August 12, 2013 week 29 ” I’ll go where you want me to go

Boa tarde!
I love hearing from everyone on p-day 🙂 there’s always some email that cheers me up/makes my week. Things have been crazy hectic and amazing here in Oizumi this past week. Sister Carrasco and I dropped off Sister Silva at the train station this week, so we are officially on our own! And on top of that, I’m now on TRANSFER 4!!!!!!!! Where does the time go???? Its incredibly scary to think about. I’m a little bit ahead of Sister Carrasco in terms of transfers, so when it comes to Japanese and related things, I have to take care of us. Luckily nothing too crazy has happened yet. Well actually….. okay funny story of the week. So, after we took Sister Silva to the station Sister Carrasco and I came back to the apartment to do weekly planning and set some goals for the transfer. After we’d been on our own for literally 1 hour, the phone started making incredibly weird ringing noises and buzzing. We picked it up to check it, and it was an EARTHQUAKE WARNING. That sucker only goes off if there is like a 7.0 or above earthquake headed your way. And of course the whole message was in Japanese, so pretty much the only thing we could read was, “earthquake, please be careful”. Naturally we started panicking, because we had no clue where the emergency kits were, or where our evacuation center was. So we packed up our stuff, found the emergency kits, and waited for like 10 minutes….. and nothing happened. In the moment we looked like chickens with our heads cut off, but by the end of the ordeal we were dying of laughter. It was a great way to start off the transfer. (And don’t worry Mom and Dad, we now know what to do in case of an emergency.)

Another highlight of this week was Music Night on Tuesday. Its basically where we get out a bunch of instruments and investigators come play or practice. It helps them get to know the missionaries in a less intimidating situation, and its a great opportunity for us to follow up with investigators. Anyways, that night, my favorite little girl ever, Gabi came, and she decided she wanted to play the piano. We got out the primary hymnbook for her, and she played the right hand of I am a child of God. After that, she wanted to learn how to sing it. So I sat down with her and we sang I am a Child of God probably 3 or 4 times all the way through. But her little voice was so cute singing it. We’re working on talking to Gabi’s parents at the moment to get permission to teach her and her older brother. She’s 8, and her brother Kadu is 10. They are half brazilian half japanese. But hearing her sing “lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way, teach me all that I must do, to live with him some day” almost made me cry. Because she is literally one of Heavenly Father’s children, and he wants so badly for her to return to live with him someday. In a way, all of our investigators are like G. They’re like little children. They dont know the way, and they need help to get there. Thats why we have to be the best teachers possible.

On Friday, Sister Carrasco and I about worked ourselves into the ground. We decided that we didn’t have a ton of investigators, so we hit the streets and started tracting. Not my favorite thing to do in the summer, but you always meet interesting people. The weather here is incredibly hot. Gunma-ken (where I live) is the hottest area in the Japan Tokyo Mission. You feel like you’re swimming when you go outside. That and you can feel the sweat rolling down your back when you are outside for more than 10 minutes. Gotta love it. Anyways, we housed for 4 hours straight on Friday. And of course, the last door that we knocked on that day was someone that decided to talk to us. His name is Fabian. He has 2 little kids, and his wife is a nihonjin. we talked to him a little bit about eternal families, and then I felt like we should talk about the Book of Mormon. So I reached into my bag, pulled out a Book of Mormon, and we taught him a little bit about it. Afterwards he took the copy of the Book of Mormon, and agreed to let us come back and teach him and his wife together 🙂 Woohooo. new investigator! It makes the 4 long hours incredibly worth it.
After housing, we road our bikes over to Celia’s shop to teach her a lesson. We taught her about enduring to the end. We were incredibly worried because it would be our first lesson in portuguese without our Brazilian companion. So, we said a prayer outside her store, and then walked in to teach her. Heavenly Father is amazing. Everything that Celia said to us, Sister Carrasco and I understood perfectly, and we were able to answer her questions. Me in portuguese and Sister Carrasco in spanish. Celia’s main problem is coming to church on Sunday because she works all day, everyday. And she knows that if she gets baptized, it would be an even bigger sin to not come to church after that. But, she told us that she knows everything we teach her is true, and that the Book of Mormon is true as well. So now, we’re just praying to know how we can teach her and help her to get to church on Sunday. Thats the only thing that is really holding her back.

On Saturday, we went to go visit Bruna because she is in the hospital recovering from her knee surgery. She could be in there anywhere from 2 weeks to a month! Call me crazy but that seems a tad bit long. But she was really glad to see us 🙂 Being in Oizumi I thought I would worry about losing my Japanese, but all the kids here, including Bruna, prefer to speak Japanese, so we made her promise to keep teaching us. But it was really good to visit with her. We read the Book of Mormon together (incredibly slowly, it was in Japanese) and read about when Nephi was commanded to build a ship. After that, we talked about prayer, and how Heavenly Father answers all of our prayers, even the small ones. Bruna just nodded and smiled and told us how she prayed before her surgery because she was nervous, but before she knew it she was awake, and her leg hasn’t been hurting her that much since then 🙂 She’s the strongest recent convert we have in Oizumi. If all of the people that were baptized here were like her, Oizumi would be a branch by now.

Sunday went really well as well. We were able to talk about our investigators and converse with the members better than ever before. They are all amazing, and always try to help us out with anything. Including teaching us how to make Brazilian food. Sister Funaki said she’s going to teach us how to make everything haha. And the members are also so helpful with us trying to learn portuguese. If we don’t know a word they help us out, and if we say something wrong, they correct us a little bit so that we know how to say it right. And of course, they are ever so encouraging. They all say how much I’ve changed from the first day, when I couldnt speak to them at all. My favorite reaction though was Brother Maeno. He was telling me I was learning fast and then said,” voce vai casar com um brasileiro”. I’ll let you google translate that one Mom and Dad haha. (You will marry a Brazilian!!)

P day has been going swell so far as well. This morning we had a lesson with a recent convert, Marisol, and we taught her and her son a little bit about faith, and how it can help us when life gets a little hard. Afterwards we had lunch with the elders, and since then we’ve been running around trying to get shopping and everything done. We have a little break right now, and then we have a lesson tonight with our investigator Erina. We’re planning on teaching her lesson 3, and if all goes well, inviting her to be baptized. We’ll see how it goes!

I don’t have a scripture for the week, but I do have a verse from a hymn that we sang this week in sacrament meeting:

Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand’rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
Tho dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet:
I’ll say what you want me to say.

Its so true, that if we let the Savior be our guide, we can do anything. No matter how dark or rugged the way 🙂 things have been getting better and better here in Oizumi, and I know its because I stopped trying to do things my way, and through my hands in the air and decided to trust in the Lord. Its incredibly scary to take that leap of faith, but its so worth it once you do. For all those future missionaries out there, you’ll know soon enough. I had no clue that when I decided to go on a mission I would be called to Japan. And then called to an area where the main language is Portuguese. But the Lord makes everything that much more clear when we but our trust in him 🙂 Amo voces. Until next week!

love,

Sister Hunsaker

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