So I survived without Buhler Shimai this last week- It was hard, but the lord put 4 ENGLISH speaking Japanese people in our path in the day that she was gone...it was CRAZY! None of them were super interested in our gospel message, but they all were very interested in our free English class that we teach every Wednesday night. (Don't know if you knew that we teach English every Wednesday? We have about 10 students that attend regularly!)
It was just amazing to see how mindful the Lord was of us to put so many people in our path that we could communicate with. If I learned anything, its that this is Heavenly Fathers work. All he requires is a willing heart and mind, and he will make things happen!
The lady in the kimono pictures is one of our Eikaiwa students (English students) her English name is Kathy and she LOVES the missionaries...she doesn't have any daughters so she always invites us over on pdays to do fun activities with her. She has been coming to Eikaiwa since 2009...missionaries have tried teaching her, but for some reason she hasn't quite accepted the gospel yet. We are going to talk to her about the gospel this week and see if she is open to having us start teaching her again. We love her though she is the best and she loves us! That day was so fun. She didn't give us the Kimonos though, she just has a ton!
So yeah, there aren't too many updates to give! Life is really good! We had a dinner on Friday night with our branch ward missionaries at their house, (They are less active...) and at the end of it, I bore a really strong testimony on less active work...the spirit was so strong. After months of being less active, they finally came back to church yesterday! And yes, they are SET APART missionaries.
Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting, and I bore my testimony to the ward, and again, it was a great spiritual experience for me. We also taught gospel principles class yesterday (yes, its in Japanese..always haha) and it was really good! In relief society we had five minutes at the end of the lesson for testimonies..and nobody was going so again...I bore my testimony. HA
The biggest revelation I have learned since I have been in Japan is that in order to see change among the members, I HAVE to be their example. At all times. If i want people to be better members, then i have to be a better member, and outwardly show it. If I want people to share their testimonies more, then I have to willing to share mine. If I want ward members to stop fighting with each other, then I have to be their example of love. If I want people to always remember Christ, then I always have to be talking about Him. I am not waiting for the members to change their ways anymore...they need to be taught how to change through the example of others. And it starts with the missionaries!
I know that Heavenly Father loves all his children. Its such a powerful truth. I love this gospel. I pray every night that the members will more fully understand the gospel so that the members here can grow into a ward. I want it to happen so bad. But they need leadership, SO this is my new determination...Lead by example. Always. Even when I can't communicate perfectly, I need to do it anyways. I know its what the Lord expects of me...
Once you are converted, strengthen your brethren... That is what Jesus taught.
Doctrine and Covenants 64:33,34
Wherefore, he not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind...
I know that that is SO TRUE!
All is well. I am so grateful to be here. What a blessing to have the gospel in our lives.
I love you all!