September 2, 2013 week 32 There Is No Fear In Love

konbanwa!
sorry this letter is coming a little late, today was an incredibly hectic p-day, but it was fantastic as well πŸ™‚

So this week was… interesting to say the least. We had a lot of great interaction with ward members, and got to help a lot of really amazing people. I’ll start from Tuesday…
On Tuesday we went housing! No surprise there. Our investigator pool hasn’t been the strongest lately, so its pretty much become a daily thing. When we went on Tuesday there was this really cool apartment complex we wanted to house. But, we could figure out where the entrance was, all we could see was this fence that went all the way around it. So, being the responsible Sister missionaries we are… we hopped the fence. And we were pretty graceful about it if I do say so myself.
After housing we went to visit Bruna. again at the hospital. We decided to finish up her after baptism lessons, and taught her the restoration. Her testimony of the Book of Mormon is amazing. Its still so hard to believe she is only 14! naturally when we dendo people I feel like I don’t talk to the high school kids because I think they wouldn’t have interest. But Bruna makes me rethink all of that everytime we are with her.

Wednesday… I have never been so exhausted and tired in my life. Wednesday morning Sister Carrasco and I took a train out to Maebashi (about 1.5 hours away), and then an hour car ride to the Maebashi hospital. Remember Ana Maria? I went to visit her once and Sister Silva translated at the hospital for her. Well, the elders couldnt go this week, so Sister Carrasco and I had to do the translating. I thought my brain would explode. It was a mix of hand gestures, flipping through a dictionary, and long explanations, but everything went well. The most important part was making sure Ana Maria understood, and that her opinion was voiced to the doctors. Translating from Japanese to Spanish and back just about made my brain mush. But somehow we did it. Ana Maria has a lot of problems, but the biggest one is her foot. I wont go into it for your sakes, but she basically has a open hole the size of an egg on the bottom of her foot. She broke her foot about 3 years ago, but kept walking on it, and as a result the bone moved down and caused a sore, and then hole in her foot. In addition to this, she has diabetes, so the hole isnt closing, and she’s pretty much in pain everyday. At this point, she just has to continue waiting, but she wants the doctors to amputate her foot. We told the doctors, and they said it was pretty much the worst case scenario, but its her decision in the end. She’s going to think about it for a bit, and then go back.
After being in Maebashi for most of the day, we went to share the gospel, and when we were about a 20 minute bike ride away from the house, it started POURING rain out of nowhere. Go figure. It was around 8:30 at that point so we started racing home. You know those movie scenes, where the person is walking on the side of the road, or on their bike, and a huge car drives by and gets them soaking wet? Just so you know, it happens to sister missionaries too. Picture a splash mountain sized wave of dirty water haha. By the time we got home, we were soaking wet, and covered in dirt. Quite the sight. I wish I would have taken a picture. But as soon as Sister Carrasco and I got in the apartment and looked at each other we couldn’t help but start dying laughing. I think thats one of the most important things to remember. Always find something to laugh about. It always makes the day better.

On Thursday we went to visit Celia, and talked about faith, and action. We’re having a hard time teaching her right now. The lessons are always great, she definitely feels the Spirit, and is praying and reading the Book of Mormon, but we still cant get her to come to church. You would think we were asking her to shoot her dog or something!! But, the next lesson we have with her is about the Law of the Fast, so we are thinking about asking her to fast about coming to church. Wish us luck!
On thursdays we also teach Aulas de Ingles! It is one of my favorite parts of being a missionary in Japan. Teaching english to people. Its a little different now because the people we teach are Brazilian, but its still just as fun. On Thursday Sister Carrasco and I taught the beginner class which is just Brazilian people. It was a bit of a struggle at first, but with the help of google translate, we made it through.

Friday started with catching train out to Aioi, to visit one of our members, Graciela. She’s from Peru. We had lunch with her, and then talked to her… well, she talked to us, and we listened. But that was really what she needed the most. Like most of the foreigners living here in Japan, she really wants to return to where she was born, and where she was raised. Its hard for her to live in Japan when she doesnt really speak Japanese, and doesnt have any family out here. Before we left, we shared Mosiah 5:7 with her and talked about her decision to be baptized, and how many blessings she has received from that. At the moment it doesn’t look like she’ll be able to return to Peru soon, so the most we can do for her is strengthen her faith in the gospel, and prayer. So that she knows she always has someone to talk to when things get tough.
After visiting Graciela, we went to try and visit a referral from the Elders, a Brazilian woman named Simone. Luckily she was home when we knocked on the door. She’s a really sweet woman, she has just been really busy lately taking her daughter to physical therapy. Her daughter is probably 5 years old now, but she has a problem with her legs, and can’t walk. So she still crawls around the house, and needs help with everything. But Simone is an amazing mother despite all of that. We have an appointment with her this week to teach her about the plan of salvation, to help her understand about eternal families, and how someday her daugher will have a perfect body that works just like everyone elses.

On Saturday we did housing, visited our BFF Bruna, and then headed back to our apartment to wait for Nadia Toyoshima. On Saturday we had an activity with the Kumagaya ward πŸ™‚ We did a ward barbecue type thing and it was great πŸ™‚ Nadia volunteered to give us a ride, and we were super excited not only that her whole family was coming, but that we had the chance to get to know her better, and really strengthen our relationship with her. We visited Nadia a lot before, but we never felt like we had the chance to get to know her that well.
The coolest part about Saturday though came by way of the Funaki family. Brother Funaki is the ward mission leader, and lately he has really been trying to step up missionary work in the Oizumi ward. So guess what… his family brought a friend to the ward activity! A little Peruvian girl namedΒ Sayuri.Β As soon as Sister Carrasco and I got to the barbecue Brother Funaki practically sprinted over to tell us about her, and told us that she wanted to learn about our church, and that he wanted us to teach her! How amazing is that?? Amongst intense ping pong games (come on, I am in Japan), great Brazilian barbeque, and amazing members, we had the chance to sit down and talk to S. about the church, and what we believe in. When she lived in Peru, she actually had some member friends, and thats what lead to her interest in the gospel. She’s only 17, but she has a lot of questions that we know the gospel can help answer. We’re excited to be able to get to know her more, and hopefully teach her with the Funaki family.

Sunday was fantastic. It was fast sunday, so a lot of the members, and all of the missionaries, got up and bore their testimonies (even me, in portuguese. its a work in progress, but its coming!). One of my favorites was when Nadia got up. Her and her whole family (except her husband, J) came to church this Sunday! She talked about how when she hadn’t been coming to church, she felt like something wasnt right. She was reading her scriptures and praying, but still felt something was missing. She said that the second she walked into the church building last week, she realized what she was missing. She bore an amazing testimony to her kids and the members about the importance of going to church. It was great to hear. Want to know something else wonderful?? This week we had about 30 people at church again. But this time, there were 6 investigators at church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 for the elders, and 4 for us. Sayuri (the girl we met from ward mission leader) came to church, and her mom, dad, and little brother came with her as well. They seemed to all have a really great time πŸ™‚ and they told the members they would come again next week as well. Its been so long since we’ve had an investigator come to church. Its definitely hard to work every day of the week, and then not have something to show for it when Sunday roles around. But I think from here on out, things will really start to pickup here in Oizumi.
We’re going to have a baptism pretty soon here in Oizumi as well. One of the elders investigators, Victor. Sister Silva and I knocked on his door and talked to him like my first week in Oizumi. Just seeing him baptized would let me know I had purpose being here. Who knows how different things would be if we hadnt knocked on his door that day?

And that brings us to today, p-day. But not just any p-day, zone p-day. Today we went bowling with some of the missionaries in our zone πŸ™‚ It was great. Im incredibly awful at bowling, but it was nice to talk to the other missionaries and see how their areas were doing. After bowling, we went to grab sushi at a nearby sushi bar. One of the pictures I attached is of me and Sister Ono. She’s the only Japanese sister in our zone, and she doesn’t speak any english. I think its a little hard for her to work with all gaijin (american) missionaries that pretty much only speak english. I “translate” the district meetings for Sister Ono. when we have them, so I feel like we have a special relationship. She’s a sweetheart. We sat together at sushi today and she told me a little bit about her family. She’s a great missionary.
And the last part of today, something that is incredibly awful as a Sister missionary, shoe shopping. My companion made me buy new shoes. But, my current pair were pretty bad. That’s missionary work for you! I argued that they were fine… unless it rained, in which case my foot was wet in 2 seconds due to the holes in the bottom. But oh well πŸ™‚

So, a favorite scripture I came across this week is in Moroni 8:16. the end of it says: “perfect love casteth out all fear” Its like another scripture in 1st John 4:18 that I really love. But basically its talking about charity. And it made me think, the most important part of being a missionary is loving the people right? And when we have that perfect love, charity, for the people we’re serving, we shouldn’t be afraid of what might come next. I remember as a new missionary being terrified every time someone answered a door, or when we had a lesson. Because I didn’t know the people, or how they would react. But when we have charity for people, when we love them with everything we have, the most important thing we can do for them, is share the gospel with them. I’m not saying that I’m not afraid of anything anymore, trust me I still am. But, I’ve found that when I stop panicking about the language, or the lesson, or what I’m going to say next, and just focus on loving that person, its when everything goes all right. Because Charity overcometh all things. (I think that’s a scripture somewhere as well.) Well, I love you all! Sorry I won’t have time to email anyone else this week, but I promise next week πŸ™‚

amo muito voces!

Sister Hunsaker

P.S. To Sister Crane’s mom, congratulations! Your daughter is coming to the best mission in the world! The Tokyo (North) Mission πŸ™‚ The Mission has already officially split, so if her call said just to Japan Tokyo, then she’s coming here πŸ™‚ I promise to keep an eye out for her. No worries, she is going to have the most amazing experience ever! And I’ll be sure to send her an email every now and again.

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