I'm off to serve an LDS mission in Kobe, Japan from June 2015 to December 2016. My mom will be keeping this blog updated with my latest letters, photos, adventures, etc.! Also I would LOVE to hear from everyone - katya.wagstaff@myldsmail.net

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Oct. 3 Miracle Week!

Last Monday evening after p-day we visited a member couple in a beautiful traditional Japanese house- that was cool, but better than that was talking with them and hearing the sister's strong hope about less-active kids. She knows they will come back and has really strong faith. PS if you want to read a cool talk with really good promises, "A Child and a Disciple" by Elder Eyring in April 2003- also he talks a little about Japan! 

Tuesday was MLC in Kobe and things are changing up- first we met at President Welch's house instead of the church and got to sit on comfy chairs- that's a bonus! But the real cool part as that we have a new challenge/promise: Every companionship will see a baptism before the end of this year! The Spirit was really strong in that room and it was so exciting to talk abut how we are all going to reach that goal and something that touched me was how much Welch Kaicho cares about the individual- he asked all of the Zone Leaders and STLs to get their baptisms quick so that we can focus our efforts on uplifting and doing all we can to help all the other missionaries around. Us so that everyone can succeed together- this really is a group effort. At MLC Zhou Shimai and I had he prompting that to help us get our baptism, receive more direction we needed to fast, so we fasted the next day and on Wednesday had a great day...

Wednesday started with lunch at a member's and she made us a really good traditional Japanese lunch- mostly sushi and it was sooo good. We talked about being prepared and found out she's already getting excited and prepped for Christmas dendo, because so many barriers that people have to Christianity disappear at Christmas-time, it's true! So that was exciting to hear. Then we had an appt with Shuu at Seishi Shimai's house. Short version is, it was probably the most amazing lesson experience of my mission- the Spirit was very present, Shuu San bore part of her testimony and is definitely coming to know that this church is true and we set a date for her to be baptized on October 30th! She is a miracle. 

Thursday we got SKK (weekly planning) done in exactly 2 hours! At MLC, Welch Kaicho said it should only take 2 hours and we realized we needed to repent, and we did it and it felt so good having it all done without taking forever. Then we were able to go out, visit a recent convert Chin Shimai, then a less active with the RS Pres and we had a nice quick lesson about the First Vision and then raced back to the church because a member set up an appointment with an investigator we haven't seen in a while, got there and waited and waited and waited and no show :( that was too bad (but it's okay because there was a miscommunication and she came Friday and Zhou Shimai got to meet her). 

Friday ZTM in Yamatokoriyama and announced the baptism goal and got all excited again! Then the Yamatokoriyama sisters came back with us for a koukan, I went with a 1st transfer and first we had an investigator lesson with fruit stand guy, plus a member was able to come and talked about the Atonement and Sacrament- trying to help this investigator build desire to come to church. Moving very slowly but he's so nice! It started raining pretty hard and we weren't prepared, but more miracles! I was a little stressed because we didn't really have solid evening plans, so while I stopped and checked he map for a bit, Polatis Shimai talked to a grandma and it looked like she just was excited to meet an American, so I didn't go over but then they kept talking so maybe she did have interest? Yeah, she insisted on taking us to a cafe nearby to buy us juice, then we were able to talk, give her a BOM and she said basically felt different and it was a new feeling but good and grateful she met us, so we exchanged numbers, later able to call her and set an appt to meet again! So that pumped us up a lot and even though it was still raining we just tried to talk to everyone on the way home and there were some definite fails and people that thought we were weird but there was able 1 guy that walked up and talked to us first and truly when we really work hard and show our faith, miracles happen- this is Heavenly Father's work and I loved seeing how God strengthens our weaknesses and it didn't matter how much she didn't understand the language, Polatis Shimai was able to talk to people and share the gospel. Really good night. 

Saturday morning studied and sisters left, then most of our plans for the day cancelled on us and we had a long day ahead of us, which is pretty scary and took a second to plan- again definitely God's work because the Spirit guided us to who we needed to visit, where it might be a good idea to go. Did some finding, visited a cute grandma in a lodging home, then stopped by a member's appt and cool story here- she joined the church as a teenager then went LA and married a nonmember and was less-active for many years but thanks to her active sister, was brought back years ago and found out that she really wants to go on a couple mission, but husband doesn't even like the church. That doesn't stop her, she has faith and still does all she can spiritually in addition to secretly saving up money for that mission. Isn't that incredible?!?!?? Seriously so touched by that, there are for sure going to be some pretty amazing things happening with faith like that. Reminds me of Pres Uchtdorf's talk in the Women's Session of General Conference "4th Floor Last Door" - such an inspiring story! Sister Welch shared it with us at MLC on Tuesday and its really noticing, go watch it! We have to persevere and work until the last door of the last floor. 

Sunday morning we had DCS (missionary coordination meeting) and found out that Shuu- new shigansha (person with baptismal date) this week doesn't live in Abeno, she lives right on the border and should technically be going to Sekime Ward. So that was a huge bummer, but the members are really helpful and are going to coordinate really well so we can help her smoothly transition because she's developed relationships with us and members in Abeno. Thankfully she is truly in the process of being converted to the gospel, so there might be some bumps but not big problems. After church we visited Beatrice- investigator with broken arm and experienced the power of the BOM together. First got there and the kids were a little crazy but kept moving forward and she was really touched by Ether 12:27, we were able to set a new baptismal date for 10/30 and she still has so much desire and faith despite the obstacles that have been in the way, so grateful to see her example. 

So overall this has been a powerful week. This mission is directed by God through leaders who hold the rights and authority of the Priesthood and we are seeing miracles. This church, this restored gospel of Jesus Christ- its all true and seeing people discover that is so rewarding. 

Love you all!

Wagstaff 姉妹

(Weakley Choro in the middle is dying)

(But it's all good, we're nice happy people!)

Story from Pres. Uchtdorf's talk "4th Floor Last Door"

Got a call this morning and found out Zhou Shimai is transferring :( :( We were really really hoping to stay
together another transfer especially with the baptisms coming up but for her last transfer she's off to Shikoku opening a new sister area and training! We've had a great transfer together, so grateful for my companions. Don't know who's coming to Abeno, also that is assuming I'm staying (probably). Also can't believe I'm still STL, definitely thought I'd be training this transfer or something, but anything is good! I really like it here in Abeno and there's so much work to do.

Very excited for conference weekend! We had some Americans visit this week and they told us to get excited for Elder Oaks talk- talking about member missionary work? VERY excited for that! I translated in Relief Society and they were just the nicest couple from Nevada- husband had served in Japan a while ago (probably your guys age-ish).

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