Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 46 Tokyo Japan mission

Manami Chan and us

Park close to our house. Isn't is pretty? I love Japan


We almost got eaten by this dog the other day!! So scary! This video is kinda after all the trauma, but still funny, haha.

Chocolates and strawberries! Channa and Marjorie brought them for us last week when they came to visit sister Bettridge and I. :)

yummy food!

This is a less active member who try's to speak English to us
sometimes... Haha! So funny! We love her! :D she left us this message.

Dear Family,

We had stake conference this past week and it was so amazing! They had
everyone speak on the new area plan and how to apply it. After the
conference, a woman from our ward walked up to us and told us she had
a referral for us. So cool!
Japan is really pushing this new area plan. Simply put, it is an
action plan for missionary work and the fulfillment of the many
prophecies of Japan that have been given throughout the last hundred
years or so. So so neat!

There was a leader who asked all the members to go home, make a list
of people who they know who aren't members and pray about who to share
the gospel with. So neat! So straight forward!
The Stake president spoke directly to the youth and said, "tomorrow at
school, pray to know who to invite to church, and do it!" It was so
cool. There was also a lot said to the youth about sharing the gospel
with their friends and being strong examples. It was really neat.
After the conference, Sister Bettridge and I decided we wanted to go
and find around the bishop's house later that afternoon. The bishop
has quite a young family, the oldest being 13 and the youngest being
3. The 13 year old is a boy named k.... kun. Anyway, we stopped by
their house and told them that we felt impressed to find close by. We
asked the Bishop's wife (bishop was still at meetings) if we read a
quick scripture and pray with their family. We shared 2 Nephi 27:23.
It says:

For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto
the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work
not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.

We had the 10 year old read the scripture and then we went on our way
thanking them for their prayers and faith. We went out determined to
find someone who was prepared and we did! **MIRACLE ALERT!!**The first
sight of people we saw was a group of young woman around 13-15 years
old. We called out to them and began talking with them and teaching
them about God. One of the girls recognized us and said, "oh! You are
missionaries in K.... Ishida kun's church, aren't you!" We, surprised,
said yes! She went on to say that she knew 4 of the youth in our ward
and that she wanted to come to church sometime. Her two friends who
were with her told us that they wanted to come too. Sister Bettridge
and I were starstruck! We gave them all information about where the
church was and asked them to ask the youth who they all knew if they
had any questions. After we had said goodbye, we rushed back to Bishop
Ishida's house and told the family what had happened. We told Kaeri
Kun that we had met 3 of his school friends and that they wanted to
come to church. I.... Shimai had tears in her eyes and thanked us for
coming and telling us. It was a way cool experience! It confirmed
perfectly, the area plan for the youth to reach out and share the
gospel with their friends. So amazing!

So, I'm pretty sure I have mentioned I..... Shimai a few times in my
previous letters, but this week she introduced us to 2 more of her
friends! We were able to share the gospel with them and it was an
amazing experience! Right now, we are still teaching one of her best
friends, U....san and she just continues to amaze us! Wow!

Sister Bettridge and I had a lunch appointment with one of the older
couples in our ward named the Nak....i's. They gave us very strict
instructions for how to get to their house so that we wouldn't be
late. I guess many previous missionaries had always been late, and it
seemed that they were a little bit disappointed in that. Anyway,
sister Bettridge and I left a half hour earlier than needed just so
that we could get there on time. The plan was to meet the couple at a
nearby park and then walk together with them to their apartment. Long
story short, we ended up waiting in a park for over 20 minutes and
they didn't show up. We had already spoken with everyone inside the
park vicinity and so me, *the bright one* :P suggested we begin to
house the nearby houses while we waited for them. We had already tried
to call them, but they weren't answering. We housed for probably 10
more minutes, and they still hadn't showed up. We called one more time
and they answered! It turns out that we were in the wrong park and
they seemed to be super disappointed that we, the missionaries, had
failed them once again. Walking with them back to house was one of the
hardest things on my mission. They had such hope in us and we had
failed them because there were over 10 parks in their area no we found
the wrong one. Now, naturally, Japanese people are very forgiving, and
although they did show us a lot of kindness, we could still tell that
they were both frustrated and disappointed in us because we had been
late just like all the other missionaries. We apologized over 15
times, (it is the culture to be really sorry here). During this time,
my mind was constantly wondering how we could smooth things over with
them. I felt so bad that we had gone to the wrong park. After eating
with them, they asked us to share a message with them. My first
impression was to share a short message and then get out of there, but
I felt impressed that we needed to share the 1st lesson with them.
Sister Bettridge looked at me like I was crazy and later told me that
she wanted to share a short message too, but we are so glad we taught
that first lesson.
We had them pretend to be themselves but not as members of the church.
We taught about God, dispensations and Prophets, Jesus Christ, and the
restoration through Joseph Smith. They both seemed to be a little bit
skeptical as we were teaching, but as we said the first vision, they
both changed. They Spirit filled the room and we asked them both to be
baptized. The brother said we reminded him of the first time her had
ever met with the missionaries. They both said that we were the most
outstanding missionaries whom they had ever met. They said that we had
just taught them the best 1st lesson that they had ever heard. It was
all smiles and laughter after that! This experience really taught me
about the power that the spirit has to help us love others. When the
Spirit touched our hearts, we feel genuine and sincere love for
people. Super super neat. They said that they wanted to introduce
their friends to us and it was an amazing experience. Super cool.

We've talked to so many people this past week! We talk with everyone
and have seen some great miracles! We haven't found as many new
investigators as we would like, but yesterday we found a woman who
said she was interested in learning and meeting with us. We taught her
parts of the restoration on the street, and she asked for our number
and if she could come to church sometime. So cool! We set up another
appointment with her right there on the street. Her name is Yamada
San. We are pretty excited about her! She is was kin!

Well, I'm out of time, but this church is true. Jesus Christ is our
Savior. Heavenly Father loves us. We are His children. I hope you all
have a wonderful week.
Love always,

Sister Hubbard

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Week 45 Japan Tokyo Mission

 Dear family,

Another awesome week for me! I'm convinced that being a missionary is
the greatest thing in the world! It's really tough sometimes, but I
love it. Today, I am overly tired for some reason, so hopefully this
email will all make sense, ha ha. Thanks for your letters and emails!

I received a special letter this week from a Mrs Lys Hubbard, and it
totally made my day! Thank you Lys.

This past week I taught Sister Bettridge how to make Sock Monkey's in
preparation for our activity with the young woman. She is way good at
it! She's made three this past week and I was really grateful for
her help at the young women's activity this past Friday. The girls all
brought their different socks and we taught them and helped them make
sock monkeys! They all loved it so much!! In fact, yesterday at church
a few of them brought theirs to the church to show me because they
were so excited about them! These young women are so creative and it
was so fun for me to teach them. One girl went home and made a sock
bear right after the activity. She came to church and told me that she
was going to be a missionary like me and that she was going to make
and sell sock monkeys to save money. My heart melted! I just love them
all so much. I wish I got pictures of them with the monkeys, but
unfortunately I only got a few of the monkeys they made. I will have
to talk to the young woman's leaders and get the pictures they took of
us at the activity from them so that I can send them next week or
something. Anyway, this activity was definitely a highlight from this
past week! :)

Also, we have a woman in the ward who comes to church every week, but
isn't a member. When I first came to Matsudo, I remember asking the
ward about the situation. Her daughter was baptized about 2 years
previously and I.... San and her son have not yet been baptized. They
do, however, come to support Y.... Chan almost every week. We've
heard from the members that she has been dendou-ed countless times and
that she has expressed no interest. She's heard the lessons before,
but it has been a long time. When I first came to Matsudo, I remember
hearing from the ward that we shouldn't dendou her. So, we have just
made an effort to be nice to her as a result and have become good
friends. Long story short, this past week she told us that she wants
to hear the lessons again! :) Such a big miracle! We will be meeting
her this next week and teaching her. God has really been working with
her heart I think. So awesome.

Funny story! We ran into one of our potential investigators last week
in the Eki (train station) and she said that she wanted to meet and so
we made an appointment to see her. We had made plans to meet her in
the same place at 10:00 am where we had met her previously and to then
go and get breakfast together. Well, we waited until 10:10 and she
still hadn't showed up, and so we gave her a call. She is kind of an
older forgetful woman so we thought maybe she had forgotten about our
appointment. She answered and told us to wait where we were and that
she was coming! On the phone, she sounded like she was in a big hurry.
Now, side story (I had never heard of this until coming to Japan, so
if it doesn't make sense just try to use your imagination, ha ha)...
Many women in Japan place these little pieces of plastic-(kinda like
tape) inside their eyelids to make an eyelid crease. Naturally,
Japanese people do not have eyelid creases and so many woman before
putting their makeup on use these materials to help their eyes look
"big and bright" so to speak. Anyway, she finally came and met us and
she was wearing this big fluffy coat with these way stylish
sunglasses! She looked like she was about to go to a fashion show.
This however, isn't an uncommon sight as everyone in Tokyo kinda
dresses way out there and is really stylish. We went into this fancy
little bakery and bought breakfast. As we were talking with her, we
noticed that she still hadn't taken off her sunglasses. It wasn't
bright in the restaurant and so we were a little bit confused.
Sometimes it's difficult to really know what people are saying if you
can't see their eyes, you know? Anyway, we taught and it went really
well! At the end of the lesson, she stood up from her chair and her
sunglasses fell down a little bit. We saw her eyelids and there was
eyelid crease tape all over them! We figured she must have been in a
rush and so she just threw some sunglasses on, ha ha. It was funny to
see. You'd probably have to be there to see how funny it was.
Sometimes we see people put their makeup on, on the train and they use
this big metal poker thing to put this tape on their eyelid to make a
crease. It looks painful!! People from Canada and America naturally
have creases and so they use it to look like they are from a different
country. Isn't that funny? Ha ha. I thought it was. I personally like
their eyes just the way they are. So cute! I want Asian eyes and
and Asian features! :) 
Image result for japanese women taping eyelids

Sister Bettridge and I have talked to so many people this past week.

Sister Bettridge and I have talked to so many people this past week.
We've taken a new approach in the way that we talk to people and have
seen a lot of little miracles this week as a result. We fear no man!
We talk with everyone! We've made up our minds to speak and talk with
everyone and when we take a rejection we turn to the next person and
keep dendouing. It's great! I love it. :) We are going to find the
prepared people who are ready to receive us.

Lastly, today I had a few visitors from Koiwa! I wish we took
pictures!! Marjorie and her daughter, Kaori Chan, and Channa (from
Cambodia) came and visited sister Bettridge and I! It was so good to
see them. Marjorie is getting her patriarchal blessing soon, and she
is so excited! She is so full of light. It was amazing to see her
again. I never got to see her baptism because I transferred, but she
is so strong and has such a beautiful testimony. Channa is doing so
well and Marjorie has been fellowshipping her and they do everything
together. The two of them are such good supports for each other. Ah!
It was just so good to see them again.

As for the package, I think I am good! :)
Black tights will be perfect!
No news about the extension, but we have zone conference on the 1st so
I hope to find out then.

I love you all so much. This church is true. God lives and loves us.
He knows us perfectly. I love being a missionary! There is no greater
joy than this. I am so blessed to be here in Japan.
Love always,

Sister Hubbard

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 44 Japan Tokyo Mission

Yummy burger I had this week! This is a rare thing in Japan for me! They are so expensive. This cost me 800 yen, drink not included! Haha.(cost is about $7 Canadian funds)

Dear family,

We will start this letter with a crazy miracle!! So, when sister
Morley and I were together, about a month ago, we housed into this
woman who seemed to have a lot of interest in our message. Her name
was M...... We gave her a Book of Mormon and unfortunately were never
able to get a hold of her after that despite visiting and calling her
lots. Anyway, this week, sister Bettridge and I were close to her
apartment and so we thought we should maybe try again to see her. We
rang her doorbell and spoke with her through the air com. She
recognized who we were right away and dropped the phone to come to the
door and speak with us. After opening the door, the first thing she
said was that she was sorry she hadn't read our book all the way
through yet, but that she had read half of it! She had read half of
the Book of Mormon! Isn't that crazy? It had only been like a month!
She then went on to tell us about how she thought it was crazy how the
Nephites and the Lamanites were still fighting even after years and
years from the time they left Jerusalem. After she had said all of
this, she again apologized for not being able to read the whole book.
I looked at Sister Bettridge and she at me. We were so amazed by this
woman! Wow!
Anyway, she said she wanted to take the lessons and to come to church
so we will see what happens with our new friend M..... San in the
future. :) God really is preparing His people.

This morning we had transfer calls, and as I predicted, sister
Bettridge and I will be staying together in Matsudo for at least
another transfer? Yay! We are receiving three new sisters into our
zone this week and so we will have the opportunity to learn from lots
of new people. So exciting! We were pretty busy today figuring out
transfer plans for everyone and such, but I'm really glad we are
finished now. Sometimes I feel like P-days are the busiest day of the
week! Haha. It's funny how that works.

Our Zone meeting this last week was really powerful. I feel like we
all learned a lot from the things that were said. Sister Bettridge
bore a really amazing testimony on the power of exact obedience, and I
feel like we were able to really help our zone want to be more
obedient. It certainly motivated me to be more obedient in the small
things. The way we honor and keep the Lord's commandments has a direct
relation to how much love we have for the Lord. We had a really great
discussion together about this and the Spirit was really strong. While
preparing for the training, I was studying in Alma about the
Anti-Nephi-Lehi's and their firm conversion to the teaching of Alma
and his brethren. These people's conversion was so firm that they
would rather suffer death in the most torturous ways then to sin
against God. It says in the scriptures that they "burried their
weapons of rebellion" and covenanted with the Lord to never take up
arms against their brethren again. We know that they kept that promise
as their enemies came upon them soon after and slaughtered them
without any resistance. These were people who were true in all things
and in all places. They did not care about anything but pleasing their
God. Everything they did was to glorify God. They yielded their hearts
to God and refused to do anything that wasn't in accordance with His
will.  (Alma 23, 7 , 24:16-19) >

7 For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of
their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither
against any of their brethren.

16 And now, my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold,
we will hide away our swords, yea, even we will bury them deep in the
earth, that they may be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never
used them, at the last day; and if our brethren destroy us, behold, we
shall go to our God and shall be saved.

17 And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these
sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their
swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man�fs
blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.

18 And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and
also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding
of man�fs blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God,
that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up
their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would
give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would
labor abundantly with their hands.

19 And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe
and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto
death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their
weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace.<

We read some of these similar verses with the Zone and it was really
awesome. It made me think about what some of my own weapons of
rebellion might be and what I might do to bury them so that I can give
more of myself to the Lord. I've been thinking a lot about that
Sorry, that was kind of long, haha.

Another miracle from this week!
We have an amazing member named I..... Shimai in our ward and she
took off to visit her friend this week. This member had spoken with us
at church the previous week and asked us if we would help her friend
teach her English class. We agreed to help and went with her this past
Tuesday. The members friends name is U..... San. After we had taught
her class, we asked her if she had interest in learning about what we
taught as missionaries and she said she did! The member burst into
tears and then proceeded to share an amazing testimony about how she
had previously prayed to know who she could introduce the missionaries
to. After praying, her friends face filled her mind and the following
Sunday she talked with us. She told her friend that she knew that God
loved her and that He wanted her to know that. It was truly a tender
moment. I was amazed by this members courage and strength in following
through with the revelation she had received. We have another
appointment with her tomorrow and we are really excited to teach her
again. :) the Members here in Matsudo never cease to amaze me. They
are so wonderful.

We ate dinner with a family called the Takei's last night. They have 3
beautiful children and we were able to teach them the restoration.
Interacting with the kids in this family and in the Matsudo ward has
been an amazing experience for me. They are all so strong. They know
the doctrine of Christ, and they all have such strong desires to be
missionaries. Their parents have taught them well, and Japan will have
an amazing wave of missionaries serving all over In the next 10ish
years. It is so amazing to me! They will be the Lord's army of Helaman
and they will be powerful emissaries of Jesus Christ. Elder Eyring's
prophecy is coming to pass everyday I am here. The members are on
fire! I am so blessed to be here with all of them. I learn so much
from them every single day. I love being a missionary.

Well, I'm out of time. This church is true. Jesus Christ lives. He
loves us and is close to us every single day of our lives. He has been
through everything that we will ever experience. He knows you
personally. I testify of His love for each one of you.
I hope you have a wonderful week!
Love always,

Sister Hubbard xoxo

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 43 Japan Tokyo mission

mission leadership council

I don't think I've ever sent a photo of these before. Pretty sweet hey? Haha they are everywhere! 

District lunch

Exchanges with Sister Clark and sister Sargent (this is our apartment)

Woman we met on the train who was way interested! She gave us her number and told us she would read and pray about the Book of Mormon!

New investigator- she is a way genki 70ish year old woman
who loves learning! Hopefully she can come to church soon.

Our district

Some food I had this week.

Sister Oshima and I on exchanges. The little girl on my right is a girl we found last week who loves the gospel. Her name is K.... Chan. The girl on my left is Y... Chan. She is thinking about serving a mission and so she often helps us. 

Dear family

I've had a really busy week! I next Monday we have transfer calls, and
so I guess we'll see what happens! If someone is leaving, it will
probably be me, but I think I might be safe. I love serving here in
Matsudo! Recently, there has been a huge hype in the ward about the
new plan for the Asia north area. The plan involves a lot more member
involvement and so we have been super super busy this past week as a
lot of members have been calling us and having us over. It's amazing!
Everyone is thinking about how they can share the gospel with their
friends and even the young people are thoroughly involved. It is so
neat! I'm so blessed to be here to witness it all.

Yesterday for church, sister Bettridge and I went on splits so that we
could attend relief society and young woman's. I went to young women's
and had an amazing experience there. In our ward, we have pretty close
to 15-16 young woman. Since yesterday was fast Sunday, they did a
testimony meeting in Young woman's. It was a really neat experience
for me to listen to all of these young women share their testimonies.
A few of them even spoke about how they had had different experiences
at school where they had introduced the gospel to their friends. They
are so amazing! When I first came to the ward, we had a really hard
time connecting with the young woman, but now we are all really good
friends and in the short while I have been here, I have seen some
testimonies grow and seen some of the young woman change to be more
excited for church. Anyway, after they had all born their testimonies,
I glanced at the clock and it seemed that we had about 10 minutes left
before the end of church. There was a long pause. I felt the need to
bare my testimony in front of these girls, and so I turned to the
leader Sitting next to me and asked if I could bear my testimony.
After doing so, I walked up to their little pulpit and just looked at
all of the young woman for a second. They were so beautiful and so
full of light. I now understand why people who speak to youth use that
phrase over and over again. Hearing it as a young woman I never did
understood it, but I do now. I thanked them for all of their
testimonies and told them that I really felt the spirit. They smiled
and continued to look at me. I told them that they would all be
wonderful missionaries someday and that the Lord loved them and knew
them each personally and individually. It was a tender moment for me.

Last night we were eating dinner at the Nakanishi family's home, and
there was an earthquake! It was one of the bigger ones that I have
experienced here in Japan. I think they rated it a 3-4 on the
earthquake scale level which is pretty neat. When they get above five
is when they start to get dangerous. It was kinda fun! The little kids
were pretty scared though.

We also had Mission Leadership Council this past week, and President
Niiyama (dad's mission president?) came and spoke to us about how we
could work with the members in Japan bette. It was a great training.
As usual, the Spirit filled the room as President and Sister Nagano
spoke to us as well. It was all a really great experience and we are
excited to share everything that we learn with the missionaries this
week in Zone meeting. Sister Bettridge and I are giving a training on
exact obedience and how it relates to feeling joy as a missionary. It
should be fun! :)

Sister Bettridge told me that I have been speaking Japanese in my
sleep lately.... My dream has come true finally!!!!! I've always had
companions that speak in their sleep, but I never have up until now.
Haha, this was definitely a highlight of the week.

Recently, there was a broadcast for all of the missionaries around the
world from the apostles and leaders of the church down at Salt Lake. I
saw Cianna Lybbert on the broadcast in the audience, and so that was
really cool! :) haha.
Anyway, the emphasis was on teaching repentance and baptizing
converts. In the broadcast, there was something that really hit home
for me. There was a statement made about how we as missionaries should
always have Christ's name on our lips, as well as His name over our
hearts. For some reason that image has really stuck with me this past
week as we have gone out and talked with people. We have seen many
many miracles as we have tried to speak the name of Christ more often.
It's been really amazing. I always want to make sure that I am
speaking His name as a missionary-to everyone I meet. I hope that I
can do it for the rest of my life. I've really been pondering the
scripture In Matthew 10: 32-33 lately. It says:

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess
also before my Father which is in heaven.

33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before
my Father which is in heaven.

I want to make sure that I am always worthy and ready to have the
Savior's name on my lips, testifying of Him with firm conviction. I
love Him so much. I feel happier as a missionary as I speak His name
and tell people of Him. This gospel is true. I testify of God's love
for each of you. He knows you perfectly.
Have a wonderful week!
Love always,

Sister Hubbard xoxo