Monday, October 21, 2013

Kare was watashi no ai suru ko........

Konnichiwa Kazoku,

How are things back on the home front. Things are going well here in the middle of the Pacific. The weather is awesome! Its still very warm but the humidity is going way down! 

This week we helped Yuho get packed up and move :( We watched the Restoration DVD with her and felt the spirit even in Japanese! There is something very special in the specific words Joseph Smith used when describing the first vision. As missionaries we are encouraged to memorize it and use it when we teach. I first memorized it in English at the MTC and tried in Japanese but it was just so hard and long. But everyday this transfer Hawkins Shimai and I have been practicing it and I can finally say it is Japanese! You should all read it again so here it is!

"I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me....When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!"
Isnt that beautiful! I testify that Joseph Smith really did see the Father and the Son. Joseph Smith was called of God to be a prophet. Through him the gospel was restored to the earth.
But anyways, Yuho did leave and we passed all her information to the Elders is Saga. :( 
During the last typhoon days we did a lot of area book work and found former investigators. We visited one this week who took the lessons 2 years ago. We committed her to come to church next Sunday for the primary program. I really love working with the Military branches. They are run so well and during branch council every one jumped at the opportunity to help this lady and her husband.
We had zone training meeting and for the first time ever in the Fukuoka Mission we are Sister Training Leaders who are paired together and do trainings and spilts with us. They came down to our training and gave us an incredible training! Its about time that we have sister leaders. All the young elders need the maturity and strength these seasoned sisters have. One of our training leaders is my mission mom (trainer) Black Shimai and the other is Latu Shimai who is an incredible missionary! I want to be like them when I grow up! I really love my sister zone leaders.
We had a miracle this week with our investigator. Her name is Mikiko. She has been investigating the church for 2 years and he daughter was baptized and is now at BYU Hawaii preparing to serve a mission. Mikiko is practically like a member. She goes to church almost every week and she reads her scriptures and prays daily. She has told us that she feels the church is true. This week we had an appointment with her. Hawkins Shimai and I had planned and prepared to commit her to be baptized, which had been tried before from other missionaries. But we went into the lesson with that plan. We were both prompted to simply start talking about baptism. As we were talking about baptism and her feelings about it she said to us, "I think I am ready to be baptized." We were both shocked! The spirit had touched her and testified to her heart! We tried to set a date but she needs to discuss her decision with her husband who is very against church. When their daughter was baptized he was totally against it, but slowly his heart is softening toward her. We pray for him everyday that he will let her be baptized. Please pray for Mikiko and especially her husband.
Thats all I have time for this week!! I love being a missionary! I love OKINAWA!!!! The church is true and it really does make you happy!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Typhoon & Yuho's Baptism

Konnichiwa Kazoku!

This week was all about YUHO!!!!!!!!! We wanted to meet with her everyday leading up to her baptism. She is awesome. We are so grateful for all the help we got from the ward. They have been incredible giving us rides and jointing for us. We NEED joints to help us because our language is NO WHERE NEAR perfect yet. The Okinawa ward is incredible! We are also getting so much help from an incredible member in one of the military wards. Even though she cant speak Japanese she befriends our investigators and does everything she can to help us! She is fearless! She is evening having our investigator Yuho at her house during the Typhoon because Yuho lives alone! I WANNA BE MICHELLE WHEN I GROW UP!!!

I hit my 6 month mark this week!! WOAHHH!!! What happened to the time! I only have a year left! This time next year I will be coming home!!! How crazy is that?!?! You spend all your life thinking about and planning for a mission that when its finally here is just flies by. AND TODAY IS TRANSFER CALLS!! AGAIN!!! We havent gotten our call yet, but I feel like I am staying here for a little longer. 

Conference was this weekend but we will see it next weekend when it is translated into Japanese. I CANNOT WAIT! Never in my life have I hungered and thirsted so much to hear the words of the prophets and apostles. I have read the April conference Liahona nan kai mo. (over and over again) I have studied those talks and love them! I cant wait for more!!!! Yippeee!!! 

TYPHOOOOON!!!! Yep you heard me right. Its typhoon time here is Okinawa. WE ARE ALIVE!! Our first typhoon experience was pretty exciting! Of course the biggest typhoon of the year was to come at exactly the time and day of our baptism! But that didnt stop us! Only delayed us a little. We had to reschedule it for the next day. During the typhoon we were not allowed to leave our apartment. It was tough being cooped up all day in our apartment but we were able to do a lot of area book dendou (missionary work) and make some appointments with former investigators. We also called almost everyone in our phone (old investigators, members, less actives, potential investigators) and invite them to the baptism. The baptism was a wonderful success. Chinen kyodai was the one who referred her and she wanted him to baptize her! It was such a wonderful experience for the Chinen family as well. Yuho was ready when we found her. She was really one of those investigator who was ready to be found. She was searching for the truth and just didnt know where to find us. We had nothing to do with her conversion. It was with her and the Lord. She has such strong faith! The members of this Japanese ward are soo supportive! They all came and filled the chapel. They brought food too and I didnt even ask them too! Yuho loves how the ward is like a family. We love Yuho so much. After she was baptized she bore her testimony of Jesus Christ. He really is the center of all we do. 

I LOVE OKINAWA!! I really do. I dont love Okinawa for the beaches, or the weather, or the typhoons, I love it because of the people here. Heavenly Father loves them and watches over them. They are special to him. I read in 1 Nephi 21 this morning and I love verses 15-16. The Lord says, "For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel. Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." The Lord remembers these people, He has graven them upon the palms of His hands. He has suffered every one of their pains and afflictions. He has felt their joys and their sorrows. Their trials and constant battles are continually before Him. He knows them. I am grateful to serve here. I am grateful for the added capacity to love that I gained since coming on this mission.

I could go so many ways with storm analogies and what-not but the truth of the matter is the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. We are Gods children and He loves us. Keep doing what you know to be right and stop doing the bad things. I love my Savior! He lives!


Capener Shimai