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




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