Dear Family and Friends,
Sorry I wasn`t able to send the entire email last week with the pictures. That forest is super creepy at night, especially when the winds are high, like when it`s typhoon season. To be honest, I was really excited for the typhoon. I was on splits with my sister training leader that night, so we predicted that if we got stuck in the apartment all day together, we had a plan. It was a great plan. But the typhoon did come and pass that night, which was really good, because then we were able to have our lesson after all the next day.
But in that forest lives a lot of cats, and they all have names. There is a really nice lady that we see all the time, who comes everyday to feed them all. She doesn`t want them to die, so she takes care of them.
That red mushroom was also found in the forest!
So, isn`t the Totoro house cute? The lady who lives there, that is her mail box, and she makes them herself! It is so cute.
As far as earthquakes, we do have them. A lot. but most of the time, I don`t notice them. ^.^ We only had a couple last transfer, but we`ve had countless this transfer, but they`re all minor, so no worries, right?
I did have my birthday, the same day that we had district and zone meeting. and Eikaiwa. That photo in the church classroom is our eikaiwa class! We teach the student class. Elementary level through High School level.
My birthday was pretty busy, though. I kept forgetting it was my birthday. But we went to eat lunch together after zone meeting was over, and got Indo Curry. It is always really good.
My companion made me breakfast, and also cooked brownies for me, in our rice cooker! Isn`t that the best? Since we don`t have ovens here, many people use their rice ccokers, or their microwaves, which can conveniently turn into ovens. Convenient, right?
It is really humid here. Actully more than Missouri. I think it is hot, but then I realize that it is just the humidity level. Walked into the church building today, and even my arms were covered in a layer of sweat! Crazy. This is why Sister Wada has commanded us all to drink two liters of water a day. I think I drink enough, but then again, I never measure.
I am learning a lot, about how the Lord workds through the Holy Ghost, to bring things to our remembrance when we need it. He has given me many tender mercies this week, when I was feeling really down about myself. No one can ever be the perfect missioanry, like we all would like to be. But that is why we live.
Today, I read a really good talk by Elder Bednar. His talk this last General Conference was the story about the truck that his friend bought, and was so confident in, that he got stuck in the snow, on a mountain.
You should read it. And then, I would like you to think about the paragraphs under "Our Individual Load".
When I read the last paragraph, I thought of cake. Well, rather, I thought about the Pioneers. When they took their journey across America, pulling their wagons with their only belongings with them, which do you think they would have rather carried: A cake, or a bag of flour? Which would have been more meaningful to them, would have lasted them longer, and would have been the best to hold onto?
Then I thought about my own life. What is the cake in my life, that is "nice but unnecessary", and what is the flour in my own life, that "truly matters most"?
I will let you think about it for a week. As for myself, I came up with a few things for both of the lists.
First, the cake in my life, which is nice but unnecessary:
-Media. Things that would distract me from what is most important. There are many good things, and yet, if they detract us from what is really important, then they become like the cake which, not weighing as much as the bag of flour, will not contribute much to our spiritual traction.
-Relying on myself instead of God. The Book of Mormon says it so many times, that the destruction of the people came when they relied on the arm of flesh, instead of relying on God. Believing in God is the only smart way to live, because He loves us, and if we let Him, He will give us the greatest things we could ever hope for
-Comfort. As the talk says, "Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load."
-The things I possess.
I am sure there are more, but now I would really like to touch on the flour, or the things that matter most to me:
-The covenants I have made
-The words of God`s prophets, which we conveniently hold in our hands, and can freely read.
-My testimony of and conversion to God.
-My witness that He lives, and is our Heavenly Father, and my relationship with Him. -My eternal salvation, and the eternal salvation of my family.
-Helping everyone I can, so that we can all live together with God.
I hope you made a good list yourself of what is important, and what is not so necessary.
There was a speaker at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) who said this, "If you put first things fist, the seconds things are thrown in. If ou put second things first, you lose both the first and the second things."
Hope this letter was a good one.
I testify to what I have said in this email, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."