This last week was much better than the week before. Yes it is transfer week- I haven't gotten the call yet, but I am pretty positive that I am staying. I think I will stay here until the end of my mission. Kashiwa and I are doing great :) I really do love her so much, I am sooo grateful for her. I would love to stay companions with her until the very end.
This last week Kashiwa shimai and I saw some way awesome things happen. We went out housing with a member from the ward and we found two awesome people. The first one was a young mother. I knocked on the door and she opened it and the first thing she said is `Oh! Aren't you Mormons!? I saw you two last week in front of your church, we talked for just a little bit, do you remember?` Kashiwa remembered her, but I didn't at all...we talked to her about the Plan of Salvation. She has two young kids, and one of them has a huge fear of people. She said that in order for her daughter to overcome her fears of people, she felt like we were the kind of people she wanted to bring her around. She wants to attend church, but she is super busy this month. We will be recontacting her again at the end of the month, and I think we will be able to start meeting with her. It was a miracle that we not only stopped her on the street, but Heavenly Father guided us straight to her house! She is obviously being prepared. In the same apartment complex, a few doors down, we knocked on the door of an older man named Taira San. We began talking to him about the restoration after he made a comment about how there are too many churches on the earth, all teaching different things from the same bible. He said that he has read the bible and he just doesn't understand why all there are so many different christian churches...he doesn't know which one to join. He didn't have a clue, but he was almost word for word quoting Joseph Smith history. IT was crazy! I shared with him the first vision and the three of us bore testimony of an apostasy. He was touched and said that we could come back and teach him more, but between his work and his visits to the doctor, he couldn't make a solid appointment. However, he gave us all his information and we are going to try really hard to meet with him this week. He is incredibly prepared to accept the restoration. Super excited :)
Yesterday we were on our way to an appointment that we had at a members house and as we were biking along the sidewalk, a man biking in our direction yells out `Are you Mormons?` in passing. Normally when people recognize us I immediately stop and talk with them...however something was different about this guy, and I had no desire to stop and talk with him. As i rode by I said yep! and kept going..kashiwa didn't hear him so when we got to the light I turned to her and said `that guy back there knew who we were, should we go back and talk with him? I don't really feel impressed to talk with him...` She said she didn't either. As we were waiting for the light to turn green we heard a voice from behind us say `Konnichwa!` we turned around and it was a sweet old grandma who has apparently met sister missionaries before and received a book of Mormon a few months ago. She kept saying that she was looking forward to meeting with us, but we had no idea who she was...I got her name and address and we set up an appointment to meet with her today at noon! huge miracle! I immediately knew why I wasn't impressed to go back and talk with that man..we needed to be standing on that corner so that Chinen San (the grandma) could see us and stop us. The Lord works in wonderful ways :)
One of the best miracles of the week happened with a man named Nakamoto san.
Sister Lewis and I were on exchanges together last week in our area and we housed into this sweet older man who said that he would love to see his ancestors again if he had the chance. We bore testimony of the plan of salvation and asked if we could come back in a few days. He agreed. I asked if his wife would be home at the time that we would be coming and he said no- he also said that she probably wouldn't have any interest in our message. We said okay and left.
Yesterday Kashiwa Shimai and I went to our appointment with him and knocked on his door. His wife answered..she didn't know who we were and seemed a little confused, but we explained that we met her husband a few days ago and that he invited us over. She let her husband know we were at the door and he came and let us in. His wife at first didn't seem to excited that we were in her house, and she didn't participate in the lesson, but I think by the end of the meeting her heart was softened. She served us tea (that we cant drink..always super awkward) and said that we could definitely come back on Wednesday. She will be at work, but she is ok with us coming. Anyways, during the lesson we talked to Nakamoto San about the atonement of Jesus Christ. He knows nothing about God or Jesus Christ, as almost all people in Okinawa, and he worships his ancestors. (Just like everyone else) However, when we explained the role of Jesus Christ and the Atonement to him, he was intently listening the whole time. He had never heard of it before and the spirit was definitely in the room bearing witness to him that it was true. He had never prayed before so we taught him to pray and committed him to pray on his own before he went to bed that night. He said that he would. We set up another appointment for Wednesday :) YAY!!!! I really feel like he is going to progress and keep his commitments. The only problem is going to be his wife, but I think we will be able to soften her a little more with time. He use to be a taxi driver, but is retired now. They have four grown children and 9 grandchildren. He came from a family of 12 which is absolutely unheard of for a Japanese family, and he is the youngest. I Have a feeling that all his ancestors are rejoicing on the other side of the veil when they saw us step into his house yesterday and taught of the atonement and plan of salvation. I am excited to see what happens, and I will update you next week on his progress :)
The church is true! Heavenly Father is hastening his work. I am so blessed to be a part of it. Thank you for all your prayers. I know that the power of your prayers are real!! I love each of you. Remember that God is aware of you and knows everything about you and your life. He loves each of you and is so ready to use each of you in hastening his work. Go to the temple as often as possible! Say your prayers, and read the scriptures EVERY DAY.
Love you all! Stay Genki (happy/healthy)
Love, Sharp Shimai