September 30, 2013 week 36 Roller Coaster Ride

This week was great in Oizumi. It wasn’t the easiest week we have had by far, but its becoming more and more apparent on my mission that sometimes the hardest times are the times when you grow the most, and learn to appreciate the little miracles that you see everyday. I guess things have been hard lately because we haven’t had a lot of lessons, or investigators at church recently, and we spend a lot of time knocking on doors, trying to get people to listen. I’d be lying if I said this week was easy. There was a lot of canceled appointments, returned Books of Mormon, and even a door slammed in the face. (that was a first) But! the important thing is the amazing things that happened this week. So I’m going to talk about those ones instead ๐Ÿ˜‰

The first amazing person we met with this week was Simone. She is Brazilian, and living in Japan with her husband, and her daughter who has some physical disablities, and because of them, can’t walk. We went to her house and got to really talk to her, and she let us into her home. We shared Alma 40:23 and promised her that someday her daughter is going to have a perfect body, and be just like everyone else. Simone has an amazing heart, and told us how she prays everyday for her daughter, but instead of just begging for her to be healed, she thanks God everyday for the progress that her daughter is making. She has genuine interest in what we are teaching, and she’s been reading the Book of Mormon as well. We have a lesson with her today, and we are planning on teaching her about the Plan of Salvation, something that could really help her life.

We also got to visit some amazing less active/recent converts this week. The first person is Nubia. She’s Brazilian as well, and was baptized in Oizumi a little over a year ago. For me, she is the epitomy of the word charity. She always is trying to help those around her, and makes sure that everything is taken care of before she even thinks about herself. We went and shared Moroni 7:47-48 with her, and talked about how she is an example to us of the perfect love of Christ. She really opened up to us and told us that one of the reasons why she can’t come to church is because of her job and her husband. She owns a plaza here, and since the busiest day is Sunday, her husband wants her to stay and work, and isn’t particularly fond of her going to church instead. But, she’s making progress. I know that she can come to church, even if its only for an hour. And it would help her so much.

The recent convert family that we visited this week was the Mercado family. The one thing that is hard about being a missionary is loving the people, and wanting the best for them, and being heartbroken when things dont work out. We had an amazing time with the Mercado family both times we visited them, and really had a chance to talk to their mom, Rhoda. She’s a single mom, and basically works all night to take care of her kids and make sure that they have everything they need. She gets home from work in time to get them ready for school, and then she sleeps until she has to pick them up. Both of the kids have great testimonies as well. And they love reading the scriptures and talking about the gospel. Especially CK, the daughter. We also got to go to an undokai and see CK dance. I think an undokai would be the equivalent of a field day in the US. Its a school sponsored thing where the kids run races, play games, and get to celebrate a little bit of the Japanese culture as well. CK did a traditional Japanese dance called the Soran with the other kids her age. She was incredibly excited to see us there, and ran over to give us a hug right when she saw us. Which is a good thing, because we were having a hard time locating her there with all the little kids running around. I think I stuck out a little bit with the blond hair and bright pink dress. I figure my companion will always be able to find me on my mission if we get separated. We talked to the family and Rhoda and CK both said they would be at church on Sunday… but they didn’t make it. Its so heartbreaking to have things like that happen. I want to help the Mercado family so much, but there is only so much we can do when they aren’t coming to church. But we’ll keep trying.

We also have a new progressing investigator, a Brazilian woman named Maria. The first time we met her, we only talked to her for a little bit, and gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to read it, and that we would come back to talk to her about it. When we went to visit her later this week, she came out with the Book of Mormon and told us that she had been reading, and that she really liked it! She told us how when she started reading it, she was going back and forth between the tv and the book, and then she turned off the tv, and just started reading. And then a little while later she looked at the clock and realized how long she had been reading for and had to make herself stop. We laughed and told her that it was a good thing :). She’s even been marking scriptures that she likes in the Book of Mormon. She’s amazing. The only problem we might have with teaching her is that her three daughters are evangelical, and not the biggest fans of their mom talking to the Mormon missionaries. But we can change their minds.

On Sunday we decided to go visit Celia. She didn’t look super happy to see us there when we first walked in, but we just asked for 5 minutes, and shared a scripture with her. And testified that this gospel is the thing that she needs most, and that if she follows the path the Savior has set for her, its going to bless her life more than she can imagine. When I was talking to her, I could really see her thinking, and at one point her eyes glistened, and she almost began to cry. She knows its true! And I know she feels the Spirit when we talk to her. But, today wasn’t the day for her to pick studying with us back up. It kills me on the inside to know she feels its true, and yet she wont do anything about it. After we left Sister Carrasco told me that she was “my investigator” and just said that she noticed how much her face changed when I started talking to her. I guess that means I have to work hard while I’m in Oizumi to bring her around. If anything, I think we could stop by maybe once a month and just keep trying for that breakthrough. She told us she would come to church on a day that wasn’t too busy. Baby steps.

This week I really started to have fun while we were knocking on doors trying to share the gospel with people. I think it helps that Im finally comfortable talking to people in Portuguese. One of my favorite doors that we knocked on was this young Brazilian guy, whose dog’s name was Kuma. (It means bear in Japanese. He was the cutest little small thing I’ve ever seen) Anyways, when he first answered the door, he told us that he was too busy, and didn’t have time to study anything. So, I asked him to read Alma 26:37. He read it, and kind of stopped for a second, and said “wow, I really needed that” its amazing how peoples whole countenance can change when they are touched by the gospel. Unfortunately, he’s a guy, and well, our age. So we have to give him over to the elders. darn.

Being here in Oizumi with our little apartment building church really makes me realize how much I took for granted the church building that we had back home. We were sitting in the church the other day, and I heard this “drip, drip” noise. We went to investigate, and low and behold the ceiling was leaking. It looked like it was practically raining in the buliding. Its pretty old, and not in the best condition, so I guess things like that happen. We put out some buckets, tied up our skirts, and started mopping. Luckily by Sunday everything had gotten patched up, but it would be wonderful if we could get an actual building here in Oizumi.

Cool miracle of the week (well, we had a lot, but this was recent). Last night I got a call from my dear first companion Sister Vail. She asked me if I remembered a little Filipino girl named Marjorie. I met Marjorie with another sister missionary when we were on splits. We talked to her for a little bit, and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, but never heard anything back from her. That was in June I believe. Anyways, Sister Vail ran into her on the street and invited her to Eikaiwa. She came to English class, Sister Vail invited her to church and started talking about the gospel with her. Marjorie said, “Well, this is the second time I’ve met with missionaries here, so I really think that I should come to church” Sister Vail tried to give her a book of Mormon, but she wouldn’t take it and said, “I already have one that a little blonde girl gave me (thats me!).” Sister Vail got out her camera and showed her a picture of me, and figured the whole thing out. Anyways, Marjorie went to church on Sunday and had an amazing time, and the Utsunomiya Sisters set a baptismal date with her for the end of October. She just keeps saying that she knows this is the right thing to do, because she knows that its no coincidence that she has met us twice. WOW. I guess it just goes to show that you have to talk to everyone. You never know what the results could be ๐Ÿ™‚
Lastly, our group leader in Oizumi gave a talk on Sunday and told a story about when the ward had a barbeque and invited the missionaries to all come. This was when I was still working in Utsunomiya with Sister Vail. We played soccer together and I ended up being on his team. He said that as soon as he met me, and watched me interact with the people that were there, he wanted me to come to Oizumi and help his members here. So basically there are a whole lot of reasons why I’m here in Oizumi, and why I’m on a mission for that matter. The one I really came to think about this week was that being a missionary really is the best thing in the whole world because you get to be with these amazing people and teach them about the gospel and their Heavenly Father and Christ. I wouldn’t trade a single day of my mission for anything. Even the hard ones. Its like a roller coaster. Sometimes you’re way up in the sky, other times you’re so low you don’t know what to do. Sometimes things are going by fast and you don’t know what’s going on, and other times you’re upside down. But all in all, at the end of the ride, or the day, you want to do it over and over again ๐Ÿ™‚ I think that describes how a mission is for me. I never want it to end.

I love you all! have a great week ๐Ÿ™‚

com abraรงo,
Sister Hunsaker

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mellissa Hafer
    Sep 30, 2013 @ 15:53:13

    Love your letters!!! I’ll send you an email reply.

    Reply

  2. Connor
    Oct 06, 2013 @ 21:29:15

    Hey I am leaving for the MTC this Wednesday. (October 9th) And I am going to the Japan Tokyo mission as well. When I was looking at peoples blogs I came across yours and I have to say that you just made me even more excited to teach the people in Japan! Thank You!

    Reply

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