September 2, 2013- Didn't get this letter until September 9th!
Dear Family- (Sorry I promise I am alive!!!!!!!) Computer malfunctioning.
This week has been hard, but it has been one of the most rewarding weeks I have had since being in the mission! I am so blessed to be a missionary. This past week, miracles happened. REAL MIRACLES.
We went to Nagoya for trainers training, and at this point I have 5 short weeks until I will be a trainer. The conference was really short, but awesome. I am now beginning to realize my complete and utter inadequacy as I prepare and work hard to become a trainer. Ultimately, I will be relying on the grace of God to get me ready. I just pray for the peace in my heart that it will all be okay in the end.
We tried to set up an appointment with one of our investigators at the beginning of the week. We called her to see how she is doing and asked if we ccould meet with her this week. Due the the Matsuri festivals, it is a week of drinking for her so she does not want to meet with us while she is "Yopparai" (wasted drunk). She said that she will be drinking constantly in the upcoming week and she does not want to meet with us until she is sober again. SO that was a bummer and a half. Don`t really know where we are going to go from there.
Last Wednesday we went to the Alzheimers care center as usual. Our best friend there was having his birthday party, so we got cake and watermelon. Win. He also gave a speech where he demonstrated his "daiji na oto" ..."important/special sound." That sound was athe first cry he made when he came out of his mother`s womb.. followed by an interpreative gesture (best described as teh position he was in when coming out of the womb) startled doesn`t begin to describe it, it was honestly the funniest thing I have ever seen. But the cake was good. On the way back we were at the train station and there was this woman on the bench, we sat by her and talked to her for a little bit. She asked why we are here and when she heard we are missionaries she nearly jumped out of her seat she was so thrilled adn proud of us. She said that she she read the bible when she was young and felt really good while she read it, but has not been able to find that church since. She has travelled the world searching for this church- going to rome, canada, california, tokyo. So we just testified of our church and how much God loves her and she started CRYING. She was so touched.. RIght in that moment the train came and she had to leave. We asked her if we could teach her more, but she had to go. We were only able to give her a gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet with our contact information on it. I don:t know if we were the church she was looking for, but I know she felt something.
Friday we had this awesome day planned and we were stoked to get out and work. We had the faith to find, and the dendo fire to talk to every person in Japan. Then of course, Torrential downpour, our favorite. Plans ruined.,... or were they? So we were in Nagano and were trying to dendo inside. We got an appointment with one of our potential investigators, walked around, and then decided to head home because the rain wasn:t letting up. We stopped by a less actives home to teach a lesson. IT was an awesome lesson and she was actually testifying to US. She was baptized because her friend was doing it, so it was awesome to hear that from her. As we were leaving her home, I saw a woman in the distance walking under an umbrella. She looked like the weight of the world was on her shoulders and that she was just completely bummed out. This voice came into my head "you need to talk to her." Usually I do not deny a prompting of that boldness, but we were getting drenched and we were already on our bikes. So we kept going down the street. The farther away we drove the more I felt like my heart was going to be ripped out of my chest. So finally sister smith said that she feels like we need to talk to that woman. I gave a complete sigh of relief and told her I felt the same way. Thank goodness we were having the same prompting. So we pulled our bikes over the the side fo the road and were just fiddling in our backpacks int eh rain. When we approached her we began talking to her. SHe was pregnant, in her twenties, it was pouring rain, and she was out for a walk. A little unusual. So we began to testify about eternal families, God and all that stuff. SHe said that she doesn:t know if there is a god. She doesnt even believe in buddhism. As we talked to her, her countenance changed, she looked legitinately happier. The Spirit was so strong. We asked her if we could teach her more, but she said that she doesn:t think that her family would be okay with that. So then we were like.. Ahh.. Dangit. And we were just going to say, "oh well. if we run into you again." BUt then I remembered the humble Book of Mormon I had put in my back pack this morning. A book that precious did not desserve to be wet in the rain so I put it in this cute little fabric bag that wrapped around it several times. I asked her to wait a moment and then grabbed it out of my bag and said "we have a present for you." She looked puzzled and then I handed it to her. We testified of the book of mormon and how she will feel comfort and peace through it. Our contact information was on the inside, but she told us that she would read the book of Mormon. THat she WANTED to read the Book of Mormon. As she walked away, she held that book of mormon close to her heart. She knew that it was a special book. I don:t know if anything will come out of that experience that I will ever know, but she HAS a book of mormon. She has a place to go when times get hard. I am so excited. We think that she doesn:t have a husband and lives with her family, but even if they aren:t supportive of her taking lessons. She has a book that she can turn to to have a relationship with God. I am so excited. THat book will bring forth miracles and happiness in her life. I have faith that she will read it and it will change her life. That was quite honestly one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. Later that night we met with takemoto san again. It had been a long time and we really wanted to see where she was at. So we taught about God and read James 1:5. She honestly just understood the concept. We asked if she had ever asked for help before from God and she said she had askeed for her mom before and she was like- i asked for gods helkp when she got surgery... And then she talked about how when she studies really hard for english tests and then prays to god, she does good. But if she doesn:t work really ahrd he does not help her. So it was amazing how much she understood. The Spirit was so strong and she just connected all teh dots. We had her read moroni 10:3-5. We met with her the next day and she just told us how she felt so good when she read the book fo mormon. So we taught her a lesson and then taught her how to pray at the end. So we asked her to pray and she was really afraid of it, but eventually she said she would. It was without a doubt, the most incredible prayer I have ever heard. At firsti she was a little bit nervous, but as she prayed she TALKED to God. Wow.. THe spirit was so strong. She kept saying "I am so thankful for the Amy sisters and them helping me learn English. They make me really happy, and I like how I feel around them." So then she said that her mom ahd a surgery in July and her eye is not healing very well (and just told God the whole background story) and asked for his help. She ended the prayer and my eyes were honestly watering becasue it was so incredible. I absolutely take for granted what it means to pray, to talk to God.
God loves these people so much. I love these people so much. I am trying so hard to learn Japanese, and it is so slow, but I knwo that I can speak when God needs me to. I love you all! The church is true!