November 11, 2013 week 42 “The Worth of Souls”

Boa tarde!
Happy Preparation Day everyone! Things have been looking up this last week in Oizumi. Its amazing what a lot of prayer and fasting and missionary work can do 🙂 I don’t have a ton of time, but I’ll do my best to fill you in on the week we had.

On Tuesday we finally had the chance to sit down and have a lesson with Debora. She let us into her home and we talked for a little while. She even offered to let us hold her little baby. Honestly one of the missionary rules that kills me the most. No holding little kids. I didn’t think it would bother me that much, but for some reason Japanese babies are incredibly adorable. I think its their chubby little cheeks. Anyways! We decided to talk to Debora about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. About what exactly it is, and how it can help ourselves and our families. As we were talking about the Atonement, I ended up bringing up baptism. Was NOT planning on that. We talked more about baptism, and asked Debora why she thought Bruna (her daughter) was baptized. She told us that she thinks Bruna felt peace about baptism, and liked the teachings of the church. She said that in the end it was Bruna’s decision, and that she supported her. We also talked about how baptism brings us closer to the Savior. I thought either Sister Carrasco or I was going to invite her to be baptized right there. Thats when you cue the front door ringing and a friend showing up. Go figure. But! Either way it was a great lesson, and this next time we will definitely be bringing up Duda, and trying to get permission for her to be baptized.
On Tuesday we also had some appointments that fell through, so we spent some time knocking on doors. The 2nd door that we knocked on was this old man named Mario. We thought he was Japanese when he first answered the door, so we automatically started talking in nihongo. Thats when he surprised us by saying, “Voces sao Brasileiras?” Which means “Are you Brazilian?” We were definitely a little surprised. But, its funny that a lot of people that are Brasilian here look Japanese. Its the same in Brasil in some areas I guess. Japanese ancestry and all. But, I really think we were supposed to meet Mario. He had such a kind spirit and willingness to learn. We shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon with him about faith and then prayer, when he told us about some of the difficulties he was going through. And before we left, we prayed with him on his front porch. The Spirit was so strong that I think all 3 of us were nearly in tears. Unfortunately, he lives alone, so we have to pass him over to the Elders. rats. But Im still incredibly glad to have met him.

On Wednesday we went to visit the Mercado family, well I guess it was more like CK because the rest of the family was a little busy when we got there. We didnt want to steal a ton of time because CK’s older sister is visiting from the Philippines, so we talked about the 10 commandments, and played a matching game that we gave to CK afterwards. It never ceases to amaze me how mature she is for someone so young. And she has such a love for the gospel. She actually just turned 11 this week, so one more year until she can go do baptisms for the dead in the temple. She’s practically counting down at this point haha.

On Friday pretty much everyone we visited was not home, but we did run into Bruna as she was walking to the train station. Her phone had broken, and her phone number changed so she hadnt been able to get ahold of us in the last week, and thats why she hadn’t been answering our emails. Phew. Glad to know she wasnt avoiding us. We told her that we had been talking to her mom about Duda being baptized, and she told us that at her baptism Duda was really emotional too. Pretty much crying the whole time and continually hugging her sister. I really hope this week we can get permission from Debora. I know it would make Duda so happy, and it would strengthen the family as a whole.

On Saturday we walked for almost an hour and a half… to an appointment where no one was home. We would have taken our bikes, but we had to take the train part way. Kind of a bummer. But! On Saturday we got to visit one of my favorite people here in Oizumi, Nubia. We walked in and talked to her for a little bit about how things were going, and then shared a scripture with her in Romans 8:16-19. I read it this week during study and really felt like it was something for her. We talked a little more about the scripture, and how that through our faith we can overcome the trials that might stand in our way, and in the end the glory and happiness we receive will be above anything we can possibly imagine. Nubia said she knew how true that was because last week had been incredibly stressful for her because of an event that they had. She said that basically everything that could have gone wrong, happened. She said she was praying the whole day, just asking for help to know what to do. And in the end, everything went well. All the people that came to the event were happy to be there, despite the difficulties, and it ended up being a success for the plaza. When we were getting ready to leave Nubia gave us a hug and told us how much she loves everytime we come to see her. She told us that we bring happiness with us whenever we come, and that we always share something that she needs to hear. I love being able to share the gospel with here, and see how much happiness it can bring her. Now if we could just get her to come to church! Its a work in progress. Which brings us to Sunday!

Our little chapel was almost full on Sunday! We had 30 people at church. If things keep going well in Oizumi we might become a branch in December!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHH! Im so excited, Nothing would make me happier than to see our little group become a branch. Its crazy to see how much things have changed. It went from almost taking sisters out of Oizumi to soon becoming a branch. The work really is moving here, I just have to remember to always look for the little miracles that Heavenly Father puts in my path. Sunday was a wonderful day. We really got to bond with our ward even more. But one of my favorite things about Sunday was when we took the sacrament. The Mercado family has been coming to church for like 3 weeks now, but they always came in like 15 minutes late, which means they ended up missing sacrament. But on Sunday they got there right on time. And I couldn’t help but notice Rhoda(the mom of the family) crying all throughout the administration of the sacrament. Just seeing her there with her family made me realize that it was probably the first time in months that they have had the chance to take the sacrament. I’d like to think that as missionaries we played just some small part in helping her to get back to church to be able to help her renew her baptismal covenant.

So yes. This week was fantastic. Was it easy? No. Was it full of lessons and meeting people? No. Was it successful? In every way that I can possibly think of. Just like the scriptures say: (In Doctrine and Covenants 10)

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

Every single day and minute here is worth it if we can help but one of Heavenly Father’s children. I can’t imagine how much joy I will experience in his kingdom when I am already feeling so much happiness every day as a missionary. I know Im helping others by sharing the gospel to those in need, but I know that everyday Im learning, growing and coming closer to my Father in Heaven. And its the best feeling in the world.

I love you all more than all the rice in Japan 🙂


Sister Hunsaker


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim Millett
    Nov 14, 2013 @ 22:59:49

    I’m trying to find a Regional level FHC in Japan with English speaking missionaries that I could contact by email. I’m trying to help a neighbor with Japanese family history but neither of us speak or read Japanese and the information he has is limited. I’ve clicked on link after link trying to find contact information for one of the missions or FHC’s and most of them have nothing, two had phone numbers but that’s expensive. Can you help me maybe through your mission president or someone? Thank you. God Bless you for your work.


    • zanna
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 22:07:06

      This is Sister Hunsakers mom by the way but The mission has a blog that you might be able to contact someone through. Otherwise I would try the family history center in salt lake. They have missionaries from every country that can translate! Good luck!


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