Saturday, December 7, 2013

Be Careful What you Pray For! You'll Get Plenty of Experience To Test Your Faithfulness.

So.  Here`s a lesson for all you kids preparing to go on a mission. And all you folks living life:  Be careful what you pray for. :) For example, if you set a companionship goal for and then pray for faithfulness, you`ll get plenty of experience to test you faithfulness.  Haha.  But really though.

As you can maybe imply from that first paragraph, it was a bit of a rough week in Omihachiman.
When we started this new transfer last week, Sister Walker and I made some companionship goals. One of these was to be faithful, to stay true to the Lord and positive no matter what happened.  The Lord clearly took the `no matter what` part seriously.

I got sick, appointments were cancelled, investigators got sick, it was impossible to set up new appointments, no one came to church (last week we had 5), and not just one, but 3 investigators dropped us this week: "Katie, Analisa, and yes, Lily", who actually just called to drop us while Sister Walker was emailing this morning.  That`s a really significant portion of our teaching pool. Ouch.  And it hurts that they have chosen not  to come unto Christ and receive the unimaginable blessings that come from that.  It hurts most with "Lily", who even told us in our last lesson that she KNOWS that this church is true, that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet who restored God`s true church on the earth today, and that President Monson is the Lord`s living prophet right now.  She knows it.  And it`s really sad that she, "Katie", and "Annalisa" won`t follow through with it.  Hopefully one day, when they`ve been prepared, they`ll listen again. Because God`s plan is perfect.  And we shall remain faithful to it and have hope.

Anyways, now that I`m done with that slightly depressing schpiel (my bad), I`ll let you know a little bit more about what went on this week.

Because we didn`t have a lot of appointments this week, we had a lot of finding time.  A LOT.  So that`s what mostly characterizes this week.

On Tuesday we taught "Lily"  about temples, hoping it would strengthen her desire to be baptized. It went fine but didn`t quite have the impact we were hoping for.  And then....we did a lot of finding.

Wednesday, we had Zone taikai (conference) in Kyoto, combined with one of the zones from Osaka, methinks.  These Zone taikai`s happen about once every three months.  It took literally ALL day.  We left at 8 am and didn`t get back until almost 8pm, waaaay late for teaching Eikaiwa. Luckily, the Elders managed to snag a faster bus and caught an earlier train, just a little bit late for Eikaiwa and were able to teach.  It was a really good taikai though.  Really busy for Walker Shimai too.  We were assigned to do an anshou (recitation) of the first vision, she played the piano, and found out that she was giving her final farewell testimony before going home at the end of this month.  That was probably a little bit stressful.  I really loved how they started the takai, though. They started with a slideshow about why it matters that we`re here.  It asked a question, `How much do you think it mattered to HIM?` and then showed a picture of the Christus, zoomed in on the nail prints in Christ`s hands and feet.  `If it didn`t matter, you wouldn`t be here.  But you are here.  And it does matter.  It matters to Him.`  That really helped me a lot this week.  Walker Shimai`s farewell testimony was really good too. She said a mission is like a field of roses.  You look at it and say, `Wow, that`s beautiful. I want to go there, and reach the other side.` And then you get in the middle of it, and feel all the thorns, and get cut up and bloody.  But you have moments where you pause and say, `Wow, this is really beautiful, what I`m doing.  It`s hard, but it`s worth it.` And then you finally reach the end, when you can`t believe that it really is the end, and you look back and say, `Wow.  That was beautiful.`  For the little time I`ve been out on my mission, that seems to be true. Missions are hard.  It`s the hardest thing I`ve done so far.  But it`s beautiful too. Just like life.

Thursday, obviously, was Thanksgiving.  It started out unfortunately, being dropped by "Analisa" and  "Katie", but we made the best of a crummy day and made a delicious Thanksgiving feast! Due to the unfortunate lack of turkey, we instead made easy chicken pot pie as the main dish. Then, using the recipe my angel mother sent me, we made yakimo sweet potatoe casserole.  So. Good. But really though.  We had mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, raspberries, mini sparkling cider Martinelli`s (a few of these things were given to us by our wonderful member friend Anderson Shimai), and then, the crowning jewel of it all, a Tim Tam Slam.  A Tim Tam is an Australian chocolate `biscuit.`  To make a tim tam slam, you bite off opposite corners, dip it into some delicious American hot chocolate, and suck as hard as you can until the tim tam is liquified into a sort of warm brownie mess infused with the extra delightful chocolate sweetness of the hot chocolate.  The deliciousness there of lies beyond description.  It was a good night. :)

Friday was a lot of finding and a lesson with "Lily"  about prophets where she bore her testimony of this church to us.

Saturday we taught "Carole"  and her daughter "Rylee"  about the Restoration.  We gave them a Book of Mormon and extended a soft baptismal commitment, which they readily accepted.  We have another appointment with them next Saturday, where we hope they will accept a baptismal date!  That would be awesome!

Finally yesterday, we went to church and then went to Otsu for the baptism of two adorable little 8 year old girls from the ward.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

The Church is true.  The Book is blue.

Love, Sister Whitney

 Thanksgiving Dinner In Japan

Us and our yakimo sweet potato casserole!  Which was ridiculously delicious by the way.  Walker Shimai is, as she would say `Obsessica Simpson` with it.  Basically Walker Shimai made it, but I got the recipe from my mama!

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