Saturday, March 21, 2015

Blog: Witness of the Spirit

So today I don`t have a lot of time to email, but we had some pretty awesome miracles this week.

I`m going to start off with yesterday, because it was amazing. Ah-meh-zing. Oh, by the way we have another baptismal date. This girl is the best. Let me tell you why. So she is actually a referral from another investigator. Unfortunately we haven`t been able to meet with him since that lesson, but we`ve met with his friend like 3 times after that. And she asks the best questions. Some I can`t even answer because she is very smart and I don`t understand everything from the scriptures, haha, whoops! But the last lesson we taught her about the plan of salvation and asked her if she thought it was true. She said she wasn`t sure, but it makes sense to her and she thinks it would be awesome if it was. All throughout her lessons she was asking some really awesome questions, but we kind of felt like we were lacking the spirit as we taught and it was making sense in her head, but she wasn`t feeling it in her heart. So this week we really focused on Faith in Christ. We watched the DVD and just bore testimony of who Christ was as a person and who He is to us today. And she just cried. Her tears wouldn't stop. It was AWESOME! Like 10 minutes of non-stop tears, she told us she feels like she is not alone now. And oh, it was just awesome, the spirit was so strong!

Then we taught a lesson before that to a girl who we have actually known for a long time, but recently started taking the lessons. I think I`ve talked about her before, she has come to church for like a month, but is moving to Tokyo next week so this was our last lesson with her. She also asks awesome questions, but it seemed she was lacking a spiritual experience and was just learning for curiosities sake. But our last lessons again I really tried to focus on the spirit to bear the truth. I prayed and prayed that he would bear witness of our testimony and the testimony of the members. And through out the lesson she was taking notes on the steps to repentance, and she was really trying to take in what we were teaching. Then we watched the ``He is the reason`` video and after that the spirit really entered the room. Of course, I cried. And she didn`t, but she came close! I could just really tell that she was feeling the spirit. Just the look on her face you could tell something changed inside her. She also said she will meet with the missionaries in Tokyo! They best be ready for an awesome investigator to come their way!

But yep that`s all I really have time for. We also helped a ward member clean up her house to get ready to move and found a secret side street, and pretty sure we saw big foot. And also went to a professional Japanese basketball game, which was pretty awesome! 

Just want to let you know I love you all! And will continue to work hard in Japan!

Johnson Shimai
The secret tunnel we found while walking in the mountains to a members house.

Us at the basketball game! (Me, Kashiwa, Asako, and elder Bailey)

Me with the cheerleaders. They have accepted me as their leader.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kashiwa shimai bowling! Haha, she kept telling me to stop taking pictures, but obviously I did not listen.

The whole group of us bowling

More bowling pictures (elder zimmerman, beer, hyde, and... I forget the last elders name... he`s new, and nozomi (investigator), and me and Kashiwa shimai!)

This really freaky baby doll we found outside of someone`s house.

And us eating cake from a member! Yeah members! Yeah cake!
 Blog: Staying Put
So this week we went bowling on Pday! It was pretty fun. I lost the first time, but then beat everyone the next time. And one of the elders bowled 140 with his left hand! It was really fun!
But yep, can`t believe I`m already a third transfer, that came about quite quickly. But the mission is way exciting and I stayed in the same area, which is nice. Transferring only after one transfer is a bit rough, so it`s good that I`ll be getting to know my companion and the ward and area better :)
But this week it rained, a lot. But we were still able to get around and do quite a bit of stuff so that`s good. We didn`t have as many lessons this week as we had last week, but that gave us more time to find which was good.
But the lessons we did teach went pretty well. The first was to a member who struggles with faith. He finally decided to start reading the book of Mormon for the second time. And it seems he is enjoying it so far. But he still doesn`t want to pray. So the lesson just kept going around and around in circles as all the missionaries bore their testimony on the importance of prayer. And how we can receive our answers through prayer. But it didn`t seem like anything was entering his heart. The whole time I basically stayed silent, I had no idea what to say to him that would get through to him even slightly. So I kept saying little prayers and thinking about my own experiences and how my prayers have been answered and have strengthened my faith. So the lesson was about to close and I kept getting the prompting that I should say something. Then I suddenly remembered this small experience I had when I prayed to have my computer fixed, but in return I knew I had to do something. My faith was weak, but I told God that if he fixed my computer I would write in my journal everyday. So I did for a couple of days and yes indeed my computer was fixed! So I asked him to think about what he wants from God and what God wants from him in return. It seemed to spark some interest, so hopefully he really thinks on it this week and his heart can be softened and opened to prayer.
Then we had another lesson with a girl who we`ve known for a while and decided that one day she wanted to come to church. It seems it was more out of curiosity rather than soul searching but hey we`ve all gotta start somewhere. But, yep, did my first baptismal invite. She said no, haha! But that`s okay I to be honest I would`ve been surprised if she had said yes. But I decided to invite her anyways because at our zone conference meeting we are always encouraged to invite people to be baptized before the second lesson, so that they know kind of the purpose of teaching them lessons. But ya, I still love that girl like crazy! She is so nice and so smart. I think as she comes to understand more about the gospel and recognize the spirit she will start following the path Heavenly Father has laid out for her :).
We were able to meet some great people this week, and my teaching is getting better, little by little. But yep, that`s pretty much all folks. Hope you have a good one!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blog: Always Be Teaching

So this week was pretty eventful as far as teaching. It was a fantastic week!
So to start off our week on transfer P-day we were able to go to a members house and put on Kimonos for girls day. It was way fun! But super cold. Then we ate curry, tonkatsu, karage, and a bunch of other stuff. We were stuffed, beyond stuffed. But the food was so delicious so it was worth it!
Then we were able to teach our investigator with a baptismal date one last time before she goes to Nagasaki for a month. And she is just so ready for this gospel. We literally taught her all the commandments in three hours split between two lessons. We were praying strongly that things would go well. And it went better than well. She told us that she wanted to know if these things were true for herself and would try her hardest to follow all the commandments. She is seriously such a prepared daughter of God. Pray that all goes well in Nagasaki for her. We are wanting to do skype lessons and have the elders there visit her once or twice. But she is already prepared, if anything she has taught me more than I have taught her without a doubt!

We also had the chance to teach our young high school student investigator. He is also super prepared. For some reason whenever we teach him lessons we can`t explain it very well, but the spirit is strong with this one and he understands it in the end. And he said he really wants to know if these things are true by April, and if they are true he wants to get baptized. People who want to find the truth are just amazing! 

Then we taught our two Chinese investigators. It has actually been a while since we have seen them, because they went back to China for a month. We actually had only met one of them, but he said he wanted to bring his friend to his next lesson. And it was a day full of miracles!!! They asked super fantastic questions with true intention to know. And they are both so smart. They speak Chinese, Japanese, and English, so if I couldn`t explain it well in Japanese then I would switch to English. Which they actually liked because they are still wanted to work on their English! But it was just fantastic! And the friend wants to come to church! Seriously 金人 (golden).

We also taught a member who was baptized a long time ago, but struggles with the concept of faith. But last time he said he wanted to read the book of mormon again. And all before that he said he had read it but not received his confirmation, so I think he was a bit angry with God. And I also think he is nervous that if he reads it again he won`t receive that confirmation, but I know if he really tries his hardest and trusts in God his answer will come and his faith will grow stronger. But after the lesson in which he told us he wanted to try reading it again he told us he had opened the book but not read it. But this week he told us he read it! And he had some awesome questions and insight. He is seriously such a kind and considerate person. And his faith is strong he just needs to realize it!

We also taught two new investigators. One is a daughter of a current investigator. She told us that she has some interest in Christian churches. She has been coming to activities for a while, but after talking to a teacher at church who told her if she was curious to go and check it out, she came to church! Coincidence? Definitely not! We taught her about Christ and the restoration of the church and she was taking notes in her BoM next to scriptures we were sharing. I think she is still a bit hesitant about religion, but I know if she continues she will realize how happy the gospel can make her! And the second investigator was someone we met on the street. Unfortunately she doesn`t really like people, but she still came and we were able to teach her. She is very, very nice and does want to know if these things are true for herself. Japan is really just full of prepared people!

This last week was also transfer week. I will be staying here in Taniyama with my same companion Kashiwa Shimai, who is the greatest! She is seriously fantastic and we always have a good time! But one of the elders did transfer, which was sad, but he will continue the work elsewhere, so it is all good :)

Well that is pretty much my week. We saw so many miracles this week, and hope to see a lot more this transfer. The church is true!!!

Johnson Shimai
Me in my companion in our kimonos taking pictures outside. It was so cold!

All of us in front of the dolls they set out on girls day, it was so cool to look at!

We got to eat out with one of our investigators. Kind of awkward because we didn`t have a plan, but it was still really fun!

Monday, March 2, 2015

 Blog: Follow the Promptings of the Spirit

So this week was pretty long. Week before transfers! Haven`t gotten my call yet, but pretty sure I am staying here in lovely Taniyama.
But this week was pretty eventful, even though for some reason it doesn`t feel that way. 
So our investigator that had a baptismal date just finished her big test! Because of said test we weren`t able to teach her this week, but hopefully this upcoming week we can meet her. But even though she was crazy busy (studying from 5:00am to 10:00pm) she still read some of the BoM and is still keeping the WoW. She is amazing really. And we also made a new baptismal date, which is awesome!
We also found two new investigators this week! What a miracle and blessing! So here`s the story:
We went housing at this neighborhood on top of a mountain! It was terrible, too steep to ride our bikes so we had to walk them :) Yay for mountains! And we got some pretty hard kekko`s (no thank you`s). Needless to say we were pretty tired by the end. So we rode our bikes all the way back down the mountain and went to the church to prepare for English class and we streeted on the way back. Still no takers. Then I got this feeling to stop and talk to this one girl, I was pretty tired and really didn`t want to, which is means that I absolutely HAVE to. So I did and she became a new investigator! Something that I have learned very strongly is that the blessings usually come after the trial of our faith. To be honest, in Utah I didn`t really have much opportunity to have a trial of my faith. I was surrounded by good friends, family, and my situation was more than great. But how grateful I am to have the opportunity to serve a mission and grow so much!! The mission field can be hard, but it`s only the good/weird times I remember. Such a blessing.
The second investigator we met was actually the daughter of a current investigator. The one mentioned before whom we were having a hard time teaching, then watched the Faith in Christ video. Her daughter is really nice and super awesome! She told us that she wanted to come to church. So she did. And afterwards, she said that it wasn`t scary and that she is curious and wants to know more. Which we are happy to oblige! We will meet her again this week and I will let you know how it goes. 
Then to top off our week the elders had an investigator get baptized! It was a way awesome experience and my first baptismal service I have attended in a long time. The spirit was so strong and we all knew he was making the right choice. The Elders were super nervous, but all went well :)

Well that`s all I really have for this week. Enjoy the rest of your February! I can`t believe it`s almost march!!! Gah!!

Johnson shimai
Us at one of the members houses for FHE. We played a super fun game! It was awesome! Like Poker/signs

District picture before tenkin calls

Us at Ikeda-kyoudai`s baptism! He has his eyes closed in the other picture we took too, haha!