November 3, 2013 week 41 There’s a Plan

こんにちは皆!
So this last week was… not the easiest week in the good old town of Oizumi. But sometimes you have to have harder weeks in order to appreciate all the great ones 🙂

On Pday we were running around at night trying to visit some of our investigators and go figure, none of them were home, or they were busy. We were riding our bikes by Celia’s DVD shop and I kind of got the feeling we should go stop and talk to her. Apparently Sister Carrasco did too because we both stopped our bikes in front of her store without saying anything to each other. We stood outside for a little bit and picked a scripture to share with her, and made a plan for what we would talk about. We decided to share Alma 37:6-7, about small and simple things. And we took a deep breath, said a quick prayer, and walked in as chipper and happy as we could be. That being said, it went way better than we thought it would. She was a little surprised to see us, but she welcomed us in, and let us share the scripture with her. And she loved it! She was saying that she knows sometimes its the little things that count. She asked us how our missionary work was going here in Oizumi, and we told her that it was a little slow, but that we were working hard and hopefully we would see more success soon. Her response? “Keep working hard! Sometimes you just have to plant the seed with people. Like me! Its growing, its just taking a little time.” Face palm. Goodness Celia. I feel like Im dying on the inside everytime we go visit her because she always shares a testimony with us, but its like pulling teeth to get her to church. Nevertheless, I’m not giving up on her. We might only be visiting her every few weeks, but I know she’ll make that leap of faith someday.

On Tuesday, all of our appointments with people fell through, so we were left with a lot of time to find new investigators, which is something we really need. So we knocked doors all day and night. I must have climbed 100 flights of stairs. At least thats what it felt like at the end of the day. We did have a pretty funny experience though. There was this little grey cat following us around in this neighborhood, and we couldn’t get rid of it. And we couldn’t knock on doors with it there because he would try to dart into peoples houses when they opened the door. So, we were standing there trying to think of what to do, when all of the sudden I see something flying toward me, and the next thing I know I’m holding a cat two inches away from me. The darn thing tried to jump onto my shoulder while we were standing there. And he almost made it too! Haha. But, he ended up being pretty cute. We named him Skippy. We found some crackers in Sister Carrasco’s purse and put them on the ground and made a run for it. It worked for like 2 hours until he found us again. Pretty sure we made a new best friend. But, that day we did get to talk to a very strong, old grandma named Parecida. She’s from São Paulo. It was cold outside, so she let us in and we talked to her for a little bit. She’s evangelical, so won’t read anything but the Bible, but she let us share some scriptures with her from the Book of Mormon. She’s a sweet woman, and she seems a little lonely. Hopefully we can visit her this week sometime.

Wednesday: More housing. But no luck. Just mosquito bites and cold fingers.

On Thursday we had a lesson with Duda. We decided to talk to her a little bit about baptism. It did not go at all the way I thought it would. I asked her if she wanted to be baptized, and she said yes, and then started crying. AH! Not what I thought would happen. We calmed her down and talked to her a little bit and she told us that her worry was “できるかできないか。” Which basically meant her worry was whether or not she would be able to be baptized. But at the end of the lesson she said that she thought she could be baptized in December. Thats progress. We just have to talk to mom about it now. We tried to visit Debora like 4 times this week, but she was never home. Hopefully we’ll have better luck this week with that.

On Friday we tried to visit some of the people that we had met from housing on Tuesday, but none of them answered their doors this time. Rats. We also tried to visit Nubia (less active) but she was way busy when we got to the plaza. So, we wrote her a little note, gave her a kiss on the cheek, and set out to knock doors. no luck there on friday.

Saturday we were supposed to have a lesson with Maria, one of our investigators that is awesome, and we wanted to invite to be baptized. And… she canceled on us. So we probably won’t be able to see her until Saturday of this week. Kind of a bummer. From there, we got on a train to go visit Sayuri Takamura, one of our investigators. She’s Peruvian. I’m sure I’ve mentioned her before. Anyways, she lives like 2 hours away by train. We were halfway there when she called to tell us that she couldnt meet with us that day. So, we got off at the next stop and headed home. But, on the way back, we did run into one of our Eikaiwa students on the train that we havent seen in forever. So maybe the whole point in going out there was just to see her. You never know. We spent the rest of the day knocking on doors, and gave out a few flyers for Eikaiwa. By the end of the night we’d had 2 people tell us to go home, and one Japanese mom pull her son away from the door and close it quick as lightning when we said we were Christian. Tough crowd. But, they all deserve a chance to hear the gospel. So we’re not giving up on them yet.

Sunday was by far the best day of the week. There is always such peace at church, and its always needed after a week of working hard. This week was also fast Sunday. My favorite testimony was when Nadia Toyoshima got up and spoke. She was talking about a few weeks ago when she was having a horrible day. She had been laying in bed all day, and didn’t want to see anyone or do anything. She felt miserable. And then, we showed up on her doorstep at 9 o clock at night. ( I think I wrote this in an email a few weeks ago). We came in and talked for a bit, and she unloaded everything that had been bothering her and troubling her for the past few days on us. She told us in her testimony that we had brought such a light and love when we came into her home. The next morning she got up, cleaned her house, and took all the dark things that she owned out of her room and threw them away. Then she went to the store and bought things she knew were uplifting and happy, and put them around her house. Its amazing what a few yellow flowers can do to uplift someones mood. My favorite part was when she said, “I know Heavenly Father sent them to my home that night”. Just hearing her say that made everything that happened this last week worth it. And thats how missionary work always is. You don’t always see the fruit of your actions right away, but when you do, its the most joyous thing you could ever receive. The other funny moment of the day happened at the end of gospel principles. One of the members was saying the closing prayer and asked, “Please help us to be able to feel your love for us” As soon as the words came out of her mouth, cue earthquake. haha. I love Japan.

This next month I’m trying to focus on studying Faith. (Im actually trying to go through all the Christlike attributes, one month at a time. I just started with the first one) At first I thought it was funny that go figure the week that I started studying faith was the time when I felt like mine was being tested the most. But I think it helped me to realize even more how much more I can learn about faith, and how I can strengthen mine, and help my investigators to strengthen theirs as well. This morning I was reading a talk by President Uchtdorf called “Your Happily Ever After” I think he gave it in a Young Womens Broadcast. I havent finished it yet, but so far its amazing. Highly recommended. Anyways the part I read today said, ” All you have to do is trust your Heavenly Father. Trust Him enough to follow His plan.” That really stuck with me. Yes, last week wasn’t the most successful for us, but I know that I need to trust my Father in Heaven, and remember that he has a plan for me. I dont understand everything that happens, or is going to happen, but he does. And he’s ready to help us every step of the way. There’s a happy ending for all of us out there, we just might have to pass over a few bumps in the road to come ourt victorious.

I love you all, and love getting emails from all of you 🙂 (even when I don’t email back, sorry!) Have a wonderful week!

abraços e beijinhos

Sister Hunsaker

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