March 19, 2013 Week 7, 13 Days and counting!

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Hey everyone!
I have a ton to write… so hopefully I can remember everything, but if not I’ll try to include it in letters.  My companion is getting better. She went to class yesterday and we got to go to the temple this morning so things are on the up and up. Thank you everyone so much for your prayers. I was thinking of how someone told me sometimes the Lord gives us amazing spiritual experiences to prepare us for hard times in the future. Thinking about how amazing the week before this little hiccup was makes me realize that it is most definitely true. So a little summary of my week…..
Wednesday: I taught  our investigator Shimada with one of the other sisters in our district. And the lesson went surprisingly well! Shimada has been coming to church for 3 weeks now and he has committed to keep the Sabbath day holy. Our next lesson with him is the Word of Wisdom. Which is particularly difficult with the Japanese people because of how cultural drinking tea is for them.
Also I finished reading the  Doctrine and Covenants today. Reading d&c 135 always makes me feel the Spirit so strongly. Joseph Smith gave everything, even his life, to make sure that the gospel pressed forward. It makes me want to be a better missionary.
Thursday: We had an awesome class time and did a lot of mogis (role playing). One thing that we have started doing now is teaching the other missionaries as themselves. Its a really cool experience to have a missionary in your district be able to receive such a strong witness of what you need to hear at that moment. And its almost cooler to be able to feel the Spirit teaching through you.
Friday: Two of the sisters in our district were sick today, so sister Wright and I got to go to class together. I taught another lesson, this time to our investigator Hitomi. She drives me crazy sometimes. She went to church for us, but went without her husband, and still doesn’t understand the need for baptism and the importance of repentance right now. It’s something that we will have to teach her more about next time. That aside, the lesson went great, and its making me feel like I can actually speak Japanese when I stick my neck out on the line. Sometimes its scary as heck, but I think my companion being sick made me realize that I need to be more self dependent and not rely so much on my companion’s abilities.
Saturday: We got to go to class in the afternoon with Brother Brinley. (and i got a thing of mint brownies for St. Patrick’s Day from Aunt Amy, and a weiner dog card from Grandma Aston, you guys are the best!) Today instead of doing progressing investigator, we practiced teaching some of the kohai (new Japanese missionaries) in the other districts. With my luck, I got paired with the one sister that is half japanese and literally fluent. That aside, I can tell that my teaching skills are really improving this last little bit at the MTC. It makes me realize how important it is to really press hard these last 13 days (yikes!).

Also, the  church growth in Asia is astonishing. If you get the chance, go on LDS.org and watch the video called “the gospel in asia” or something like that. It was on the home page a little while ago. It doesnt mention Japan specifically, but it does say that right now, the church’s progress in Asia is unprecedented. and its going to just keep growing. Hence a lot of missionaries now getting called to Asia or speaking Asian languages.

Sunday: Happy late St Patrick’s Day! (and Mom, if you could tell Elizabeth happy late birthday for me that would be swell) Today we got news in our sacrament meeting that kind of shocked our little branch of 60ish missionaries. As long as the MTC has been around there has only ever been one Japanese branch. There just aren’t a lot of missionaries that go to Japan in the mtc at the same time. That being said, the Lord truly is hastening his work in Asia. On April 3rd or 4th, the MTC will be getting over 60 Japanese missionaries, and even more are coming in after that 🙂 that’s more than we even have right now! Because of this growth, the 68th branch of the MTC was formed for Japanese missionaries. TWO BRANCHES!!!!!!! my district, as well as 3 other districts have been assigned to the new branch to get it up and running in time for these new missionaries to come in. How awesome is that?? I feel like a pioneer for Japanese missionary work. Its so cool. Everyone always says how Japan is so hard, and has all these expectations of no converts. But the influx of new missionaries says otherwise. The Lord is preparing Japan to hear the gospel. IT’s even weirder to think that I’ll be one of the Sisters that trains all the new missionaries coming in. That doesnt even seem possible at the moment. One of our new branch counselors said something in his testimony that I really liked. “The Lord must really love you to send you to Japan”. I know thats true. The language is hard, and im going stir crazy in the MTC, but I can always feel love from my Heavenly Father and my Savior.

 – also if you get the chance, watch Elder Bednar’s talk “The Character of Christ” amazing. (I am inserting the talk I think Suzanne is mentioning, but I am not for sure because there is no talk with this title. Forgive my liberties with this!)

Monday: My companion is healed! well not quite yet, but we both went to class today, so things are looking up!

 All the Japanese missionaries are so amazing and so kind. They try and talk a little slower to us so we can understand, which helps a lot sometimes haha. But I can already tell from how much I love the missionaries that I really am going to the love the people even more 🙂 It’s crazy to think that we are almost done at the MTC. This week we get our travel plans, passports, and our nametags in Japanese (i’ll send pictures next time). It’s crazy to think its almost over! But im so excited to get out and serve the Lord and the people and share my testimony of this wonderful gospel. My time is up, so I’ve got to go. But I love you all! and miss you tons 🙂

Love,

 Your favorite missionary (at least I hope so),

Sister Hunsaker

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