May 26, 2014 Week 70 “Revelation Is Real”

Hello everyone!

This week in Oizumi was awesome. So many prayers were answered, so
many worries comforted, so many goals reached, the list could go on
and on. I’ll give you a rundown of our spectacular week.

On Tuesday, we went and visited our friend Graziela. She is amazing.
Last time we saw her, we asked her to pray about the Book of Mormon,
to know if it was true. So we taught some English, and then asked the
question that had been on our minds the whole week. If she had read
and prayed. And she said yes! Not only that, but that she felt good
when she prayed, and she believes that the Book of Mormon is true. So
happy. So so happy. She also came to Eikaiwa with us this week. She
really is progressing. Slow and steady.

On Tuesday, we saw a pretty cool miracle. We prepared to teach an
investigator named Consuelo the Restoration, but when we got to her
house she told us she was busy, and basically canceled the
appointment. Boo. So, we decided to knock on some doors by where she
lives. We were walking by some houses and there was one where a door
was open and this little girl was playing outside. We waved to her and
she waved back, and then started talking to her little brother. And
she was definitely speaking Portuguese. So we went over and knocked on the door, and met her mom, An, who is Peruvian, but married to a Brazilian, so she speaks awesome Spanish and Portuguese. We told her we were missionaries, and she invited us in. Just like that. We were in shock. She didn’t even ask what church we were from. We ended up teaching her the lesson we had planned for Consuelo. Cool right? She
was really receptive to everything, but we’re a little worried that
her husband isn’t as open, because she canceled the appointment we had
with her on Friday, and wouldn’t really give a reason. But we’re going
to swing by today and see how she is doing anyways. 😊

Tuesday night was possibly one of the scariest moments of my mission,
no lie. I’ve never been so nervous. The Elders have an investigator
named Vic who is 15, and he really wants to be baptized. The only
problem is that his mom does not like the church at all. He’s tried
asking his mom before, and it didn’t go so well. But, he is way
prepared, and he has awesome desire, so we are all cheering for him.
Anyways, long story short, the elders threw us under the mom bus. They
told Victor that it would be good if some missionaries went to talk to
his mom with him… And then tried to play it off by saying, “and
since the Sisters are such amazing missionaries, and way better than
us, we think they should go with you.” 😑 yeah they owe us big time.
We went with Victor to his house, and talked for a little while until
his mom got home. We only talked to her for a few seconds because she
brushed us off pretty quickly, but we had a chance to talk to Victor
again, and really give him that confidence that he could talk to his
mom, and that we would be with him every step of the way. And he did
it! He hadn’t gotten permission yet, but he’s trying. And our prayers
are with him.

On Saturday we rode trains for a total of 5 1/2 hours. Yaaaaaaaaay.
But, it was all worth it. We actually traveled to Kichijoji, which is
in the Tokyo South Mission. Down there, we had a 2 Mission Combined
Conference. And guess who were the main speakers when we were
there…. Richard J. Maynes, and Quentin L. Cook! We had the chance to
shake their hands and everything. The conference was really awesome. I
told you in my last email I think how worried I have been about the
Oizumi Group. This last week I’ve been studying and praying, even
fasting to know what I needed to do to help them. And I felt like I
wasn’t getting anything. Which was really frustrating. At the
conference we heard lots of great things, but I still felt like
nothing was sticking out. And then Elder Cook got up, and as he was
finishing his talk, he shared a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants
31:7-8. It says:

7 Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive
you. And I will establish a church by your hand;

8 And you shall strengthen them and prepare them against the time when
they shall be gathered.

And then he talked about how The Lord will work through us to
establish those branches, and build those wards. And he gave a
detailed explanation of all the things we can do in order to assist
The Lord in building our respective areas. I won’t lie. As soon as he
read the scripture I started bawling. It was such a clear answer to my
prayers this week. It’s truly amazing. Revelation. We can receive it
in so many different ways; prayer, scripture study, or from the
leadership of our church. But one thing is very certain. Each and
every one of us can receive personal revelation. And that’s an amazing
blessing to me.

And to top off our amazing week, Sunday was great as well. There were
4 investigators at church this week!!! Right?? The elders had 2 people
come, and we had 2 investigators as well ☺️😊☺️😊☺️😊☺️😊😊☺️😊
Times a billion. Graziela came to church, and loved it. She told us
that she has been to a lot of different churches because she is trying
to find the one for her, but they all seem the same. But she told us
that she can’t explain how she feels when she is with us at church.
Wow, right?? She can’t come with us next week, but she will the week
after that. We really want to invite her to be baptized this week,
wish us luck!
The other investigator that came to church is Florinda. I think I told
you about her too. She just walked into the church one day and said
she wanted to meet with us. We found her almost a hear ago as well.
She loved church. And talking with the members. She must have stuck
around for almost 2 hours just talking to them.

Things are going so amazing here. I love being able to write my email
to you guys, reflect on all the miracles we have seen, and how The
Lord is working here in Oizumi. And then pick about 1/4 of them to
write down. Haha. But I love every second here. Treasuring every
single one i have left.
Next week is transfer calls, but I’m pretty sure I’m staying here.
Transfer 11 here I come!

I love you more than all the rice in Japan 😉❤️🍚

Sister Hunsaker






May 19, 2014 Week 69 “The Simple Things”

Bom dia

Today is a beautiful, sunny, amazing day here in Oizumi-machi. And
this last week was full of tons of miracles. Really though. I’m trying
to think how to organize it all for you. By people maybe…. Here goes!

First, a funny moment of the week/ The Lord punishing me for being
late to district meeting. I had my first bike accident! (Well kind of)
in my defense, we were coming from a way awesome lesson with an
investigator that ran a little long. We were booking it to the church
as fast as we could (we had like 2 minutes til the meeting started),
and we were making good time. As we got to the church, we went up the
little ramp to park our bikes in front of this chain link fence, still going pretty fast. I started breaking once we got up the ramp….. And wouldn’t you know my breaks aren’t as good as they used to be. Haha. So I hit the fence, got handlebars into my stomach, and hit my legs pretty good on the bike pedals. It was more funny than anything. And it didn’t hurt until I had to stand in front of everyone and give a training… And I realized that I had a huge blue outline of a bike medal on my shin in 3 different places. I learned my lesson. And I wore tights this week to cover it up. Hehe.

Remember Graziela? The girl who walked into the church on Sunday?
We’ve met her twice already this week, and we have another appointment
with her tomorrow. She’s amazing. She is 15, and from Manaus Brazil.
Sister Carrasco and I found her housing about a year ago, and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, but every time we went to her home after that, she wasn’t home. Anyways, we went over to her home to teach her English, and somehow the topic changed to missionary work. We asked if
she still had that copy of the Book of Mormon, and she said yes, and
went and got it for us. We asked if she read any of it, and she told us yes, a little. More like a LOT. She started randomly in the first chapter of Alma, and she is currently in 3rd Nephi. She’s read a HUGE chunk of the Book of Mormon. I’m surprised I didn’t fall out of my chair when she said that.
She couldn’t come to church this week, but she’s coming next week with
us. The only visible problem is that her mom is super catholic, and doesn’t want her daughter going to other churches. But we’ve met her mom twice now, and she seems nice enough. Hopefully when we get to
that point of asking permission for baptism (because I have the faith
it will go that way) she will be open to her daughter being baptized.

Another crazy miracle happened this week as well. ANOTHER woman walked into the church this week when the elders were there studying in the
morning and told Elder Jacox that she had got a Mormon Bible from his
sister a while ago (must be the blonde hair and blue eyes), and that
she had been reading it while going to and from the hospital. Her name
is Florinda. She’s pretty Catholic, but seems way open. We talked to her about commandments today, and she was saying that none of them were a problem for her. Wow. Well that’s awesome. So now we just need
her to come to church (which she said she would next week), and teach
her the rest of the lessons and she’s set.

We saw Celia  this week as well. She kills me. Always just testifying
about how she needs to get baptized, and that she knows this church is
true. Then we try and get her to come to church and she acts like we
want her to cut her foot off. She works on Sunday, all day, so she
keeps telling us it’s muri (impossible), but I know if she really wanted to, she could do it no problem.

We also had 2 dinner appointments this week with members!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That might be the biggest miracle of my
mission. Haha kidding of course, but only a little. We visited the
Uchiyama family, and the Maeno family. I love them both so much. They are both really strong families in the group. The Uchiyama family is heading back to Sao Paolo next year, and the Maeno family isn’t sure
yet, but it looks like they’ll be going back in the near future as
well. Which brings me to my next point.

I’m a little worried about our Oizumi Group. The members are great, I
love them so much. But, they seem like they’re really tired. We only
really have 3 women members that are active, and one of them is
already doing young women’s every week, unless we are teaching. It’s
gotten bad enough that church was only 2 hours yesterday. We didn’t
have Relief Society or Priesthood. I think it might be a permanent
change for now, but I’m not sure. I would love to volunteer to teach
relief society so that we still have those 3 hours, but I think one of
the reasons why the members are so tired is that they are going to 2
different wards. They go to a Japanese ward in the mornings, and then
come to Oizumi in the afternoon. I guess it’s just a fear that we will
start to do 2 hours every week, and then those people that do only
come to Oizumi, will get cut short on their church time.

I think that has been probably the hardest thing for me to learn as a
missionary. No matter how much you want to, you can’t change peoples
lives for them. You can’t do everything that they need. If that makes
sense. Whenever one of my investigators is struggling with something, I want to go out and find them a new job, a house, a family that will love them. But I can’t. And that’s hard to accept. But I do have
something that is of infinite worth. And that’s the gospel. It is the
answer to all of our questions, trials, problems. Sometimes we forget
that something as simple as faith can get us through the most complex
of problems.

Because it really is the simple things that matter. We have so much
these days. Technology, riches, media. But what really makes us happy
is something that outdates all of these things. The gospel. Faith. Our
families. I’m so glad I have had this chance as a missionary to really
help me refocus on these little things, the simple things, that can
make all the difference in our lives.

I love you more than all the rice in Japan! ❤️😊🍚 thank you for your
emails and love. Sorry I can’t answer each and every one as you as
much as I would like, but know that I love you!
Até na próxima!

Sister Hunsaker



May 13, 2014 Week 68 “Feliz Dia das Mães”

Boa noite! Buenas noches! こんばんは!

It’s a little weird writing an email after I just talked to you all a day ago, but I didn’t get a chance to tell you everything, and there is more to update on, so I’ll fill in he blanks.

We had an AMAZING week in Oizumi. So many cool miracles. Just to name a few…

We saw AN INCREDIBLE Facebook miracle this week actually. My first
zone leader recently returned home to Brazil, and he emailed me the
past week to see how Oizumi was doing, and to check up on some of his
investigators. (We both serve there when I was transfer 3) He specifically asked about 2 recent converts/less actives, Marisol and her son. He also mentioned wanting to find them on Facebook. We haven’t been able to see Marisol at all. And neither did the previous sisters in this area. So we went on Facebook, found Marisol’s
profile, added her as a friend, and then sent the information to Elder
Shibuta. Literally the next morning I had a huge Facebook message from
him, with details all about what was going on with Marisol. Not only
did he manage to talk to her, but he also convinced her to meet with
us. Later that day we got a call from an unknown number, and it was
her! We went to her home and met that day. And with all the
information from Elder Shibuta, we were able to really understand her
situation, and know how to help her. And we couldn’t do it without his
help. It really set an example for me, of that we are still missionaries, even after we return home. And even through ways as simple as Facebook. It kind of makes me think twice. With something as open as a social network, people see everything we post. And sadly, they judge you according to that. But so far, nothing but positive results from Facebook.

On Mother’s Day, we had a great time with the members,and we also saw
a pretty cool miracle there as well. We were having a shokujikai(dinner) after church, and randomly this Brazilian girl just walked into the church. I looked at her, and thought she looked familiar, so we went and talked to her. I had knocked on her door almost a year earlier. Wow. She came to the church because she wants to learn
English, but the way she was asking about what we do, and looking
around the church, I feel like she wants to learn more than just
English. But she already told us her mom isn’t a huge fan of our church. She told her mom she was going to the store so that she could come to the church. Her name is Graziela. We set an appointment to come teach her more. We will see her tomorrow :).

Another cool investigator that I feel like I haven’t talked a lot about is Keila. We found her housing 2 weeks ago. She’s a little rough around the edges, but she is such a sweet mother to her daughter. We went to their home to
say hi the other day, and as we were talking to her, she randomly
started asking about baptism within our church. She still has a lot to
learn, but she wants to be baptized! It was a crazy awesome miracle.

And… Something fun that happened this week. We heart attacked one of
our investigators doors and she loved it! She posted a picture of it
on Facebook and called us crying saying she felt so loved and so on.
Score! It was fun to sneak to her house and do it though. Made me feel
like a kid toilet papering my friend’s house all over again.

It was incredibly weird to see all of you, and realize that my mission
is coming to an end. Granted I still have plenty of time, but I can’t
believe it has gone by so fast. We went to the Tokyo temple this morning, and it was just as beautiful as I remember it. And then I started thinking about my mission, and where I have been, and how I have served these people. And then I started worrying. Aunt Amy sent me an email this morning and it pretty much hit the nail right on the
head. I’m worried about what will happen when I’m gone. If Oizumi will
be okay without me. The last time I transferred out, things didn’t go
so well with the sisters that were put in. That’s half of the reason
they put me back. Build it up, teach the sisters Portuguese, and let
them go. I guess it’s kind of like how Mom must have felt letting me
leave for my mission. You do everything you can. Give everything you have to these people. Your whole heart. And then you have to leave.
And hope that everything you’ve done sticks. And trust that they will
be okay. I’m still working on that part. But I know that Heavenly Father has a special plan for those special people that I am so blessed to work with. It’s going to be so hard to leave, and I’m
terrified. And at the same time whenever I pray about these people, my family away from home, I know deep down that it will be okay. I just
have to trust my Heavenly Father enough to follow His plan.

I love you all bunches and bunches! And more than all the rice in Japan. ❤️😊🍚

I promise to write a better letter next week 🙂


Sister Hunsaker




May 5, 2014 Week 67 “The Town Of Many Miracles In The Land Of The Rising Sun”

Hellllooooooo everyone!

This week was… Incredible. Amazing. I don’t know if a word could even describe it. One of my favorite weeks of my mission.

On Tuesday our stake had a huge Sports Activity, hosted by Oizumi
Group. We played soccer, volleyball, ping pong, and tug of war. Oizumi
put up a valiant effort, and we placed third overall. It was tons of fun though, and it reminded me of why I love serving here so much. We’re like a big huge family.

Wednesday was lots and lots of knocking doors. But we saw soooo many miracles. We found four people that day that were willing to listen to
a message about the restored gospel, and gave each of them a copy of
the Book of Mormon. I was incredibly happy, to say the least.

On Friday we went on exchanges with the Kiryu Sisters, and I got to
dendo with Sister Jack! We came to Japan together, and haven’t ever been in the same zone. It was tons of fun to catch up, and teach people together. Kind of. Our lessons were all in Portuguese so mostly it was me teaching, and translating for her if she wanted to say
something. We got to see a former investigator, Celia. I don’t know
if you remember me talking about her before, but she already knows
that this church is true. We decided to be really bold with her and
taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ. We invited her to be baptized,
and she said yes! She told us that she knows this church is true, but
her problem is still church attendance. Still working on Sunday. But I
told her I’m not giving up on her this time, and neither is God.

We had another really awesome lessons with our investigator, Maria
this week. We decided we wanted to invite her to be baptized as well.
She said yes, but we weren’t able to set a date with her yet. She
wants to be sure that this church is true before she continues on the
path. But we were able to set really great expectations with her.

This Sunday and Oizumi was one of the most spiritual sacrament
meetings I have ever been to. One of the members brought his friend
and his friends family to church with him today. They will only be
here for 10 days, but they are really amazing people. The member
pulled us aside before church, and asked us to bear our testimonies
directly to his friend. All of the members testified of the joys of
having eternal families within this Gospel, and so did I, and one of
the other elders. There wasn’t a dry eye in the chapel, and this man
and his wife both got up and approached the stand to bear their own testimonies. They aren’t members of the church, but they both
testified of how they knew God loves them and loves us as well. And
that being in the church this Sunday was their favorite experience
they have had here in Japan. Amazing, right?

And then, today. P day. We spent our pday with the Oizumi Group
because we love them so darn much. We went down to the Tone River and
had a churrasco (Brazilian barbecue) with them. Which is delicious.
Chicken heart is slowly becoming one of my favorites. (Sorry if any of
you are vegetarian) we got to play volleyball, and soccer, and just
hang out and strengthen the members once more. I really love them so
much. I can’t wait for you to meet them. One of the members was
teasing me that they are going to put a plaque up in the church for me
because I’ve been here so long. But really, I wouldn’t want to be
anywhere else. And this week only reinforced that. I was talking to
Sister J about how many miracles we were seeing here, and I just
knew that I needed to come back. We’re working hard everyday, and The
Lord is really blessing our little group of Oizumi.

I love you more than all the rice in Japan, and can’t wait to see you next week!

Sister Hunsaker




April 28, 2014 Week 66 “Coincidences”

Hey everyone!

Wow. This week was… Crazy. So much to update you on, so little time.
I’ll focus on the important stuff.

I didn’t realize how much I missed Oizumi until I was back here with
the people and the members. It feels like I never left, but at the
same time things are really different than the last time i was here.
In a good way of course. Sister Cortes is an AMAZING companion. We
have so much fun together and are laughing everyday, and seeing
miracles everyday as well. Like so many that it’s impossible to count
them all. Every single time we have gone housing this week we have
found someone who is willing to listen. Our teaching pool is slowly
but surely growing 🙂

Probably the main person that I’ll tell you about is Linda. She is such a prepared person. We met with her probably 3 or 4 times this week, and had the chance to talk to her and find out what she knows, and what she wants to learn. On Wednesday we had a really awesome lesson with her. We decided to focus on baptism, and the gift of the
Holy Ghost. In her previous church, when someone received the gift of
the Holy Ghost, it meant that they started speaking in tongues or
something else crazy. Once we answered her questions and told her what exactly the gift of the Holy Ghost was, she said, “wow! Well then I
want to be baptized!” My heart about stopped right there. We set a
goal for baptism with Linda for May 25th. She really has a strong
desire to be baptized, her only concern is that she works on Sundays,
and when she asked her supervisor about getting it off for church she
didn’t get a very positive response. So we’re praying and fasting for
her, because we know that she can do it 🙂

This week we also had interviews with the mission president. That was
great as always. No surprise here… I’ll be finishing my mission in
Oizumi 😊. He gave me the down low on all of that. But he is worried
about what will happen after I leave. They don’t really have a ton of
sisters that could come here. He said he has called Salt Lake asking
for Brazilian Sisters, but we still haven’t gotten any. So basically
me and my companion need to work our hearts out these last 2 transfer
and make sure every second is worth it. Which is what we do. We
seriously get home every night, do planning, and then start laughing
because we’re exhausted, but at the same time we’re so happy it
doesn’t even matter.

Sunday was amazing. We had group conference, so tons of members (not
just from Oizumi) came, and some representatives from the stake also
came. We all squished into our makeshift chapel, and there was barely enough room for all of us. Linda couldn’t make it to church 😦 but, we
did have a cute old Japanese woman that is one of our friends come.
And after sacrament meeting we had a type of potluck, and all the
members and investigators and missionaries ate and bonded and had a great time. And then the members broke out an adorable pineapple
flavored birthday cake and sang happy birthday. I’ll admit it, I started crying. I don’t even know why. Just because I was so happy to be there with them again?

When the stake president talked in sacrament meeting he said something
that I really loved. “With God, there are no coincidences. He has a
marvelous Plan of Salvation for all of us.” And sitting there, I know
it was no coincidence that I studied Spanish, and then got sent on my
mission to Japan. It’s no coincidence that I served in Oizumi with
these people, and it’s no coincidence that I’m back. I know God has a
plan here for these people. The members, and the nomembers as well.
And I just hope that I can play the part
that I need to, and truly be
a tool in his hands to help these people.

I love being a missionary. I don’t want it to end. Ever. And I know it
will always be in my heart, but I want to treasure all the time I have
left, because I know how precious it is. I love all of you so much.
You’re in my prayers night and day. And of course, I love you more
than all the rice in Japan 😊❤️🍚.


Sister Hunsaker