Tuesday, February 14, 2017

46th week in Japan; 3rd area. Burying our grievances and sins; Valentines Day in Japan.

(picture is from internet)

Hello Family, friends, and blog readers:

I've been getting better at teaching English.  I feel almost like a pro! :)  When I first came to Japan, I would sweat and get nervous.  For quite a few transfers [6 week time periods] it was like that, but now it's good!

I am personally doing good.  I have been focusing my thoughts and prayers on the Ward [congregation] and Mission school.  We had a mochitsuki, and that's where we pound rice with a hammer and smooth it and stuff and then you eat it with different foods.  There are picture and videos on my companion's iPad but we couldn't send it to my iPad for some reason, so we will try again later today and see if we can get it.  

A P.I. [potential investigator] we met on the street a month ago, I've been Facebook messaging her, and she had her day off on Saturday and that's when the mochitsuki was, so she came!!  It was great!  The Ward fellowshipped her well.   After that we did missionary Zone blitz activity, so we did little companion exchanges and I went with Sister Moterzitsky (I don't know how to spell her name).  That was fun!  We have been trying to focus on smart dendou (proselyting) and so we went into a library and asked if we could volunteer and teach English.  They said, "Yes," and  that we could even read English books to children at activities!   For all of the Zone!! So that was a cool miracle!   [For those of you who don't know what Zone means, it is a geographical area in the mission with X number of missionaries assigned to it.  It is comprised of several missionary Districts, which are smaller than a Zone].  Our Zone has had had really spiritual and inspiring meetings and it's been helping me to narrow my course to Heavenly Father.
Something I learned in my personal study recently is in the book of Alma [in the Book of Mormon] about the Sons of Mosiah and their journeys.   They did smart dendou [proselyting] too!  When those Lamanites were converted to the Gospel, and called themselves the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, they buried their "weapons of rebellion against God, and showed that covenant to not shed blood anymore by literally burying their weapons deep in the ground.  When the bad Lamanites came to attack them, they kept their promise that they made with God.  They knew they would be saved in the Lord's Kingdom whether they were killed or not.  When the Lamanites started war and saw them not resisting, they stopped and felt sorrow for their brethren that they were attacking and killing, and many converted to God. The Lord works to save his children in ways we cannot always comprehend.  However, there were still Lamanites whose hearts were hardened and turned their anger to the Nephites.  So they kept attacking them, but sooner or later they stopped and become one with the people of God.
They kept the law of Moses because hey saw it as a type of the coming of Jesus Christ.  (see Alma 25.  Click here ) By repeating this Mosaic ordinance, in and of itself, it did not bring them salvation but strengthened their faith in Christ therefore keeping their hope in God.  Kept them strong in their testimony because it pointed them to the future atonement of Christ.   This chapter made me think of ordinances like baptism, the sacrament, and the Temple ordinances.  We need to prepare ourselves spiritually in order to receive rewards in heaven.  The sacrament is a weekly ordinance that reminds us of our baptismal covenant and that we will always remember Christ and follow him. It's a time to repent of our sins.  The ordinance itself does not make us clean unless we bring a contrite spirit and broken heart (godly sorrow for our sins) to church.  Therefore, we need to prepare to be able to receive that strength.  

As humans, we always forget things.  If we remembered everything we did exactly, we would probably never sin again after sinning.  But it's because we constantly forget and we are a 'fallen' people, we need to constantly focus on the Savior Jesus Christ and repent.  Through this, and ordinances restored through the priesthood of God, we are able to keep a brightness of hope and strengthen our faith in Christ.  Elder Bednar's talked about this too, in one of his talks.  His talk was focused on Mosiah 4:19,20 (click here)  I think.  It was about keeping a remission of sins, but I understand it more now.  All ordinances are important and need full spiritual preparation for them. 

We are about to go to the temple in Tokyo so I will end this letter here.

your missionary daughter,
Sister Kirsten Parker

Sent from the white fields of Japan 🍲🌅

Cultural note: 

It's Valentines' Day (February 14th) again, however it is celebrated a little differently in Japan than in the USA.  Men get the chocolate on Valentines' (as do family, friends, coworkers) and if they love back, they reciprocate to the women on White Day one month later (March 14th).

Here are a couple of links where you can read up on it if you wish:


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