It's great to be a missionary in Japan! We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the wonderful Tokyo temple.
We had exchanges this week with our Sister Training leaders. I love them so much!!! I went with Sister Alvarenga again. She gave me great counsel that I really needed. We don't have as much success in our area as much as others, despite as hard as we may work. Sometimes it can be hard and depressing. I've realized that doing missionary work is simpler than I've been making it. Missionaries are just sharing truths to people and inviting them to act. When we approach people and introduce ourselves and state our purpose, we then tell them gospel truths. We bear our testimony of what we know as the Spirit directs us and then it is up to the receiver to accept the invitation to learn what we give them.
Sister Alvarenga and I were housing. (By the way, almost all housing has an intercom with a camera.) There was this one house.. and we pressed the button on the intercom and then their camera turned on. As we were speaking, a lady came out of the house and we happily shared our message with her. She continually nodded and said, "Yes. Yes. I know that. Yes, I already understand that," as we spoke of God and how we can return to live with him. She's Buddhist but previously investigated the Protestant religion, so she had some background knowledge of Jesus Christ. She was very nice. In the end she did not accept our invitation to take lessons, but we know she came outside because she felt the Spirit. She knows there is something good about Christianity. The Lord has been working in her life and is extending His hand in mercy to her.
We have three new investigators! Two are high schoolers from our English textbook class/ mission school program. After sharing a small spiritual lesson, we asked if they wanted to learn about Jesus Christ and they both said they have a little interest. Little interest is a big thing!! Sister Madsen, my wonderful bean-chan companion, and I were ecstatic. Although Sister Madsen has been in Japan for only about 2 months, she is such a fantastic missionary. She's very good at leading! Yesterday, we also met with a student from English Conversation. A couple weeks ago we invited her to learn more about the Church and she said no. However, this week she said she had been thinking about what Sister Madsen said, "When I look at nature, I feel God's love." She's Buddhist, but she said she feels the same way, but would use a different description. So, we are going to start teaching her on Skype weekly. As well as help her with her English. Yeah!! :D
Religions all have truth. They all have commonalities and similar principles with each other. I believe when we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people, it's not all brand new. Everyone has felt the Spirit before. We are just helping them make connections and learning to recognize that they already know God.
In Galatians 5, it says:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Small story: we were riding our bikes and it was raining and we were trying to get home to finish study, but there was this one girl with a yellow umbrella we needed to stop. Sometimes it feels like the Spirit is yelling with a small voice, "Stop her!" We stopped her and introduced ourselves as the missionaries and both bore a simple
testimony of Jesus Christ. She did not want to learn more. When we got home, Sister Madsen said, "Sister Parker, I'm glad you stopped that girl. It felt like the spirit was screaming at me that we needed to stop her." I don't know why we needed to stop and talk to her, but Heavenly Father knows. It could be because one day she may meet the missionaries again and she needed to have previously met us before. And/or we discovered a college that is by our house. Suddenly lots of college students got out of school and maybe we wouldn't have discovered it biking earlier past it. College = better chance of finding young investigators. #StrengthenTheRisingGeneration
Peace to all!!