Monday, January 23, 2017

43rd Week in Japan. 3rd Area. Key to the Soul.

1/23/2017

First week with my MTC companion and I returned to Kasukabe, my area!!  Yeayeaaaa!!! :D

It was so great working with my Sister Training Leaders for a week and then to type it off, I get to dendou (do missionary work) with one of my MTC companions!!  [Sister Burke].  We are also spending our 1 year mark [since entering the MTC] together!!  I think we were meant to be together this transfer.  Because I know the area better than my companion, I'm Area Senpai (senior area missionary).  And so We've been planning together and setting goals to work with the ward [local congregation] and find new investigators.  I was worried about not being able to get to know the area as well last transfer and the members.  When returning back to the Kasukabe ward at church, I spoke at sacrament meeting.  It was an official introduction and testimony kind of talk.  I spoke about a time that I felt God change my life. There's been many instances that were sudden and big. One day in seminary when I was in high school, we had a substitute teacher.  I don't remember what the lesson was about but I remember the commitment he gave to us at the end of class.  He said to pray to God and ask him what you need to improve on and then read Alma 5*.  And that same week, I did it.  And it was amazing. The questions Alma asks in that chapter pierced my heart.


Like:
 "27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God?  Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed
and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?"

As he spoke about a mighty change of heart, I had a mighty change beginning in my heart. And since then I've always remembered that experience.  It felt like my soul was expanded.  I feel everyday my soul is expanded, learning new things, and God just blesses me more and more.  I've gotten better at trying, and more skilled at following.  Many times we can have changes of heart in our lives and we often need those to help us stay on the path of Jesus Christ, or get back to it, or to find it.  God loves his children.  I felt so much love for the members in Kasukabe.  Especially as I am focusing on them and working with the bishop and my companion, I feel guided by Heavenly Father.  I have had another change of heart and it's changed me to focus on the people.  I'm here on a mission for God's people and especially for his people of Japan to help guide them back to His presence.


Also:  In a few days, there will be a world wide missionary broadcast and it's going to change the missionary schedule and things a lot! I'm excited!!

Miracles to come!! Have the best week ever!! :)

Love,
Sister Parker


Sent from the white fields of Japan 🍲🌅

* (click on) Link to Alma 5  if you wish to








[K-Mom's inspired addition to this blog post today:]

Four Principles to “Part the Curtains of Heaven”  30 Sept 2015

God is speaking again to man on earth  click on this link to the talk  if you wish to.

“Earnestly listen for His voice. When His voice comes to you, act in faith on what He counsels you to do. Pursue this course, and you will grow up in Him and, in due time, become even as He is, grace for grace.” —Elder James J. Hamula of the Seventy

1.  Exercise faith in God the Father.
2.  Sincerely inquire of God.
3.  Earnestly listen for God’s voice.
4.  Act in faith on what is received.

However, the Lord does not always reveal everything at once, Elder Hamula said. “The Lord gives us line upon line, precept upon precept in order to try and prove us,” he said. “If we will faithfully act on what He gives us, we receive more. If we do not, we receive no more and indeed lose what we once had.”

Monday, January 16, 2017

42nd week. 3rd Area. Splits this week; new companion coming.

1/16/2017

Hello Again!

I hope this week has been a good week and have learned something new everyday!  For God is moving his hands in everyone's lives everyday.  This week, I've been in Naka-Urawa, with my sister training leaders.  So I have been able to go out and talk to people!! 

There truly is power in gaikokujin (foreigners).  People are more open to us and accept us more. That's one reason why people go all over the world to teach the gospel.  Of course some people don't open up easily or are nice, but in Japan people really like foreigners, especially Americans.  I really liked being with the sister training leaders.  It was so fun!  I feel like I have been able to help their companionship and with mission school we are teaching.

We also got transfer calls and my new companion is going to be Sister Burke!!  She was one of my MTC companions!! So we will both hit our year mark on January 27th together!! She called me today and said she was so excited to be companions and it made me feel good!

So last transfer I came to Kasukabe with dendou Fire (spiritual movings/enthusiasm to talk to others and teach them) and I just wanted to talk to everyone and always be productive and work hard, but we were not able to do that due to certain unfortunate circumstances.  And so, we didn't talk to many people and things like that.   So lately, I've been feeling kind of afraid to talk to everyone!  But when I have tried, I have found that God does fill my mouth with what to say.  Even if it's not perfect, or a confused jumble I know that I tried to share the gospel with people.


In D&C 68:4-6* (see asterick at the bottom of this letter), The Lord gives a promise to his missionaries:

Verse 4 And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.

5 Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.

6 Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with
you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus
Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am,
and that I am to come.

Also, on Sunday, Sister Solomon (MTC Senpai)** and I were on splits in Koshigaya while Sister Moffat (MTC kohai) was with a member in Naka-Urawa. There was a man on the train that talked to us afterwards and asked if we were going to church.  We said yes and that we are Mormons and he said he was a pastor for a Christian church.  He said he didn't believe that Christ came to America and that it wasn't in the Bible (although it is, if you know where to find it, but Anyways)!  We were able to give him a pamphlet and he said he'd like to talk again so we exchanged numbers.  I reevaluated what I could've said or testified. I think his real concern could've been, is the Book of Mormon the word of God?  If it is, then Christ came to America, as well to other nations. The Book of Mormon answered all questions of the soul.

I've felt really humble lately and a burning in my heart to change and repent.  I'm trying everyday to repent so that I can be a better instrument in God's hands.  I feel happy and successful when I am
giving everything I have to God.  When I consecrate myself to God's work, I can do the work and have fun!  I know that is the same for even those who are not missionaries.  In our daily lives, when we put the Lord first, we are able to be guided to make righteous decisions.  Through humble prayer and trust in the Lord we grow and become "perfected in Christ."  By following the promptings of the spirit we exercise our faith unto repentance.

Sincerely,

Sister Kirsten Parker


Sent from the white fields of Japan 🍲🌅

*  [For those of you who don't know what D&C means, it means "Doctrine and Covenants."  It is mainly a compilation of revelations given to the first organizer of our Church, Joseph Smith, who had prophetic gifts to restore truths lost in the first decades and first few centuries after the first 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ (see Acts 20:29, Luke 10:3, Matthew 7:15, 2 Thess 2:3).   The Protestant movement was a step in the right direction, but it didn't go far enough to correct what went wrong in the Roman movement, but instead it helped lay the conditions in which the Lord could restore lost truths and help further prepare this planet for his great 2nd Coming in which the righteous will be blessed (in this life or the next) and the unrepentant wicked will be destroyed, and the earth will become ready for the Lord's righteous rulership over this earth].  K-Mom.

** MTC Senpai means a missionary who was at the MTC/missionary training center a little earlier, thus a little bit like "senior/seniority"   and MTC Kohai means a missionary who was at the MTC a little later, thus a little bit like "junior."    K-Mom.

p.s.  Here are some pictures and videos -- Enjoy!!



On missionary splits, and meal time.





video

2 train videos.   In one of them I silently say "hello" and make some faces so as to not be loud.

video


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

41st Week in Japan; 3rd area. Being a friend to those in need.

1/8/2017 Monday

This week, we didn't really do much.  I got sick one day and then..  We only went outside when we had appointments.  Anyway, we really haven't done much, but because our mission Ward leader set up meal appointments for us around New Years (because missionary work is hard to do around that time) we were able to go out more.   I will be doing missionary work "splits" (teaming up with other missionaries) next week.

I've learned this transfer, how to comfort people and lift others burdens, to be a good friend to someone in need, ...my companion.  Being a true friend to another person is important.  When missionary companions don't get along for whatever reason, the work of the Lord stumbles.  It's that way in our closest relationships-- life stumbles when we don't get along with the people under our roof. Conversely, we can uplift others greatly when we show true friendship and concern.   She said that she is so grateful that we are companions.  She feels really comfortable with me and she has been showing appreciation for me.  I have always asked how I can help her and we have been laughing more. :) 

So, this actually happened last P-day.  We had lots of miracles happen after the Skype session at Christmas and one of them was some people I recently met:  It was in the middle of the busy train station and then all of a sudden I heard, "Shimai!" Which means "Sisters!"  And I saw this father and mother with their child.  I called out to my companion ahead to come back so we could speak with them.  Because they are Japanese, I spoke Japanese and was surprised to find out that they are members of the Church!  They started speaking English, and it was very fluent, and I was pleasantly surprised!  Many Japanese speak English, but theirs was perfect.  They are actually from America, but are visiting family for the holidays in Japan. We were all like, "Wow, it's God's will that we met!"

I felt like I needed to ask where in America they were from and they said Boston.
I told them, "Oh, I have family that lives there!"  I told them it was my aunt (named so and so).
The mother gasped and said, "I know her!!" They were in the same Singles' Ward [church congregation] and she said they still see each other every once in a while.  [Aunt so and so got the message after this letter; perhaps she needed the cheery hello from an old friend.]

Here are some videos and pictures from recent things:


  
My companion's thank you note to me.



video
This is Elder Niita from our district. We were playing white elephant
present exchange game thing.  The elders are crazy but funny in this Zone.



White Elephant [Christmas party with the missionaries].



video 
A video of the grocery store.  My parents are interested in what the diet is like here, what the stores are like, etc.



Another food picture




video
 [Good night] and "I love you" video to the family from Kirsten


Sent from the white fields of Japan 🍲🌅

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

39th-40th Week in Japan. 3rd Area. Holidays in Japan.

     * Happy New Year 

Hello hello 2017! 

What a great opportunity it was to Skype [internet video-phone call] my family for Christmas and be in Japan during the New Year's.  These past two weeks we've been able to do lots of services for the members in the Ward!  Like dressing up as Santa for little children, cleaning windows, and making 30 kilograms of mochi (cooked, mashed rice).  That's about ten times the weight of a newborn baby, or to be interpreted, 66 pounds!  [Mochi is a New Year's traditional treat.]


Although, my companion is not feeling well lately, we were still able to see amazing things!  Starting last P-day, we were talking to many people on the street.  Sometimes, we feel hesitant to talk to people, we are always trying to put that fear aside and find people who need to hear and are prepared to hear the gospel.  It still amazes me, how both my companion and I feel like we really need to talk to certain people, and they are the same people.  We stop this one lady and she is from the Philippians!  We tried speaking English with her and inviting her to Eikaiwa [English conversation class] and as we were talking to her, this old lady walks up to me pointing at and touching my name tag, "The Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That's what it says, right?!"  She says.  My companion continues to talk to the Philippians woman.  I was so ecstatic. "Yes!"  She says, "No, no. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I knew it!"  I don't know why she didn't believe it at first.  We confirmed to her we are missionaries and she was so happy to see us!  She use to investigate the church and was going to get baptized, but she lost the desire to. She said she loved coming to church and wants to come back.  I know God led us to meet, and for her to meet missionaries again.


I've been thinking a lot lately about now God influences us through many things.  Through people, the Internet, our thoughts.  We are influenced by many things in this world and God influences us through the good things.  We went to a jinja (Shinto temple, or shrine) today to experience the culture of Japan.  New Years is a very big holiday in Japan and many people offer prayers to different Gods at a jinja, whether they are religious or not.  There are many beliefs, like the first dream of the new year can represent the rest of your year. There is the dream of Mt. Fuji, the eagle, or the eggplant. I still don't understand what that means, but I assume if I had an eggplant dream, it was a disappointing dream, so it will be kind of not the best year.  I actually dreamt about doing missionary work with my companion and one our appointments fell through. ざんねん。


Anyways, as I was at the jinja I felt peace.  As I see it, when I look at nature, or anything beautiful that has been created, I feel peace and awe and God's love. Being at the jinja, it felt sacred.  However, I feel the most peace and happy feelings of the Spirit the strongest living the way Jessu  [Iesu in Japanese; Jesus in English]  taught.  Visiting his church, and worshiping with others who need the strength that the teachings of the gospel bring.  It makes me feel complete. And I hope to continue to find those people who do not feel complete and need the confirmation of God's love for them and guidance in a world full of turbulence and sadness.  By living like Jesus Christ taught, by helping people and giving myself to God, I've discovered what joy is.  I have come to know who I am and who God is to me, and that is a loving Heavenly Father.

I gotta go now, but until next week!

Love,
Sister Parker!


Sent from the white fields of Japan 🍲🌅




****************************************************************
K-Mom here:  Did any of you see the #LighttheWorld Christmas  Mormon.org banner at NYC Times Square New Year's Eve countdown broadcast?  I did!   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD9aUY2PDZY   It's a 14+ minute video and I didn't watch most of it.   The LighttheWorld banner is seen between 2:06 minutes and 2:15 minutes marker; the sign is seen on the far left side of the screen.  I apologize to anybody around the world if any of the video is offensive to anybody.  I can't vouch for the content.

Image result for Happy New Year 2017

* Happy New Year 2017!  May this year you set good realistic goals and achieve them!  May you live more righteously, happily, and peacefully than you did in 2016.   May you be closer to the Lord and be written in God's Book of Life this year.

*  Pictures are from the internet.