September 9, 2013 week 33 Esperar

Boa noite!

This week so much has happened…. I don’t know if I can fit it into one email without leaving out so many important things… But, I’ll try my best πŸ™‚

On Tuesday, our zone had interviews with President Budge. It was really great two be able to sit down and talk to him about Oizumi, what we have planned for it, the people, how we can help them, everything. Transfers are next Monday, but at the end of my interview President Budge told me that they need me in Oizumi, and asked me if I could stay there another transfer. So im 99.999999999% positive I’ll be here longer πŸ™‚ which I’m defintely not complaining about. We have some amazing people here. And I know we can help them find the light of the gospel.

Wednesday was probably my favorite day of the week. It started with going to the Brazilian plaza to try and visit a less active member, Marcia. But when we got there, we actually ran into another less active there, Nubia. (Oizumi doesn’t have the best luck with retention. But, we’re going to change all that!) Nubia honestly has a heart of gold. She has a desire to help everyone. She was baptized here in Oizumi about a year ago, and has been incredibly busy with work ever since. But, we had a chance to sit down and talk with her, and afterwards she told us to stop by her house anytime to come visit. The members love her as well, so we just need to get her coming back to church. Before we left, she ran into a store and came out with these two furry stuffed animal dogs, one yellow and one green (for Brazil of course) and gave them to Sister Carrasco and I. I haven’t named mine yet, but he sits on my study desk every day.
Wednesday night we had a lesson with Erika. hisashiburi desho. We haven’t been able to meet with her for a while because she is always busy. Not gonna lie, I was EXTREMELY nervous to teach her. She’s our one investigator that we teach in Japanese, but everytime we had gone previously, we had an older sister missionary with us. That being said, I think it was one of the best lessons we have had with Erika yet. We taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ. (faith, repentance, etc.) She’s still struggling with her belief in God, but she really has a desire to know. I thought she was going to tear up a little bit when we talked more about faith. About believing in things we cannot see, and more importantly, having faith in Jesus Christ, that he is the son of God, and that he can lift all of our burdens. Erika said the prayer at the end of the lesson, and it was really great. The end of it was my favorite. I think in English it comes across something like “Heavenly Father, I’m still struggling to believe, but I really want to believe. Please help me.”. I’ll admit it, I’m a sap. Almost cried during the prayer. If we can keep meeting with Erika I know she can keep progressing.

Thursday….. on Thursday I legitimately did cry. And not for a good reason either. 😦
That day we went to Celia to teach her about fasting and invite her to fast about baptism. However, as soon as we walked in the front door, the first thing she said to us was, “Today is the last time I can meet with you”. Ouch. Bam. Slap. Being dropped always hurts. She told us that she was going to start going to school/studying again, so she wouldn’t have time to meet with us for a long time, but that we could still pass each other in the street and be friends. We still taught her a lesson, but it was definitely a little rough, and Im sure Sister Carrasco and I were both visually upset. And it wouldn’t have been so bad either if she hadn’t born this crazy amazing testimony after I asked her to keep reading the Book of Mormon. She knows its all true, and she said she would never deny it. She just doesn’t feel like she has time right now. Its hard, but I know someday she’ll get there. The seed is planted, and the testimony is there, she just has to figure out her priorities now.

Friday and Saturday were a blur, so I’ll just throw them all together. Bruna is finally out of the hospital! yosh! It took long enough, but she is back home hobbling around, and now just has to go to therapy 3 times a week. Now that Bruna is back at home we are hoping we can try to start teaching her little sister eduarda again… or even better, her mother Debora. Fingers crossed and wish us good luck!

We also got to meet twice this week with the Takamura family. Sayuri, her brother Fabricio, and her mom and dad. They are the referral that we got last week from the Funaki family. The Takamura family really is a great family. So full of love for everyone and always willing to help. We taught Sayuri and Fabricio about the Restoration of the Gospel, and then about the Book of Mormon the next time we met them. Fabricio is only 11, but he’s a smart little kid. He’s already in Nephi chapter 11, and he told us that he reads the Book of Mormon every night before he goes to bed. We’re hoping to be able to teach the whole family together about the Plan of Salvation, but its a little hard when the mom and dad both have really intense work schedules.
I also ate the weird food of the week with the Takamura family. They’re Peruvian, so the mom made us ceviche one night. It’s basically cut up raw octopus, squid, and some kind of white fish. Then they put a ton of lemon juice on it. I guess the acidity from the lemon cooks everything. And some cilantro. It was surprisingly good. I couldnt look at what I was eating sometimes because the octopus was purple and still had the little suckers on it, but other than that it was great.

We also did housing this week of course, but it has been pouring rain lately in Oizumi. So, we get to go around in our kapas (rain gear) on our bikes. Mine is all black, and Sister Carrasco’s is all blue, so I feel like we pretty much look like the equivalent of a robber and a smurf. I got a good laugh out of the idea.

Something cool I liked this week… is actually from PMG. Chapter 6, the Christlike attributes. The one about hope. So as a missionary, they always tell you to hope for miracles. But in portugues, the word they use is “esperar”. It kind of means, to hope, to expect, and to wait for… So when we esperar milagres, we are expecting miracles to happen, as long as we are doing the Lord’s will. There’s a quote from Neal A Maxwell on the page that says, “Being blessed with hope, let us, as disciples, reach out to all who, for whatever reason, have moved away from the hope of the gospel. Let us reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down”. How amazing is it that hope is a blessing! And, as latter-day saints, those that have the gospel, we have this hope, and we get to share it with others. Sometimes its easy to get down when things don’t go your way, when people don’t answer their doors, and when things fall through, but when we have hope, we work against all those things, knowing that it will all work out in the end for our good. The Lord is never ever ever going to throw something our way that we can’t handle. We just need to persistently have that hope that he’s going to help us out a little bit.

I love being a missionary. There are miracles happening everyday. Some of them I see here, and on the days where it seems like nothing went our way here in Japan, without fail there is an email or letter from someone, telling me about something in their life that was a blessing to them that day. So, yes, EVERY SINGLE DAY there are miracles happening out there. For us in the mission field, and for our loved ones at home. I miss you guys like crazy, but your in my prayers every night, and I know that as missionaries, Heavenly Father takes care of our families more than we ever could. Keep the faith, stay strong, and esperar to see miracles and have hope everyday. I know it’s possible, because all things are possible to them that believe.

Amo muito voces.

Sister Hunsaker πŸ™‚




3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mellissa hafer
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 01:01:20

    yep, you got me choked up again!! You are very consistent with that! I really look forward to your letters,I see them in my email, and I know I need to have time to sit down, and really enjoy them. I loved your messages about Hope. Angie just spoke in sacrament mtg about Hope and she did a really good job. I love your sense of humor and your positive attitude about the work. You were born to be a missionary. I know just how you feel with the one sister you were teaching that was doing so well and now just “dropped” you. That is so heartbreaking. I know! ugh. so hard. its that darn free agency. but have Hope and Faith. you are definitely planting the seed and sometimes it takes people losing having the influence of the spirit to really appreciate it. Or they may feel it on their own and then think-Oh hey this is what they were talking about, I really can feel it on my own and not just when they are around! right now I have to have hope that the singles ward will start helping me out and set up my classroom for me on Sundays after their mtgs. so far it is not going so well at all, and it takes me an Hour to set up my class every Sunday night or Mon am. GRRRRRR! other than that, I am really enjoying the surprising challenge of learning to be a good seminary teacher. Its a lot harder than I thought and getting up at 5 am is the easy part! the kids are great just half asleep, and not too forthcoming with gospel insights/desire to participate at that early hour?! email me back sometime so I know you are really getting my notes/letters and they are not just disappearing in cyber space thanks!! πŸ™‚
    xoxo sis H


  2. Mellissa hafer
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 15:19:50

    Thanks so much for the special letter to my seminary class! I waited a few days until I felt it was the right moment to share it. A perfect time came and I got it out and started to read and gosh darn it- I got so chocked up and emotional I had to keep pausing to get my voice! Darn you and your amazing testimony! πŸ™‚ Even through the Internet and a paper print out the spirit is so strong! I think that is a miracle. I hope it had an impact on the class. I’m sure it did. And maybe even one or two in particular. I have my first kid turning 18 in the class next week. He’s a great kid and I am enjoying getting to know him. I don’t know his mission plans yet. He is generally one of my most awake kids and he participates and answers questions sometimes. So that is great! I’m sure he’s planning on going just not sure when. I really hope and pray every kid in my class will serve a mission (ill give some of the girls a pass if its their destiny to get started on some other endeavors) but basically I teach them as if they are in their final prep days to go. Every chapter, every scripture I try to go over with them: what message is in here for us today? What is it saying to you specifically? How can this help someone you will teach the gospel to? I literally get so happy and excited looking forward to every lesson and every day I get to spend with these kids and this time in their lives. I’m grateful for these 20 great seniors that are making this effort to be at seminary by 6:10 am (sometimes late!) every day. Isn’t that really an amazing thing!? ( I think back to my early seminary days and ugh! I rolled out of bed and stumbled there w my friend Shane , I think I slept through most of it!) still I know I was blessed for going somehow. It’s amazing how The Lord blesses us even when we give so relatively little. I love to serve and I’ve enjoyed every calling in the church. I feel like my experiences with callings just keep getting better and better. I had loved all of my last 3 callings and I’ve thought- I could stay in this calling forever! RS, YSA, and now. But of course we are always given new experiences when it is time and we are needed somewhere else. I’m enjoying your great example and enthusiasm for service so much. I’m sad I don’t get to hear as much about my Sarah Bo bearas mission. Her mom is not as crafty on the Internet as your mom but were working on it! She sounded a little down last letter and asked me to send her some uplifting missionary stories! Keep up the great work! Xoxo sis H


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