Thursday, July 16, 2015

Week 17 in Tokyo

Food she ate this week.

Janae's package arrived safe and intact...but of course this is Japan:)

Dear family, 

Today and yesterday have been the hottest days I have experienced since being in Japan. It's pretty crazy! As soon as we step out of the apartment, it feels like a sauna outside. It's a good thing our apartment has air conditioning. The sun is shining though, and I'm grateful we have seen the last of the rainy season (hopefully). 

Oh, sorry to hear about summer games! Haha, that would make me so mad if they messed up the roster and made my team forfeit despite winning 3 soccer games by 5 or more points... That's southern Alberta sports for you right there! Haha, just shake it off Jianna and Josh. I'm sure you both played super well. :) 
Jianna! Have fun white water rafting at girls camp! It might be just as serious and as wet as our Young woman's canoe trip a few years ago.. 気を付けてください! (kiwotsukete kudasai) 
It sounds like everything is going well back home, but by the sounds of it, our house is under some exterior painting? Haha, that's probably a good thing. Have fun with that! I mean that sincerely! Painting is fun! :D  お疲れ様 です ! 楽しんでいください ! 

This week we have been really busy teaching again. We have a lot of people we are working with both investigators and less actives. It's really awesome to have my first area be an area where there are lots of teaching appointments. It's not only good practice for Japanese, but there really is a power in teaching people as missionaries. It helps us fulfill our purpose and I think that watching others conversion process is really special. It helps me remember my own conversion and reminds me of how wonderful the gospel is everyday. It's such a blessing. 

Yes! I received the package! Thank you so much! I love the shirts and have worn 3 of them already with it being so hot- they came right in time, haha. Thank you for sending those others things too. I really appreciate it. My favorite thing in the package was all of the little letters you all wrote. The first one I pulled out was Jarom's, and it made me so happy. Thank you for drawing for me Jarom! You are so good at that! You are getting really good at your letters too! That's awesome! I love you so much. 
The next one I pulled out was Jameson's- wow! Your writing is almost as good as mine! Thank you for your note Jameson. It made me so happy. I miss you too :) love you so much! 
I enjoyed reading your other letters too. The package came at a time when I needed it and as I read your notes, I felt you all so close. Thank you all so much. I love you all so much. Yes, it had everything in it that I needed and more. Thank you for your kind notes and love. :)

Lately in my study, I've been thinking about the roles that faith and fear play in my life. Reading Elder Bednar's most recent General Conference talk is what sparked my interest on the topic, but I feel like it is something I have learned and thought about throughout my life. As I've thought about it, It's been really neat to think about the times in my life where I have felt fear, but then been able to become fearless with the Lord's help. We overcome fear with Faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ. In the scriptures, it says:

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
(2 Timothy 1:7) 

“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36).

“perfect love casteth out all fear” (Moroni 8:16)

 As I have pondered these scriptures, I can't help but think of the experiences I've had when I have turned to the Lord and been relieved and feel his peace and love. When my heart is full of fear and uncertainty, through prayer, I have felt the quiet peace and love of God. The act of turning to God for help begins with sincere prayer. As we pray to God, we can recognize His love and hand in our lives. This knowledge gives us the gentle reassurance that everything will be okay. There really is power in sincere prayer. If we really desire something with our whole hearts, miracles can and will happen. The Lord works according to the desires of men. There is a story I read from President Spencer W. Kimball this morning that blew my mind and made me excited to share it with you all. His story follows this statement: "I have had so many experiences in sickness and in health that leave me with no shadow of doubt in my heart and mind that there is a God in heaven, that he is our Father, and that he hears and answers our prayers.”

'One of these experiences came when President Kimball and his wife, Camilla, traveled to a conference in New Zealand. When they reached the city of Hamilton, they were so sick that President Kimball asked President N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor in the First Presidency, to represent him at a cultural event planned for that evening. Some hours later, President Kimball “awakened with a start and asked Dr. Russell Nelson, who sat watching over him, ‘Brother Nelson, what time was that program to begin this evening?’

“‘At seven o’clock, President Kimball.’
“‘What time is it now?’
“‘It is almost seven.’
“Spencer was soaked with perspiration. His fever had broken. … He said, ‘Tell Sister Kimball we’re going.’

“Camilla got out of bed, and they both hurriedly dressed and then drove the short distance to the stadium where the program had just convened. President Tanner had explained at the beginning of the meeting that they were too sick to attend. In the opening prayer a young New Zealander petitioned fervently, ‘We three thousand New Zealand youth have gathered here prepared to sing and to dance for thy prophet. Wilt thou heal him and deliver him here.’ As the prayer ended, the car carrying Spencer and Camilla entered and the stadium erupted in a spontaneous, deafening shout at the answer to their prayer.”

Isn't that amazing? I love this story so much. I wonder what kind of effect this answered prayer had upon the young boy who prayed the prophet to the stadium? I imagine it was an experience that He will never forgot, nor the 3000 youth that were present that day. God really does answer our prayers. I see that everyday here in Japan. 
This past week, I prayed to be able to give a Book of Mormon away on the train as we were traveling to go see a less active member. I had prayed the night before leaving, specifically asking the Lord to prepare the heart of the young woman that I might talk to. The next morning, On the train, I saw the woman I needed to talk to, and felt impressed to give her a Book of Mormon and tell her how it has blessed my life. It was an answer to prayer, but after seeing her, and making the conscious decision to talk to her, suddenly, I was filled with fear. What happened next, taught me a lot about how I should respond to fear and have faith. All of a sudden, I remembered the previous day how I had tried to talk to someone about the Book of Mormon and messed up on my Japanese. My next thought was, "she probably isn't interested," and "she looks busy." All of a sudden, I was stopped from going forward and following this spiritual impression. 

Again the scripture, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

I quickly realized what was happening. I ignored the thoughts, and opened my mouth and started to speak Japanese. The girl I talked to had been to a Christian school in the States before, she believed in God (even though her family was Buddhist) and she had read parts of the bible before. I was able to give her the Book of Mormon, and talk to her about God and how we can pray to Him and receive answers to prayer. She was excited to receive the Book of Mormon, and thanked me for talking to her about it. She asked me many questions, and we were able to give her our number. 
As I got off the train at the next station, I felt a warm peaceful feeling inside of my heart. It was so strong, and I could feel the Lord's appreciation and love for me at that time. This experience was a huge testimony to me of how the Lord works and how Satan works. Satan wants to stop us from doing good things, and I feel like he succeeds as a result of us giving into fear. We cannot allow the fear of what might happen distract us from doing the will of God. As we move forward with faith, trusting in the Lord, our fear will be dispelled by our faith, and we will be able to feel the peace and love of the Lord. I testify that the feeling of peace is real and cannot be duplicated by the influence of Satan. Christ can calm our hearts and speak peace unto us as we turn to Him in sincere prayer. There is a reason Christ is called the Prince of Peace. My prayer is that He will always be the ruling power and source of peace in our lives. This gospel is true. Jesus Christ lives and loves us perfectly. He is the source of all peace and comfort. When our hearts are heavy and we feel the fear and weight of the world, I know that He will lift us if we allow Him to help us. He will dispel our fears as we exercise faith in Him. 
Love always, 

Sister Hubbard 

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