January 20, 2014 Week 52 “tchau tchau Oizumi”

boa tarde!

today was… great, really sad, really exciting, everything all at once.

I’ll start from the end, today. We had zone p-day in Kiryu once more, we basically just all got together and played volleyball and soccer, and everyone waited to get their transfer calls. We were sitting in sacrament meeting on Sunday, and about half-way through the meeting this wave of sadness hit me. I started crying during the sacrament hymn, and I think I kind of knew that it would be the last time I saw some of the members for a long time. So it didn’t surprise me as much as I thought it would when calls came this morning. But it still was just as hard as I thought it would be. Once you really love an area and don’t want to leave is when they transfer you. One of the assistants called us and said something along the lines of “So Sister Hunsaker, we want to thank you for all the hard work you’ve done in Oizumi, and we know that you have been there for a while, so we are going to be moving you to a different area.” I barely managed to squeak out an okay, and when I did my voice cracked on the phone. But, there’s nothing I can do now. The people that I was supposed to help here in Oizumi will always be a part of my life, and Oizumi will always have a special place in my heart. I spent half of my mission here, and its something I’ll never forget. I’m going to Tsukuba now, and I’ve been called as a Sister Training Leader. Its a lot of responsibility, but I’m looking forward to what it will bring.

This last week in Oizumi really was amazing, it makes me sad to be leaving, because we really have so many potential investigators now, and those that are really starting to progress. But maybe I was supposed to build up Oizumi a little more for the next sister that will be coming here with my old companion.

We met with one of our Brazilian investigators Diane, and she let us into her home and we really got to sit down and talk to her. It started out as an English lesson, but then switched over to our families, and then we got to talk about the gospel when I asked her what her biggest desire for her daughter is, and she said to raise her with the gospel in her life. Slowly but surely, I can really see Diane changing. She still doesn’t have that desire to be baptized and follow all the gospel principles that we’ve talked about, but she is becoming more open to listening to what we have to say, and she can feel the difference when we are at her house.

On Thursday and Friday we had exchanges with Sister Taketomi and Sister Brown. It was way fun to be with them. They have an awesome love of the gospel, and a desire to share it. And, we saw way cool miracles on exchanges as well. When I was with Sister Brown we found an apartment building that had a ton of Brazilians in it. And go figure, most of them were men. Don’t worry, the elders have lots of people to visit now. But one of the doors that we did knock on was a woman named Luciana Dias. She is from Sao Paolo and is living here in Japan with her family. We talked a little bit and she seemed really interested in listening, but was just getting ready to leave the house with her husband. We exchanged phone numbers and I gave her a chirashi before leaving. She looked at it and read some of the questions on the inside and said, “Its true, I really want to know why we have so many Christian churches nowadays”. I won’t be here to teach her specifically, but she told me that her daughter would really have interest in talking with us as well, and now that I think about it, her daughter is going to Tsukuba University, which I’m pretty sure is way close to the church in my new area. I’m sure there was some divine intervention there. When I was with Sister Taketomi we saw another cool miracle as well. After Eikaiwa we went to visit Daniela, a way old former investigator whose husband is a member. We’ve tried visiting her a billion times before, but today she was finally home! She was getting ready to leave, so we set up an appointment with her for next week, and quickly shared Mosiah 2:14 and talked about building our lives on a spiritual base, and then setting that same base for our families and children. Daniela is way awesome, and I know she can make those changes that she needs to in order to have the best thing possible, an eternal family.

On Friday we went to go visit the Mercado family. CK and B-boy were both home, and CK also had a friend over, a little girl named Ainjell. We’ve actually met with her before as well. We decided to talk to them about family history, and we also talked about how the Book of Mormon was a record for the descendents of the Lamanites, to teach them about what their ancestors believed, and to help them have that knowledge of the gospel as well. We also talked about how things like journals can really give us something to share with our families someday, and teach them about what we believed. So, to make things fun for all of them, we decided to make a time capsule 🙂 Something to give them a little bit of history, and see how things change in just one year. They get to open it in January 2015. We put in things like pictures that we had with them, or ones from when they were baptized, and also wrote notes to ourselves, and made lists of things that we like. Just to see how everything changes so oddly in so little time. I love that little family so much. I know they were one of those people that I was supposed to meet here.

On Saturday we were supposed to have a lesson with one of our investigators, Maria, but she called us about 2 hours before and said that she was having these weird headaches and that she wouldn’t be able to make it. We asked if she was still feeling ill, and talked a little bit about blessings of health and asked if she would be interested in receiving one. And she accepted! We went with the elders and she received a blessing, and then we stayed to talk with her a little bit. She said that during the blessing she felt peace, and like something was being lifted from her shoulders. And as we were talking with her after we could really see that she was feeling better. We shared the scripture Jacob 2:8 with her, and talked about how things like the blessing she received really could heal her physically, but that even more important, the word of God really can heal the wounded soul. Maria has that desire to learn, and I know she really can progress as long as she takes the time to keep those commitments and strive to follow the gospel of Christ.

Sunday was great. The theme for the day was families, and one of the families in the ward spoke. Both the daughters, and then the parents. Their dad was just baptized a little over a year ago, and he’s already a way strong member. He was one of those people that is like an eternal investigator, he was taking the lessons for something crazy like 5 years. But now, their family is getting ready to go to the temple. Probably when they go back to Brasil so that the session can be in Portuguese. But that’s really what missionary work is all about. Not just baptism, but getting people to that last point. Enduring to the end and receiving the gift of eternal life.

I’ve loved every second that I have spent here in Oizumi. It’s something that I’ll never forget. I love all of the people here, and I want so much to be able to visit them again someday and still see them strong in the gospel, and doing the things that they need to in order to return to their Father in Heaven. Well, I’ve got a lot of packing to do, so I will talk to you next week and let you know how everything is going!

Love you more than all the rice in Japan 🙂
Sister Hunsaker

p.s. I almost forgot! Its snowed on Sunday here. ew. Those little flakes get in your eyes way easy when you are in a bike

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