Happy Canada Day this week!
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.