July 1, 2013 week 23 bom dia! buenos dias!

bom dia! buenos dias! ohaiyou gozaimasu! and good morning 🙂

hopefully everyone is having as great of a week as I am. I absolutely love Oizumi. I’ve had so much fun here already. Granted I can’t understand everything that’s going on again, but I still love it.

We taught some really great people this week: a few of them are…

Eduarda. She’s 9, and her older sister is Bruna (14) who just got baptized last week. Their mom isn’t a member, so she isn’t super willing to let Eduarda be baptized until she feels like she understands everything. But she is a really cute little girl. I put a picture of the 3 sisters in here. The littlest one is named Camilla, and she is 5. Super cute. They all speak mostly Japanese, but the mom only speaks Portuguese, so they always talk to her in Japanese, and she answers in portuguese. It’s kind of a funny dynamic.

Sandra. She was actually baptized in Brazil about 30 years ago…. and hasn’t been to church still. The elders found her housing and passed her off to us. So on thursday we taught her the plan of salvation! my first lesson in portuguese! kind of crazy. I could only really do the pre-earth life and our life on earth, and bear an incredibly simple testimony, but thats almost more than I could do in Japanese when I first got here.She is a super nice woman, and she actually came to church with us this Sunday 🙂 The ward members are taking good care of her already.

Julio. His whole family (wife, son and 2 daughters) were baptized a few weeks ago, but he has a vice with coffee. Its been tough, but his wife Nadia says that he has been slowly cutting down on the coffee in the past few weeks, so once that one is out of the way, he will be able to be baptized too.

Erina. She is the only Japanese investigator we have, and she actually wasnt really an investigator when I first got here. I had heard about her, but didnt know who she was. We had eikaiwa on tuesday and I ended up talking to her for most of the night, and just getting to know her really well. She’s actually a really nice person. Probably in her early 20’s. We got home that night and Sister Silva told me that Erina was the girl I had been talking to. I have never been more glad in my entire life. Haha. But right before we went to bed that night, she emailed us and said that she had been thinking about church. Before she didn’t think she needed it to be a part of her life. But she said that now she wanted to learn more and that she knew it could help her. We were both in shock. Even better than that was the text we got last night where she asked us how much she needed to be taught before she could be baptized. We about had a heart attack. We are really really excited to start teaching her this week 🙂

We also saw some amazing miracles this week. Sister Silva and I went to go try and visit a potential English student on Friday, and we ended up knocking on the wrong door and finding this man named Manglio. We talked for a little bit, and then he said, “oh, son mormones!”. we were a little surprised. Turns out that when he was 13 and living in Bolivia, he had met with the missionaries and taken all the lessons. He was supposed to be baptized along with 5 other people, but when it came time for his turn, he ended up going home. His family wasnt incredibly supportive of him joining the church. And then we found him almost 40 years later. To make a long story short, he ended up coming to church on Sunday, and he brought his friend Victor (from Argentina) with him! They participated a ton in gospel principles, and the elders have an appointment to go teach the 2 of them later this week 🙂

Everyone in Oizumi is seriously so nice. Its almost mandatory to give someone a kiss on the cheek and hug them, even when you first meet them. And the ward was so welcoming to me 🙂 sacrament meeting and all the other meetings were in portuguese, but Im finding that the gospel terminology is actually a little easier for me to understand than everyday portuguese. And some people are easier to understand than others. I have a hard time with people from Rio. They have a lot of shh sounds, and it kind of makes the words slur together. But other than that, church was great! Oizumi is still a branch, because there is probably only 25 people there on a good day. The group leader is Brother Maeno, and he is one of the sweetest men I have ever met. He asked me to speak in sacrament meeting, so I somehow managed to give a small talk/testimony/introduce myself in Spanish. I still feel like I understand almost everything with that language, but I almost forgot how to speak it. Dont worry, its slowly coming back. I have to think a little bit, but its still there.

One great thing about Oizumi is that we arent the only missionaries here! We also have 2 elders serving here, who happen to be the zone leaders for the Kiryu zone. (Yeah, no pressure right?) But they are both awesome missionaries, and take really good care of us sisters. Their names are Elder Shibuta. and Elder Apolonio. They both live in different parts of Brazil. Probably some of the funniest elders I have ever met. Such jokesters, but at the same time some of the most spiritual people ever. I sent a picture of them too.

A fun thing from this week… I went to a fiesta! There was a big one in Oizumi that all the Brazilian people came to, and we also had another one in our ward. Seriously so much fun. I honestly feel like Im getting the most unique mission experience out there. Im serving in Japan, but learning Portuguese and focusing on Latin American people. Its amazing. Granted its really hard to learn how to do everything over again, but I know I am supposed to be in Oizumi for a reason, and that the Lord knows I can work here. Its going to be a little slow moving at first, but its amazing what Heavenly Father can do for us when we have faith.

A scripture I loved this week is in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

There is a time for everything, for every one of us. It might be a time to weep, or a time to mourn, but there will always be a time to laugh, a time to dance, and a time to heal. And everything that happens to us is for a reason, to strengthen our testimonies, and maybe even prepare us for something bigger that we cant see yet. If being a missionary has taught me anything, its that Heavenly Father breaks us down before he can build us up. And he knows us better than we know our selves. Before I step off my soap box, there is also a really neat Mormon Message that just got put out, I think the name of it is origin. Here’s the link (https://www.lds.org/youth/video/origin?cid=HPL2P06W01012&lang=eng).It really is worth watching. I think sometimes as a missionary I forget how many outside influences there are that work against people. The magazines, television, sometimes even friends and teachers. But we can always ask our Heavenly Father, and he can confirm to us what we might already know to be true, or help us to find that which is. I firmly belive that every member of this church can and should have a Joseph Smith experience. To ask God and really have a desire to know that this is his true gospel. The way, and the time wherein we receive an answer is different for all of us, but the answer is the same for all of us. This is Jesus Christ’s true church restored on the earth.

Eu sei que esta igreja é verdadeira. Sei que Jesus Cristo é o nosso Salvador e Redentor. Eu amo ser uma missionária. I know that this church is true, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. And I love being a missionary 🙂

Te amo,

Sister Hunsaker

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