Thursday, August 13, 2015

Week 20 Japan Tokyo Mission

 Like an omelet with Bull Dog sauce on top.

 Daryn said that a watermelon is a rare treat as they cost about $100 for one watermelon.
Dearest family, 

Thanks for all of your letters! I love you all so much! Xoxo 
sorry this is kinda of late. We were really busy yesterday with p-day and our investigators, so I'm sending this letter today. 

This week has been really busy, and I think next week is going to be even busier! I'm excited for it though. Starting tomorrow we have exchanges and so I get to go dendou in Urayasu for a little while! My trainer, sister Trent, served in Urayasu for a few transfers, so I think it will be fun to experience a little bit of one of her areas. 
Also, this next week we have interviews with the new mission president! It will be the first time we have had personal time one on one with President and Sister Nagano since they've arrived here. I'm so excited to be able to talk to them both! They so special and I love them so much already. There is definitely a special bond between mission presidents and missionaries. 

I can't believe how fast this transfer is going! ...I remember saying that last transfer, and so I think that time might be getting faster...yikes! Anyway, this week has been really good. 
This week, I have been thinking a lot about how God prepares the hearts of people to hear the gospel. God really does this in so many ways, and that is something I feel like I have seen a lot of in the past week. God really does place people in our path every day who need to take the next step forwards in their lives-whatever that step may be. God knows who we are going to pass by on the street, on the train, and wherever else we go. He knows our desires as missionaries, and I've learned that it is so important to pray and ask for the Lord's miracles in our lives. 
Two days ago, sister Ahn and I were talking about an upcoming Chinese night activity in our mission. We talked about how it would be nice to be able to take a Chinese investigator to the activity, but that we didn't have a Chinese investigator. I prayed in my heart that day that we would be able to find someone to take to the activity and that this person's heart would be prepared for us. We had a few appointments that day and we were rushing around a lot. At one point we took a train..(I'm not sure what's with me and trains, but I feel like they are full of miracles, haha) On the train, I looked around at all the people who were sitting down. I sat beside a young adult named Hayashi who was Chinese! (I didn't know she was Chinese at first) 
We began talking and she asked me for our number and said she wanted to come to Chinese Night with us! It was such a miracle! I was so amazed! Later that day, she texted us and said thank you for talking to her on the train. We should be seeing her at Eikaiwa this Wednesday and we are really excited about her! She's the same age as us which is really neat too. Anyway, this experience was such a quick answer to prayer. It made me think about how involved our Heavenly Father really is in our lives. He knows our desires and if it is his will, anything can happen with his help. Sometimes, all we have to do is ask in Faith. That was a really neat experience for me. 

We taught a member referral this week, and it went really well I think! This investigator came to church a couple of weeks ago and at church she felt the spirit very strongly. She told her member friend after church that she thought she wanted to be baptized! Sister Trent and I taught this investigator a few times before this lesson, and with the way things were going at that point, we didn't think this investigator would progress very quickly, but things sure changed when she came to church! Anyway, our lesson went really well and we were able to talk to her about baptism! She expressed that she would like to be baptized, but because of how busy she is and how much more she needs to learn, she said that it might be a little while before she can be baptized. She said she would think about it some more, and that she would come to Minami and Megumi Chan's baptism on the 26th! So awesome! It's amazing how fast people can change when they really feel the spirit strong. 
We have a different investigator who lives just down the street from us. The past couple of months she hasn't been progressing, but since she lives so close to us, we always see her and are able to share a short message with her. Lately, we have just been focussing on Jesus Christ with her and have been talking about who he is and why he's so important. We've been showing her the short bible videos of Jesus Christ. This week, we showed her the video of Jesus Christ healing the man stricken with palsy. Usually after we show her the videos and try to talk about them in a way that we can invite the Spirit and help her feel it. For whatever the reason, I feel like her heart was more open to the message on this day. After the video, I asked a simple question, "what do you think about Jesus Christ?" Our investigator paused for a little while thinking. (She is usually very loud and outspoken about things and so this really surprised me). She said a lot at that time, talking about how she thought it was amazing that He could work such miracles. After she finished, she turned to me and asked me the same question. "Sister Hubbard, what do you think about Jesus Christ?" At that time, I felt the spirit enter the room really strong. I prayed so hard in my heart that my Japanese would pull through and that I would be able to say what I was thinking. It's hard to describe in words in English what I feel about Jesus Christ, and now my time had come to testify about Him in Japanese. After a little pause, I began speaking. I talked about how much I love Jesus Christ and about how grateful I am for Him. I felt the spirit so strong, even though I don't remember everything I said. I know the spirit was with me as I spoke. For the first time, I think this investigator felt something really strong in her heart. It was an amazing experience for me to see her start to feel the Spirit. It helped me love her so much and want the best for her. 
The Spirit really does speak all languages. It doesn't matter what we say, if it is spoken in the Spirit of the Lord, if the persons heart is open, they will feel the truth of the message. It's so neat to experience that everyday. God is able to take our efforts and make them something much bigger. I definitely felt that in this lesson. 
Today for p-day, we combined the east and west zones and went to Yoyogi Koen. It's a massive park near Shibuya. We played capture the flag and ultimate frisbee together and it was a lot of fun! Afterwards, we met with some of the other sisters and ate lunch together. We ate Indo curry which was delicious of course, haha. It's definitely one of my favorite foods here. :) 
Sister Ahn and I are continuing to work with the members in our ward closely. They are so amazing and are so willing to help us all the time. They love our investigators and are so excited for the baptism on the 23rd! Megumi and Minami Chan are really excited for their baptism too. We talked with them tonight about their baptismal interview, and they are so excited about everything. They are so sensitive to the Spirit and so genuinely good and caring. We love them so much! Sister Ahn and I are going to be working on the baptismal program the next two weeks making sure everything is planned out. It's such a happy time for everyone. :) Our ward is so special. I think it's amazing how the members are able to feed off of each others dendou fire so to speak. When one person gets excited about missionary work and invites their friends to church, others see the joy and want to do the same. This week, the assistants sent out a message that President Nagano wanted us to read. It is something Elder L. Tom Perry said in the new mission presidents conference just a couple weeks before he passed away. 
He said: "If you can get that spirit caught in the ward unit, that's strong and exciting and alive, then you'll start to see something happen with the missionaries that keeps their lives full. [they will have] the opportunities to teach every night, and when they get the teaching spirit, they'll not be able to leave it alone." 
I've definitely been able to see this in our ward as the 6 of us missionaries in Koiwa have strived to work closely with the members. It's amazing how excited everyone is about missionary work! It changes the way we are as missionaries too. The work is able to move forward as the members reach out to their friends. It's been so neat to see. I want to always strive to be that person in the ward who works closely with the missionaries after my mission. It makes all the difference in the work. There are only about 80,000 missionaries in the world right now, but there are a lot more members than that! Can you imagine what might happen if every member in the church made the decision to try and invite just one person to church all over the world? Or if every member decided today to pray for a missionary opportunity? I think there would be amazing miracles. There already are amazing miracles happening all over the world with members and missionaries. It has be prophesied throughout the scriptures that this message will be taken to all the world- that every nation, kindred, tongue, and people will hear this gospel message. We, as members of the church, play a huge role in bringing this to pass. Elder Nelson in a recent general conference said: 
"Together, members and missionaries invite all to learn of God, of Jesus Christ, and of His gospel. Each inquiring individual should seek earnestly and pray fervently for the assurance that these things are true. The truth will be manifest by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thank God and His Son, Jesus Christ, for the Restoration and its power to propel a magnificent wave of truth and righteousness across the earth. May we catch this wave and fulfill the Lord’s command to take the gospel “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
I echo his plea and testimony to "catch the wave" of sharing the gospel. God is hastening his work, and we are so lucky to be living in this time. We are so privileged to be witnessing this great miracle! I invite you all to continue to pray for opportunities to share the gospel. "God sends prepared people to his prepared servants"- elder Eyring. 
I know that this message will someday be known in all the world. I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that He knows us perfectly. I feel His love and have seen His hands in my life. I know God answers our prayers and can bless us with a reassurance that everything will be okay. He wants to forgive us and bless us. He knows our weaknesses because He has felt them. He knows our struggles because He has struggled through them. He knows what makes us happy too, and so He blesses us with His tender mercies. I love this gospel so much. I'm so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. 
I hope you all have a wonderful week! 
Love always, 

Sister Hubbard 

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