this week where I have had to completely trust in the Lord and pray for His help. It's been an adventure for sure! I want to share a crazy experience from Friday. 

On Friday evening, our appointments cancelled and sister Trent and I were discussing what we would do for the rest of the evening. Just then, the phone rang. A young recent convert called us and told us that she needed to go to the hospital. As we were speaking with her, we could tell something was off. She wasn't understanding everything we were saying despite it being Japanese. She doesn't speak very good English, but she managed to say, "please help me." We told her we would, and we ran to the church to look up where the closest hospital was. At the church we quickly called the relief society president and told her about the situation. She told us she would come and help. While we were waiting for the relief society president, this young recent convert came to the church. We could tell she was really sick just by looking at her. Naturally we tried to talk to her and see if we could figure out what was wrong. This recent convert is the sweetest girl and she helps us a lot with dendo, but what happened next was a really scary experience for me. As we began talking to her, I felt sick. She wasn't responding to us, she didn't want to go into the church, and she was running away from us when we tried to have her go into the church. She was seeing things and acting really weird. She was saying really weird things too. Thankfully, the elders came along. They gave this recent convert a blessing, but for whatever the reason, she continued acting weird. Sister Trent and I chased after her for a few blocks (when she ran away) and saved her from the oncoming traffic a few times during the process. She was not well at all. After bringing her back to the church 3-4 times. We finally got her to sit in the chapel with us. The Elders played music and we sang hymns to try and settle her down. We were praying so hard at this moment that everything would be okay. It was really scary. At times, she would act calm and continue asking us for help, but then she would lash out and run away from us. Long story short, I think she may have had some sort of evil spirit in her. We felt such a darkness that night. It was really scary. She has been in the hospital for the last few days and is in stable condition, but she is still not all there. It was really hard for me to see this young women, who we talk to every week at church, be in such a scary situation. That night, after everything had happened, sister Trent and I biked back to our apartment. It was really hard for us to think about everything that had happened, but we knew we had done everything we could. We both still felt sick though. It was really hard. We prayed so hard that night. During the middle of the night too, we both woke up and said a prayer together because we couldn't sleep. After praying, we were able to go to sleep.

Kinda scary hey? I learned a lot from this experience though. One thing I know for sure is the adversary is real. We need to be so careful that we never let ourselves become under his control. I'm not saying anything against this recent convert, because she is the sweetest, strongest person ever and I don't think she would do anything to invite such a monster, but we need to be so careful...So so careful with everything we do. The gospel is such a protection for us. It really is. All of the command,nets keep us safe. The Standards for youth keep us safe. The prophets words keep us safe. The moment we willingly choose to disobey, we no longer have the spirit of the Lord with us. We really do need to be careful. In today's world, we need the Holy Ghost everyday to help us discern good from evil because Satan is always trying to mix the two. As we rely on God, keep his commandments, and try our best to choose the right, we are promised to have The Holy Ghost be with us. I'm so grateful for the peace the spirit brings and for the love we are able to feel from God everyday as we choose the right. 
In my letter to president Budge this week, I talked a little bit about the day after all of this happened. I'll just share some of it...
"I can honestly say that I have never been so tired in my life! It's been a really busy week, and we've seen a lot of things good things happen. We've been really blessed. From this week, I think I have been able to understand more of the love God has for His missionaries. He asks so little of us, and then he blesses us so much! Friday was a pretty rough day for Sister Trent and I, but we tried our best to work hard and deal with the situations we were given. The next day, Saturday, we were both so tired and worn out from the previous day. Despite being really tired, I feel like we really tried our best and as a result, we saw so many miracles! We were able to meet amazing people on the train, connect with an investigator who we didn't think we could connect with, receive two referrals from one of our investigators and meet with them on the same day, and find a new investigator who gave us flowers, asked for our number, and if she could come to church. Pretty amazing! The Lord really does answer our prayers and everything happens for a reason." 

I feel like my Japanese has really picked up this week! It's been a huge blessing! I feel like I can have real conversations with people now! Haha. It's really great. At this point, I think I can understand more than I can speak, but I'm slowly seeing improvement. :) last night, I spoke on the phone with our friend Chana for 15 minutes teaching a lesson while sister Trent was getting ready for bed. I definitely had the Lords help with that one! I'm not going to say it was a perfect conversation, but I was able to understand her and teach her simply. :) 
Our investigators are great! Our family wasn't able to come to church this week or meet with us And so we have to pull their baptismal date back a little bit, but they are doing really well. :) we have all of the kids reading the Book of Mormon! They have fun signing it off on their charts everyday and when we see them, they are always so excited. :) We love them so much. 
Kouno San is progressing week too! She has a bit of a seishinteki byouki problem, and so the Ward wants to make sure she is really committed to everything before she is baptized, but she really wants to be! In the last year, the ward has had a really hard time retaining newly baptized converts with seishinteki byouki problems, but we think Kouno will be just fine. She is just a little bit shy and needs some more friends at church. After all this happens, we are sure she can be baptized. :) we are excited for all of our investigators. I wish I could tell you about all of them! 
There are so many people here in Koiwa who are so prepared. It is really a rich area and it is known in the mission to have one of the best 'dendo fired up' wards. I believe it. Everyone in our Ward is so good! We have many referrals to contact each week. 
Anyway, I've had a great week! I'm so grateful to be here in Japan. Everyday is the best day ever and I love being a missionary. I really can't say that enough! It is the most amazing thing ever. I'm worried my mission is going to fast! It needs to slow down a little bit.. Haha. 
I love you all so much.
Keep being the examples you are! Thank you for your emails. :) I love hearing from all of you so much. 
Love always, 

Sister Hubbard 

Week 9 in Tokyo

 Janae's gift from Heaven to brighten her day and let her know that she is loved




Nato...fermented soybeans


Buddah guy

video

Dear family, 

It's so good to hear from all of you! :) I love you all so much. It sounds like you are all doing really good. I've had a great week! I've tried some more interesting foods, and sister Trent and I had some really neat and exciting experiences. Dad, did you ever eat Nato? Did you like it? I ate it this week and it wasn't the worse thing I've eaten here, but it was pretty gross! I'll send the video if I can, haha. It was definitely interesting... I also ate a bunch of fish eggs this week, haha. It was interesting too.. They kinda pop in your mouth a little bit.. 

Our mission is getting Facebook back this week! We have finally finished all of the training our mission president wanted us to go through, so if you were wondering when, it's pretty soon! :) 
There are so many ways we can use the Internet to share the gospel. People and missionaries have seen so many miracles here as a result of online missionary work. It will be neat to see what that will be like to use it as a missionary tool. Mom, you said that in church for relief society that you had a lesson on "flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon." I think this idea is amazing, and with the technology we have today that it is so possible! Can you imagine what would happen if every member of the church shared their testimony on social media? Facebook is definitely a wonderful tool that can be used to help in the Lord's hastening. I encourage you all to share the gospel on Facebook. :) You can and will change lives if you pray for opportunities to share the gospel and do all you can to share your testimony. It doesn't have to be huge, just something small. The lord works by small means to confound the wise. :) 

There was one day this week that most of our appointments cancelled and most everyone we talked to wasn't interested or ignored us. It was a little bit challenging, but I had the most tender mercy as a result of everything. Sister Trent and I were walking down the busy street, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the most beautiful butterfly. I watched it for a few seconds and then it landed gently in front of me. I will send you some pictures of it. :) God works in mysterious ways, and He knows perfectly what will make us happy. As I held the butterfly, all I could think about was how much God loved me and was aware of me at that time. Nature is an amazing manifestation of the lords love for us. It was definitely a tender mercy for me. My day was better after that.
 Our investigators are doing well. We may have to love the baptismal date for the family we are teaching, but they are still progressing well. :) Kouno San is doing very well too. We have around 10 progressing investigators right now so we are pretty busy. We love them all so much. 

As always, I would like to share some of my studying with you this week, but first I would like to tell you about one of our investigators. Since I've been in Koiwa, we have been teaching this lady who lives just down the street from us. I really like her, and although the missionaries have been teaching her for quite some time now, she hasn't moved forward very much. She is a really deep thinker and self starter. This week we have seen so many miracles with her! She has finally agreed to come to church! She is reading the Book of Mormon and we are so excited with the progress she is making. When we visited her this past week, she asked us a lot of questions, and so we thought it would be good to have a member present lesson to help with answering her questions. During the lesson, we really testified of the Book of Mormon. I didn't feel like I said anything very significant during the lesson, but I did try to bare my testimony of the Book of Mormon and promise her blessings simply in Japanese. I told her that the Book of Mormon has power and that if she read it everyday and she would feel God's love and power. Despite it being really simple, I know the lord really magnified my efforts. After bearing my simple testimony, she turned to sister Trent and started talking. I didn't understand all of it, but I could make out what she was trying to say. What she said almost brought me to tears...She told us that our eyes were like angels or babies eyes when we talked to her, and that they were a little bit scary. She said that she felt a little bit out of place when looking into them because she felt so opposite. She said that we were good people and that we were really pure, and that she wanted to be like us.... What she said really sunk deep into my mind. It reminded me of a scripture in 3 Nephi 13:22. (Which brings me to my studying) The scripture says: 

22 The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 

I thought about some of the ways I may have seen this truth before in my life. There's that saying that 'people's eyes are the windows to their souls,' and I believe it. When teaching, it is through looking into our investigators eyes and listening that we are able to discern their needs and teach accordingly. Anyway, I love the imagery of this scripture! The light can start in our eyes, and then, if our eyes are single- single to Christ- our whole person or soul can be filled with light. In seminary, I was always taught that 'light' in the scriptures is simultaneous with 'Christ' or 'truth.' This being said, if our eye be single, our whole bodies can be filled with 'Christ.' After all, it is his light that we are hold up to the rest of the world. (3 Nephi 18:24) which brings me to Alma's question: 

14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? (Alma 5:14)

I shared this teaching in a phone call this morning with our zone group call. I encouraged everyone to realign their sight, or eyes to Christ, or to make their eyes single. I said, when we focus on Christ and do things which bring us closer to him, we obtain more spiritual light. People are then able to see that light, or Christ in us, as we testify and teach about Him. 

I love the story of Peter in the bible when in the fourth watch of the night, the Savior comes to the disciples who are in the boat, walking on water. As the disciples see him, they are afraid and then Jesus tells them not to fear. Peter, after realizing it is Jesus Christ, asks the lord if he can come unto him on the water. As Peter focuses on Christ, or on Christ's example of walking on water, he is able to walk on the water. Where were his eyes? I like to imagine he was looking directly at Christ. As he looks and focuses on Christ, he is able to walk on water.

30 "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."
...Note, it is after Peter 'saw' the wind boisterous, or took his eyes off Christ, that he began to sink. 
31 "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matthew 14:25-31) 

I know Christ will always catch us. As we look to Him and try and focus with an eye single to his light and glory, we will gradually become more like him. The light within us will shine more brightly, and our love for God and for his children will increase. We will become more Christlike and others will be able to recognize the light that is in us because it will be Christ's light. Through everyday acts of turning to the Lord in prayer, scripture study, and charitable acts of service, we can and will 'receive his image in our countenances.' 
I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and for everything you do. Keep being the good examples that you are. 
Love always, 

愛しています
Sister Hubbard    
ハバード 姉妹