Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We Had One Exhausting Week!

Hey, hey, hey!

We had one exhausting week!

On Monday, we housed into a lady with LOTS of interest in Eikaiwa (English class) named O****.  She`s so friendly and genki!  We also saw her again while riding our bikes today. I`ll write a little bit more about her later.

Tuesday, we biked up to Hikone to one of the colleges to try to get a little publicity for Eikaiwa, only to be turned away, because they wouldn`t have anything to do with anything related with religion.  Kind of disappointing.  But alas.

Wednesday, we went to help with A******* Shimai`s friend`s Eikwaia again, and then had our own.  Last week, we only had on nonmember come, but this week, our whole class from before came, as well as O****!  (She`s bringing her friend this week.)  All of the Brazillians and everyone are back from their busy winter breaks!  Huzzah!

Thursday, we had a lesson with H*********.  I was afraid that we were going to see a little testimony backsliding since it`s been a few weeks since we`ve been able to meet with her, but just the opposite!  When Watkins Shimai asked if she believed God was her Heavenly Father, she automatically responded, `Hai!`  Like, `Of COURSE I believe that.`  Before, she had to take a minute and think, and would say something like, 心の中で kamisama ga hontou ni iru kanaa. (In my heart, I thiiiiink God exists.) Im not quite sure why that stopped going into Japanese.  Oh well.  Anyways, she has a firm belief in God now, which is the greatest!  And when we asked, she said she thinks it`s because of prayer.  Darn right it is!  We taught a Book of Mormon lesson using the 7 steps, and she committed to read the homework we gave her following the steps.  It was great. :)  We also found out on Saturday night that it was her birthday the next day, so we last minute made her a batch of cookies.  She`s the greatest.  Now that she`s finally starting to progress a little faster, I have high hopes for her! 

Friday, we also had district meeting, and another lesson with a new investigator named Y*********** that the Elders found and passed to us.  And I don`t want to jinx it, but she seems like a senmin!  She has a Jehovah`s Witness friend who gave her a bible, so she`s been reading a few verses every day, and she believes in God!  She responded really favorably to Setting the Table, and when we asked if there was anything she was particularly interested in learning about, she excitedly said that she wants to learn how to pray!  Yeah, I guess we can do that. :)  I`m really excited to start teaching her.  She`s so willing and anxious to learn and open minded about everything!

Saturday, we went finding up in the next city,  where we found a couple of PI`s!  It was the first time I`ve ever done a contact that led to a future appointment!  (It was always Sister Walker before.)  That was really nice.  We set up an appointment for today, and while it didn`t work out (I`ll explain later), it was still really good.

And that was all of our lessons.  Even though we had a slow week last week, we have a pretty busy one set up for this week!  We have 6 or 7 appointments set up and a few PI`s to visit.  We had a lesson this morning with a really sweet PI named Y*********** who was really interested and responded so well to setting the table.  She said she really wanted to know if theses things were true, because they would bring a lot of hope and were wonderful things, but try as we might to reason with her, she said she was just too busy and couldn`t set up another appointment.  One day, though, one day.  It`s just so frustrating sometimes.  There is NOTHING more important that learning these things for themselves, and there is NO ONE too busy to squeeze in a little time!  We let her know just how important this message is to us, that we`re here volunteering for a year in a half.  Yep, this is all we do.  Yep, we did ride our bikes all the way out here. Yes, in the snow.  And she didn`t even know it was on our preparation day, and that the night before, I got a flat tire, and that this morning, my bike key broke in the lock, and we had to switch bikes with the elders to make it to her house on time! (Thank goodness we have such great elders.) But still, it was worth it.

I think we planted some really good seeds this morning, and she really did seem interested.  She seemed so excited by the possibility of these ideas, that there is no way that one day she won`t be guided to learn about it again.  And that`s what we`re here to do, to teach the ones that are sheep, and start the goats on the path to becoming sheep one day.  Even though the first one seems more satisfying and is what we`re really here for, and I haven`t gotten anyone through the gate yet, I know I will.  I think I`ve done plenty of the second one already, though, and that`s important too.
I`m starting to love the people even more, especially the people we`ve been meeting who talk to us.  That lady that we taught this morning I loooved.  I love our new investigator!  I love the sweet lady who we housed into who just LOVES English, came to Eikaiwa last week, is bringing her friend next week, and wants to invite us over to eat at her house next preparation day.  But even though everyone isn`t this friendly or sweet on the outside, I`m coming to realize that there is something really special inside each one of them.  I mean, I knew that before.  Everyone`s a child of God, after all, but I`m starting to be able to see it better. 

Like last week, we were housing, and a lady came out and before we could even say a word, looked at our nametags and said in `Engrish,`  `No sank you!` trying to swat us away like flys, as people here often do.  Then Watkins Shimai, with her boundless charity, optimism, and sweetness said, `Whoa!  Your English is SO GOOD!`  The old woman`s entire countenance changed, and she chatted with us for a few minutes after, excitedly recognizing Utah for having had the Olympics, and Idaho for its yummy potatoes.  She didn`t become a new investigator or anything, but we were able to see another side to my wonderful Japanese sister besides the short `Kekko` or `Ii desu wa` we normally hear behind the pinpon boxes or at doors.  And there is that side to all of them.   That beautiful wonderful side that is just aching to hear what we have to share.  They just don`t know it.  But we know it.  And the Lord knows it.  So we just keep on ploughing on, praying that we planted a seed, and that one day, they will hear this message that will change everything for them.

Because nothing is more important.

Anyways.  Those are my thoughts for the week.  I think good things are starting to happen here again.  I just have to keep relying on the Lord and wait for the day when things all work out.  I think they will soon.
I love you all!

The church is true!  The book is blue!

Working on true discipleship,
Sister Whitney

Not many pictures again this week.  My bad.  I promise I`ll take more this week!

The first picture is my new planner for this transfer!  The picture of Jesus came from Sister Watkins.  The 4 means I`m on transfer 4. The 7 is the number of senmin (elect who are ready to hear and accept the message in the area right now) left.  It was 9 when I got here, but the Elders found 2 of them. :)

The last one is of a CROC display in the mall here.  It`s the most wonderful, horrible thing ever, basically. :)  

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