This week was an awesome week. On Sunday for relief society we had Janice Kapp Perry come and speak to us. She wrote all the best primary songs like I love to see the temple, We'll Bring the World His Truth, I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus, A Child's Prayer....etc. the list goes on. She also wrote the music to as Sisters in Zion. At the end of the meeting she announced a new song she wrote for sister missionaries to the tune of As sisters in Zion called "The Sisters Of Zion" The auditorium full of only sister missionaries stood up and sang it with the words going across the screens. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. The spirit filled everyones hearts. Sister missionaries are powerful and we are going around the world in numbers larger than ever before. A very special work is about to come forth among the children of men. I know that to be true. After the meeting she said she was willing to shake some of our hands. The line wrapped around the MTC!! But luckily I was in the front. I shook her hand and told her that the song "I Love to See The Temple" made a huge impact in my life and gave me peace in one the the most difficult times of my life. I started to cry, but the line was being pushed along. I think she was able to look through deep into my eyes and see my sincerity.
Then on Tuesday we had the incredible opportunity to have ELDER RUSSELL M. NELSON of the quorum of the twelve apostles speak to us! He said we need to be ready to answer lots of questions! He said, "I pounded the pulpit on your behalf, telling people to ask the missionaries!!! SO get ready!" He talked about family history work and praying for your ancestors with specific character traits that you're in need of to help you. I thought of Grandpa Bean and his ability to love everyone and his patience and calmness. I pray to attain those traits :) He also said to pray for the ancestors of the people in Japan to lead you to their posterity so that their work can be done! We stood up and sang "Called To Serve" like we always do and again the spirit was so strong. As I stood and sang that song to an apostle of the Lord I felt like I was singing to my Heavenly Father. Telling Him that I will do everything in my power to serve with all my might mind and strength. I also got to sing in the Choir again for Elder Nelson. I love the choir! Its such a fun thing to teach people through songs!
Not everyday is easy on a mission as I'm sure you know, but the hard days are when we learn the most. I've started a new language study plan that has helped me not only with language but with other aspects of my study. I literally plan out every minute of my personal language study time so I don't waste one minute of the Lord's time. Japanese is a very difficult language but my testimony of the reality of the Gift of Tongues is developing. I know that because of my call from the Lord, I can qualify for the gift of tongues. If I constantly ask for it and do all I can in learning the language I can receive the gift of tongues! One thing that we do as a district to help our Japanese is to do what we call "SYL" or "Nihongo dake". Certain times of the day we can only speak Japanese. If there is a word we don't know we can fill in the English word into the Japanese grammar. It can be really difficult but very helpful! I try to do it all the time! Even if I just add a "desu" or a "desho?" at the end of each sentence.
We have mini testimony meetings weekly after Tuesday night devotionals. This last one before it was my turn, I said a prayer in my hear to know what to say. I had the strong impression to "simply testify of what you know" That is like my new motto. Testify what I know! During lessons sometimes I forget words or how to say what I want to say but then I remember the feeling, "testify of what you know" I know how to testify in Japanese so I do that. It always invites the spirit.
We have a new teacher again! We lost Clark Shimai which I am really sad about because her investigator was progressing so well and had accepted baptism. So we have a BRAND new investigator. I think the Lord wants us to get better at our first lesson. :) The restoration is central to our message and I really want to be able to teach it in Japanese before I go! Our new teachers name is Nitta Sensei. He is half Japanese but didn't learn Japanese until his mission. He has only been home from his mission 2 and a half months! I'm looking forward to the next 2 weeks with him. We also had to say goodbye to a member of our district Broomhead Shimai. She has had knee problems and need to get surgery. We will miss her very much.
Now more than any other time in my life I feel like I am recognizing, receiving, and acting on personal revelation. Having the spirit with you is absolutely essential to missionary work. We have to be worthy to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. I pray for the people in Japan everyday to be prepared to receive the gospel. A marvelous work is about to come forth over there!! Heavenly Father loves the people of Japan so much and I'm honored at the opportunity to share in that love for them. Pray for them :)
I love you! Thanks for you support! Keep those letters coming! We have 17 days till we leave! So that means only 17 more days of free dear elder! Strive to be missionaries, and good examples to those around you! I appreciate all the prayers that have gone to heaven in my behalf. I have felt an added measure of strength in hard times :)
Love you all,