Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 26 on the island of Sado

 Sister Horito and Sister Hubbard...boat ride to zone conference on the main island...silly girls...happy they have a sense of humor and are having fun!
 Some recent converts in Sado
 On boat ride eating Onigiri (rice ball stuff, Janae's is wrapped in seaweed and Sister Horito's is not)
 Being silly for us on their boat ride to zone conference and back
 The church building they attend in Sado. If they are able to get 20 people to church every week, they can get a new building..it's one of their goals...
 Zone P-Day
 Example of some of the Sado Bin language used on the island...she said her dad could understand..(Daryn could read some of it)
 They are harvesting rice right now on the island..she said it smells so good!
 Zone Conference last week
 Eating Onigiri on the boat

 Some beautiful pictures of Sado
 Sister Hubbard and Sister Horito ride bikes to their appointments

Picture with President Whiting

Here is a short letter Janae's companion sent to me this week:
Hello sister hubbards mom!
This is sister hubbards companion, Horito shimai! :D I just wanted to
write you and tell you how great your daughter is. She really is the
best! I'm almost done with my mission and to be honest, sometimes I
am so tired but sister Hubbard does not let me slow down for a minute.
She is so awesome and such a great example to me. I really look up to
her so much. Her love for others is so contagious. The branch here
loves her so much. (She's so easy to love) she talks so much about
your family and so now someday I just need to meet all of you because
you all sound so great and funny! And I heard that Jarom and Jameson
are really smart. They have taught me a lot too... Sister Hubbard will
tell me something really cool and I ask where she learned it and she
says from them. Haha!
Anyway,you are all great I'm excited to meet you all someday! Have. A
Love, sister Horito

Here is Sister Hubbard's letter this week:

Dear family, 

Thank you for your letters! I loved reading about Jarom's new little kitten ;) ... Mom, it sounds like you have had a change of heart as far as cats and kittens are concerned.  あぶないでよ, haha. I'm sure Jameson and Jarom are so happy you are letting them keep the kitten in the green house. Sounds like an adventure to me! :)
Well, can you all believe that I am almost at my half way mark?? I can't! The thought of it really scares me... My mission is going way too fast! I'm praying hard that they will announce that Sisters can extend to two years at General conference coming soon, haha. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I guess we'll see what happens! I think it will be really neat to see who is called as new Apostles soon. So exciting! 

Well, I have some exciting news!! Do you all remember the family who I would always talk about in Koiwa that we were teaching? They were baptized yesterday in the Koiwa Ward!! I was able to skype with them a little bit and it was so special. :) I will send pictures. It warmed my heart so much to see them before they were baptized. They were glowing with God's love and light and it was so special. You really can't explain these experiences with words and I'm learning that more and more as I am here. The fruits of the gospel are so beautiful in every way. 
We saw some really cool miracles on Sado this past week! Sister Horito and I have been trying to do everything we can to be more open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. We have already seen so much success as we have tried to give ourselves more to the Lord and act in faith. 
On Saturday, we met with the Makise fufu (senior missionaries for Niigata stake) and visited some of people in our area book who live father away because the Makise's have a car. We were able to meet with an investigator that the sisters haven't met with for a long time, which was a big miracle! After we had finished dendouing with them, we decided to walk home from our previous destination and try and find some prepared people. We felt impressed to stop at an apartment building on our way back. As we approached the building, we noticed a mother who seemed to be really busy working in her house. She had been taking boxes up to her apparent and it sounded like she had a lot of unpacking to do. Sister Horito and I both felt like this was a huge opportunity for us to try and help her. After praying, being as excited as we were, we rushed to go and ask her if we could help her! She told us that she didn't need any help and that she was busy... We could hardly believe our ears! It looked like she had so much to do and we really felt like the Lord had prepared her for us, yet she was refusing to let us help. We decided to write her a note and tell her what we were thinking. In the note, we wrote about how we felt. We said we felt that God wanted us to stop at her house and talk with her. Some of the note was in English because this woman was from the Philippines. We wrote our number on the card and Left it in her mail box. While leaving the apartment, we felt at peace about what had happened and went on our way. The next morning, we were a little bit surprised when she called us! She asked us if we were the ones who wrote the note to her. She expressed her heartfelt gratitude and we were able to set up an appointment with her for next Sunday. We are hoping that we can begin to teach her and her family really soon. Such a Miracle. :) 
We have a young girl named Eri Chan who we have befriended and are working with. Her family used to be progressing investigators and then something happened between one of our members and their family which has made the situation very difficult. Eri chan loves meeting with us and would like to join our church, but her parents will not allow her to be baptized. It's really sad, but we still enjoy meeting with her and hearing her young testimony. I think she will be a huge influence on her family someday as she continues to push forward and learn about the Gospel. 
We were able to find some new investigators this past week, which was such an amazing blessing! God is really helping us in this area. I think there are some big things ahead for our little branch of 13 members. :) I'm excited for the opportunity to continue to love and serve them. They are all so amazing! Some of them live close to 2 hours away from the church on the other side of the island, yet they come to church every single week. Another member picks up an older member who lives on the opposite side of the island as he does, and drives miles in the opposite direction so that this member can come so church. Outstanding! They are all so amazing. 
Because there are only 13 members in the branch, the missionaries teach Gospel Principles class and speak all the time in sacrament meeting. I spoke last week and it was so fun. :) 
No one can play the piano on the ward, and so I have been playing for sacrament meeting since I got here. There are a couple of people in the Ward who want to learn how to play the piano and so I think I will be teaching some of them. So exciting! :) 
So, I realized last week that I haven't told you much about sister Horito. She is from Las Vegas, and is really awesome! She is on her 10th transfer and is so fun all the time. She is a go-getter and is a fabulous missionary! She is very sensitive to the Spirit, and I am so blessed to have her. We have seen a lot of really neat things together, and I'm sure we will continue to see the many miracles God has in store for this beautiful Island. :) 

Alright, back to some of our investigators...We are teaching a woman named Yamada San who just decided that she would like to be baptized! Because she just had a baby, we do not have a date for her yet, but as she recovers we are hoping to set a date with her. She's really awesome and her baby is so cute!! I think I've said it before, but Asian children are my new favorite! I love them so much! They are just the cutest! Today, on our way to the church, there were all of these little kids playing at a park. As we passed by, one of them said to the others-"Eigo no hito iru!!!" They all yelled "hallo" (There is no"L" sound in Japanese so is sounds like "harro" )  in their little Japanese accents, haha. So cute! They were all probably around 4-5 years old and their mothers just laughed as we passed by waving. 

We met some more Nichiren this week and were able to teach them again. I've learned that in order to understand where they are coming from, that I need to know their culture and religion a little better. So, I've been studying a lot of Buddhism lately. I remembered a lot about Buddhism from being in seminary and studying about different world religions. Shout out to brother Blackwell! I'm really grateful that I was able to learn about the Buddhist faith before my mission as it has helped me so much being here in Japan. I still have lots to learn though...
It's amazing to me how many similarities there are between our faiths. It's made me wonder more about the great apostasy and how things became so mixed up, resulting in so many other faiths with similar doctrine and beliefs. The figure worshipped as "Buddha" , and the story behind how he became Buddha is so similar to Jesus Christ's life's story which is so amazing to me! Studying their faith has given me greater respect for their culture and has also helped me to strengthen my own testimony in Jesus Christ. I can't really describe how neat this experience has been, but it's been really really cool. 
I feel like my Japanese has really picked up again this transfer! I always find myself saying things I've never said before, and I am so grateful for the gift of tongues. It is so real! It's was real before, but now that I have experienced it, it is so so real to me. I'm so grateful for the Lord's tender mercies and for His love. He really does know us personally and allows us to struggle and learn so that we can grow, but then strengthens us along the way. :) He's always there. I've started reading the Book of Mormon in Japanese this transfer and its really fun! I've heard before that if you read the whole Book of Mormon in another language that you can become perapera in that language. (Speak that language fluently)  頑張りたいです. Even though I can't speak perfectly all the time, I've really learned that our mouths can be filled as we trust in God. I've experienced this time and time again. It's amazing! 
Anyway, I'm out of time! I love you all so much. Thank you for everything! 
Love always,  
Sister Hubbard 

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