Monday, May 29, 2017

60th Week in Japan; 4th Area. The Blooming of the Work.

May 21, 2017

お久しぶりです! [Long time no see!]   It's been a while!
It is hot. And it's only May.

These past couple months, maybe about a transfer worth has been wonderful!  Many ups and downs, but overall it is full of joy!  I feel so blessed to work here in Japan at this time of this generation.

Elder Choi from the Church's area of Seventy came and visited our mission recently.  Every time a servant or apostle of the Lord comes and visits Japan, I know it is because the Lord did send them to give a message He needs to.  He helped me see missionary work to be more fun!  Of course it IS fun!!  But sometimes you can view things as hard, but it's really all fun!  And it really helps turn anyone's perspective positive!

I learned many things through the Spirit as he spoke. Some things I want to share is that "If you don't like it, like it!"  And when people respond: "NO." That means "New Opportunity", to find more people to teach!  It was a call to repentance and little by little I feel I am a stronger missionary of the Lord.

We are working in two areas, Urawa and Koshigaya and with a small international group. The wards [congregations] are awesome and we are seeing progress in all aspects.  We have a few strong investigators.  H_____.  I love H_____!  She's a college student so she is super super busy but she takes time to study the Book of Mormon and we have met with her while we could.  She has such a strong desire to understand the Book of Mormon and why are the members all so happy?! She said a few times that every time she left the church, she had this biiig smile on her face. The members really are a symbol of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  There is no cross [the atonement of Christ should reside in our heart], or statue, it is the members and how they live that is an important part of this religion.  And they live like Jesus Christ.

Last week I was also able to see an investigator from my previous area, Kasukabe, step into the waters of baptism!!  It was such a great day!!  But she still needs to be confirmed a member of the church.  They usually do it a week later here in Japan.  She had work that she couldn't get off, but she's fine!  Anyways, I'm so grateful that I could meet her and help her. 
One eternal friend!!1️⃣❗️

And now that we are pretty much all caught up with the transfer period.  [Another transfer 6 week period is starting today.]

I love Sundays.  The Sabbath is the best.  I just feel so rejuvenated and blessed and so much love from Heavenly Father.  I love taking the sacrament and I love Japanese people.  And then to top it off..
Last night we went to the honbu, in English, mission home office or headquarters, we went with Sister B____, our wonderful recent convert friend to a recent convert devotional!!  And then afterwards we saw a broadcast!!  One of the twelve apostles, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, came to Japan.  I know that the Lord sent him to Japan for a reason...  Elder Oaks indicated this.

I've felt recently that soon the work in Japan is going to bloom and blossom.  The members are stronger and the missionaries are working better together.  Elder Oaks had an example and described a small plant and in order for a plant to grow it needs to take root and then it can spread out in branches.  I feel that what he said is true.  I felt the Spirit testify to me it. The ward [congregation] members of the Church are growing in their faith in Christ and soon the branches of Japan will grow.  It was according to God's plan that the roots have taken this long to foundation

This brings me to one of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon:  Helaman 5:12
So Nephi and Lehi went out to preach the word of God to their people and they remembered the counsel that their father, Helaman had given them.  Helaman reminded them of the words of prophets and of Jesus Christ and through this they were strengthen. And so one part he quoted was this verse.
"12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

I know that when we look to the Savior in every thought and action we do, that we are strengthened through his grace.  Because His grace is sufficient.  No matter how many times I've fallen or have felt really down, I have felt the Savior lifting me up.  Especially, when I need Him most.  Although, temptations to live lower standards or times in life plateau, Jesus Christ is endless and will forever be there for me.  I know it and I believe it.  And I know it is not only for me it for everyone. And for you. It is true.

 And I give my testimony to the world of the wide web that Jesus Christ lives and is the Son of God.  I know it because I have prayed and studied the holy scriptures and know for myself by the power of God's messenger, the Spirit, that speaks to my heart.

Love you all!! Have a wonderful week!!
Please. Listen to the Spirit! And Enjoy the blessings God has given you!! :)

パーカー姉妹より。[From Sister Parker]

Sister Parker.

p.s. see pictures below

[literal translation: A complete love will get rid of every fear.      See Moroni 8:16 if you want to read how it was originally in English Click here.  

The rice fields are beautiful during this time!!

[Sister Parker's Japanese accent sounds pretty good!]

And I was in a sound-proof box when I got my ears checked!!!! [Sister Parker got a nasty insect bite a few weeks ago that needed follow up care, so 'might as well get the ears checked too.]     We gave the lady who helped us, a religious flyer.

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