Sunday, November 18, 2012

11/18/12 "There is lots to be grateful for"

Hey! There is lots to be grateful for. So much that I had no idea that Thanksgiving was this week until you said something! So there is a lot of amazing stuff that happened this week. So last Monday night we met Haramai san again to talk with her and encourage her to keep pressing forward kind of thing and we talked to her a bit longer than we planned too, so Elder Hansen had to call and tell the other Elders we were going to be late for an appointment and as he was I was talking to her about her recent scripture reading and she said she had been reading about the brother of Jared in Ether 3. After Elder H was done on the phone Haramai had to get something for one of her daughters so I showed him Ether 3 and all the sudden he just got crazy inspiration and looked at me and was like, "I know exactly what to do." Then she came back and he just started relating the story to her situation and how she has made it so far (investigator for more than 7 months, read the whole BoM and D&C, etc) and how the "stones" are in her hands and she just has to present them to God for the miracle to happen kind of thing. Then I testified to back him up and we promised blessings then set the baptismal interview day for that Wednesday. The next morning she gave us a mail saying "Good morning! It's nice weather! By the way, Papa said Ok!" and I jumped for joy and banged on the shower door to the Elder H about it. Way awesome!

That night we had a good Eikaiwa as well and got up early the next morning for Zone training meeting on bike safety and getting referrals/helping members invite friends to stuff. Then we got back and tried to do our planning, but had to leave right away for the baptismal interview which took quite a bit of time, but they both passed great! Whooo! While we were waiting we had to try to keep the two kids entertained while the relief society was setting up an activity. After that we went to eat at the ward missionaries house (bottom picture) and had some way good meat/potato/awesome stuff. They are the bomb btw. If you still have my facebook password, get on once in a while and accept the friend requests from any Japanese people :) Then we shared a way good message with them on the atonement and had to run home.

Thursday was the real weekly planning. We had to go over everything extra in depth in the very likely chance that I'll be left here when transfers happen this Thursday.(Ahhh! scary) It was a way great experience to go over all the amazingness that has happened in these last two transfers though. That night we went to eat at Kurashige shimais house who is way cool and always feeds us a ton. Flatfish, sashimi, oyster miso soup, TONS of hamburg, etc. And we had a good talk with her and she gave us even more food for the apartment. Basically this week we had so much stuff going on that we needed do that we couldn't fit much normal finding in. Still so great though! Friday was a good amount of it actually. Also finding new brakes for Elder H's bike. That day we had another good AB lesson with Nakamura shimai with two sisters from the RS which is way good because we need to make sure we can pass her to the ward well. Then we met Haramai again that night for a bit and the other RC Hatanaka shimai who got baptized in Elder H's first transfer here. She is awesome, but has been super busy with school. We let her and her son know about church though and they came! Yay! Then in Dendo Chousei Shuukai (meeting with the ward missionaries) we talked a bunch about the baptism and that they talked with Haramai about me doing her baptism! I felt way way honored and a little bit nervous!
The next day we went to this big outdoor mall to do something called *shizen dendo* which means natural dendo. It's where you just try to start normal conversations. The mall was kinda dead though. Even on a Saturday! It was really nice too, but everyone there was on a date or with kids etc. So we left to Chitose to do some housing and it went pretty well. Then we came home to eat and go to this choir concert that some youth in the stake put on with Nakamura shimai and the Oofuji couple from the ward. It was surprisingly good considering how young and small the choir was.

The best day of the week was yesterday though. We got up early because the baptism was going to be before church (from 9-10) and I got dressed in my white stuff and borrowed Elder H's white pants and we took pictures. Everyone was pretty excited especially Nodoka. Then the meeting started and I sat up front next to the bishop who baptized Nodoka. She was a little bit nervous about going into the water and bishop was comforting her and stuff. Then they sang the song before the baptism and we came down from the stand. Nodoka was still a little nervous, but when she walked by her dad she ran and jumped on his lap and gave him a big hug and kiss. I had to try way hard not to cry the spirit was sooo strong. We went to the font and bishop baptized Nodoka really gently and she was way happy when it was done. She came up and said "Mom!! I did it" and was just smiling tons. Then I traded places with the bishop and went in to baptize Haramai and explained to her how to grab my arm etc. Then I said the prayer and it went perfectly! She went under just right the first time and it was awesome. After getting dressed again it was time to hear the testimonies and Nodoka got up (which is surprising because she's pretty shy about talking in front of people) and said how she was so happy to be baptized and how her goal from now on is to be nice to everybody! Way strong. She:s a genius. Then her mom got up and shared a ton of incredible stories. How she had been so inspired from Nodoka etc. and how recently she read Alma 32:16. I had to try really hard not to cry then too and I did a bit. Afterwards her husband stayed the whole time at church and it was pretty great! After church we got the baptism papers signed and I got chased around by hyper kids because it SNOWED! AH. Then Elder H took a bunch of pics with ward members because of transfers coming up. After church we went to the bishop's house and got the papers finished and rode around all day on our bikes in the snow! Wooo. So cold and wet. We also met this cool guy I found in the phone named Sendai and taught him a lesson on why we're different from other churches and the BoM. It went pretty well, but he said he wasn't ready to take a BoM. So yeah! That's the week!

Mara's play looks like it was pretty fun! The wedding looked awesome too! I hope you said hi to everyone for me. Cool that you got to do things to help them out with it! Did David really not go because of a football game? So cool everyone from far away could come. Thursday is transfers so I'm for sure probably eating curry or something like that with whoever my new comp is ;D It's going to be a way crazy day... After Halloween Japan just goes straight Christmas. Thanks a ton for thinking about me and getting my Christmas stuff going! I also kinda want a small set of speakers that don't need batteries or a plug. (for my alarm ipod) I used to have a pair, but gave em to Lauren and they'd really help.

Thanks tons and tons as always and I hope my letter is fun to read! I hope it shows you the testimony that I'm starting to gain stronger and stronger about the Savior and His power to change lives more than we can understand or know.

Next time you hear from me I'll for sure at least have a new companion! Maybe a new area too, but that's not likely since Hansen Choro has been here for 5 in a row!

Hutchinson Choro

Special day for the Haramais! Hutchinson Choro looks so happy.

From the letter, I think this is Kurashimage's family?

Feast at Kurashimage Shimai's house

Dinner at ward missionary's house - and a long string of paper cranes in the corner - cool

First snow of many to come....

With Hatamaka Shimai (and can you spot the little one?)

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