But man, sometimes you get phone calls that really bring a bummer to
your day. Iizawa called us on Tuesday and told us that she was unable
to come to church because of class so she wouldn't be able to receive
the Holy Ghost. Baptism is so important, because it purifies you and
prepares you to receive the Holy Ghost. You need to be confirmed a
member of this church to be able to constantly feel the blessings that
you receive. By the end of that phone call though we were able to
convince her to change her schedule. Well we had about 3 phone calls
like that over the course of the week and on Sunday night we received
an email from her at 2 am saying that she couldn't make it. She had
gotten really sick and wasn't able to come. Such a bummer, but luckily
she'll be coming this next week and it will be really excellent.
Another phone call you never want to receive is that one from your
mission president a week before transfers. Remember my fun little
jaunt to Fuchu 6 weeks ago? Well it's time for a rerun. Same episode,
different location. A sister has been really sick, so President Wada
asked me to stay with her companion for a week in... Fujisawa!! I will
get to spend a week with Tsuchida Shimai, and it happens to be the
last week of her mission. A really bittersweet realization considering
that I get to be with Tsuchida Shimai one last time, but my time with
Sister Wells is being cut short. I'm kind of nervous to go back to
Fujisawa, but I really think that it will be a stellar experience.
I've changed so much, an I hope that while I am there this next week I
will be able to better help and build up the area.
So now that you have a preview to next week, time for this past week's
wrap-up. This week we were able to have a lot of lessons and see tons
of miracles. We were able to meet with Aki Shimai and seeing her just
always makes me so happy. She really has become one of my best
friends, and I love her with all my heart.
We were able to have an introduction lesson with our English student
Fumi San. She was so sweet, and so sincere in her desire to learn.
Since we only had a little bit of time, we simply introduced The Book
of Mormon and asked if she would like to meet again. She loved the
Book of Mormon, and even offered to pay money for it! I love when the
person receiving can understand the significance of the gift that I am
giving. We were able to meet with her again on Friday and Sister
Takanezawa (a recently returned missionary) came and helped! We taught
her about the restoration of the church and she was really interested.
She even said that as she prayed and felt that this message was true
she would be baptized. It was such a miracle to be able to teach her
and to help her feel God's love and the hope that this gospel brings
into our lives.
On Sunday, our friend Miyuki from sport's night surprised us by coming
to church! She is actually Fuchu's investigator, and they had no idea
that she had this much interest in the church. She stayed for all 3
hours of the meetings and for the baptismal service of an 8 year old
girl afterwards. She had never really thought about religion before,
but she said that after coming to church and meeting all the kind
people, she really felt at home. She said that she'd never had much
interest in learning if God existed, but now she knows He exists, and
cares about her. Coming to church is such an essential part of
receiving personal revelation. This Sunday was such a huge defining
moment for Miyuki, and I feel so blessed to have been a small part of
her journey in getting to know our Savior Jesus Christ.
I've been feeling really reflective lately, and I think it's because I
know that my days with Sister Wells as my companion are coming to a
close. I am so grateful that I have had this time with her to develop
and create good habits that will eternally influence my life. I am so
grateful that through the Atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ, I have
the opportunity to eternally change my life. That the mistakes I have
made in the past don't need to shape who I will become. Instead, I can
decide who I will become through the decisions I make every day. I can
choose NOW the kind of person I want to be, and I don't have to ever
go back. We read an Ensign article about a sister missionary who
return home from her mission with tons of goals for the future. But
after only a matter of months, she had forgotten her goals and had
forgotten the fire and desire she'd had to maintain righteous habits.
When someone asked how her goals were going, she was embarrassed
because she had forgotten all about them. She hadn't held herself
accountable. She hadn't made a plan, and eternally changed. For a
while, I was kind of scared that could happen to me. But then I
remembered, that the changes I am making in my life are eternal. I
can't stop, nor can I slow down. I want to find my eternal potential,
and I can only do that by improving every day. I love who I am
becoming, and I love the habits that I am creating for myself. I want
to continue this spiritually and physically active lifestyle. I never
want to stop being up and doing (Alma 60:24).
I love life. I am grateful for the love of God, and that because of
His mercy, I have this opportunity to prepare to live with Him again.
I love my family and the example they set for me, and I wish I had set
a better example in the past for them. But I know that as we continue
to improve, and become more like our Savior Jesus Christ, we can
influence others for the better. We can change lives, in more ways
than we can ever imagine.
As leaders (and all of us are leaders in some aspect of our lives) we
need to ask ourselves 2 questions.
1. How do others experience us?
2. How do others experience themselves when they are with us?
As we think of these questions as we interact with others, we will
find ourselves being more thoughtful, and striving to help others
realize their eternal potential instead of always trying to make
ourselves look good.
I love you all!
Sister Renae Feist