April 22, 2013 week 12-Faith in every Footstep

いつも証があります (according to google translate means “there is always evidence” I’m guessing in missionary speak that’s means there is evidence of miracles if you have faith.

konnichiwa mina san!

My first transfer is halfway done! How does that even happen? No clue. But its been great so far 🙂
This week has been a little crazy. We had a lot of people cancel appointments on us, or hang up the phone on us when we called them, but we also had some incredible miracles. This week we got 6 new investigators. And 4 of them came to church. They literally fell out of the sky.

One of them we met at Eikaiwa. His name is Toyota-san. He walked up to us after class and said he was interested in the church and wanted to know more. BAM. Just like that. I think me and my companions almost died of shock. Usually whenever people seen the “Iesu Kirisuto” on our name tags they shake their heads, wave their hands, or run away. (Literally, run away. That happened to us this week as well). We taught him a little bit after Eikaiwa and than after church again on Sunday. He has a lot of questions, but he really wants to find the truth.

Another cool story for the week… we met with one of our investigators the other day that had a baptisimal date but didn’t quite make it to the date. Her name is Liu. She has a really strong testimony of the gospel and of the church, but she is incredibly busy with her school work and job. This week we met her at McDonald’s with her friend Cho. (Both of them are from China, but they speak petapeta Japanese) We went over the gospel of Christ with them, and Cho was really touched by the message. He wants to know more about God and how he looks out for us. At the end of the lesson we asked both of them if they would pray about our message, and if they received an answer that it was true, would they be baptized? Liu said yes again, but Cho answered before her and said, “Of course I’ll be baptized.”. Well. Alrighty then. We have an appointment with them on Wednesday to set a baptisimal date with them and teach more.

The only problem we’ve been seeing here is that our investigators sometimes have a hard time coming to church. Which they have to do twice before they can ba baptized. The people that go inactive the fastest are those that didnt exactly come to church that often.

The area I live in is amazing. We live in Utsunomiya city, but if you travel outside of it for like 5minutes you can be in the rice fields. Its gorgeous. We went up to Nikko the other day to have dinner with some of the members and then teach a lesson to the Nakayasu family. We talked to them about the importance of the priesthood and the temple, so that they can be sealed together as a forever family. I took my little picture book and showed them a picture of me and dad when I got baptized, and I told Brother Nakayasu how special it was for me to be baptized by my father. We asked Kevin what he thought, and he said that he wanted his dad to do it. The part that touched me most was when their other child, a little girl named Reika, spoke up. She basically said that she wishes she could turn back time so that her dad could have baptized her too. (Brother Nakayasu was still pretty inactive at that point in her life). I think that really hit home with him. To see his children so strong in the gospel. I showed them the picture of me and mom and dad outside the Newport Temple and they said that they still want to go to the temple as a family. Brother Nakayasu promised Reika during our lesson that he would take her to the temple to do baptisms for the dead so that she could have that experience with him. There was a little bit of a tear in his eye when he said it.

Our ward is seriously amazing. The members take such good care of the missionaries, and they are always willing to sit in on a lesson, or offer help when we need it. Some of them have given me birthday presents and cards already. That’s one thing thats cool about Japan. They have this thing called a “fruit basket” that sits in the church for missionaries, and the members can put stuff in it. We usually get a lot of pasta and stuff to make food, or cute little notes and stuff. It’s nice to know how much the members here care for us. I think being a missionary has really made me realize how important families are. It’s amazing to see this members of the church in Japan. Elder Nelson just came here for a conference and told everyone that when the Japanese people are active members, they are the strongest members of the church that we have across the world. The ward members stay literally from 9am to 6 pm at the church every Sunday. After church is over the YSAs eat lunch together, and so do the other families. And then they all study the scriptures together or plan for other things. It’s amazing to see how much they rely on the church. Its heartbreaking to see some of the less active families we have, but we take every opportunity we have to teach them, and to make their family a forever family, and one that wil pioneer the church in their lives.

I think my favorite parts of conference were Elder Uchtdorf’s talk about finding light in the darkness, and Elder Holland’s talk about having faith, and holding to your beliefs. I was reading my journal from the first few weeks at the MTC and I kind of laughed about how spunky I was, even when I couldn’t understand anything anyone was saying to me. It’s gotten better, but if serving in Japan has taught me anything, it’s to always hold on to the faith that you already have. So many people question us and our testimonies about this gospel, and if we dont stay strong and study everyday, I could see how easy it would be to let that doubt creep into your mind. But that being said, I love being a missionary. Yes, I can’t perfectly communicate with the stranger on the train next to me, and sure I’m exhausted everyday when we pull off our bikes in the pouring rain, but this life was never meant to be easy. And serving a mission is no exception. Elder Holland said, “If it wasn’t easy for Christ, why should it be easy for us? The road to salvation goes through Gethsemane.”

I love you all so much! You’re in my prayers every night. Even when they’re in Japanese 🙂 Keep the faith, and keep writing. I love getting emails/letters

愛していますよ!

Hunsaker 姉妹
P.S. to answer dad’s question, if you’re sick in Japan, you wear a mask out of courtesy. But we were just goofing off. Most of our lessons are in Japanese, and every other day with my companions we have a “Japanese day” so we can speak the language more with each other
P.P.S. The pictures are from a shrine that’s about 5 minutes from my house by bike. It’s beautiful. All the statues reminded me of Mulan.(even though im pretty sure thats china…)

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mellissa
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 21:52:20

    Awesome info! I love it. Reminds me of my mission and also really fun to hear about the church in Japan.

    Reply

  2. Lauralee Hunsaker
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 00:58:11

    Suzanne,

    We want to wish you a Happy Birthday. We hope you got our card

    For you when you were at the MTC and the gift that came in it. We

    Are leaving very early Thursday morning to fly to Utah for a family

    Funeral. So we won’t be around a computer and can’t email you

    On your birthday. You probably only get mail on your p-day.

    It is so exciting to read your letters and to know that you are really

    Feeling the spirit and doing so well.

    Happy Birthday and all our love, Grandpa and Grandma xo xo

    Reply

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