Tuesday, June 28, 2016

(June 27, 2016)

Hey y'all! This week was great. Lots of miracles and things, which is wonderful because heaven knows we need it, haha... :) We are working hard and trying whatever we can to see success here in Kamisugi. Here is one story that is my favorite so far.

A girl we're teaching, R, has a strong Christian background. We've only begun meeting with her since I got here three weeks ago, but she's very Christian, which is unusual in Japan, to say the least. She's from a different country, and often tells us about her adventures in her share house, with the woman who "dirties the walls and dustbins" and such. She's way logical and has the best skeptical face I've ever seen on an Asian woman, she's my favorite:) Anyway, yesterday, she walked into our lesson, sat down, we sang a hymn and prayed, and she says, "Just wanted to let you know, I did what you said, and I asked God about whether the Book of Mormon is authentic, and he said, yep. So yeah. Just wanted to let you know that."

Sister B and I about died.

From a missionary working in Japan, that's like, stuff of fairy tales. I dunno about all y'all in Christian countries, but usually at this point in time, we're still working with the investigator to grasp the concept of a loving God, and this girl's casually like, yeah, God told me it's true. We've still got a ways to go in terms of what's the priesthood and why is church important and why do we need to get baptized again, (that's where the priesthood comes in...) but we are feeling pretty hopeful. 

Also, due to recent technology problems, it remains to be seen whether or not I'll be doing emails much from here on out... So I'd like to leave you all with a testimony and we'll see if emails work in the future or not;)

One thing that has been on my mind recently is whether or not I will be able to have an impact here in Kamisugi, since my time here is by far the shortest. In a ward of considerable size, I looked at the members and wondered if I would be able to touch their lives or to help them feel the Savior's love at all. Church is only once a week. I wondered if we would be able to find any real investigators who want to know the truth. I'm not the most charismatic person, I'm not all that smart or talented or fun or memorable, but I sincerely do want to make a difference in the places that I serve. As I pondered this sitting cross-legged on my futon at night, I realized that while there are many weaknesses and concerns, as I've seen time and time again on a mission, I have great faith in the last door concept. If you work until the very last minute, there will be a miracle according to your faith and the will of God.

And although I don't know everything, and although I am weak, I do know that by the power of God, I will be able to accomplish whatever He needs me to do. I want to help people find eternal joy and I want to help people discover the divinity within them, and then share that light with others, but the hows and the what ways, I do not know. However I do know that as I rely on my Savior and listen to the voice of the Spirit as it whispers to me, that I can do what I was sent here to do, whether that's something I can comprehend at this point in time or not. I want to be a powerful servant of the Lord, and although it may not feel like it at times, I know that taking the right step in the right direction at the right time is all we can do. So that's what we will do, because He loves us, each and every one, and will guide us every step of the way.

I'm grateful for the fullness of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that God has given us a way to find eternal joy and to become the very best that we can be. I'm grateful for the gift of the Book of Mormon that teaches us truths and supports the Bible as two witnesses of Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Redeemer and understands what you're going through--yes, you--even if you don't, and you think no one else does, either. He is our light and our life and our joy, and I am grateful for His divine grace that draws us out of darkness and into the light. I testify that this is the work of God and that He is with us always. I feel Him in my life. He is my everlasting Friend.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Bonus photo: Lisa went on another split with Sis. Anne Young!

Monday, June 20, 2016

(June 20, 2016)

Hyodo S's last Sunday:( Us and Shion chan, who just graduated recent convert status. She's half.

Stevenson Conference. You can see the top half of my face about four rows behind Sister Smith.

TSUYU. 湿気が。。。の割には雨は降らないんだけどね
(RAINY SEASON. Oh, the humidity... despite that, it hasn't actually rained all that much.)

Bonus photos:

Monday, June 13, 2016

This Week Was A Thousand (June 13, 2016)

What up! L Luke!

Yeah... We're just gonna picture it this week. Late night miracles and sarcastic revelation, I can testify that God has a sense of humor (with just enough fire to singe your eyebrows). Hapoy, exhausted, and the best days here in Kamisugi. Pretty sure I straight died and came to heaven, just with a road map that would leave good ol' Socrates scratching his head. (And at least he can do that since he doesn't have those beloved missionary helmenta, laugh.)


Emergency transfer elders passing through on Kamisugi District Preparation Day. All three Lukes in the mission are liked up there in the back, two out of three repping Idaho. Rockin' it.

Stake Conference was basically the Celestial Kingdom. Two of my favorite Ishinomaki members, my bean brother, and companions. Yay!

Went on a split with my granddaughter Sister P, Momma A makin' me so 
proud. *Tear.

There are a jillion vegetables at Kamisugi. We like it:) (Also learned that mushrooms and fresh parsley in your vegetable stir fry suddenly makes you feel about ninety two times more classy than you actually are.)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Emergency! (Everybody to get from street!) (June 6, 2016)

First e-mail:

I'm alive! Emergency transferred to Kamisugi... A sister had to go home:(

But way fun! Super busy today, love you!

Note: Kamisugi is near the center of Sendai city, just about three miles north of Nagamachi, which was her area before last, and quite close to the mission office. If you're really interested you can find it on the map here.

Several hours later:

What up! Luke 姉妹 in Sendai!!!

I'm at the apartment, so we will see if it actually does the automatic send thing. If it does, yay! If not... well y'all just read 'er next week. ;)

What a crazy week. Somehow I find myself in the most urban part of the mission on Friday of week four of the transfer with a companion ending in three weeks. All them surprises, eh? KAMISUGI. But, Sister H is someone I'd wanted to serve with ever since I met her, so I count myself very lucky to have her last few weeks here.

One thing I've felt so strongly after sending one of my girls home for the second time in two transfers and then dropping a zone and half a season is the importance of trusting in God. Sister T and I had a rough time since I left her with only a couple weeks of experience in Morioka and a lot of information that probabky fell through the cracks... but I know that if anyone is capable of this, she is. I'm so blessed to have been able to serve with her, and I trust the Lord will guide her and her new companion whereever they are most needed.

Pictures: Two of my favorite Morioka members, Beloved Sister T and I.

Sister H and I are both a little awkward... but we have a good time:) (despite the fact that we have three weeks of Kamisugi experience between the two of us... Laugh.)