Sunday, May 29, 2016

I don't feel like writing to the masses... :D (May 30, 2016)

元気???私は原器だよ!今週はすごくすごかったんだ。なぜなら、実はElder Stevenson が仙台に来たんだ!!!あとGong長老と、山下会長も来ました。私と長老二人と通訳したんだけど、私がStevenson長老の訳をしました。Wow! めっちゃすごい!

(Rough translation: "How are you? I'm doing well! This week was stupendously stupendous. Because, actually Elder Stevenson came to Sendai! Also Elder Gong, and Elder Yamashita [first counselor in the Asia North Area presidency]. Two elders and I interpreted for them, and I got to interpret for Elder Stevenson. Wow! Totally cool!)

Also We got to shake hands with all of them and their wives. And an apostle of the Lord looked at me at the beginning of the talk and said, Thank you, Luke Shimai, because President and Sister Smith and told him beforehand that I was going to translate for him. WAY COOL. President Smith and Elder Stevenson lived in the same missionary apartment, apparently, so that was also way cool!!!

One really neat thing was that for preparation, we all prepared questions that we could ask Elder Stevenson if there was time for that, and the questions I wanted to ask were mostly about working with members and helping members grow in faith and unity because Morioka Shibu has a multiplicity of issues.... but besides the point. Anyway there was no time for questions, but basically all of my questions were answered during the meeting, which was way nice.

Another cool thing was that on Monday evening, we visited a less active and then had a bunch of time to do finding, so we were housing some apartments, since there are a bunch of college kids in Morioka who live in apartments. When it gets later at night, we try to go for places with the lights on, since it's less rude that way. It was about 8:40 and we didn't know where to go, but as we looked around the neighborhood, there was one apartment in particular that caught our eye. So I said, let's go there, and Tanaka S said, I was thinking the same thing. As we got closer it became apparent that we wouldn't be able to do all three floors to get home by curfew, and for some reason President Smith popped into my head like him sharing some missionary's experience at MLC, except for he was sharing our experience and in it, we went to the second floor instead of the third floor. Usually when we do housing, we work our way from the top of the building down; not sure why, but a lot of missionaries do it that way. So I said, hey, I'm not sure why, but I think we should house the second floor. Tanaka S says, I was thinking the same thing.

Half the doors didn't have lights on, we were rejected a few times, but then the last door had a light on, and a girl opened the door and talked with us. The university in Morioka is mostly boys because it's big on science and such, so usually it's boys, but this time was a really nice girl, which was amazing. We talked with her a lot and she told us that she was actually kind of interested in religion. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said, please come back sometime. The only problem is she's really busy with school and work, but we are really excited to see where that goes. 

Revelation is a real thing! 

I love you!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ramblings from the Life of L. Luke (May 15, 2016)

There are few things that hurts more than giving someone all the love you can hold in your puny little twenty-year old heart, knowing that you have something that will heal them and soothe them and provide a refuge for safety from the storm--and then have them turn around and throw it in your face like a bucket of slimy, wet, painful paint and tell you they want nothing to do with you.

Which is a little bit of a dramatic way to describe a recent experience, but she doesn't know what she's rejecting, which may be the hardest part.

Although I'm not sure that I know what it means to have a broken heart, because every time I've felt like shattered glass on the inside, I've been glued then molded then fused back together, I know that that's what I mean when I say the word 'pain.' But the one thing I vowed to never have was a hardened heart, and scars only harden us and make us less pliable. And that's when I realized that I need Christ, not just for my own sins and not just for my own sorrows, but for the anguish I feel in my soul from the choices of another. I want to live like I've never known sorrow, I want to love like life is sweet, and the only way I can do that is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The only way I can let go of past pains and mistakes and stay as warm and open, as real as I want to be, is in His grace.

I'm still sad because I loved and still love this woman, but I know that I have done all that I can, and I can't force help or divine love or truth upon her, that's a road she must choose for herself. I'm still sad, but I hope that one day, she will give way to the light I know is in her heart because she too is a precious daughter of my God, and I hope that when I see her again after this frail existence that she will look me in the eyes and know that what I tried to express to her was nothing but the purest intents of my heart, was nothing but the love that Lord has blessed me with, and I hope that when that day comes, I will be able to offer her a geniune smile of love and true sisterhood.

I dunno. Just some thoughts I had.

The good news of the week, however, is that my new companion is pretty much an angel. (Sorry for stealing your companion, Sister Y!) New investigators and potential investigators have magically begun popping out of the woodworks, and I know that the work is moving forward.

Looking forward to another killer transfers with this kid:)

And, at transfers. Rode down to Sendai with Sister O, my companion from five transfers ago. She's back in Nagamachi, which is where we were comps???

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

(May 9, 2016)

No letter this week, but we got to Skype for 40 minutes.

She looks good, healthy and happy. They got transfer calls, and she is staying in Morioka, but getting a new companion. I assume we'll hear more about her next week.

She did send some photos and a video:

A family portrait.

A video she apparently made for Sis. Satomi's birthday:

Monday, May 2, 2016

Miracles and craziness (May 2, 2016)

New Q, two people who said they couldn't come to church show up... 'Twas a good week:) District Preparation Day was today, so not a ton of time, so I'm taking the picture way out. Enjoy:)

The District at Morioka

My official tags (Thanks, Dad!)

Ishinomaki District Reunion, Morioka 2016 (Just kidding, just by chance four of six district members are in the same zone, and the other two have returned home.)