Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Week 28

 The girls we met on the street and gave book of Mormons too. They are referrals for the Niigata Sisters! On my left is sister Yonaha and sister Barbosa- we dendoed together while waiting for our new companions to arrive.

Birthday miracle lady- funny story, I didn't realize I had a picture of her until I was going through my pictures. I caught her in one while I was taking pictures on the boat. Pretty neat miracle. :) 
So, another funny story- before my companion came over and started talking with us, (birthday miracle) she took a panorama of us- how she saw us, haha. So funny! Sister Hubbard in action. 

 The Ferry we take to get to the mainland

 Sister Parker made these for me for breakfast! She's so sweet. :)

This is in Niigata- one of the big soccer stadiums- sorry you can't see it very well. 

Dearest Family, 

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes! I had a wonderful week, and the 15th was especially wonderful. :) thank you for the Facebook posts and for all of the notes, and letters. I love you all so much. I'm kind of sad that I only get to have one birthday on my mission because the 15th was so full of miracles! 
Okay, so I will tell you a little bit about my new companion! Her name is sister Alder. She is from Utah, but has lived in a million different places, including Guam! (So cool right?!) she is probably one of the sweetest people I have ever met and is really easy going. She is an amazing missionary and she has a lot of faith. We've already seen so many miracles together. I'm cutting her hair tonight! Haha! I'm going to get really good at cutting hair I think, haha. 
Oh, and to answer a question about my last companion- sister Horito was in Sado for 3 transfers which is pretty futsu (usual) for sister Missionaries. 

I think I had one of the best birthday's ever! Let me tell you all about it. So, as I mentioned before, the 15th was my first full day together with sister Alder and we had a zone meeting in the morning. After the meeting we had to get on the boat to travel back to Sado. We saw the most amazing miracle on the boat! It was sister Alder's first time on the boat and so we both went up to the top platform to watch the launch off together. While being on the platform, I noticed a lady standing a few meters away from us who was looking at the scenery. She was probably in her late 40's. I felt a strong impression that we needed to talk with her, and so I began talking with her. Our conversation was pretty casual at first, but she eventually asked why we were going to Sado. We told her that we lived there, and then surprised, she said, "ええ! ビックリした! -Saying she was surprised..(most people are as we are pretty much the only gaijin (foreigners) in Sado) She asked us what we were doing in Sado and we were able to share our testimonies and reasons for coming to Japan. This discussion led to her asking about what we teach people everyday. As we explained, she responded with a question. She asked, "when you first begin teaching people, how do you do it?"(Japanese) She seemed to be a little bit surprised to hear that some Japanese people believed in God and Jesus Christ. When I heard her ask the question, I searched her eyes to see if she was sincere. I really wasn't sure what to say to her in Japanese, but as I looked, I felt a warm peace come over me. I smiled and told her that we always begin by teaching people how to pray. I explained that by learning how to pray, people can know for themselves whether or not God exists and who He is. I told her that I had always been taught about God from my parents, but that it wasn't until I prayed that I knew He loved and cared about me. As I shared about the first time I sincerely prayed to God, I notice her eyes fixed on mine. I promised her that God was aware of her and that she could know for herself of His love and existence. Her eyes glanced to the side of the boat. She looked back at me, tears in her eyes, and nodded her head silently saying yes. I will never forget her smiling face as she said slowly, "ありがとう" .." Arigatou"... "Thank you," first in Japanese twice and then once in English. We were able to teach this woman about the Book of Mormon and offered her one. She gratefully excepted it and promised that she would read it and pray about it. She tried to pay us in gratitude, but we told her we couldn't accept money.( It is a big part of the culture in Japan to give gifts to each other, especially when one has done a huge favor for someone else.) Realizing that she couldn't pay us, she came back about a half hour later with a big bag full of goodies for us. She thanked us once again and we parted. My heart just collapsed for this woman. I love her so much and I hope I can meet her again someday. She lived in Niigata and said that she felt uncomfortable about meeting with the sisters in Niigata, but asked us if she could have our number and promised to study and go to church. This was such an amazing miracle! This was everything that I wanted for my birthday. God really does answer our prayers and listen to the desires of our hearts. He knows everything and it amazes me everyday to see how His hand is in our lives and in the lives of others.

So, do you all remember my investigator in Koiwa named Kouno San? She was baptized yesterday In the Koiwa Ward! I was able to talk to her on the phone and she sounded so happy. Her whole conversion process was such a miracle from the beginning and I can't tell you all how much it means to me to see her take this next step in her life. She is so wonderful. :) God really led her to us and I wish I could retell everything that had led up until this point, but I don't think I have time for that. Such an amazing miracle though! :) 

Well, back home it sounds like there have been a lot of new changes happening in our family. I guess we will all see what's in store in the next chapter of life. It will probably begin soon. :) I would have loved to be there for your testimonies mom and dad. I can picture it in my mind pretty well though. Your testimonies are both so radiant. I still remember times in my life very vividly of you two bearing your testimonies. What a beautiful experience. It sounds like the new bishopric will be wonderful. Also, I hope you all have fun on your trip! You're all going on an airplane! Wow! I bet the little boys are so excited. I love hearing about their new little kitten ;) it also sounds like Jameson and Jarom are kicking butt at soccer! Way to be! You two are your sister's little brothers for sure. ;) haha. I'm so proud of them! 

To answer another question, there aren't too many traditional local foods here. This time of the year, there are lots of persimmons which are so delicious! They are pretty famous in Niigata. The rice here also is very well known. There's lots of fish- they dry them on racks all over the island and so most of the time this place smells like fish. だからThere is way good sushi here! One of my new favorite foods is raw fish! Who would've thought? I certainly didn't... It's way good though. :) 美味しいです! 
This week in dendou, sister Alder and I found 2 new solid investigators in Sado, so that was a huge miracle! We received a referral from one of sister Alder's past areas and we went and visited the woman the other day. I think we will be able to teach her soon which is really exciting! We are going to try and invite one of our investigators to be baptized this next week! Her name is Ediku Chan (I think I mentioned her last week maybe? Week before?) We are really excited about her. She is so sensitive to the Spirit and we think that she is so prepared. 
This next week we have exchanges with sister Yonaha and Sister Lacey from Sanjo. They are our sister Training leaders. I will be with sister Lacey and I am way excited because she was in my MTC district and we came to Japan together. I think we will see a lot of miracles! So excited! 
Also, president Nagano and shimai are coming to Sado this next weekend to interview us and visit our branch. I'm way excited for them to be here too!

Okay, I think I have time to share one last cool experience. So, in Niigata, after sister Horito got on her bus, sister Yonaha and I went to the train station to pick up sister Barbosa. The three of us dendoed together the rest of that day and we saw so many miracles together! We met about 6 girls who were walking on the street and had a really good conversation with them. We were able to give them all Book of Mormon's and direct them to the Niigata shimaitachi (sisters). They were so excited to receive book of Mormons and we read a few verses with them right on the street. I shared Mosiah 4:9 with them: 

9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

After sharing the scripture, the mood in around us changed and we told them that they could all know and feel God's love through reading the Book of Mormon and meeting with the Sister missionaries. We were a little bit surprised when they said that they wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon and said they would be willing to meet with the Niigata sisters. So amazing! The Lord is really pouring His Spirit out on Japan and there are so many prepared people. This week, I've met so many people who have wondered about the reality of God or a supreme creator. As we have shared our simple testimonies with them, they've been able to feel God's love through us. It's an amazing feeling to be able to have the Lord work through me as a missionary. Being a missionary is the most amazing thing I've ever done. I wish I could tell you about everything that happens in the week. God's hand is in our lives. I don't always understand how things happen all the time, or how things are able to work out the way they are, but with the peaceful feeling in my heart, I'm left thinking that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and knows us. I testify of the love God has for us. It is there. It has the power to change human nature and is the most powerful force in the world. I'm so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for His love and grace. I'm just so happy. :) 
Thanks again for all the wonderful birthday wishes! 
Love always, 

Sister Hubbard xoxo

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