Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 36 Tokyo Mission

Dear family,

Merry Christmas! It is so wonderful to hear about what a been
happening at home for Christmas. It does feel different being here in
Japan for Christmas, but it's not a bad different. :) The Matsudo ward
has really spoiled us this week with Christmas presents and delicious
treats and goodies. They are all so kind.
There are lots of lights everywhere for Christmas here, but we hardly
ever see a Christmas tree. Most of the members have trees though, so
that's neat!
Being a missionary at Christmas time is really a neat experience.
We've seen some pretty cool miracles this week!

One of my favorite things we have done this week for dendou has been
singing Christmas carols at the train station! There are hundreds and
thousands of people who gather at the eki everyday going to and from
various places. It's a really neat opportunity to see and talk with so
many people about the true meaning of Christmas.

Last week, we met a woman on the street and were able to be her a Book
of Mormon. Her name is Hiromi San. Yesterday, she was able
to come to church, and she loved it! We taught her about the
restoration during church, and the Spirit was really strong. She had
some really good questions and at the end of the lesson she prayed for
the first time. She accepted the challenge to be baptized and she said
that she wants to bring her Philippingin friend with her to church
next time. Such a big miracle! :)

Yesterday, Sister Morley and I had a really neat experience while we
were looking for a potential investigators house. We visited the
house, and no one was home. We were just getting ready to return to
the church on our bikes, but my bike lock got stuck and I spent an
extra minute trying to get it unlocked. While fiddling with my lock
(missionary problems), a woman from a near by apartment came running
out the door to the area right next to us, just 5-6 meters away. Her
daughter, about 10 years old was with her. The mother sat down on the
first step of the entranceway with her head in her hands and began to
hysterically weep.  Her daughter knelt down at her mother's feet and
put her hands on her mother face, their heads touching together.
Something horrible had just happened. I turned to look at sister
Morley. I could see the concern she had in her eyes and we were left
with the question of what to do. As we watched and listened, the woman
received a phone call. From the conversation, I learned that this
woman had just gone through a divorce and that she had no where to
stay and didn't have a job. My heart ached to share the gospel with
her. I felt at that moment that everything this woman needed was what
we were prepared to share with her. As we talked with her, she confide
in us and thanked us for stopping to talk with her. We directed her to
the church and were able to share a message of God's love for us. It
was a tender moment. I don't think I will ever forget it. Everything
really does happen for a reason.

So many miracles! However, the best miracle that I think has happened
has been within the walls of my own heart. This year for Christmas, I
decided that I wanted to really give my heart to God. As a result, I
feel like God has really been testing my heart. Sometimes things are
really difficult, but I God knows us perfectly and will never give us
opposition that we cannot withstand and overcome. This week, I've
learned whenever we try and change something in our lives that the
opposition and temptations get harder. The Lord tries our hearts, and
sometimes it hurts, but the result is so much more beautiful. The Lord
really can make us a masterpiece if we allow Him to. I am far from
that masterpiece but slowly I feel like the Lord is able to shape me
through the things I am learning everyday. I testify that the Lord
knows what we need to go through in order to be exalted. I know that
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He was born for us and He is
the ultimate gift. He loves us with an infinite love. His greatest joy
is our joy and happiness. He knows what makes us truly happy. The Lord
knows our sorrows and pains. He has felt them all. He knows us
perfectly. He loves us perfectly. He is the one who was chosen from
the beginning. He was born for us.

"...And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree
from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth,
into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem... To be
taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished
that she should be delivered. (Luke 2:1-7)"

"...There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a
Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall
rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of
counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the
Lord... (Isaiah 11:1-2)"

"And He shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of
heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and
his mother shall be called Mary. (Mosiah 3:8) "

"...Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God...
And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.
And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son
of the Eternal Father! " (1 Nephi 11:18-21)
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling
clothes, and laid him in a manger... (Luke 2:7) "

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be all glory giv’n.
Son of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ, the Lord.

"Come unto Christ and offer your whole souls unto him." Omni 1:26
Merry CHRISTmas :)
Love always,

Sister Hubbard xoxo

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 35 Tokyo Mission

Dear family,

Thank you all for the wonderful letters and love! I'm happy to hear
the Christmas tree is up now! :)
Before I forget and start going on about what happened this past week,
I will tell you about skyping this Christmas! We still haven't heard
the details from the mission yet, but we will know this next week so I
will let you know the details next week in my letter. :) I'm excited
to see you all! I feel like it was just yesterday when we were skyping
for Mother's Day. It's so crazy how fast the time has gone while being
here. Yesterday, I had a major panic attack because someone pointed
out that I only had four more transfers after this one! Yikes! I will
be hitting my one year mark shortly after Christmas and today is my
11th month mark. Pretty crazy!

This week has been really busy. I've had to do some traveling around
and it has been a really great experience meeting some of the
investigators in different areas and working with other sisters. This
past week I went to Tsukuba area and worked with Sister Griffin who is
still a brand new missionary. We saw so many miracles together and
were able to have a lot of fun together too. Sister Griffin has a lot
of faith and I'm confident that that is why we saw the success that we
did. Our mission is really young right now and it's been really neat
to see all of these young missionaries press forward with unbelievable
faith and courage. Japanese is a hard language, but God really does
bless the missionaries here to be able to do what hey need to do. It
amazing to see! Anyway, I will tell you some more about my adventure
in Tsukuba. Sister Griffin and I made plans to visit a few less active
members. Along the way, we got lost in a huge muddle of houses. Every
way we turned, led us to another clump of houses and I felt like we
would be lost in this maze forever. It was beginning to get dark, and
since we didn't have wifi, we had no way of knowing which way to go.
Sister Griffin had only been in the Tsukuba area for a little over 1
transfer, and it was my first time big there. We were completely lost.
It's really interesting, but during my whole mission here in Japan, I
have never felt lost or worried about where to go or be. At this time,
I just felt like maybe God wanted us to be somewhere else at that time
instead of the less actives house. Sister Griffin, beginning to get a
little bit worried, suggested we pray to be able to find our way out
of the maze. Sister Griffin said the sweetest heartfelt prayer and
soon we found ourselves biking down a street which led to a wifi spot
and we were able to find our way back home. Shortly after arriving
home and eating a quick dinner, we ran to an appointment we had at the
church. We were meeting a Chinese women for the first time and weren't
quite sure what to say to her. As we were talking together, this women
asked us, "how can God help me in my life?" Sister Griffin then
related our previous experience from the day. She explained that we
had been lost and didn't know what to do, and so we prayed to be able
to find our way. We were able to testify powerfully to this women that
the Lord does hear and answer our prayers and that he can help us in
every aspect of our lives. This women, (her name is Emma) told us that
she wanted to know how to pray, and after teaching her, she began to
pray without us prompting her. It was an amazing experience and her
prayer was so simple, yet powerful. In her prayer, she simply asked to
"please help me to know whether or not you exist, so that I can be
happy." It was a beautiful experience. Sister Griffin is a great
missionary. Her heart is in the right place and she is very sensitive
to the Spirit. I was amazed at the power of her testimony. I'm amazed
by all of the new missionaries in our zone. My companion, sister
Morley, is amazing too! She is a fourth transfer missionary and she is
so sensitive to the spirit and has amazing faith too. From this
experience, I really came to realize that God uses our strengths and
well as our weaknesses to help further the work. I can think of
countless other times in my mission where I have taken a wrong turn
and ended up finding someone who the Lord had prepared us to find.
Such a neat experience. :)

In Japan, Christmas isn't as celebrated as much as it is in Canada or
America. Most of the members have their trees up, but most regular
people don't have Christmas trees. Many people here have to go to
school and work on Christmas Day, which is really sad, but it's just
because they don't know about Jesus Christ yet. ;) Someday they will
all know and Christmas will be a lot different here. This next week,
we have a huge Christmas party on the 5th floor of our church in the
gym. It should be really great! We have many friends and investigators
coming and so I think it will be a great opportunity to share the
gospel and introduce the church to people. I'm pretty excited! :)

Our zone meeting was a huge success! The Spirit was really strong and
we were able to get everyone excited about consecration as
missionaries. The trainings that were given were very inspired and at
the end of the meeting, we all knelt down and offered up to God the
gifts we wanted to give Christ for Christmas. It was a special
experience. Two days later, after exchanges in Tsukuba, we had zone
Conference with President and Sister Nagano. They both have amazing
trainings and helped us all so much. They said that there was a
different spiritual maturity level in our zone, and that the things
they taught us that day were the things that God really wanted us to
hear. We all felt that very strongly. I think that the Zone meeting we
had, and the prayer we said together really helped us all to be
prepared for President and Sister Nagano's trainings at Zone
Conference.  I cant express the familiarity and relationship I have
with my mission president and his wife. They are both so amazing and I
am so privileged to be able to work with them so closely. I love them
both so much. They have taught me things I will never forget. When I
look back on everything that has happened on my mission so far, I see
why everything had to happen the way it did. God is always preparing
us, and teaching us line upon line and precept upon precept. It is
such a blessing when we are able to look back and see the reasons and
connections to all the things that happened and where they have
brought us. I think that this gives us great hope for the future as we
endure hard trials and deal with our everyday learning experiences.

Wow! Jarom and Jameson are going to be such amazing missionaries
someday! My heart melted when I heard what they said at the primary
presentation. So amazing! I'm so proud of them.

On the trains this week, we were able to find a hand full of new
investigators who we will probably be meeting with this next week! :)
So many miracles and blessings.
While we talk with people on the street and on the train, sometimes it
is really difficult because people will sometimes just ignore us or
say they are not interested. I guess that's life as a missionary, haha,
but is morning I was thinking about something that My mission
president said to us in the Zone Conference. It helped me to see all
the people who turn us down everyday in a really good perspective. He
told us that the language we are learning right now is going to be
used for other great purposes. He then went on to talk about the
spirit world and the time period of the millennium. He told us that we
would be teaching people in Japanese when we cross over to the other
side, and maybe even in the millennium when the time comes. As I
thought about this, and then about all of the Japanese people here who
don't know about the Gospel, my heart took courage at the thought that
they may accept it later on and that we indeed might be the ones who
teach them about the gospel later on even though they declined the
first time. Just some thoughts. :) The gospel is so wonderful!

Alright, time for a crazy story! You ready? Haha
Sister Morley and I had some finding time yesterday, and so we decided
it would be a good idea to visit a member, pray with them, and then
find in the members area. We reached the member's home, and she wasn't
there. This member lived on the second floor of an apartment building.
To get to her door, there was a rusty stairway that looked like it was
going to break, haha. (Don't worry, it's not what you think) We
reached the top of the stairway and knocked on this member's door.
While we were waiting, a lady pulled into the parking lot just beneath
the house and got off of her bike. She noticed us up above her and
began to stare at us. We could see her below us while we were standing
on this rusty plank with holes near our feet, just barely big enough
to see her big eyes staring at us. The member didn't answer the door.
We looked down by our feet and noticed that the woman was still
looking at us- her feet frozen to the ground holding her groceries. I
looked at sister Morley and she had the funniest look on her face,
haha. I giggled and said,"maybe she is a kinjin!" (Prepared person) We
walked down the rickety old stairway and went to go and greet her. To
our surprise, she greeted us! She asked us if we were Christian church
volunteers. Sister Hubbard, realizing that the Kinjin joke might be
reality, excitedly replied yes! She said that she had been meeting
with the Jehovah's Witness' and that she had a great desire to learn
about Christianity. We talked with her for a little while. It was
starting to get dark, and so she invited us inside so that we could
teach her. We were a little bit hesitant to enter the home because of
it was quite old and looked really messy and gross, but we went in
anyways. She Immediately asked us for pamphlets and books about what
we would be teaching her. Her name was Souda San. As we began teaching
her, we learned that the house we were in was actually her boyfriends
house and that He would be coming home soon. Souda San looked like she
was a heavy smoker as she had smoked 4 cigarettes since us being there
already. Although the situation seemed to be a little bit sketchy, we
had found this woman who was showing a lot of interest in our message!
We had started teaching her the restoration, but despite everything, I
had a lump at the bottom of my stomach and somehow my mouth wasn't
working to teach the gospel. I began to silently pray that we would
know whatever we were supposed to do at that time. Shortly after,
Souda San's phone rang. It was her Boyfriend. She explained to him
that we were inside the house and that we were teaching her. I began
to feel uneasy...Just then, the front door to the house pounded open
and my heart fell to the floor and anxiety swept over me. It was an
instant shot of pins and needles telling me that we had to get out of
the house immediately. The Spirit was telling a us to get out of the
house immediately. Her boyfriend walked past the room where we had
been teaching into the far corner room in the house. He was very loud
and we couldn't see his face. I can't remember exactly how we got out
of the house, but by that time I was already on my feet and was
walking toward the door with my hand on Sister Morley's arm. Souda San
called out to us to explain a scripture we had just read together, but
there was something getting us out of the house faster than we had
power to control. We left the house and shut the door running to our
bicycles. I'm not sure what would've happened if we hadn't left the
house, but I know that God protects His missionaries.

Everyday, we talk with some many people and all of them are children
of God. We meet people and try and help them remember who they really
are. I love it! Everyday is the best day of my life, and despite
things being hard sometimes, I know that God is always leading the
work. He has promised to be with us while we work each and everyday. I
am so grateful for the opportunity to share the gospel with people
everyday with the Lord's promise to be with me and my companion. In
doctrine and covenants section 6:32-34 it says:

32 Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where
two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing,
behold, there will I be in the midst of them--even so am I in the
midst of you.

33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye
also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your

34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell
combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot

I know that this gospel is true. Jesus Christ is in the midst of us.
He has lived our lives and felt our sorrows and sufferings. He knows
us perfectly and is always with us. I know that Jesus Christ lives and
that God keeps all of His promises. I love you all so much! Have a
wonderful week. :)
Love always,

Sister Hubbard

Sent from my iPad

Week 34 Tokyo Mission

Marjorie and her kids! Converts from Koiwa! :) I love them so much.

I got this picture from sister Frank's at MLC- Kouno San's baptism from a while ago! :) 

Hamburgers for activity

Our church! 5 stories!! Never mind the bill board... Or the truck... Haha

Dear family,

Merry almost Christmas!!! :D I heard that the tree isn't quite up
yet... I'm thinking that should happen soon because Christmas is
coming soon!! I'm so excited! Sister Morley and I have been singing
Christmas hymns ever since I came here to Matsudo. There are lots of
pretty lights and I'm beginning to feel the Christmas Spirit strong
already. I love Christmas so much! I hope you are all listening to
Christmas Music and making Christmas treats, because that always helps
me to be excited for Christmas.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what kind of Christmas I want
this year to be like. As a mission, we want to see one baptism for
each companionship by the end of December to bring in the 'whiteness'
and snow for Christmas. Sister Takahashi and I have been doing lot of
planning for our zone meeting, which is tomorrow. We have really hard
working Zone leaders and so we think that this zone meeting will be
really amazing! We have a zone theme of "Give the Gift." During this
Christmas season, we want to give a gift to Jesus Christ. After Jesus
Christ was born, there were 3 wise men who came looking for Jesus
Christ. When they found him, they each have Him a special gift. Each
gift was different, but I imagine the wise men all felt a similar
feeling as they saw the young Christ child. As missionaries, what we
give to the Lord will be different for everyone, but we all want to
promise to do something to be more consecrated as missionaries. We are
all planning to change something about ourselves as a gift to Christ
for Christmas. We feel really strongly that if we all commit to this
one thing, each individually, that we will become more sanctified and
be able to see one baptism/companionship before the end of December.
So exciting! :)
Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you all to think about what
Christmas really means for you, and to think about something you would
give to Jesus Christ if you had been there in the stable when he was
born. This has also helped me to be so excited about Christmas! :D

Alright, so I've had a way busy week! I don't think I've ever been so
busy in my life. It's a good thing though. We taught a lot of lessons
this week, and were able to pick up a few new investigators! So many
On Wednesday, sister Morley and I decided that we wanted to visit 3
member families. We felt it would be good to drop by, share a short
message, and then pray with the families before dendouing in their
areas. When we arrived at the third members house, she wasn't home. It
gave us an opportunity to think about what we should do at that
moment, as the member was not home and our plans had changed. After
saying a prayer to know what we should do, we noticed a young mother
and her son playing at the park about 50 feet away from us. We felt
like we should go and talk with her, and so we did! As we talked with
this woman, (her name was Shimizu San) we learned that she was the
member's we had originally come to visit, best friend! As we talked
with her, she began asking us questions about our church. We just
started to answer her questions when out of nowhere the member friend
came riding by on her bike. She saw us talking with Shimizu San and
stopped to come and see what was happening. I will never forget the
look on this members face as she scrambled over to see us. We were
able to have a lesson together right there in the park. It was such an
amazing miracle! I saw light go off in this members face as she
witnessed her best friend taking interest in the church. This member
bore a powerful testimony of the Savior and of the true meaning of
Christmas. This member really caught fire and it warmed my heart to
see the hope in her eyes as we talked together with her friend. The
member invited Shimizu San to come to the ward Christmas party. It was
a really neat experience.

I feel like there has been a great change in Japan in the short time I
have been here. God is really hastening His work here. Being in the
Matsudo ward has really given me a great perspective on God's
hastening of the work. There are over 100 children in our Matsudo
ward, and they are all coming from strong LDS families, preparing to
be missionaries someday. It's amazing talking with these kids and
hearing about what their parents have taught them their whole lives.
The other day, the Cub Boys and activity day girls invited us to a
lunch that they were hosting. They made us hamburgers and it was
really fun! It was a huge activity-probably 50 of them all together,
plus their leaders. I had the opportunity to talk with all of these
cute little Japanese 8-11 year old boys and girls. Almost every child
I talked to, said opening and without me asking them, that they wanted
to serve missions and teach the gospel to their friends. A couple of
them brought their friends and we were able to meet them and their
families. I am so overwhelmed at the thought of these young people
wanting so greatly to help share the gospel. They love the
missionaries so much. It has been a humbling experience to be in this
Matsudo ward. Everyone is so wonderful. I can't express what I feel,
but I know that I was sent here for a much wiser purpose than I know
now. God is hastening His work here in Japan, and in the whole world!
We are so lucky to live at this time.
We also found a new investigator this past week! We were riding our
bikes to the bishops house, when out of the corner of our eyes we saw
a young mother with two little boys. This woman seemed to be having a
hard time. It looked like she was walking home from getting groceries
and her little boys were running around laughing and playing in the
road on their way home. Her hands were full of grocery bags and I
could tell she was having a hard time keeping her little ones close
beside her. We stopped our bikes and I began talking to the mother
while sister Morley tried to entertain the little 4 and six year old
boys. I usually have a small battle within myself when approaching
people, but when I saw this woman I had no doubt or fear in my mind
about what to do or say. I felt a great urge to stop her. As we began
talking, she recognized us right away! She said she had met the
missionaries previously. I asked her if she believed in God, and she
said that the past sisters also asked her that question...She said
that when they asked, she didn't believe there was a God. She said the
same thing to us, but then after thinking for a little bit, said she
thought maybe there was a God after all. She explained that all of the
sisters she had met were always so happy, so maybe this happiness came
from God? We were able to teach her and she asked us if we would walk
home with her so that we would know where her house was for the next
visit. Her name is Mika and she is very excited to learn about the
gospel! The best part is, she lives really close to the bishop and so
if she ants to come to church she can always catch a ride with them!
There are so many miracles happening here. I'm praying that we will be
able to keep up with the work that needs to be done and the lessons
that need to be taught.

Today, I had a visit from Marjorie and her kids! They came to Matsudo
and we went out and ate dinner together. It was so good to see her! It
was such a tender mercy for me to see her and her kids for Koiwa. I
love them so much.

We have an investigator, Shizuko San, sho is preparing to be baptized
next week! Sister Reeder (previous missionary in Matsudo) and sister
Morley taught her all of last transfer. She is really excited to be
baptized and it has been neat to be able to finish teaching the
lessons to her. Coming to Matsudo has really tested my Japanese
skills. We teach all the time, and because sister Morley is still a
fairly new missionary, You would think that I might feel a lot of the
weight as far as teaching and talking goes, but I don't feel that way
at all! God is really helping us to be able to say everything that we
need to. I feel like my Japanese has come miles in the last week and
all I can say is that the gift of tongues is a real thing. There has
never been a time on my mission when I have tried to day something I
feel impressed to say, and not be able to say it. As we trust in the
Lord, no matter how weak our abilities are, he is able to multiply our
efforts by hundreds and thousands. This is the work of the Lord!

Towards the beginning of the week, Shizuko San was very nervous about
being baptized. She said that she felt like she needed to understand
everything and that she still had a hard time understanding the
scriptures. She felt a lot of anxiety and she told us she didn't know
what to do. As we sat in her living room, thinking about what we might
share with her to help her feel better, this scripture came to my
mind. 1 Nephi 11: 16-17

16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?

17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children;
nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

As we read this scripture together, we talked about all of the things
that Shizuko San did know. We asked her if she knew that God lived and
loved her? She reply yes, beginning to get emotional. We asked her if
she felt like God wanted her to be baptized? She said she knew and
felt it very strongly. We were able to testify and help her understand
that we will never know everything or understand everything. Even
prophets in the Book of Mormon, Nephi, did not understand everything.
However, if we really know in our hearts that God lives and loves his
children, then we can trust that everything else is okay because He is
in charge. We may not understand everything, what we should or
shouldn't do in life, but as we turn to the lord and ask Him, because
we know Him and know that through him, we can know all things. I know
that this church is true. This gospel has the power to change people
and help them become happier. Jesus Christ is the savior of the world.
He lives and loves us perfectly. He died for our sins so that we could
return to live with Heavenly Father again someday. We could never do
it by ourselves, even if we exerted every inch of power that we could
muster. We need Jesus Christ. We need his Mercy and His Atonement.
Because he loves us, we are worth something. He sees us as His
greatest treasure, and stands with arms wide open to embrace any man
who will come unto Him. Come unto Christ.
Have a wonderful week!
Love always,

Sister Hubbard xoxo

Sent from my iPad