August 19, 2013 week 30 Heroes and Heroines

Boa noite, buenas noches, こんばんは!

Thanks everyone for the letters and the love 🙂 things have been going great in Oizumi, a lot better than I thought they would now that Sister Carrasco and I are officially on our own.

This week was full of funny experiences, and great spiritual experiences as well.
Maybe I’ll start with all the funny things that happened this week, and then we will move on to the spiritual things.
So! Moments that made me laugh incredibly hard this week:

1. getting a hair cut in Japan. ATTENTION ALL SISTER MISSIONARIES GOING TO FOREIGN MISSIONS. Avoid getting a haircut at all costs. Cut it in the MTC, where the people are american haha. We went to get a hair trim this week, and I asked the woman to just trim my hair, about 1 inch. I even showed here with my fingers. But, in Japan they like to cut hair with a razor type thing instead of scissors, and the first stroke in the back of my head ended up being a lot shorter than we had anticipated. I knew I’d lost a lot of hair when I saw my companion laughing and could feel the air conditioning on the back of my neck. Granted my hair wasn’t super long before, but I probably lost a good 3 inches of hair that day. The woman insisted that she thought I would look better with short hair anyways. I have returned to a short little bob once more. Needless to say I won’t be getting a hair cut again in Japan if I can help it.

2. Talking with Marisol, and her son Ramshan. (I’ll explain that more a little later. It was spiritual too). But we had a lesson with them this week, and about half way through one of my sentences Ramshan (10 year old boy) got up, walked super close to my face, and says, wait! do you paint your eyes??? He was convinced someone could paint their eyes blue. cute kid.

3. Tracting in the treacherous buildings with Sister Carrasco. Obviously we’ve been needing to do some tracting and housing because our investigator pool is lacking at the moment. (I now have a solid watch tan line, and shoe strap tan line to prove it.) Anyways, we went down to this area where we knew a bunch of Brazilian live and started for this slightly older apartment building. We went to the bottom floor and took the elevator all the way up. The moment we stepped out of the elevator a pigeon flew out of nowhere and right into our faces. I screamed (of course) and Sister Carrasco put up her hands defensively, but ended up punching me. The next floor a semi (I think its a cicada in english) nearly flew up my skirt when we knocked on someones door. Not a huge fan of those things. And on the last floor I think we ran into spider webs at least 3 times. It was literally like the indiana jones ride in real life. But, we met some really awesome Brazilian girls, gave them a Book of Mormon, and have appointments with them next week 🙂 So all is not in vain.

4. Being ambushed by an old eikaiwa student. On thursday night when we had eikaiwa, I was writing some words on the board when all of the sudden I hear, “Excuse me, but where is Sister Hunsaker?” It was one of my Eikaiwa students from Utsunomiya, Yusuke. I think I talked about him a little bit when I was serving there. He’s very very very protestant, but he loves Mormon people, and missionaries. I was incredibly surprised to see him, and thus my reaction time was not nearly fast enough to stop him from running up and giving me a hug. My 6 month streak broken! Gah. We’ll see if I can make it a year from now on.

5. Practicing reading the scriptures with Sister Carrasco. We’ve been trying to be a lot more strict with language lately. No english in the apartment, and we try to only speak in the assigned language of the day until 8 o clock at night. Its a work in progress, but we are getting there. On el dia de espanol, we were reading the Book of Mormon outloud together for language study, and Sister Carrasco started laughing and said, “Sister Hunsaker you speak Spanish now with a Brazilian accent.”. So I have gone from speaking Japanese with a Spanish accent to speaking Spanish with a Portuguese/Brazilian accent. Go figure.

6. Going to the zoo today with the elders. Today was P-day once more, so for fun we decided to go to the zoo with the elders. Such goofs. I attached some pictures, but there are these really cool things where you can go under some of the exhibits, so you are right there with the animals. Anyways, one of the elders walked up to a Japanese man and started talking to him about the gospel, and invited him to church and tried to give him a Book of Mormon. At which point the guy started laughing and told us he was a member. It reminded me of that moment in the best 2 years where the new missionary invited the bishop’s daughter to church. We all got a good laugh out of it afterwards.

This week we taught lessons in portuguese, spanish, and Japanese. Its starting to get easier to switch back and forth, but its a little hard to balance study time amongst the languages. I dont want to have awful Japanese by the time I leave Oizumi, but at the same time, I really need Portuguese and Spanish to be able to communicate with a gente.

This week we met twice with one of our recent converts, Marisol. She’s from Peru, but lives in Japan with her son, Ramshan. She has an amazing desire to follow Christ and make sure she follow all the commandments. We taught her the plan of salvation this week, and then read the Book of Mormon together with her for another. She speaks incredibly fast spanish, but she always makes sure im understanding what she is saying. She has a great testimony of forever families. Her mother passed away right before she met the missionaries, and it played a big role in why she joined the church. She had a dream that her mom was asking her to help her, and then the elders knocked on her door. They taught her the plan of salvation, and about how her mother still had the chance to accept the gospel. How crazy is that? We’re working on getting her to the temple now so that she can be baptized for her mom.

The other convert we met with this week was Bruna-chan. I love her to death. We visited her once this week and taught her about the Liahona, and then told her about patriarchal blessings, and how they can be a Liahona in our lives. I still don’t understand everything that mine instructs me to do, but reading it now, I realize how important it was for me, my testimony, and the people of Japan, that I serve a full-time mission. After we talked to Bruna a little more about it, she decided that as soon as she feels ready, she wants to get her patriarchal blessing. She really wants that guidance in her life.

We also got a visit this week from our dearly beloved friend Paula. (Formerly my last companion Sister Silva). She was in Oizumi for a little while this week, so we went to lunch with her and got to sit down and see how her life was going after her mission. It was so weird to see her in jeans and a t-shirt! She told us it was definitely a little strange to not be a missionary anymore. and she told us that she never realized before how hard it was to be the only member in her family, aside from her Mom. It made me realize how important it is for converts to the church to have their family and friends support them, and be good influences in their life, otherwise its going to be hard to continue to hold onto that iron rod.

This Sunday at church was my favorite Sunday so far on my mission. All the youth just got back from efy, and during sacrament meeting, they all got up to bear their testimonies. Its amazing how much someone can grow just during a week, or a few days at things like efy or girls camp. All the youth came back saying they felt the Spirit so strongly, and that they wanted to be better missionaries. My favorite though was hearing Nicole Toyoshima get up and bear her testimony. Nicole was baptized in May, but she hasn’t been to church since I’ve been to Oizumi. We were all a little worried that she was going to go straight from Recent Convert to Less Active. But when she got up, she told everyone about the Spirit she felt, and how she hadn’t felt it in a long time, and she knew it was because she hasn’t been coming to church. During Sunday School, we somehow got on the topic of the last days before Christ comes. Everyone agreed that when he comes, its going to be a time of fierce temptation and trials, but that those people, particularly the youth are going to be some of the most valiant we have ever had. And that time is now. I see it in the youth in the Oizumi ward, and I see it in all those young women and men that I love from back home. I know all of you just had the chance to go to the temple for baptisms, and I am so glad that you did. There is nothing like the peace that you can feel inside the temple.

I was reading an amazing talk this week from Ezra Taft Benson called “In His Steps” and I loved this quote (sorry its a little long)
“In all ages prophets have looked down through the corridors of time to our day. Billions of the deceased and those yet to be born have their eyes on us. Make no mistake about it—this is a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us. Never before on the face of this earth have the forces of evil and the forces of good been so well organized. Now is the great day of the devil’s power. But now is also the great day of the Lord’s power.

Each day the forces of evil and the forces of good enlist new recruits. Each day we personally make many decisions showing the cause we support. The final outcome is certain—the forces of righteousness will win. But what remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this battle—and how tall we will stand. Will we be true to our last days and fulfill our foreordained missions?

Great battles can make great heroes and heroines. We will never have a better opportunity to be valiant in a more crucial cause than in the battle we face today and in the immediate future. Some of the greatest battles we will face will be fought within the silent chambers of our own souls. ”

I love what it says about heroes and heroines. Everyone one of us was a hero or heroine in our own way in heaven, otherwise we wouldn’t be here now. And its our actions, and those decisions that we make everyday that determine if we will become those people that we were meant to be. The youth of the church amaze me. Every single one of them is a hero to me. So many people write me emails and tell me about how excited they are to go on missions, and to share their testimony with the world. And of course, our parents are our heroes as well. We all have to have someone to look up to and fashion our lives after, and I know the youth of this church are so amazing because they learned from their parents. Myself included.

I guess the moral of the little quote and my rambling is to challenge everyone to find that hero or heroine inside of them. Its there somewhere, and we just have to follow the Lord to find it. I love all of you so much, and I’m so thankful for the example you set for me, and the joy you bring me every week when I hear your updates. Being a missionary is definitely one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but its always worth it. When someone prays for the first time, when you find that special person that needs the gospel, and when you see the members doing everything they can to share the gospel. All of those moments make me feel like I’m doing something right. That in someway I’m being a hero. And there is nothing else in the world that can compare to that feeling!

até próxima semana!

te amo!

sister hunsaker

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mellissa hafer
    Aug 19, 2013 @ 15:13:24

    sister Hunsaker as usual you rock! your letters are soooo uplifting and humorous. you are like one of the great speakers I used to love at youth conferences that made me laugh and cry! I just keep thinking how happy and blessed your family must feel to hear of your adventures and your testimony that is so strong. aren’t missions awesome?! If you can believe it you are going to appreciate it even more probably every year of your life. You will not believe the blessings that are going to be poured out to you because of your service. I know there are hard times and sad times as well on a mission. I hope you just remember that it will pass and it will be so worth it! Thanks for sharing your great experiences! xoxoxoxoxox sis.M.H.

    Reply

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