I think first I will say that everyone in my district gets a kick out of the fact that I am an Idaho farm girl. When I tell them that I am really city for an Idahoan, they laugh even harder! But the thing is, I love talking about the pumpkin patch and how i wish we had our own reality show. Because let's be honest, growing up in a small farm town in Idaho is most def the best way to grow up. I found a scripture in 2 Nephi 5:11 that really made me miss pumpkin season, but also think of home. The Lord loves his farmers!!
I feel like I'm changing a lot here, but there are obviously some things that never change. Going cold turkey on Netflix has been taking it's toll on me. Luckily an elder in my district watched all the same shows as me so we have a good time quoting. We also like finding drama in the cafeteria. One time, we saw our old zone leader talking to a cafeteria worker for an extended period of time. It was quite scandalous. Of course, she was probs his cousins or a casual friend, but I naturally have to think it's something much more interesting. Our district is also starting to write a musical about our 9 week experience here called: MTC the musical. It's a work in progress, but the numbers we have are simply fabulous.
Now instead of TV, my new guilty pleasures are reading the Book of Mormon during personal time or watching conference talks when we are supposed to be doing grammar. Whenever the Sensei tells us to get our Book of Mormons out, I get shamelessly excited. Not only that, but I am now color coding my Book of Mormon. I can't really express how much more it makes me want to study. Interested in learning about the Sukui no Keikaku? An orange scripture. What about the gospel of Jesus Christ is restored upon the Earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Yeah you'll find that in the blue. I love it more than I can really express.
Our investigators this week have just been great. We've felt the spirit, and also laughed hysterically. It's the best time ever. We taught Tominaga San and asked him if he had any kids. When he said no there was just a really long awkward silence, mostly because the Japanese is still rough and we were thinking of what to say next. So our Sensai is worried that he completely ruined our lesson plan and proceeds to change his character! He then becomes a loving father of a nine year old and an eleven year old. Which confused us but we were also totes cool with it. We then proceeded to ask him to pray and he said he didn't really feel comfortable with it. We weren't quite sure how to ease his concerns so we just looked at him with puppy dog eyes and said "Kudasai" which means pleases. After saying it like 3 times he just kind of gave up complaining and gave a really great prayer. After that lesson, my doryo and I know that Shimai wiles are very effective when getting an investigator to feel the spirit.
We've also been teaching Shuma San who doesn't really take us seriously as missionaries. But he keeps his commitments and is interested in learning more about the church. Our first lesson I gave him the wrong scripture to read and instead of telling him our purpose was to bring others to Christ, I accidentally told him that our purpose was to be continuously at war. We laughed for a whole minute, and it was pure comedy.
I had a really tender experience the other day while I was waiting for my companion in the student health clinic. A girl came up to me and just started chatting me up. It turns out she converted just a year ago in Italy when she met the missionaries there. She now lives in Provo and is working on her Masters and BYU. She shared her experiences with me and how after she got the gospel, her life became more focused and the questions of her heart were answered. She then asked me if I could share with her a scripture I had studied this morning. I shared 2 Nephi9:47-49. It had really struck me personally and I was sure the spirit had been trying to teach me about myself this morning. But when I shared it with her she said it was exactly what she had needed and that she was really grateful to be able to talk with the missionaries. This was an answer to my prayers!! I was able to bring another person closer to Christ, and share his love with her! She taught me a lot and helped me to put what I'm teaching to a real person. She loves the missionaries who changed her life, and I pray that when I am in Nihon that there will be a Francesca there for me.
In closing I want to thank the men who are worthy Priesthood holders in my life. To have the power of God upon the Earth once again is such a blessing, and I am grateful for men who righteously strive to live worthy of it. Through the Priesthood we can covenants with Kamisama (God) and we can return to him again. What joy that brings my heart! God loves all of his children, and I love that I have to opportunity to teach the Nihonnjin about that love!
I can't believe that it's already been 3 weeks, and even though I still feel very limited in my language abilities, the Lord is blessing me when I work hard. I am finding that as I study different ways and really work with the missionary purpose in mind, everything becomes a whole lot easier. The Lord knows me, and has blessed me for my obedience to his commandments. I'm finding a love for Nihongo and I can't wait until I'm really able to use it as a tool to bring others to come unto Christ.
I testify that I know without a doubt in my mind that this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is my savior, and I promise that if you read the Book of Mormon with a real desire to know, the Holy Ghost will testify the truth of it to you.