played gospel gestures! Also funny story - so Nakata Kyoudai's English
is way good, we were reading scriptures in English and he pulls out
"Mormon Doctrine" by Bruce R McConkie, opens to a page and asked me,
"do other churches believe in this?" (The page was about how because
of Noah and the flood the earth tilted and from there on we had
seasons.) Basically Kawamura Shimai and I just looked at each other,
"does our church believe in this??" Funny stuff
Tuesday- lots of plans and not enough time but got to deliver a Bday
message to Nora Shimai! Air conditioning was glorious, she gave us
some fruit juice from the Phillipines and also reading scriptures with
her is the best- she provides good commentary along the way :) Plus
met some youth and seriously FSY has been a blessings! After Eikaiwa,
Invited one of our students to Taco Rice, plus Temple Celebration
and she might come!
Wednesday- koukan with Nakayama Shimai!❤️❤️❤️ We always have so much
fun, this time it was a free Japanese class first and sadly the member
we were going with didn't show up, but stayed anyways because hey I
want to learn and te people there have met missionaries before, pretty
good finding opp. Stopped at Indo Curry for lunch, haven't eaten it in
a while! Next went to teach English and do a lesson with a members
grandson plus some neighbor friends. Note: first time for the neighbor
friends and when I called a few days earlier checking, basically the
member told me our spiritual message needed to be super simple and
short...that wasn't very comforting. So super worried we were just
going to be English teachers, not missionaries BUT the mom of the
girls came and she has home stayed in America, saw Temple Square and
talking about prayer was fine, plus after Kito Shimai asked me to
sing, sang "Be Still My Soul", they liked that they she brought
refreshments and Kito Shimai was an amazing member-missionary and led
a really natural conversation about family history that was really
good. Later in the day went after a referral given, never found her
but met some great neighbors, one interesting lady who's job is to
keep the birds away from the fish at a pond...talked about family then
she talked about birds and she said we can come back and eat lunch
together...okay? Seriously we meet some great people all the time.
after lunch we passed a potential investigator to the elders
and it went really really well! This guy is a college student studying
to be a nurse and from last Saturday when we met he actually read the
chirashi, thought about it, and remembered what we said last time
about God and then connected super well with the elders, promised to
come to their sports activity morning and then exchanged
phone numbers and he actually really cared and checked that the phone
number was correct, plus mail address...kinjin. NOBODY exchanges info
like that! So that was a good start to the day! Then biked out a ways
to see a member and practice an investigator lesson together and help
her create a dendou vision. The rest of the afternoon/evening was
weekly planning- faster than usual! Lastly, went to visit a new
investigator close to our apartment but she wasn't home, bummer. But
then Kawamura Shimai was really inspired to try housing another floor
of the apartment building- literally went up and every door was dark
except for the very last one where a mom and little kid came out and
we talked a little about family and can come back!
District Meeting in Hashimoto, pretty average, then we ended
with a testimony meeting and that was really powerful. Went to a local
bakery for lunch then back to Kawachi! In the evening threw a birthday
party for Aki Chan from Eikaiwa with the elders. Lots of fun, got to
know her better, especially hear what she believes about God- she
isn't quite sure, which really is perfect to be able to learn more.
Though I wished it had gone a bit better, so I was a little
disappointed at night but I can testify that prayer is powerful and
God answers with peace which was exactly what I needed.
Saturday we dropped by a LA and normally she doesn't want to hear about the church too much, just politely listens a little bit but this time she wa a lot more open and showed us funny new pictures of her grandson! Through that she was a lot more open to family prayer, power of prayer. In the evening, before the Sapporo Temple Cultural Celebration we threw a Taco Rice party! We focused on the youth and one young woman brought her friend along- yesss! Had fun with the youth, also learned how exhausting it is sometimes to motivate them to do something- lots of appreciation for youth leaders! Then our investigator Murata San came to the Sapporo Temple Celebration, which was really cool! They did a play telling the story of the first converts in Sapporo, back in early 1900's, then the mission was closed and they had a really hard time and then the missionaries came back. I am so amazed by the faith of those first members- they truly sacrificed and it's such a blessing to them and all of Japan to have another temple.
Tried to play games with the youth, ye refused to do anything accept cards, so we tried to play cards!
Sunday we went to the 9 am session of the Sapporo Temple Dedication. Elder Stevenson spoke completely in Japanese! He and President Nelson were the visiting general authorities. Oh, also because there were no other American sisters to go on splits with, I couldn't go to the English session, stayed in Japanese and was a little worried about that- they might speak fast, use big words since it's a dedication, but everything was understandable and even though they had translation for Pres Nelson, we could still hear the English- small miracle for me! Also some members showed up in kimonos, that was pretty cool.
After we returned stopped by an investigator to say goodbye probably, then decided to stop by another one close by, I've taught her off and on the whole time I've been here and right now, she's really progressing again- she's reading the BOM then she brings up her smoking problem and how she wants to quit and was really open and honest and humble with us! Truly she'll be baptized soon I think.
This week I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the temple, for eternal families and the peace and hope that we have. I'm probably leaving Kawachinagano this week, haven't heard anything yet but I've been here 7 months (5 transfers) and I love it so much, but change is probably coming. God has a perfect plan, my testimony of that has grown here- he is absolutely in charge and I see His hand open hearts and opportunities miraculously and know that there are going to be really great things happening here. But from a talk Elder Bednar gave to Japan a while ago, the change really happens mostly inside of us- I've changed the most! How have you changed recently?? How has your testimony grown??
Love you all so much! Eat Popsicles, use AC, don't die in the heat (unless your Australian!)
Love, Sister Wagstaff
Sent from my iPad