February 25, 2014 Week 57 “I Love To See The Temple”

愛する皆さん!おはようございます☀️

Good morning everyone!!

Sorry this is coming to you so late (forgive me mom). We went to the
temple this morning, and came back pretty late. But more about that
later.
It seems like it has been forever since I last emailed. Probably because so much happened this week in Tsukuba. We had appointments with people we have been finding almost everyday this week, and it wasnice to be busy for once.

On Tuesday we met with a woman named Noz. She is Buddhist, but for
some reason has a lot of interest in religion. Mostly as to why there
are so many, and why people fight over them do much. Pretty much the
first thing she tells us as we start the lesson is that she isn’t going to join our church, but that she is interested in learning about it. Hmmm we shall see my friend. We talked to her about being cleansed from sin, and about the atonement of Christ. I was surprised how deep her questions were. We ended up talking to her a lot about the premortal life, and why Christ was chosen as the Savior. Once we explained everything she understood the atonement a lot better than she has before. Unfortunately she said the next day she could meet
would probably be in April. -.- these people kill me. I’ve never seen
people that are so busy. Let’s just say it wouldn’t be the first time on my mission that people set a next appointment for a month or 2
later. I’m never using I’m busy as an excuse ever again.

Wednesday was a crazy day. First we went to Ushiku, the area above us,
where we had zone meeting. I gave a training on the importance of
inviting people to be baptized on the first or second lesson. Which is
something I’ve always thought is really important as a missionary.
It’s a scary thought to invite someone when you barely know them, but
it really helps give people a goal, and let’s you know how to help
them. I wanted to make it interesting, so I decided to kind of do an
object lesson. Before the meeting started I put a bowl full of candy
on a table in the front of the room. And left it there. Didn’t say a word. And the meeting went on. A lot of people came up and looked at
the candy, picked it up, but not a single missionary ate it. And then
I did my little training on baptisms. And at the very end, I asked the
missionaries some questions. “How many of you are hungry?” All the
hands fly up. “How many of you noticed the candy at the front of the
room?” All hands up once more. “How many of you ate some?” No hands.
“Why not?” And one elder said, “we didn’t know we could!! You never
invited us.”. Bam . Point made. The look on all the missionaries faces
was priceless. My point I was trying to make is that we never know
until we invite someone. We never know of they are prepared unless we
ask. And they won’t get to baptism without us inviting them. It was fun.
We rode our bikes like mad people back to Tsukuba, where we had lunch
with a Chinese girl named J. She was a referral from the Elders.
They had knocked on her door a few days earlier.We met with her in a
little cafe by the church and started chatting about ourselves. I was
amazed how smoothly the topic changed to church things, and we all
went over to the church together to talk over there. J. has amazing
faith in God and Christ. She’s always sort of had an interest in Christianity, and she has been to Christian churches a few times, but she has never been baptized so she doesn’t consider herself Christian. That being said we had a great lesson with her. She asked a lot of questions, but they weren’t ones trying to tear down what we were telling her or questioning our beliefs. They came from a person
genuinely desiring to know about God. She said the prayer at the end
of the lesson, and then she gladly accepted her copy of the Book of
Mormon. And then…. She went back to China. Haha, go figure right?
But she should be coming back later this week, so we will most
definitely be seeing her again.
And then, that night we had a lesson with an investigator named
Su. That one was interesting as well. We went over the gospel of
Christ with her, and asked her questions to kind of get to know her.
She told us that she doesn’t believe in God, and that she’s Buddhist,
but when we asked her what she wanted to do with her life, she said
return to live with God in the celestial kingdom…. Right. We have
some work to do, but the interest is most definitely there. Just have
to help her realize it.

The last people I want to talk about are Ami and her family. Ami
was really busy the last 2 weeks so we didn’t get the chance to see
her. She’s a high school student and they just had a crazy week of
testing. Today even. She couldn’t come to church with us because she
has an English test, but she said she would come next week. Anyways.
On Saturdays in Tsukuba we do a sports day with the investigators. You
know something fun. Ami and her younger brother Isaac and her sister
Ash both came. And they brought their dog, Barack. Who isn’t named
after the President. It actually means happy in Swahili. 🙂 we played
sports with the kids, and then we went back to their home and the
parents invited us to go out to dinner with their family Their family is so amazing. The mother is Japanese, and studied Anthropology, for which she went to Africa to study the people there. She fell in love with the culture, and the young man that had to fix
her jeep when it broke down haha. They’ve lived in Japan since Ami
was 4, and the younger kids were pretty much born here. But they go
back to Kenya in the summer sometimes. As part of her study, the
mother studied religion as well, and she knows a lot about the Mormon
church. The father… He was raised Muslim. Which is my one worry for
this family. ( just for those who aren’t aware… Depending on where
a person is from, and their background, if they are Muslim sometimes we can’t teach them. Because of consequences that might come from others if they converted to a Christian religion. It can be dangerous for some people, so as a rule of thumb, they generally say stay away) He doesn’t practice, and I don’t think he ever has. And they know we are missionaries. He smokes and drinks, but he has a great knowledge of religion as well. We talked about prophets at dinner (can’t quite
remember how that one came up), and he was blown away by the fact that we have a prophet today. He said we were very lucky, because we have
someone that can help us to know God’s will. I want so bad for the
whole family to learn together. To take the lessons together. What if
I hasn’t sat down next to Ami on the train the first week of this
transfer?? We would never had met them. I know they’re prepared. They
just might not know it yet :). I’m still trying to figure out how to
get all of them there though. They definitely trust us. And they know
we are missionaries. They know we teach. They ask questions all the
time. On Sunday we went over to their home for lunch with them and a friend from Kenya. We ended up on the subject of marriage and taught them about eternal families. I can just picture them so easily all
together. Being baptized. Coming to church. Being sealed in the
temple. They’re really the first whole family I’ve gotten to know on
my mission that weren’t members. I’ll definitely be fasting and
praying for them.

Things have been getting better in Tsukuba. There are still days when
it’s really hard, but there have been such awesome moments as well.
This morning we had the chance to go to the Tokyo Temple. I can’t even
describe how thankful I am for that. The second I walked into the
celestial room and sat down I could feel so strongly my Heavenly
Father’s love for me, and a sense of peace. That everything is going
to be okay. It’s been a rocky transfer, but just the spirit I felt in
the temple this morning made every single tear, every slammed door,
and every sleepless night worth it.
I got a letter from my dad while I was in the MTC, and I remember him
saying that on my mission I would see the highest of highs, and the
lowest of lows. But to always remember to trust in The Lord, because those moments of happiness and joy will always trump whatever trial we come across. I read a scripture in Isaiah this week that I love.

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they
shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

I love the imagery of wings of eagles. We can literally soar above
those hard times, and not be weary. It’s a great comfort and blessing
to know how much The Lord really does watch over us as missionaries. I
love you all so so much. Your emails and prayers have been a blessing.
I love being a missionary with all my heart. I know this is where I’m
supposed to be. And I know that we have the gospel to overcome the
hard times. It’s when we truly come to understand the atonement that
everything makes a little more sense. Always remember, I love you more
than all the rice in Japan 🍚❤️

Love,
Sister Hunsaker

P.S. Next week is transfer calls!!! Ahhhhh. I have no clue what will happen.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Vern & Lauralee Hunsaker
    Feb 28, 2014 @ 22:50:37

    Suzanne,
    We love your letters and they make us happy want to do more missionary work. We have the responsibility to help the new converts find a family name in their pedigree that they can take to the temple and get baptized for them. It is wonderful for them to be in the temple and feel the spirit there and do the work for their family. We have two new converts that have names ready to take and we have a date that we are all going to go together to the Newport Temple and do the work. They are excited and we are exciting. One of the converts, my visiting teaching companion and I are going to give the 2nd new member lesson too. Can’t wait for her to get back home and do that.
    Love you lots! Grandma and Grandpa

    Reply

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