Monday, July 17, 2017

68th Week in Japan. 4th area. Joy to the world is available everyday.

July 17, 2017

Yes, it's really hot and humid. Today, it is 37 degrees Celsius [98.6 degrees F].  But, I feel like God has blessed me because it is not overbearing. It feels hot, but I don't have like an annoyance. I feel tolerant to it.  I was tolerant to the winter, too. I think it is a blessing from Heavenly Father because I was talking with a member who said it was the same for her on her mission and then when she finished and moved back to Japan, it felt too hot in the summer.

And I love love love Sister Call!! She's from Utah and we are really similar people.  It's really fun to dendou [missionary work] together and she is just so loving!!

What a wonderful week!!  There's been exchanges, conferences, and meetings. When Sister Call and I talk to people on the street, sometimes we bring up the weather to approach them and it's not weird.  Talking about the weather is actually quite ordinary, I'd say.

"It's hot, isn't it!"
"... Right?! It's so hot!" *pulls out fancy Japanese sweat towel (because everyone has one)*
"Yeah, really hot!"
"Where are you from?"

 So maaany miracles!!  I love serving the Lord and being apart of His great work. There's sometimes that I am afraid or not sure what to do, but I have followed the Spirit's guidance in knowing what to do, where to go, and what to say. And it has always been good.

Now story time!! This week we had awesome experiences. A lady named K____ came to the International church group [congregation].  I met her (K) back when I lived in Kasukabe and was on splits with Sister Moffat, on our way to meet somebody in Urawa.  K_____ had been praying about which church to attend.  H_____ is taking lessons again. And we had another lesson on Sunday with a member, N________ A___ Shimai [Sister] attending also. We talked with H_____ about the scriptures that prompted her (Alma 32:17-18) and we shared experiences.  She said that she feels like she's finally coming to understanding what she is learning in our lessons and she is finding more confidence in herself.  She wants to be humble.  I remember looking into her eyes and they were shining and a little watery.  I felt moved by the Spirit... to say, "I feel that God really loves H_____, right now.  I know God created all things for you and He loves you. He wants you to go back to Him and as you continue to learn and study the Book of Mormon, you will want to pray and want to go to church and want to read the Book of Mormon.  And your confidence will strengthen." ...And so forth. The Spirit was so strong and it was peaceful.  We ended with an astounding testimony by singing "I am a Child of God" on the ukulele. 💮
Meeting H_____ for the first time and then seeing her turn into a friend was wonderful. And even more wonderful is seeing that friend coming to know, even a little bit, that there is a God that exists, and there is someone that loves Her, is joyful.  Sharing the gospel is what brings joy.  We are training now to become like Heavenly Father.  And I
think it's because Heavenly Father is only focused on us and our salvation is a part of the reason why He is the way He is.  And God is a joyful being!  So when we turn outward and help those around us, we are helping people see the light of Christ. 

There are those who are surrounded by pride, the voices of the world, sadness, pain, temptations, or sin.  He or she in those circumstances, needs the light of Christ to guide them out of the darkness.  And I know that as we try to share the light of Christ in us with others, it will grow and theirs will grow.  Sharing the gospel will not only bring joy, but become the source of joy.  Our journey is one that cannot be finished and awarded with a celestial, heavenly medallion on our own.

Sometimes, it may start with just a smile, or a hand, or even a video from the LDS media library shared on social media.

Mosiah 2:
41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.  For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into
heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Sister Parker

Our recent Zone conference.  Sister Call and I are on the far left.

We made hummus!!! This is amazing!! Hummus is not a thing in Japan, at all. Nope.

Sister Call and I are in the center

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