Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lisa "The Killer" Luke (March 23, 2015)

Unfortunately, my name doesn't sound particularly threatening, even with "The Killer" as a nickname I gave myself. *sigh.* In mission culture, we kinda talk like a mission is a lifetime, where you're born, and then you're a bean, and when you go home, you die, and your last companion's the one who killed you. So. For those who are waiting with bated breath, here it is: I killed my trainer. (Dun dun DUN!!!) My new trainer is Sister T, and she is Japanese and really, really, really cute. I met her on Saturday and I can already tell that we will see great things this transfer. She has a lot of ideas and there are many great changes in store for Ishinomaki, I'm excited to see how it goes. Sister T will also "die" this transfer, but she's transferring back to the Fukuoka mission, she's here temporarily because she got sick and had to come home, so she's doing two transfers in her home mission before heading back. BUT she is super focused and we've already brainstormed a bunch of ideas for firing up the member missionary fire!!! (Feeling super determined/optimistic.)

We also had the Elder Evans Conference on Saturday, which was very, very, very inspiring. The entire mission came, which is probably the first and last time that'll happen, but 115 missionaries in the Sendai mission, one room, and the Spirit was incredibly strong. We're a smaller mission, but I truly believe we are lent power through obedience (one of the major mission focuses is exact obedience, and God blesses us as we obey the commandments He set for our benefit). "Discipleship in the Digital Age." We also didn't get our new technology, that'll be in a few weeks, and it'll be a gradual integration process so I'm a lot less nervous about than I was. My favorite part of the conference was... the musical number. (I'm a brat.) The Legendary Poff Choro played piano and I played violin, and we arranged a combination of How Firm A Foundation and The Spirit of God, and IT WAS AMAZING. (Sorry, I didn't get a chance to properly geek out over it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.) We had about two hours to put it together, and I'm far from a perfect musician, but I know God helped us to bear our testimonies through music. Was it a perfect performance? Nope. Mostly, The Legendary Poff Choro is really, really, really good, and I just did my thing, and it worked out to be all right. It was thrilling. And then it was requested that we sing How Firm a Foundation as the closing hymn instead of Called to Serve as planned, and How Firm happens to be my favorite hymn so I was basically flying high. It made the conference that much more special to me--please go read the words to all of the verses for me. I love it so much.

"The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."

(Note: Lyrics are available here.)

I just want to say in closing that I know God lives. You might think, well, obviously, that's why you're on a mission, but truly, I want to testify to each of you that He lives. As we approach the Easter season, please know that Jesus Christ lives, and because He lives, we can have joy and eternal life. It is by Him and through Him that we can be purified on a daily basis. Because of Him, we can become more than we are now. I love each of you very much, and if there is anything I want anyone to know from knowing me, is simply that: He lives, and He loves you.

I'm grateful for the many blessings God has given me. Thank you for being my blessings. :)

Pictures: First off, check out how ADORABLE my new companion is! She's perfect, I love her. Miracles to come:) And, we made a long norimaki (think California roll but different) for the Relief Society activity. Their theme of the year is Moses 7:18, about Zion being of one heart and one mind, so they planed an activity around working together. They're so cute, love my ladies.

Nekojima ikimashita. :D  (We went to Cat Island.)

Bonus photo: Pulpit view of the Sendai Mission conference held Saturday, March 21, 2015. Lisa is the leftmost person in the photo.

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