Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What a Blessing!

December 16th


I was able to watch the Christmas devotional by the first presidency yesterday!  It was soo good, loved all the music!

SO! This last week we were really blessed by the members, they are always so nice to us and they give us so much food! One member always goes to the Costco all the way in Fukuoka and buys us a huge jar of peanut butter, nutella and tortilla chips. Mmmm bless her soul!


We met with Kaneyasu San for a little bit last week, we didn't teach her a lesson we just dropped by to say hello in the Genkon woo woo!  And she doesn't hate us so that's good.  I don't know if I mentioned what happened the last time we had a lesson with her…we taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ again, and brought up baptism and she kept saying that it was really difficult for her to receive baptism because of her husbands family…there was a bit of a language barrier going on when she was explaining this , and me being impatient and assuming that her reason was Buddhism, just like everyone else's excuse, I said 'well, if you know its true, then you should be baptized'…she kept saying that she couldn't, and kept saying something about her husbands brothers and I said THEY NEED THE GOSPEL TOO!…i didn't yell at her at all, but I was getting a little frustrated.  She quickly rapped the lesson up with us and didn't reschedule the appointment like she normally does.

In district meeting last week I found out what a common problem here in Japan is…if a woman is married to the Oldest Son in the family, then she CANNOT be anything but Buddhist because they have to carry on the culture and all the not so great things that come with being Buddhist.  She can't change, or become anything else if the husband doesn't so THAT'S what she was talking about her husbands brothers…he is the oldest in his family, and therefore she can't get baptized or his family will shun her.  HOWEVER when she took the discussions 20 years ago there were pictures of her AND her husband taking the discussions with missionaries.  But I found out that her husband had and probably still has a drinking problem and that's why they stopped the lessons…when they found out about the word of wisdom they stopped meeting with the missionaries. SO CRAPPY. And sad.  We aren't giving up though! We are doing 9 days of Christmas and leaving little gifts on their doorstep…I hope this softens her husbands heart and allows us to get to know the BOTH of them not just her.  Miracles can happen :)

This unfortunate little tradition that is in the Buddhist culture was also the same reason another one of our investigators didn't continue the lessons with us. Her husband is also the oldest.  The most frustrating thing is that they DON'T even believe in or practice Buddhism.  Its sad that they are stuck in something that they don't even believe. I'm grateful for the ones that convert anyway regardless of what their family is going to think.

I am sooo grateful to know the gospel, accept it, and be able to LIVE it because its MY choice.  What a blessing this is in my life, and I hope in the life of yours.  Please don't take this wonderful gospel for granted!  There are many people here who I know would accept this gospel without a blink of an eye but because of cultural pressures, they are not getting baptized.  Breaks my heart.  The good news is that this is the Lords work and he is preparing the way for the elect to be gathered in and those who hear his voice will readily accept it.  They are far and few in between,  but I know they are out there waiting!  I love this gospel, my appreciation for it grows every single day.  I am so blessed. I am grateful for the Christmas season to reflect even more on my blessings and the wonderful gift of the Atonement.  Remember that this is the real meaning of Christmas!  I love you all!

Sharp Shimai

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