|Our recent hike to Bizan, which has become a weekly activity for the Ward|
The work in Tokushima is moving forward by miracles!
I don't really know how else to explain everything that is happening. This week was amazing.
As a missionary there are a million and one different things running through my head, all of the time...and so there are an unfortunate amount of times where I am thinking about the lesson we are on our way to teach...or how to teach Japanese to my dear companion who is also learning English..or how to help an investigator keep their commitments.....when, all of a sudden I see someone that I need to talk to...and I abruptly stop my bike and say the first thing that flies into my head. Which is usually awkward and sometimes strange Japanese. Therefore, it is always amazing when I hear awkward words coming out of my mouth, and the person I am talking to does not run away from me, but instead looks incredibly interested and continues to listen. This happened quite a lot of times this week and we found a few people around Tokushima who have now commited to read the Book of Mormon after being stopped by two girls on bikes who might have said a lot of Japanese sentences that didn't fully make sense. The good news is that the Book of Mormon speaks perfect Japanese, even though I don't.
Some of the other miracles we saw! Nathalie is doing awesome! She LOVES having Chapman Shimai teaching her in French. And Chapman Shimai is a rockstar teaching her all of the lessons as a brand new missionary. I have very little idea about what is going on during those lessons...however, I did say a prayer in French. Nathalie laughed at my pronunciation (French accent is impossible). Although, when Chapman Shimai and I sing in French my pronunciation gets much better and Nathalie says that she thinks I will one day become very, very good at French. I look forward to this day.....though it may be very far in the future.
Recently, we have also started teaching these two AMAZING girls who are college students in Tokushima. I love them so much! They are two of the sweetest girls, they are absolutely hilarious and we have become great friends. They are very patient with me and Chapman Shimai's Japanese. They are very good at using Japanese that we 100% understand, which is really nice. They are both very nice, incredibly intelligent, and they both play soccer at their college! They are studying psychology and I am pretty sure that we were great friends in the pre-earth life. There is just a bond between the four of us that is difficult to explain. Although all four of us come from different backgrounds, we have connected like we were the best of friends before the world was....which I think that we were. Even more than soccer, or what we are studying in college....there is just an unbelievably strong bond that we truly are sisters and daughters of God. Teaching them and watching them feel God's love is one of those experiences that I dreamed about before my mission...Meeting that best friend that I had promised, before I came to earth that I would find, and teach. I feel in my heart that these two girl are two of those people, and it has been a joyful reunion.
And in closing, I will quote a scripture that I read last week and loved. 1 Nephi 20:10: "For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction..." Our trials do not define us, but they refine us. Is missionary work easy? No. Is it supposed to be easy? Also no. But, through the furnace of affliction the Lord prepares the way for not only His work to move forward...but for us to move forward in our lives and in becoming who we want to become. I am grateful for the hardest times, because it is in the hardest times that the Lord's hand descends upon us and raises us up from the things that hold us down.
LOVE YOU ALL!
p.s. We went to the zoo last week and I have never seen anyone as excited as Chapman Shimai was to see all of those animals. It was the best thing of my life.
p.p.s. OH MY GOODNESS I ALMOST FORGOT! There was another miracle that basically made my week! On Friday I realized that I couldn't find my USB drive....which has the Restoration Video on it and some other tools. But it also has ALL OF MY MISSION PICTURES, up until four weeks ago on it. So, I called the Elders and they hadn't seen it anywhere. And I searched my desk and I couldn't find it. So then I said a prayer with Chapman Shimai. While we were praying, I remembered that two weeks ago we had gone to a 7/11, and I felt like we should go to that 7/11 and ask if they had my USB drive. We did so, and they immediately pulled it out! They had held on to it for two weeks and I was able to find my mission pictures. Thank goodness Heavenly Father cares about the small things...like my mission pictures :) I felt very blessed and it made Saturday an even happier day!
|Chapman Shimai and Grundvig Shimai|