(It's been a long time, Takao!)
Dear Family and Friends,
I am in Japan. I am a missionary. I am in Kofu.
I wrote something this last week, and although it doesn't flow
perfectly, I know that it crosses my mind often.
Know ye not that ye are children of God,
Know ye not your worth?
God has called angels to come and surround you,
And has guided you forth since birth.
Through the storm comes the rain,
Through the rain comes the sun,
And a rainbow-- our Father's love.
It's because He knows you, loves you,
To show you, you are His, He'll never let go.
Then stand up, firm in the faith,
Wherewith you have been made free,
Then stand strong, knowing you don't stand alone.
When we stand for the right, we have God on our side,
Trust in Him, He'll never let go.
God has given me many miracles this week! So many! Let me share a we with you!
First, had interviews this week! Interviews with our mission
president, which are always good. They are very inspirational! He is
amazing! Then, because my first trainer in Takao is now sister
training leader, we got to go on exchanges, and I got to do missionary
work in Takao again. I got to see what has progressed since I'd been
there, and how people were. We got to see people I didn't think I
would see! They were all good visits, and we were able to share
messages with them, and then depart. That was a good reminder to me. I
am sure that if I were to go back to any one of my areas, being Takao
and Hodogaya, that I would be happy to see everyone, or anyone!
That was all good! It is a long train ride from Takao to Kofu (two
hours) but it is a good one. Good views, Exocet when you go
through/under mountains. Then you have to keep swallowing to make sure
your ears keep popping! Air pressure!
Lately, have you thought about what God has given you?
I have, and in my hardest of times, it's a good reminder. Even if I
don't have everything I want, I will never go without the things I
What else has happened? Oh! There was an activity at the church with
fireworks, like sparklers, etc. So many families came! We were hoping
that a specific family would come, but they weren't able to make it.
Nonetheless, it was a good activity. Next Saturday is a matsuri at the
church! I am excited. We'll be making small tickets for it, and
helping out. We made a flyer! I'll attach it. My companion did most of
the writing. ^.^ It turned out so cute!
So, here is a challenge, and it's a good one. It changes people. It's
simple. Hug the people you love, and tell them you love them! Don't
make your family wonder if you love them! Show it!
Last comments from President Thomas S Monson:
I have wept in the night,
For the shortness of sight,
That to somebody's need made me blind.
But I never have yet,
Felt a tinge of regret,
For being a little too kind.
Dear Family and Friends,
These last couple of weeks have been amazing. Last week, I wasn't able
to mention how Wada Kaichou came to Kofu ward! In my weekly Presidents
letter, he told me, right after I was transferred to Kofu, let's see
you love the ward members there. So, I have been loving the members
here in Koufu.
So, let's talk about Kofu. It is the biggest,hottest area of the
mission. It is inaka (country, rural) and there are so many fruits
grown here! There is no room in our fridge for anything! People ask
what I like to eat, and that is, of course, fruit! And then, people
say, "Aha. Now I see why you were transferred to Kofu."
I have a great companion! Akamatsu Shimai is so great! We laugh
together, study together, and get sick together! She is really funny,
and we joke all the time. We have named all the different vending
machines. And the post box. There are actually vending machines
everywhere, usually randomly on the street. Which is super nice when
you need to buy something to drink, and there aren't any conbini
(convenience stores) anywhere to be found.
Well, I've done it now. I've cooked Takoyaki and eaten it. Have you
ever held parts of an octopus before? I have. And I cut it into little
pieces too. It is interesting to me that something so common in Japan
is considered to be strange in other countries.
When Wada Kaichou came to Koufu ward, a member of the Stake Presidency
also came! And that stake presidency member was from my first area, in
Takao! It was great to see him! I asked about his family, and how they
were doing, and he told me that he had taken his two daughters to
Disneyland in Tokyo that weekend! I'm glad to hear they are doing
Wada Kaichou talked about faith, and read with the ward from Alma 32,
and spoke on how faith requires us to act of what we believe. And to
take the next step that we have been not taking, that we've been
putting off. "If that is family home evening, have family home
evening; if that is prayer, pray; if that is baptism, get baptized."
He went step-by-step through the verses of Alma 32, and then told a
story of two elders who were trying to find a house. They didn't know
exactly where it was, so they decided to house the whole block. After
many many houses of something we hear all the time, "kekko desu,"
(Which basically means no thank you, with the connotation of "we're
through talking") , they wanted to give up, but they decided to stick
with it even though it was hard. They showed their faith. The very
last house, they went and knocked on the door, and a woman opened it,
and as soon as she saw one of the Elders, she ran back into her house.
Which left the elders a little bewildered, but she soon came back,
holding a photo of a different set of Elders. "Is this what you are?"
she asked. She had been waiting for someone to find her again. She was
taught, and eventually received baptism. But what if those Elders had
not shown enough faith to keep going to the last door?
What if we don't show our faith? What will happen? Or rather, what
Missionaries always think about this, and it can stress them out.
Because sometimes, They are afraid to talk to people. Random people on
the train, or walking on the street, can seem intimidating. They are
afraid to ring the doorbell, for fear of hearing the words, "Kekko
desu." Why do they do it, then? What is their motivation?
従順は価値ある代償Obedience is the Price
信仰は力Faith is the Power
愛は動機Love is the Motive
御霊は鍵The Spirit is the Key
キリストは理由です。Christ is the Reason
Thanks for your love. Wada Kaichou also talked about charity, from
Moroni 7:45. He showed the first few minutes of a movie entitled,
Greater Love. It is an old American movie. It is of a girl, who in a
certain situation, is asked to give her blood to her older brother, in
order to keep him alive. It was a wonderful wonderful Questions of the
Today, we taught a member family about the Atonement. We talked about
Christ, and what He has done for us. It is a big concept for an eleven
year old to grasp, but I think it's the most important thing. Because
of Christ, all of our losses will be made up, through the Atonement.
There are sweet Sisters in the ward who are facing hard times, but
because they trust in that, they find comfort and peace, even if those
promised blessings don't come until they are resurrected.
The people of Japan are an inspiration to me. I am grateful to be here.
PS- just as a loving reminder that my Facebook usage is for inviting
others to come unto Christ. Please keep any posts on my page, or any
comments, to that purpose. Thank you for already doing such a great
job of that. You never know how much of an impact it has on the people
who see it.
Today, it is already time to go home, and I haven't been able to write
any emails except for one. I'm sorry for the lacking of this letter,
but know that I am safe, and that the people here are amazing, that I
recently received letters from grandma and grandpa! And from Melissa!
Which made me so happy! Nd that I will reply in later course. Thank
you for all your support!
May God bless you all!
If anywhere in Japan felt like home, it would be Kofu! I can't believe
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."