AHHHHHHHHHH This week, the start of the week was pretty hard because we had a lot of appointments to finish our moving process. We had to have someone move the air conditioners (but they can't install them into our new apartment until the end of May) and our stove, and that took all day. :(
But then on Thursday we had the chance to go to Urawa to participate in a special conference with Elder Choi who is in the Area Presidency. It was an amazing opportunity! I learned so much!
First of all, he told a lot of stories about when he was a mission president. The whole time I was just thinking "So that's what the missionaries in my ward had to do..." It was really funny because I completely understood the context of his mission because I lived there! For example, it was a mission rule that all missionaries had to sing in the shower. If they didn't, their companion would call the Mission President "President, my companion isn't singing." Hahaha
On a more spiritual note, I did learn a lot from him. Elder Choi is an amazing example of following the Spirit at every opportunity. I could tell that he had prepared things for us, but that he was speaking by the Spirit to address our needs. When he first started speaking he told us that as he shook each of our hands, he gave us a little interview in his head. He was able to tell who were the strong missionaries and who was struggling a bit. His words were addressed to us specifically. One thing that really stood out from what he told us was that we must open our mouths at every opportunity and "If you don't like it, like it." (Side note, he would tell that to his missionaries in Seattle when they said they didn't like the rain haha). Talking to people can be hard, it can be overwhelming, it can feel impossible to tell who is prepared, but as long as we do our best, Heavenly Father will make sure that prepared people are sent our way. He trusts us to be talking to everyone and not miss that opportunity to help that person.
|With Elder and Sister Choi|
We had a short break and during that time I was able to talk to Sister and Elder Choi a little bit and tell them that I was from Seattle. They wanted me to say hello to the Cougar Mountain ward for them, so Cougar Mountain Ward, you are loved by the Chois! They also talked to my companion (who is also from Korea) and loved her too. After everything was over, they wanted to take a picture with the two of us, so we were able to spend a few extra minutes with them.
|Exchanges with the Mito Sisters|
After that amazing conference, we had exchanges with the Mito Sisters and it was so fun! I was with Sister Van Pelt this time, she just came to Japan a week ago! It was a throwback for sure. To think that that was me 9 months ago. I feel like time just flew by! I was telling her all these stories (and introduced her to Japanese Ice Cream YUM!) and I had to give her a disclaimer saying "It probably seems like I've done a lot, but really it feels like I just got here yesterday. Time flies so fast!"
|Sister Van Pelt|
Lastly, yesterday I went to Ushiku for the Portuguese Sacrament Meeting again. Because of a lot of scheduling issues, I went by myself and met a member in Ushiku and stayed with her the whole time I was there, while Sister Shim stayed in Matsudo with another member. It was so weird to be alone on the trains! It was a great meeting though! I had to leave pretty quick afterwards to make it back in time for a dinner appointment, but I wanted to stay! The members did too!!! The youth and the members and the investigators ,AHHHH I just want to stay with them forever! We are trying to figure out a way to make it work so that I can go every week. I can really feel that even just my presence (as a Sister Missionary in addition to the two Ushiku Elders who speak Portuguese) helps. There are a lot of single sisters who come and young women too, and I can feel that my example is helping them. I just want to do more for them! I love them so much!
The dinner appointment went really well though. There were 5 families there and we had so much fun. I love getting to know the members because they are really the center of the work. The message we shared focused on sharing the message with our friends and bringing even just one soul to Christ. Most of the members there were return missionaries and we talked a lot about their missions which I think reminded them of the importance to continue the work. We challenged them to think of their friends that they think need this message and we could see in their eyes that they were thinking of people.
|My new companion|
Ah I love seeing people change so much! Members, investigators, people on the street, people in Mission School! We have one Mission School student named Ayako that we went out to dinner with this week and she is just so bright and full of light and it is beautiful to see. I am excited for the miracles of the next week!
See you all next week! Hopefully it's starting to feel more like spring where you are, it definitely is warming up here. Yay summer.