December 16, 2013 Week 47 “Like A Little Child”

Konbanwa minna πŸ™‚

P-day once more, and as usual it flies by faster than all the other days of the week. And there’s always a billion things to do. Write letters, email, laundry, buy groceries, spread the gospel, and breathe if you have time to.
But this last week was pretty darn amazing. It made me so happy to be here in Oizumi serving as a missionary and serving the Lord. Granted there were some hard moments, and awful weather, but you can’t tell the good from the bad if you don’t have some bumps along the way.

Monday was one of the harder days. We had a great time on p-day with the other missionaries, and we got to visit a lot of great people. We saw Duda and read the Book of Mormon together with her, and then we went and saw Marisol, one of our recent converts turned less active. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been to church in ages, and she recently started ignoring our phone calls and not answering the door. However the light on her front porch was out on Monday, so she couldn’t see out her peephole when she checked to see who it was. We talked to her for a little bit, but in the end she just kept saying, “No voy a volver a la iglesia”. Im not going to come back to church. She says she’s been crazy busy with her job and work and all, and that it isn’t because she doesn’t believe, she just doesn’t have time. But it was honestly like a stab to the heart hearing that. I wanted to scream, “You do have time! You do!” But that wouldn’t help anything. She gave us back all the Liahonas, church talks and pamphlets that she had, and her Book of Mormon. She asked us not to come back. I won’t lie, my heart was broken. And it still kind of is. To see her find the truth, and then turn away from it so suddenly. All we can do is pray that she figures it out, and realizes the mistake she is making.

Tuesday was good, we visited Nubia, one of our less active members and had the chance to sit down and really talk about her family, and her life. We focused on how this gospel is meant for families, and testified that if she makes that effort to come back to the church, it is really going to bless her family. I’ve read her record from the past missionaries a million times, and Im always so amazed by the testimony that she bore and had while she was going to church. She hasn’t been in a while, and says its because she doesn’t have time, but I feel like there is always another reason why. We just have to figure it out. But I’m not losing Nubia. I have to see her at church just once before I leave Oizumi.
After Nubia we went to visit Duda once more, and talked about the Law of Tithing, and did a practice baptismal interview with her. We ended up moving her interview up to Wednesday because there was a few conflicts in everyones schedules and that would have been the easiest day for everyone.

Wednesday we tried to find some previous investigators whose records we found in the area book. Japan is on a grid-ish system, almost like utah in that aspect, so of course we were frighteningly lost after about 15 minutes. In my defense, the addresses were also wrong. But we did meet Marcelo. He’s waaaaaaaay less active, but his wife used to be an investigator, and from what we read she was progressing along really steadily. We actually went back on Friday night and met his wife Daniela. She’s a way sweet Brazilian woman. We invited her to start taking the lessons again and she accepted πŸ™‚ We have an appointment with her next week πŸ™‚
Wednesday night Duda had her baptismal interview. The poor thing was so nervous I thought she was going to pass out. After about 10 minutes she flung open the door and gave us a hug and our district leader told us that she was okay, she passed :). Poor thing still looked scared to death, sweaty palms and everything. But, she is way set to be baptized πŸ™‚

On Thursday we met with Diane, one of our Brazilian investigators. She’s always a little hard to teach because she believes that the church is within all of us. That if we have faith and believe, thats all we need. So, getting her to come to church is like pulling teeth. But everytime we visit her she says that she loves when we come because it brings the love of God into her home. -.- . Goodness these people kill me sometimes.

Friday we went to go visit the Toyoshima Family. We decided to do something fun with them, that still had a gospel message. So, I tried to think of things that we do in America around Christmas time, and thought of snowflakes. You know, where you fold up the paper and cut out little triangles and so on and then open it up and BAM snowflake. Well, it was a hit with the Toyoshima family. We talked about how we are like snowflakes. Every single one of us is different and unique in our own way, but we all come from the same place, and have the same Creator, Heavenly Father. And plus the cutting paper gave us time to catch up with the family and see how they were doing. Nadia has been really worried about her youngest daughter, Fernanda. She has epilepsy, but lately she’s been passing out for no reason, and wakes up like 5 to 10 minutes later with a headache. They’re still waiting on tests to figure out exactly what it is. But as we were getting ready to leave their home, Fernanda tried to start talking to us, then slurring her words, and before her mom could get her to the couch she passed out on the floor. We helped Nadia pick her up and lay her on the couch and the next few minutes were full of holding hands, and trying to get Fernanda to wake up. I’ve never been so scared/have no idea what to do in my life. Lets be real, Im not a doctor. Im a missionary. So all we could do was sit there and wait with Nadia until Fernanda came around, and then say a prayer together before we left.

On Saturday we went out to Higashi-Gyoda to visit the Takamura family. We have been teaching Sayuri, but with her own illnesses going on, the focus has been more turned towards her mother. The lesson was a little rocky at first, but in the end we really stressed just praying for that answer, and then being ready and willing to follow Christ when it comes.

Sunday was wonderful as usual. We were out from about 9 o clock in the morning until 10 o clock that night. (Don’t worry we made it before our curfew). We were exhausted, and frozen, but happy. Duda and Bruna both came to church together, and they had a great time. The members were all asking Duda if she was excited to be baptized and she kept smiling and nodding her head. I can’t wait for next Sunday πŸ™‚ After church we went out to visit our Peruvian friend Doris. That was stressful. The lesson kind of began with her reading off a bunch of scriptures and magazine articles that she had gotten from her church. It was a little hard to get two words in without her counteracting us. The one thing that she was having a hard time with was a prophet. Thanks to the grace of God, we had just studied the Life of Joseph Smith in Relief Society earlier that day, and it was one of the most spiritual lessons I’ve had there. After Sister Carrasco and I bore testimony about Joseph Smith, and the prophet we have today, Doris softened up, and the lesson really turned. And we had a chance to ask her again to pray. But for a week, just one week, to leave aside all the extra materials from her church, and to just read the Bible for her answers. She promised us that she would. I know if she does, she’ll be able to find that answer she needs.

Favorite scripture of the week comes from 1 Kings 3:7-9. It says
7 ….I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

This week there were a lot of things that happened that were overwhelming and seemed so out of our control. So many people to help, so many things to be done. It felt almost impossible to know how to help these people and know exactly what they need to hear. Thats when I found this scripture. Its right after Solomon has been made king, and he feels overwhelmed. Like he could never measure up to King David. And he has a dream where the Lord asks him what he needs, and this is what he asks for.

Sometimes, no.. a lot of the time, we’re like little children, we don’t understand how to get things done. And we feel like we’re overwhelmed. We don’t know what we should do, or who to help. But this story really showed me that what we can do us ask the Lord for an understanding heart. And then be willing to trust in his judgement. Because that’s the only way that we can really help this people. Our friends, our family, those we don’t even know yet.

Well, I’ve got to go, but I love you all πŸ™‚ and can’t wait to see you next week!

Love,

Sister Hunsaker

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