July 8, 2013 week 24 oizumiiiiiiiiiiii!

Dearest loved ones!

Happy p day 🙂 today was definitely one of the most fun p days I’ve had so far on my mission, so we’ll start with that. Today we got to go to the zoo! and they actually had some pretty amazing animals this time. tigers, hippos, and lemurs that you could play with. The lemurs were probably my favorite. They were all super cheery little guys. I think I could probably compare them to kittens. When we tried to leave to go see the rest of the zoo, one was literally holding onto my leg trying to escape with us. They must love the company. And of course going with my dear companions made it that much better. So… updates on the rest of the week!

Oizumi is fantastic, and wonderful, and quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I’d be lying if I said that everything was just fine and dandy. That being said, I’ve been amazed with what the Lord has already blessed me with so far. He’s played a huge role in me being here and starting to learn everything. slowly but surely.

Monday: we got to go have dinner at the group leaders house! Oizumi is small enough that its not quite even a branch. We’re technically linked to a ward that is about an hour away called Kumagaya. So the bishop there is technically in charge of us. But because he’s so far away, we have Brother Maeno to take care of us. We had an awesome time there getting to know him and his wife with some of the other missionaries in our district. The most amazing part about Monday though, was getting an email from my beloved last companion, Sister Vail, who is still working in Utsunomiya. Do you remember Irene? She was probably my favorite investigator that we had there. Anyways, in the last lesson that they had with her, she accepted the invitation to be baptized! Her baptism date is for July 21st. I started crying as soon as I read the email. I’m sad that I won’t be there to be able to see her get baptized, but I am so glad that I got to go to Utsunomiya and get to teach her and help her prepare for that big step.

Wednesday was quite possibly one of the most depressing days i’ve ever had, but for reasons outside of my own life. There is a member named Ana Maria who lives in Maebashi that we had to go help. She lived in Bolivia before, but now she lives in Japan with her husband. Ana Maria is really sick, but she can only speak a little Japanese, and because of that, she needs a translator whenever she goes to the hospital. So, since Sister Silva is fluent in Portuguese and Japanese, she went to go do the translating from Japanese to Spanish and back, and I tagged along. The Spanish is still back there a little bit, so I got to talk to Ana a lot while we were sitting and waiting at the hospital. Maybe more listening and hand holding than talking, but I think that is what she really needed. All her kids still live in Bolivia, and she hasnt seen them in a really long time because she hasnt been well enough to go back and see them for a few years. Her youngest daughter is my age. But even though she has been through so much, she recognizes so strongly the role that God has played in her life, and she knows that he has answered every single one of her prayers. While we were in Maebashi that day, we got a phone call from President Budge. The Tokyo Mission officially split this week, and because of it, a zone from the Sendai Mission was actually added to us. One of the sisters serving there is a native Spanish speaker, and because of that, President Budge decided to transfer her halfway through the week to Oizumi. So I am in a sannin once more! My new companion is Sister Carrasco. Her parents are from Peru, but she was born and raised in America, so she is fluent in both. I can tell she is going to help a ton here. This is only her second transfer, so she still doesn’t understand a ton of Japanese, but we’re all teaching each other the wonderful languages of Oizumi, so I know she will pick it up in no time!
The last great part of Wednesday was getting an email from our zone leaders about Victor. and Manglio, the 2 guys that we found housing and passed off to the elders last week. They had an amazing spiritual lesson with them, and both Manglio and Victor accepted the invitation to be baptized. They have a baptismal date for July 28th. We are so happy for them!

Thursday was equally amazing. On thursday we went to pick up Sister Carrasco, and then rushed over to the church for eikaiwa. To be honest, I completely forgot it was 4th of July until one of the students asked me why it was important. Haha. Its amazing how time flies and you start to forget what day it even is.
After Eikaiwa, we had a lesson with two investigators, Erina. (I think I talked about her last time) and Kai-san (another one of our Eikaiwa students). We taught them the doctrine of Christ and they both understood it really well and felt the Spirit strongly. At the end of the lesson, I got to be the one that invited them to be baptized. When I opened my mouth and asked them to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized, I could feel the Spirit working through me. I honestly dont know if I’ve been able to testify that strongly in my life. It really showed me how much the Lord helps us when we just open our mouths. Both Erina and Kai. accepted the invitation to be baptized and we set a baptismal date with them for July 28th. If everything goes well, we could have 5 baptisms that day. 3 of the elders investigators, and 2 of ours. So keep them in your prayers please 🙂

Sunday was fantastic, and Erina came to church 🙂 along with a few of the Elders investigators. It was so great to see her there, and because it was fast and testimony meeting there were a lot of really amazing testimonies that were born, and the Spirit was incredibly strong, After church we talked to Erina a little bit and she said she loved it! She wants to come again next week, and she is going to try and meet with us twice this week. I really just want to make sure that any converts I have on my mission stay strong and have that solid testimony before they are baptized. That’s one of the problems that Oizumi is having. There are 2 families that were recently baptized into the ward, but neither of them have been to church for about 3 weeks now. Its frustrating to see, and its sad to see them start to drift away, but we’re doing the best we can to try and get them to church, and the members are helping out as well too. With all the faith that is here in Oizumi, I know we can make it happen.

This week during personal study, I was reading in Preach my Gospel about humility. There was this quote in there that I really loved. It says: Humility is gratitude for his blessings and the acknowledgement of your constant need for His divine help. You are confident that you can do whatever the Lord requires of you if you rely on him”. I definitely know that I need HEavenly Father’s help with everything, but I also know that I’ve been struggling lately with thinking that I can accomplish everything I need to. Oizumi is a little overwhelming to say the least. But its so true that fear and faith cannot exist at the same time. They talked about it in district meetings alot when I was in Utsunomiya, but know I feel like it applies more than ever. You have to push all your fear aside, and have that complete faith in the Lord that you can do everything HE needs you to do, because it is HIS will. its hard, but I know Im supposed to be here for a reason. Everyday there is some small miracle that helps me realize that.

well, I love you all, and love hearing from you every week! until next p day!

love,

sister hunsaker

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