Sunday, November 1, 2015

Week 29

 Dinner with president and wife in Sado! :)

So, this lady gave us all of these edible flowers. Yep! We ate them. Not too bad, haha.

 I ate blow fish this week. Haha, it was pretty good! Yes, they were licensed and I am still alive. ;)

 Beautiful Sato!

Dear family, 

Vacation sounds like it was a blast! Thanks for telling me all about your adventures on the beach. It sounds like everyone had a wonderful time. :) Whenever I read your emails all I can think about is how blessed we are as a family. I'm so grateful for all of you and for your love and prayers. I feel like even though I'm half way across the world that our relationship as a family has become stronger. 

Well, I really don't now where to start with this email. We've seen so many miracles this week and have experienced so many wonderful things. I'm so amazed at the Lords hand in missionary work, and I'm so grateful to be here in Sado to witness it all.
As a mission, we've started looking to Christmas and setting goals and seeking revelation for what God would have us do for the Jolly season. Similar to other missions, we would like to see a 'White Christmas.' We've made a goal as the Niigata zone to see two baptisms/companionship before Christmas. We all feel really good about this goal and have been fasting and praying to know what we can do to accomplish the Lord's will. Anyway, with all of this happening, I am feeling really excited for Christmas and I think I might be catching the Christmas spirit early this year. :)
Sister Alder and I met an older woman this past week. We explained who we were as missionaries and she invited us into her home. We knelt down at her little table and began to speak with her. This lady, Yamada San, asked us if she could play some music for us using this little instrument that I had never seen before. We agreed and she began singing and playing this bell like instrument. The music was beautiful. I really felt the Spirit as she showed us a part of her heart while playing. While she was singing, I listened carefully to the words that she was singing to see how much I could understand. As I listened, I picked out a rhythm that sounded a little bit like Silent Night. Suddenly, I realized I had received revelation and I reach for my small hymn book in my bag. I opened it to Silent night and asked Yamada San if we could now sing for her. She agreed. Sister Alder and I proceeded to sing Silent Night in Japanese. As we sang, tears filled here eyes and she began to sing with us. It was such a beautiful experience. The room filled with peace and I felt the presence of angels singing as I listened. We concluded singing, and I asked her  if she knew what the song was about. We were able to testify the Savior Jesus Christ and share our testimonies with her. She thanked us for coming over. We left feeling so uplifted and good inside. This woman was probably close to 90 years old, and although she couldn't understand our message very well, she did understand the music and the Spirit that was felt while singing. Such an amazing experience for us to be apart of. :)

This past Tuesday, we had exchanges with the sister training leaders and we saw so many miracles! I was with Sister Lacey and it was so amazing. We've always had a secret wish to be companions, and so it was really neat to spend just one day dendouing together. She's such a good friend to me and I don't think it was by chance that we were finally put into the same zone. Such a tender mercy for me. :) I wish I could tell you more about our day together,  I think I only have time to share a few more things. We had planned to visit Ediku Chan (one of our new investigators) that night and talk to her about baptism. As the day went on, we felt very strongly that we needed to re-exchange so that sister Alder and I could teach Ediku Chan together. Because our original plan was not to be together for the lesson, sister Alder and I didn't have a lot of time to plan for the lesson. We were a little nervous to go into it unprepared. As we road our bikes to her house in the dark, I was praying so hard that it would all go okay and that we would be able to speak to her about baptism and that the Spirit would be strong. After arriving and praying together, I felt impressed to turn to a scripture. We read it before walking up to the door. We read 2 Timothy 1:7-8 

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

After reading it, I felt the Spirit fill my heart and I felt like God had taken the wheel. We walked up the stairs to her apartment building and rang the door bell. She opened the door, and after greeting us, told us that she had read all of the plan of salvation pamphlet that we had given her before. She said that she had one question for us. As she turned to the page to where she had found the question, she asked us, "バプテスマとわ何ですか?" (What is baptism?)We were speechless! I felt like I was in shock for the next 10 minutes. Had she really just brought up e very thing that we prayed so hard to be able to talk to her about? It's was amazing. Such a miracle. We were able to talk to her about baptism and invite her to be baptized. Yesterday she came to church for the first time and she felt the Spirit strong. I weep when I think of the wonders the Lord has been able to work in her life. She prayed for the first time this past week, asking God if everything she had been taught was true. It was so powerful, and I am certain that she will be part of our beautiful white Christmas. We've grown so close these past couple of days, and I feel like I've known her forever. She is the sweetest person ever! :) she is a 20 year old college student who is training to become a nurse. Right now, she is living in Sado for school. The Members in the branch love her and have fellow shipped her so well. We are truly so so blessed. My heart is so full. 

We've really been able to see the Lord's hand working in Sado. I continue to see the little branch here as a ward someday and think of how wonderful it would be for them to have a new church building and to see baptisms this Christmas. If it's God's will, I know it will happen. I love the branch members here so much, and it is so easy to work hard for them everyday. This past weekend, we had president and sister Nagano come to Sado! Sister Alder and I spent the whole day with Sister Nagano dendouing. It was an experience I will never forget. Sister Nagano is an amazing missionary. She served a mission when she was our age, shortly after being baptized a year or two previously. Her parents both said they would disown her if she went on a mission. She went anyway, and saw almost unheard of success in her mission. It was amazing to learn from her all day long and to talk with her. She reminds me so much of Grandma Tess. I couldn't stop taking that as we talked together throughout the day. :) so special. We had interviews with them to weekend as well, and as I spoke to both of them, We received a lot of revelation together. I'm excited to see how our new plans will effect our little island very soon. They came to church yesterday and it was special to have them there. As branch members, we sang for them. Every week after church, we all sing and practice a song together. It's called, "I'll find you my friend" -I think, haha. It's different in Japanese. Anyway, I recently learned the song on the piano so that they don't have to listen to the recording while singing, and it has changed my whole perspective on the work here in Sado. I want to share the lyrics with you all. (English) As You read the lyrics to the song, I want to you picture this little branch of 13 members. There are 4 kids under 12 and a bunch of adults. Everyone in the Branch works so hard to invite their friends to church and to share the gospel. These are the lyrics: 

There was this place called the preexistence, 
Where we lived with our friends so dear, 
A counsel was called and plans were made, 
Free agency is why we're here, 
Our savior said, "please find my lost sheep, and teach them and bring them home." 
I promised my Savior I'd find them, and teach them the way to go. 

I'll go and find you my friend. I'll help you. Our savior's plan is the way. 
Please accept me when I find you, and we'll be back with him someday.
Remember the worth of souls is great in the light and the sight of God 
Look and search and teach His sheep to find the iron rod 

My time has come to teach the gospel, 
There are souls out there who are gold. 
The gospel of Jesus Christ rolls forth and this is what they need to be told, 
and if your joy be great with one soul you have taught and brought unto me,
How great will your heart be exalted, to bring many unto me. 

I'll go and find you my friend. I'll help you. Our savior's plan is the way.
Please accept me when I find you, and we'll be back with him someday.
Remember the worth of souls is great in the light and the sight of God. 
Look and search, and teach his sheep to find the iron rod.

I'll find you there my friend

Before coming on my mission, I always wondered who I may have promised to find and help before this earth life. Now that I've been out for close to 10 months, I think of all the people I've met on my mission and feel the Spirit whisper that they are the people I promised to help. I think of all of the people from before my mission-my friends, family, random people I said hello to or did something for- all of them. Each encounter was not by mistake. It is all apart of our Heavenly Fathers plan. There are no mistakes or chances. God knows who our friends are and where we need to be to help them. He knows us personally and sees the big picture. We are all his Children, and thus brothers and sisters. He loved us all enough to send His perfect, beloved, son Jesus Christ to help us and save us so that we could return to His presence someday. We could never do it by ourselves. I'm so grateful for to gospel and for the way it can expand our hearts and our capacity to love people. I know to church is true and that God is mindful of each of us. His love is always there. I love you all so much! You're always in my prayers. 
I hope you have a wonderful week! 
Love always, 

Sister Hubbard 

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