Well, this last week was packed full of miracles!
1. Sister Heaton and I gave our training on the Atonement last week with all the missionaries in our zone, (about 30 people or so?) and it was such a powerful spiritual experience. I was sooo grateful for the spirit that I felt there. With out fail every time I have an opprtunity to testify of the Atonement the spirit testifies to me so strongly that its true.
Sister Heaton talked about her youngest brother who is 14 and has down syndrome, and testified about the power of the Atonement in being able to overcome our weaknesses. I wish I could write all the word that she said. It was such a wonderful meeting!
2. We met with a woman last week named Iwamoto San (she was given to us when the other Shimai left) and she is SO PREPARED. Oh my gosh, we walked into her home and saw a picture of the last supper hanging up on her wall and I was SOOOO EXCITED!! Its only been the second time on my whole mission where I have seen someone with a picture of Christ on their wall. (except for members of course). But right away I knew she was a prepared person. She got her Book of Mormon out right away along with her Bible, when we sat down in her living room! (oh, she has a couch, its a miracle!) I was SOOO happy to see that she reads from the bible!! It was all sorts of marked up! She told us that she studies Christianity because it all about love, she loves Buddhism too. That is what she is claiming to be right now, but when we read the introduction of the Book of Mormon together I asked her if she had a desire to know if it was true. She said that she did have a little bit of a desire to know and we committed her to read the first two chapters and pray about the thing we had talked about. She accepted the invitation no problem! She was soooo kind to us. She fed us multiple times while we were at her house and she sent us home with two cans of homemade jam! She is diabetic so she pawned off all her sweets on us :) We love her and are so excited about how kind and prepared she is! We will let you know how her lesson goes this week. Please pray!
3. Marina San. She is 18 years old and has been meeting with missionaries for years. She went to EFY last year and had a waaay powerful experience but has yet to commit to living the gospel or getting baptized. She kind of lost interest but recently has shown SO much interest and wants to start meeting with missionaries again. We have taught her once and it was a way powerful meeting. She comes to our free English class and we have set up an appointment with her this week for 30 minutes. I am not sure what we are going to teach her yet, but we need to start talking about baptism again I think. She is going to America to go to school in a few months so I think the lord is preparing her before she goes! She is super cute and I feel like she is going to start progressing really quick after this week :) Its a miracle that she wants to meet with us!
4. Eri San. We met her last week on the street at night! She is SO cute! She is 18 and will be going to college soon also, she has lots of interest in English. But the thing that stood out to me the most is that she kept saying over and over 'I am SO HAPPY that we met!! I feel so happy!!' She said that at least three times. She said that she would come to church but she didn't come, but committed to come to the church Wednesday for a little lesson, she said she was going to bring a friend too, so we will see what happens!!
5. This one is crazy.... :)
Yesterday Heaton and I have been wanting to go housing in an area that is maybe 30 minutes away from our house. We didn't really have a specific place that we wanted to go, we just biked and stopped when we felt good about an area. As we started housing we weren't meeting people that were very nice. We housed into a man who knew what the church was and didn't want anything to do with us, but when we walked away from his house I said 'good, I know we are in the right area now...he knew exactly who we were.' ( I always take that as the sign that we are in the right place. If someone we run into knows exactly who we are, has met missionaries, has a book of Mormon already but rejects us I know we are close to finding a prepared person in that area). We housed for about 15 more minutes and came to the end of the neighborhood. We had maybe 5 houses left and saw a little old woman outside her house as we were walking by she was taking care of her garden. She gave us a smile and we complimented her garden. We approached her in her driveway and I asked her what her favorite flower was...she pointed to one close by and said 'I have told Smith Shimai all about my flowers.' Sister Heaton and I looked at each other and said 'What?? You know Smith Shiami??' And she said 'yeah! I went to church 2 weeks ago when they gave their talks, before they went back to America...' Turns out this woman is Yatsuhashi San and she is a less active member and her whole family is baptized. We have been wanting to visit this family for the last two weeks but haven't been able to get around to going. Neither did we know where they lived. The Lord directed us straight to their home. It was SUCH a huge miracle!!
From this experience, along with many, many others, I now that the lord lives and loves us and is more involved in this work than we have ANY idea. I know I sound way surprised that such a thing would happen...out of ALL the streets we turned up we turned up hers, but I'm not surprised at all. This is the Lords work. He is hastening it and its as simple as that. I just fortunately get to be apart of it. Please remember that the Lord knows us and is aware of each of us in a very personal way!
The work and church are true! I love you all!
Love Sharp Shimai