Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Companion! 7/14/2014

Dear all, 

Transfer week and surprise! I got a new companion! Miller Shimai and I were sure she was staying, but Kaicho [President] had a different idea. My new companion is Law Shimai and she is great! My 9th companion! We are completely different and grew up with very different lifestyles... so its going to be interesting but so far, I've already learned a lot from her. She loves the scriptures and loves talking about it so I learn from her daily. She also loves dendo [proselyting] and is very friendly so its easy to dendo with her. I know Kaicho prayed extra hard about this transfer, so I know we are together for a reason. So here's to another 6 weeks :)  

Before transfers, Miller s and I saw so many miracles. Because it was a short transfer, there were a lot of people I was unable to meet. But we made a couple phone calls and miraculously, people had time on Wednesday for us to drop by and say goodbye! The connection between Miller Shimai, me, and the investigator was needed before she left. Then it would've been two unknown missionaries so I'm so grateful Heavenly Father helped us out with that one. We were busy running around everywhere saying goodbye to people she wanted to say goodbye to but it was a really good day. Also, Miller s totally received revelation on where to go housing. We were out in the middle of nowhere, and I was beginning to doubt our plan. I thought we had maybe not made a good choice coming to that area but then we found the Abe family.  We pinged their door and did our little intro. After hearing the church name, she said, "The Mormons? One sec!" and then came to the door. Turns out the elders visited her 20 years ago and she listened a little bit to the lessons. But then she got pregnant and busy and they stopped coming. Well her daughter is grown now and they are a family of three. She invited us in, gave us juice and cake, and we chatted a little bit about what we were doing as missionaries. After a few minutes, she said well aren't you going to teach something? Miller Shimai and I just smiled to suppress our laughter/joy and taught their family about God, prayer, and the Book of Mormon. She said she would never ever, ever join our church but she is willing to listen and meet with us again. So we made an appt and are going back next week! After we left their house, Miller Shimai looked at me and said, "That's how every totsuzen [unplanned] lesson should go." Amen! I wish everyone would do that! But since they don't, it made it all the more special. We were really excited.  
The Abeh family. It was the first time we met them but I wanted to remember, it so we took a picture :)

Something exciting happened this week. So we had a lesson planned with an NA and her nonmember daughter and grandson. Well one of them got sick so we couldn't meet but when I called her later, I asked her if her daughter was interested. Turns out she is and this shimai is totally on board with us teaching her the lessons and inviting her to be baptized. We weren't sure how she felt about it since she hasn't come to church in years but even still, there is a little dendo fire left :) I'm so excited for them and know that they are going to be baptized soon! Well, I have faith that they will be :) We just need the wards help with this one. Another NA also invited another NA to go to church together. They were totally going to come! But then one of them got sick, so neither of them came. But even still, yay for dendo! Its obviously disappointing when they don't show up to church but they are taking to steps towards it. Yayyy!! We don't have a ton of investigators but I am very excited about them. Another exciting thing happened! After Law Shimai taught the advanced eikaiwa [English] class, a student told her she wanted to take us out to lunch. So we made an appointment and we talked about what we do as missionaries and invited her to hear more. She said yes! So we made an appointment and get to meet with her before next week's English class. Yay! So many miracles in one week.  

Yakiniku BBQ with investigators. Miller S  told the story of Abish and they got really into it so they wanted to read the whole thing. Had to secretly snap the pic. I will wait all day if an investigator wants to read the Book of Mormon :)
Our district leader received revelation this week and has now created  a plan to strengthen the ward. And that is so strengthen the Relief Society. They are the strongest auxiliary and will move the most so that is where we are putting our effort this transfer. It feels like a pilot program since we are trying out a lot of new things. He has told us to disregard numbers and to focus our entire effort on building Relief Society. We still teach lessons and go finding but he wants the emphasis on NAs [non actives] and active members. Its different and new but maybe to get different results than what we have been getting, we need to try new things. It will be interesting. We met with the bishopric and relief society presidency this week and they are all on board. So hopefully, we will move forward as one unit, and working together, hasten the work of salvation. It's beautiful!

The weather is hot but it is totally bearable. Its not bad. The members are kind and generous and life is great! Everyday I feel the Lord's hand and know that there is no way I could do this without Him. Every day is a miracle and a gift. I'm trying to treasure every day. I love this gospel and love how it changes people for the better. I love the message of happiness that we share. Because truly, I've never been this happy before in my life. I love being a missionary! 
Nishino Shimai. We did a lesson role-play with her and she gave us 30 min of feedback. Incredible shimai and missionary! She served with my brother Sho in Okinawa, actually!

Love you all so much and I'm so grateful for your examples! Thank for the letters and wedding announcements. I appreciate them!
Sugihara Shimai


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