Sunday, December 27, 2015

It's Been Said Many Times, Many Ways... (December 28, 2015)


メリークリスマス!To you:) The first half of the week was spent in Christmas festivities and LA visits, caroling, handing out treats and Christmas stockijgs, and celebrating the birth of Christ. The second half was spent in bed with a fever, so not a ton of interesting news, so we'll just touch on some highlights via photos:

Missionaries of Sendai and Sendai South Zone! We got all fourteen sisters in the two southern zones to sing for the special musical number, we threw Silent Night and Joy to the World together. Unfortunately, no one recorded it, so no evidence, but it was glorious.



Sister I took us on a multi-hour less-active member visit tour on Christmas Eve. The former Bishop lived close, so we popped in and said hey to him and his adorable daughter:) Hjs English is pretty good, he likes to say, "Sister Luke. May the force and the Spirit be with you."

Kills me every time.

Yesterday out of the blue he gave Sister K and I Star Wars breath mints with Luke's face on the package. #killinit




This is how I teach English.
Okay, only sometimes.
Kids are hard to catch, man.




I almost forgot. Tanaka S's baby, Kimi-kun:)


Japanese children are perfect. I rest my case.




I hope you each have a wonderful New Year and may the close of this year and the start of another bring you peace and the hope that comes from new beginnings. This year for me has been a whirlwind of change and growth, and I am grateful for 2015 and eagerly looking forward to what 2016 will bring.

May the Spirit and Force be with you;)

As ever,
Sister Luke:)


Christmas Ramblings (December 21, 2015)


Hello from the Luke Sister in Nagamachi! Life's a little chilly but rollin' as grand as usual. (Actually, it's been freakishly warm this year, we've only seen snow in our area once so far and that was a barely-qualifies-as-snow flurry. Fingers crossed!)

Last week was our District P-Day, so I apologize for not writing...

sorry to disappoint, but we moved Tanaka Ayuko S's baptismal date, so no baptism there. BUT, she will be baptized on January 24, her wedding anniversary, and her husband will be performing the baptism and blessing their baby boy on that day as well, so it seems like a fair trade;) We did complete all the lessons this week, got the interview scheduled, and everything is moving along really well.

Recently, I've been studying a lot about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know, I'm a missionary, so I've been studying about Him for about, eh, a lifetime, but this week in particular I've been studying 3 Nephi, the Gospel of Luke, and Jesus The Christ, and the more I learn of Him, the more I love and treasure this Gift of eternity. This Christmas Season is such a precious time to reflect on our lives and to see the change and blessings that come because there was a baby born so long ago.

One of my favorite paintings of the birth of Christ is the one where Mary is dressed in red, and everyone else is looking at the Christ child, but Mary's gaze is directed toward the viewer. There's a something sad about the look in her eyes, as if she is asking, do you know what this innocent child will suffer, what my firstborn son will sacrifice--for you? There are few things more painful than seeing one you love suffer, but Mary and indeed God the Father did just that as Christ undertook the act that would redeem the world from all of our pain, all of our guilt, all of our sadness. I join with the shepherds of old in saying, let us now go (Luke 2:15) as we in gratitude become the people we were designed to be.

Who were you designed to be? Take a step in the right direction each and every day, because leaving behind the old you is a priceless gift afforded us by the child born in Bethlehem. It's a gift of hope, of love, of warmth, and I am forever changed and forever grateful because of it.

Give your families some extra love this season! I'm far from mine, but I know they are the best family God could've sent me to love:)

Pictures: District Preparation Day was a lil' crazy...




Exchange with the perfect Sister Q, this woman is my hero!




And, one time a less active member gave us--you guessed it--250 kiwis. (I know, right???)



Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sometimes I Never Shut Up... Buckle Your Seatbelts (December 7, 2015)


If a picture's worth a thousands words, here's a pretty long email.

Haha, just kidding, everyone knows I never stop talking (writing?) when I get going;)

The big news of today is, TANAKA AYUKO 姉妹 IS GETTING BAPTIZED NEXT WEEK. Truly adorable mom of a truly adorable little chunk of a baby, she's wanted to receive baptism (a sacred covenant with God where we promise to obey the guidelines he's set for our safety and happiness, and he promises to lead and guide us and be with us) for a while now, and the time has finally arrived. She will be baptized on Tuesday, December 15. We are so excited for her to be making this important step in her life! Her goal is to go to the temple to be sealed with her husband and baby, so that they can be an eternal family. So uh, if y'all wanna throw her in your prayers so this'll all work through without a hitch, it's be much appreciated. :)

We learned about goal setting in faith with guidance from God this week, and the neat thing was that on Tuesday, Sister K and I knelt as a companionship and prayed for guidance on the goal we needed to set for people to be baptized in the month of December. This took a bit of courage because to be frank, statistically speaking, our mission is one of the lowest baptizing missions in the world. (God sends his warriors here, shout it out.) However Sister K and I have seen enough miracles to know that nothing is impossible to the Lord; my faith is not yet even the size of a mustard seed, but to trust in Him is one thing I have begun to learn as I serve here in Sendai.

After some consideration, we set a goal of two baptisms here in Nagamachi during the month of December. That same day, we had interviews with the mission president, and my companion went first. She told me later that with no discussion, with no warning, President Smith looked her in the eyes and said, "Sister Kishi, I know that there are two people in Nagamachi waiting to be baptized."

Revelation is a real thing, brothers and sisters.

The following day, we were able to set that baptismal date with Tanaka Ayuko 姉妹, which is amazing! We are so excited! God's work truly is rolling forward. If this can happen in the Japan Sendai Mission, it can happen anywhere in the world. (I don't know who this is for, but I feel inspired to say that, so if you are a missionary feeling doubt today, my friend, don't give up. I know it can be hard sometimes, but keep it up! You're doing great! Live your life worthy of the miracle and it will unfold for you! I promise.)

But, one baptism in the month of December, though wonderful and life-changing for my dear sister Ayuko, this is not enough. We counselled with God and were lead to the goal of two baptisms. Honestly, I don't know who number two will be. We've got a few with potential, but they aren't responding to our attempts to contact them.

This is something we will hage to push for, and hard.

I'm a pretty weak and inadequate human being, so if it wouldn't be too much to ask, would you please send a prayer my way as well? I am lacking in faith and courage, it seems (among other things, but we take it a day at a time so we'll get there when we get there). There is someone out there waiting for Sister K and I to find them and invite them to come unto Christ. We'll keep you posted. :)

Thank you always for the support and putting up with my sometimes long, sometimes short, sometimes non-existant emails;) It means a lot to have the support and prayers. You are among my angels.

My love to all this Christmas season! May we take a moment to remember that behind the lights and bows and wrapping paper is a still moment so long ago, when earth and heaven moved at the sigh of a newborn child.


Love always,
Lisa Kasumi Luke 姉妹

Pictures: A missionary meeting! Took a group photo and then the elders left, so we took a shot with just the sisters.



This is back at transfers, when pretty much the whole mission gathered and everyone put their bags in the bag room... with about a hundred kids, probably about fifty of whom were transferring = a LOT of stuff.



The result of last week's picture, credit to Elders W and S.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another Daily Miracle (November 30, 2015)


Hey look, my mission president's wife's birthday! Also my new companion is Japanese, and mission older than me??? We are officially the oldest companionship of sisters in the mission, which is super crazy. Here's a story I shared with my mission president that happened this week:

On Tuesday, we had a lesson with a progressing investigator, and we had an hour of language study before we departed a half hour before our appointment in order to have enough time to arrive without rushing. The language study was crucial because I was with Sister O on Tuesday, and we needed the time to prepare our lesson completely. 
However, as we began our study, it began to rain intensely, hard enough that we wondered if we would be able to ride our bicycles to Endo San's home. We were wary as there had been a time a week previous that we had ridden out to a less active member and had been forced to walk home for over an hour due to the weather conditions, and I knew that if we had to walk, we would not make the appoint, even foregoing the necessary language study time. But then I remembered the story you told of the elders who, with a prayer of faith, witnessed the miracle of the stopping of the rain to visit a less active member. Still more faithless than I ought to be, I did not invite Sister O to join me, but I said a fervent prayer in my heart that if it be His will, that the rain would clear to allow us to meet with this dear sister. 
Although I still did not know how things would play out, I felt that it would be okay, and that if the Lord would stop the rain for the elders, if today was the day we needed to meet with this investigator, he would provide a way for us as well.
As I studied, I kept an ear turned to the window and felt myself begin to smile, because as the hour wore on, the elements calmed. Twenty minutes before our departure, the sound of the wet car tires was also beginning to dim, and when I opened the curtain, the sun was shining, and the pavement was beginning to dry. Although not surprised, I was filled with awe and had it confirmed to me that the Lord cares about each of us.
We rode to Endo San's home in safely, and when she attended church with us on Sunday, all of the topics seemed direted specifically to her needs.
Each day, we are witnessing miracles. K Shimai has a tradition that she has shared with me, and each evening, we find three miracles that we witnessed that day. It has helped my growth immensely, and I learn each day from my wonderful companion.


Sister K's my new companion, and someone I have looked up to since the first time I met her, five transfers ago. Super stoked for a series of miracles this transfer:)

God lives. He loves us. He loves you.

Not to be random, but I'm way stoked for Christmas.


Take care!



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Eight Things... (November 23, 2015)


Well... I'm officially on my eigth transfer as of today! Yikes. This rather grown-up sounding number has caused me some serious reflection, like, "what? I'm only third transfer still!", "I'm so old!", and, "EIGHT???" and, "Wait, didn't we just have transfers?" This time, we are having some kind of rather Hunger Games-esque meeting to find out who are new companions are! Yaaaay! (Just kidding, ha, ha.) I do know that I will be staying in Nagamachi, but Sister O is leaving, so we shall see. Stay tuned! I'll keep y'all posted. (Just don't get on the edge of your seat, a week's a long time to do that.;)

After much thought and reflection... *drumroll*

Eight Things I have Learned About Myself since I Pinned a Badge on it

1) Not only do I laugh in my sleep, I also talk in both English and Japanese... including committing people to read the Book of Mormon and also singing hymns, also in Japanese. Evidently I am an active sleeper (no wonder I'm so tired all the time)!


2) I talk with my hands. A lot.

3) There is nothing like a good laugh to calm down and relax.

4) Much like my music, my cooking is frequently completely made up on the spot. (My companion: How much flour? Me: Like... a little... Companion: How much water? Me: Just... until it looks right... Companion: Do you measure anything? Me: Just chocolate chip cookies.)

5) I lock the door on autopilot every time we walk into the house. Every time we leave, I wonder if my companion is the one who remembered to lock it, but she recently confirmed that I am the culprit.

6) When I get really stressed, and then I bear my testimony, I cry, and then continue crying for approximately forever.

7) When I get REALLY stressed, I get nauseous and it's not very fun.


Note to self: don't get that stressed.


8) Although I stumble, and fall, and am not who I expected to be at this point in time, I have still grown and changed in ways I never could have with my beloved Ishinomaki or my wonderful Nagamachi. The biggest thing I have learned as I begin my big-kid eighth transfer is that, despite my weakness, and despite my lack in so many different ways, my God has truly provided me with a way to leave behind my mistakes and turn over a leaf each day, even every hour, because somedays I need that.

I'm not who I want to be yet, but I do feel as if I have been given the tools to get there. The true miracle is that fact that God so loved the world, no, your world, my world, that he gave his beloved Son, that all of us might be saved, in part, from ourselves.


We as people have a lot to learn, but we as people also have a lot of potential. The trick is to try to find the potential in ourselves and in others, that spark of divinity within each human heart, and draw it out. Nourish it until the fire cannot be denied, because that glow is the glow we feel when we feel true love for others and compassion and all the things that make this life worth living.

Although I don't know who my next companion will be, althought I can't see much past the next few steps, I have peace in my heart. I hope each of you will find that same peace. If you are seeking light or a rest for your weary soul, because there's a storm inside that you can't seem to find shelter from, my invitation to you is come unto Christ. Open your heart to Him, and you will find peace and light and safety.

And that is exactly what each of us needs, at least on occasion.

Thank you for all your love and support. God be with you!


Pictures: The reason I didn't write last week... District Preparation Day! Went out for sushi with the brothers, did some more crazy things like... take pictures... eat ice cream... ping-pong... Good fun:)

(There's a rule where you have to sit by your companion when eating district lunch, so it's always a little amusing to watch the four elders cram into a three-person spot, hahaha. Just kidding, I feel kinda bad, but it's not my rule, so...:)



We cut tomatoes for about forty-five minutes to prep tacos, the sure staple for--you guessed it--the Thanksgiving party. (Yeah I'm not sure either.)



The classic helmet selfie, and



My new friend Tom.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

(November 16, 2015)


Don't have much time to email 'cause district P-day, but love you!!!



Bonus photos:

Home evening activity with mission president and others, some time in October 2015.




Mission Leader Conference, November 2015



Sendai South zone conference, October 22, 2015.



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lead Me, Guide Me. Walk Beside Me. (November 9, 2015)


The thing about serving in Japan at the same time as three of your best friends is that sometimes, they pop up in pictures on the bulletin board at the church. (Shoutout to WILLIAMSON 姉妹, I'm working in 田中長老's (Elder Tanaka) home ward. No idea when the picture was from but looks like a fun district;)

Today, I'd just like to share a moment from my week.

Saturday was awful. I just felt like I was failing so hard at being a missionary; I juat felt off my game and I couldn't connect to anyone, and I felt discouraged and a little down, especially since my companion is still learning Japanese (well, I mean, I am too), so I felt like I needed to be on point more and just generally being more than I was. It waspretty frustrating. Sister O wasn't aware of the Luke-Shimai's-in-a-box-right-now situation, but she realized we hadn't planned our English lesson, so we sat down in a park and planned it out really quickly. At the end of our planning, we said a prayer to bless the few minutes of finding time we had left. (One really nice thing about being a foreign language missionary with a new missionary is that you can pray completely honestly like, "we can't do this on our own, lend us your strength because I am so weak right now" and not push your uncertainty on your companion. Just another perk.)

And that's when the miracle began.


We both felt inspired to go a certain direction, so we headed out. We walked past a girl I had noticed before, and a few yards later I stopped Sister O and we turned back and talked to her. She was really nice, but turned us away. Still carrying a degree of hopelessness in my heart, we kept walking, this time in the opposite direction that we'd felt to go initially. And then there was no one on the street, and I just felt incapable and inadequate (this is kind of unusual, but rough days still happen on occasion, because  missionary me is still human). There was one high school girl walking towards us, earphones in and everything, and I thought, okay, it's gotta be her.

We pulled a, "Do you speak English?" and proceeded to have this whole conversation in English where we invited her to our free English Conversation Class, gave her a Book of Mormon, and briefly explained it, and invited her to read it from the beginning, and the whole time she was smiling and thrilled to be talking to us.

We walked away ("SHE WAS SO CUTE!!!") and we'd only gone a little bit when Sister O pointed out to me that if we hadn't gone the other way first, we probably wouldn't have run into her at that point in time, and that was when I realized how special that was.

Sometimes, it's rainy and cold, and we feel hopeless. Yes, as illogical and seemingly pointless as hopeless is, it can sneak through the cracks because we are human and we can only see as far as the next corner.

However.

When we feel like we are walking on the wrong road to nowhere in particular, when the distance is faint and the lights seem faded, there is One who is aware, who notices our every footfall and gently guides us around the traps and rugged edges. As courageous as we fight to be, thee are moments when we feel weak, when the height of our tiptoes doesn't make the cut. But the crest of every mountain, the depth of every valley of our lives is forged by the Creator of the Universe, and be it me in the box of my own heart or you in your personal darkest dungeon, when we close our eyes there is always a light to guide us. This is something I am learning still, but no matter where we are or where we aim to be, we have a Friend who will be there when all else is faded or lost.

May we each remember this truth and trust in His gentle, guiding hand.

God be with you! He certainly is with me.

Pictures: Went to dinner with these girls before a meeting, temporary comps with my trainer Sister T (with our matching glasses), and me trying to figure out where the other two sisters were after one left a bag on a train. (It was like two hours before we all safey made it to the meeting, but that's a whole 'nother story, hahahahahaha...)





Bonus photos:

Sister Training Leaders



Bonus photos (November 2, 2015)


A few bonus photos:


芋煮会 (Boiled Potato Party)




レミちゃんがなついてくれたの^ ^
一緒におばけやしき5回ぐらい行きました。

(Remi likes me. We went through the haunted house together about five times.)



 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

It's Close to Miiiiidnight! (November 2, 2015)


Those of you who know your stuff will realize that my title for this email is totally quoting Michael Jackson's Thriller. Congratulations.

Last week was Halloween.

It was also absolutely insane. Just a few highlights:

-HALLOWEEN! Mostly the missionaries were in charge of running that show. And those of you who know me well know that when I plan a party, I plan it to the nines... My poor district, muahahaha. But the event itself was said to be the best Halloween this ward has ever seen, so that was pretty legit:) Bobbing for apples, hanging donuts, candy walk, haunted house, face paint, shooting at bottles, trick-or-treat doors, costume contest, Halloween treats and decorations... everyone followed through with their parts and it was glorious. Close to twenty nonmembers came, (in a ward with maybe seventy in attendance each week,) and I was so happy when it was all over, haha...

-SKINNER FAMILY!!! Right when the party ended and we were ready to go tear down our forty cardboard boxes worth of haunted house, out of the blue two of my friends from Tokyo showed up. I basically exploded. I can't even describe it. It was good.

-We'd been in the apartment all day between a head cold and weekly planning when someone rang the doorbell. Answered the door and some guy was going door to door selling apples. So, we bought some apples and gave him a Book of Mormon, invited him to English class and also church, and sent him on his merry way. 'Twas a good time.

Spiritual thought of the week: The Lord knows exactly where you are and what you need. He also knows what you can do and what you need to do to help others. Although life will not always be easy, it will always be the best it can be, whether or not you can see the other side of the glass. It's easy to get frustrated with your own lack or growth or the fact that you seem to be hitting dead end after dead end, and but you might be the right force to break through that wall.

And sometimes you just have to write "CHURCH" on your investigator's calendar on every Sunday for the rest of the year to show her that you really do want her to come. (Yes, she came to church.)

:)


As ever,


Sister L


Pictures: Um. Yeah. And also Remi and Anna and us as minions:)




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

(October 26, 2015)



I don't feel like writing a group email today, so just you two:) Partly because I'm lazy, partly because I've been working on being focused in Nagamachi, which actually makes my life loads easier. Please read the talk called, The Fourth Missionary. It's so good! I think it is less for missionaries and more for disciples of Christ. I got the packages, thank you so much! I'll send Obaachan a card today to tell her thanks, too. Life's been so busy, but good.

...

But Zone Taikai was good! I gave a training on faith, and I think it went well. I used a たとえ (example) about semiconductors, tip my hat to daddy-o:) I said that we need to be fully conductive missionaries, because if we are non-conductive or semiconductive, we can't be fully effective instruments in the hands of the Lord.

Love you! I got Dan's yearbook picture, he looks good!!! 

Picture: Muffins with the girls before Zone Conference:) We got Sisters 小西、黒田、西山、Carr, Burkhart, Qureshi, and Oldroyd, along with yours truly;)




Friday, October 23, 2015

What Manner of (Wo)men (October 19, 2015)


Well, here I am, still in Nagamachi! I am training once again, one Sister O who is also half Japanese (but her mother was born and raised in the States so she looks half but is still learning the language).

She is absolutely hilarious and I feel positive that we'll have a transfer of much clumsiness and laughter, clumsy brought to you by yours truly;) I sent off my angel Sister A up to one of the coldest parts of our mission... But she will do great things:)

This week I mostly just want to share my transfer theme as I begin my seventh transfer. I picked 3 Nephi 27:27, which reads, "And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgement which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am."

It's a fairly famous verse about embracing our godly lineage and becoming greater than we are, but the phrase I chose is, "Even as I am."

I like it, 'cause I think these four words together describes a lot of what I have pondered about and learned about over the course of the last nine months.

I wrote a poem about it that I would like to share, but first, I just want to say, I know that God lives, and I am so grateful for the light and knowledge we have because of His love for us. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ, walked this earth and died for us to find hope in our darkest night. He rose again that we might have the strength to keep going when our strength is exhausted, that we can know that everything will somehow work out, even when we can't see even one step in front of us. Somehow, despite our weakness, despite our inadequacies, we become enough when we trust in Him and grow through His love and mercy.

Here's the poem.


What manner of men
ought ye to be?
He asked, a question we each carry
within the depths of our hearts.
The question each human life curls itself around
of who I am today, and who I will become
An answer we spend decades to find, searching every nook,
every cranny of our finite, human minds, yet somehow, we cannot find
a satisfactory answer.
Stated simply, quietly, eloquently. Wrapped within a single breath.
Our Master looked me in the soul and answered,
Even as I am.

He walks with me, this Heavenly Friend,
although I may not notice
when plodding through the storms of life,
the wind steals the sound of his footsteps away.
He walked with me on my darkest night
I remember His hands, steadying me when I fell.

I remember what it felt like when the world around me shattered and I
felt alone; I remember what it felt like when I realized I would never
be enough. A scarlet stain of inadequacy on purity's plain, a
breath-taking disturbance in the motion of the stars, I remain, even
as I am, a blot unfit for every breath I take, somehow majestic in
spite of every last mistake.

Every flaw magnified in the spider-webbed reflection,
every line a bold declaration of where I yet fall short.
The wilted wings of a newly emerged butterfly,
soon to be beautiful, but not quite yet.
A mottled kaleidescope of half-baked talent and nearly-enough,
Alone in the universe, but with one sure Friend.

There is a reason I follow Him, and it's not because His footsteps are bigger than mine, although they are. There is a reason I honor Him, and it's not because He walked on water, although He did. He is my Savior, Jesus Christ, and He is the only person who can see me for who I am and will yet become and how long that road will take--and love me all the same. He is the only One who can work within me and through me and accomplish great works despite my unworthy frame.

He is the only one that can make me worth it,
enough, whole, complete,
or perhaps
even perfect

even as I am.




I love you all! Take care.
--L



SENDAI SOUTH ZONE 大会!!!!! (conference)
Actually just muffins beforehand. #DailysMuffins



(Note: Lisa's new companion, Sister Oldroyd, is the one at the lower left, second closest to the camera.)


Bonus photo: Mission Leader Conference, October 7, 2015.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Seven Thoughts of a Seven Transfer Missionary (October 12, 2015)


... Ha, ha, just kidding, this week was too sweet to do one o' those cute little lists.

First of all, last week, we met this girl, Hayasaka San, and had a lesson that be thought would be primarily introducing her to the concept of God, because that's usually where we start.

Us: Have you ever thought about God?

Her: Yeah?!

Us: Oh, do you believe He exists?

Her: He has to!

Us: Cool, do you know anything about Jesus Christ?

Her: I love Jesus Christ!

This is in Japan. JAPAN, where nearly every household has a Buddhist shrine in their livingroom. I was like, oooooh yeah! And my American bean grabbed ahold of her hat and hour later, we ended the lesson with a kneeling prayer, having taught the entire message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I was walking on air, man.

This week, we met with her again, and taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation, including the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and committed Hayasaka San to prepare to be baptized on the 14 of November. WE ARE ECSTATIC.

But wait, there's more!

Yesterday, we had some time to go finding, and we'd been working on a neighborhood close to the church, and didn't feel particularly impressed on any other location so we continued. As we headed off after parking our bicycles, I said, "Today is the day we find Hayasaka San Number Two."

We housed for close to an hour. No luck. No one even accepted a Book of Mormon, darn it all. There was a set of apartments and one had a light on. We rang the bell and, like magic, the door opened, and inside was a woman wearing glasses like mine. It was crazy, almost immediately we started having this conversation like we'd been friends for a while, it just felt so normal.

Us: We're volunteers for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Her: That church over there?*points*

Us: Exactly! Have you heard anything about our church?

Her: Nah, I just moved in.

Me: No way! I just moved in six weeks ago!

Her: Really?!?!

And we keep talking, we're like, yeah, we are sharing a message about God and families, and I'm like, hey, this is my favorite book. This has blessed my life. I show her the Book of Mormon in my hand, and she's like, well, cool! And I say, if you don't mind, I'd love to give this to you as a present! She accepts the book (which has my testimony written in the front) and she's like, yeah, I'll read it! And through this all, we have no exchanged our names so I say, oh yeah, my name's Luke! And my companion introduced herself and I say, if it's okay, may I ask your name? And she answers...

Hayasaka.

Drop mic.

The Gospel is true.

Peace out, y'all.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Why Did The Tomato Blush? (October 5, 2015)


BECAUSE HE CAUGHT THE SALAD DRESSING!

Haha, like my joke? Thought it up all by myself. Just kidding, I'm pretty sure it's all been done before.

ANYWAY Luke 姉妹 calling in from Nagamachi once again. This week, we experienced an average amount of turbulance, including two splits, too much planning, and two bottles of salad dressing

Wait, what?

My thoughts exactly.

My intrepid companion Sister A and I arrived at a potential investigator's home, a nice lady we have been referring to as Housing Lady, because unlike Americans, Japanese people will tell you their age, weight, and height in centimeters before they will tell you their name (or perhaps I'm just bad at getting people's names, don't burn me at the stake). We were able to, for the second time, share a scripture and bear testimony with Housing Lady, as well as establish a much better relationship. In which I muster up the courage and non-awkwardness to ask her name, and she agrees that we can come back and share another brief message with her if she's home next week.

In other words, we should probably baptize her in a few weeks;) Or maybe once she recognizes the Spirit and accepts the gospel of Jesus Christ, so hey, in a few weeks:D

Anyway, her name is Ishi, because I or Is would be too confusing.

We're standing on the doorstep laughing with her, she's like yeah, you can come back, and then she says, actually, I have a request of you.

I'm thinking, oh, no, and she steps back into her home and pops out holding two bottles of salad dressing that were literally just inside her door. I got these from a friend, she says, but I don't really like salad dressing, I like mayonaisse.

And that is the story of how my companion and I got an almost investigator and two bottles of salad dressing. Yay!

Also just visited an investigator, A, who is probably getting baptized next transfer, just gonna drop that because I met her baby today and HE IS SO CUTE and I'm really excited right now.

Also, this email's getting long, but here's something I have been pondering on for a while and have decided to try. I have really wanted and tried and put in effort to be a good missionary. While I wouldn't go as far as to say I am failing, I do feel that I am ready to be more, that it is past due for me to go deeper and be a more effective instrument in the Lord's hands. A really spot-on district leader training and an even more spot-on AP training later, I started a process yesterday that I hope will refine me and make me what Nagamachi needs at this point in time. I have pondered and prayed and created a list of things that need to go to allow me to be more in harmony with the Spirit. Along with that, I have decided that I will no longer be responding to emails from anyone other than family, at least for my seventh transfer, which starts next week. Y'all can still write me, and if you send me your street address, I might possibly write back (but no promises 'cause let's be honest, I'm terrible at writing people back anyway). I haven't decided if this is a one-transfer thing or a rest-of-my-mission thing, or if I want to respond once a transfer or once or month or what, I'll keep you all posted but for now, please don't be offended if I don't respond! It's not you, it's me!

Now for the majority of you, it won't be a huge change as I plan to continue my weekly adventure-logs, but to my dear close friends, I love you, and I cannot exprss my appreciation for your support and friendship, but right now I need to give everything to the Lord. This is one of the only things I can put on the alter that might give me added spiritual strength, and I need that spirit with me if I am to do what I must. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong, but I've got to try.

Until next week!

Love, Lisa Luke 姉妹

Pictures: Salad dressing! My companion is quite a bit better at looking intense than I am, and split with Sister C! Between the two of us, we've got one white kid and one Japanese kid. Mostly I just really like this picture.