October 28, 2013 week 40 Transfer Six What!! what!!

hello everyone!
Today I started my 6th transfer as a missionary. Crazy right?? And…….. drum roll please.
Im staying in Oizumi with Sister Carrasco. This will be our 4th transfer here together in Oizumi. And I’m so happy to stay here. There really is no place quite like Oizumi in the mission. You get to serve in Brasil while living in Japan. Really the best of both worlds. So… this week was crazy. I felt like we were all over the place.

On Monday we went down into Tokyo to try and go shopping before going to the mission home. I forgot how big and confusing the train stations are down there. We made a lot of friends with these sweet Japanese people trying to figure out where exactly we were supposed to transfer and so on. After walking around Shinjuku for a bit, we went to the mission home in Nakano. Well… we tried. The mission home is only 10 minutes from the train station if you walk, but neither of us really knew the way, so we got very lost in Nakano for a good hour. There’s just so many streets and places you could go! If anything it just testified to me that I, a. am not good with directions and b. want to serve out in Kiryu zone my whole mission. I prefer my little towns like Oizumi that have basically 2 main roads and only one train that goes to and from haha.

On Tuesday we got to go to the Tokyo Temple. I honestly feel so lucky that we have a temple in our mission. Its really the best feeling in the world to be able to go to the temple. It helps me to remember what my goal for all of our investigators should be. Not just baptism, but getting them ready to go to the temple. And the Tokyo temple is GORGEOUS. It has these beautiful stained glass windows on it, and the little angel Moroni manages to stick out even amongst all the huge buildings in Tokyo. After the temple on Tuesday we had a special training meeting for all the sisters in the mission. From there, we had to run to the train station in order to get home on time. Its a good 2-2.5 hours home to Oizumi by train. So you get to talk to lots of nihonjin. The trains in Tokyo are ridiculous though. Like sardines in a can. I’m sure you could look it up on youtube or something. They literally have personnel there whose job is to push people into the train so that the doors can shut. You don’t even have to hold on to anything so that you don’t fall because everyone is so close. Yuck. haha.

On Wednesday we taught the Noguti girls. They’re all young as well, so our lessons always have to be aimed towards little kids. Now that we have the “ok” to teach Duda we are starting from square one and making sure that we teach everything. We found this cute thing in the friend magazine where you can teach the restoration using these little picture rings that you put on your fingers. Afterwards we talked a little bit about the Book of Mormon and we read together from it in Japanese. She has read all the way to 1 Nephi 15 by herself. How amazing is that? She’s only 10, but so strong. She’s practically a church member already. And she came to church this week as well and had a really good time with everyone. We just need to talk with her mom now about baptism. As soon as we can talk to her mom, and get approval I have no doubt in my mind that Duda could be baptized.

From Thursday until Saturday we had some crazy weather. I guess right now is typhoon season, so its been incredibly windy and rainy lately. Nothing too bad, but on Thursday we couldn’t really leave the house except for when we went to Eikaiwa, and it wasn’t super surprising when only a few people came. I don’t blame them, it was pretty nasty rain. We have had a few earthquakes the last few days as well. Still hate them as much as I did when I was at home in California. You think I would be used to them by now.

On Friday we braved the gross rain and went and visited the Mercado family. I thought CK was going to have a heart attack when she opened the door and let us in. She didnt think we would be coming because of the rain, and the fact that most of the streets were pretty flooded. On corners when we crossed the street is was maybe 9-10 inches deep. Craziness. But the lesson with them was super fun. They are really becoming strong members. Rhoda’s oldest daughter, Kiara, just arrived from the Philippines this week, and she will be staying for a few weeks with them. I think it can really help because she has an awesome testimony. Whenever we talk to Rhoda, she always says that she has to worry about doing a bunch of things for her family because she is a single mom. Things like dishes, laundry, etc. So, we decided to talk with the Mercado kids about service. We brought a shoe box with us to their house, and wrote “Service Box” on it, and let them decorate it. Afterwards, we got out little pieces of paper and had them write ideas on it for ways they could show service. Then, we got out candy, and taped the ideas for service on them, and put them in the box. We told them that in order to eat the candy, they had to do the service that was written on it. It looks like it’ll be a hit 🙂 As soon as we finished the lesson, Rhyle (the youngest) jumped up, ran to the sink, and started doing the dishes. I thought Rhoda (The mom) was going to have a heart attack when she walked into the kitchen and saw her 9 year old son doing the dishes! All of the Mercado family came to church as well this week 🙂 I love seeing them there, and the members are so glad to have them back as well.

Saturday we had a Halloween party together with the Kumagaya ward. It was tons of fun. Sister Carrasco and I went as vampires. Something that is relatively easy to dress up as while still looking like a missionary. You just add a cape and fangs. And I drew a bite mark on my neck with some eyeliner and lipstick. It was all pretty realistic if I do say so myself. All these little boys were freaking out about it. Im pretty sure I could have convinced them it was all real. We had a ton of people come to the party that we invited as well 🙂 Bruna,  Duda and Kamilla came, and so did the Mercado family kids, Plus, CK brought 2 friends with her. It was great to be able to socialize with the Kumagaya ward members as well. They love the Oizumi members and are always trying to at least say “boa noite” or “bom dia” to them. Its really cute. We had a lot of fun little games that we played like bobbing for apples and fishing for candy. And the game where you wrap someone up as a mummy of course. What would a ward party be without that.

And last but not least, Sunday. It was like “missionary sunday” in our ward. All of us had to speak, and we did a musical number. I got to give my first talk in Portuguese! I talked about one of the conference addresses, “Strength to Endure” or something like that by Elder Richard J Maynes. It went a lot better than I thought it would. Portuguese is coming slowly but surely. Now I just can’t forget my Japanese. But! Another wonderful part about Sunday was the baptismal service. The Elders started teaching an African man named Eddie a few weeks ago that was a referral from some Sisters that live close to us. On Sunday we all gathered at the Kumagaya church (because Oizumi doesnt have a font) for the service. Its so amazing to be able to see someone be baptized. I get teary eyed every time. The best part is really the look on the persons face when they come out of the water. They just feel different. And they look different. They really have the light of Christ burning in their eyes. Words can’t do it justice. It just makes missionary work that much more amazing.
Just a little bit from my talk on Sunday. I kind of based it on this quote from Elder Maynes.
“As we temporarily endure the challenges we can solve and as we continue to endure the challenges we cannot solve, it is important to remember that the spiritual strength we develop will help us successfully endure all the challenges we face in life.”

Then, I talked about running. Something I dearly love, but also can be one of the hardest things out there. And told a story similar to that of Elder Maynes from one of my first meets about my coach cheering me on, when I thought I was going to die because it was so hard and I was exhausted.
What’s truly amazing is that our coach in this life is our Heavenly father. Just when we think the race is too hard and we want to give up, we have to remember that he is there beside us. The end of the race is the most important part, and we have to endure. We have been prepared spiritually for what lies ahead. Imagine that he is with you in this great race of life. Saying, “Vamos lá, você consegue fazê-lo. preparou para isso! Tente duro, correr rápido, e não desista. (Come on, you can do it. You prepared for this! Try hard, run fast, and don’t give up.)” If we follow Heavenly Father and remain faithful to our testimonies he will sprint with us to that finish line, and we will be able to look back with joy to see what we have accomplished. And that joy is the greatest thing in the whole wide world! I have honestly never felt as much happiness in my life as I have on my mission. Its amazing what the Lord does for you when you serve him. I love you all lots! Until next week 🙂
Love,
Sister Hunsaker

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Steve Rebus
    Oct 29, 2013 @ 10:33:52

    Lovely photos and great post! Amazing to see and read about such a shining light for Jesus! God bless you. 🙂

    Reply

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