Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sakura Are In Bloom!

1 April 2014 Chiba

Cherry blossoms in March!

Minasan Konichiwa!

As usual, I don't know where time is going! Last week I hit my 4 month out mark. It's crazy! I am still nowhere near speaking nihongo as well as I would like or should be able to, and time is ticking!

Ok, so this week AND last week have been quite the 2 weeks. We have been so busy! It started on Monday. Study time that morning was pretty intense. We created a lesson plan and then spent a loooong hour translating sentences from English (and then me to Nihongo and then) to Portuguese. While putting the sentences together was easy, figuring out the pronunciation was nuts. I gained a new appreciation for nihongo and how it is all phonetically spelled. We gave up most of our p-day to go teach out in Goi. Well, we ended up missing the train we were supposed to be on and therefore missed the first lesson. We had also been meeting Roselly so she could help out. She speaks Portuguese and so did the women we were supposed to be teaching. To make things worse, the phone hadn't been charged, and died. We were unable to call the lady OR Roselly. By the time we made it out to the woman's apartment she was gone, and when we were able to call her she said she wasn't interested. Great. 

Basically, a hot mess and I was less than happy by that, and if Roselly hadn't been there probably would have showed my annoyance too. We continued to house and found Jean, a Pilipino lady who the elders had referred to us. She was super busy and asked if we had anything for her...we had lots of great things, but she wasn't too excited that they were all in nihongo and Portuguese. We set up a return appointment for Friday. After some more dendō we told Roselly we would walk her back the the train station. Before we went back she asked if we could get something to eat. We searched for a restaurant that looked good...and for whatever reason ended up in the most sketchy looking Brazilian restaurant. The food was pretty good though. And the owner seemed willing to listen to us and our message and said we could come back another time. We told her we'd be there Friday morning.

Tuesday started as another hot mess of a day. We missed multiple trains and were very VERY late for our zone conference. Everyone knew we were late too, I was supposed to give the opening prayer and...just didn't show up! I ended it saying the closing prayer so it all worked out in the end. Zone conference was amazing! I am so grateful to have the mission president I do. President budge is wonderful! He knows exactly what to say. That's the power of speaking by the spirit. Each of the missionaries in the room hears exactly what they need to hear. Me being one of them.

Well, since zone conference it's been smooth sailing. We have had some pretty great miracles!
Friday we went out to Goi and spent the whole day there again. The Brazilian fell through. Wasn't interested. Didn't want to mix religions. And jean wasn't home! Then the over 15 other people we tried to check up on weren't home either. No one was home. We decided to stop by jean one more time. Maybe she would be home and we could share a message with her and give her the Tagolac Book of Mormon we had gotten her.

On our way back we passed by the backyard of an apartment where a little girl was playing. She called out to us so we went over and started talking to her. She was the cutest thing ever! She likes flowers and her favorite color is airplanes. After a few minutes her mother poked her head out of the window and I smiled and waved. She came out and we started talking. We told her who we were and she told us all about herself. She is also from the Philippines. Her name is Joan. Both of her parents passed away and she is a single mother. She had met missionaries when she was in the Philippines and she had met the chorotachi a week earlier. And she hadn't been interested. This time was different! We ended up talking, sharing about our church and we got to invite (well she basically invited herself) to church and gave her the Tagolac Book of Mormon that had actually been for jean who wasn't home. While we were talking her daughter came over and grabbed the Book of Mormon and then refused to let go of it! I think she knew it was something special. I also think if she hadn't held on to it, her mother would have tried to give it back to us. But, she never got the chance! Joan asked when we could come back and gave us her phone number to call her! She was a miracle! The Lord has been preparing her to receive the gospel and now she is ready! And we get to be the ones to share it with her!

Another fantastic miracle this week. I gave a talk on Sunday! In nihongo! And everyone understood me! The spirit was also present, and I got many compliments afterwards...and most of them I could understand.

Another Sunday miracle was Murai San attending church! Originally she wasn't our investigator but when the other sisters got transferred out it was our job to pick up where the other two left off. We spent the entire transfer trying to get a hold of her, but finally we did! And after an amazing lesson we invited her to church and she came!! She loves singing hymns and she can feel the spirit so strongly. When we taught her we just sang and then taught principles from those songs.

My favorite part was when the spirit came up so we sang the Spirit of God. It was really powerful!

Last night was the last miracle I'll tell about. We had spent the entire day running around trying to find people to invite to a flower picnic we are having Saturday. In between people we tried to stop and talk to others. We didn't have much luck in either pursuit. After a long and tiring day we headed home. I wanted to take one last picture of the flowers and as I did so a lady started talking to us. As we talked we told her how we were missionaries. She was very impressed that we were willing to give up a year and a half of our lives, and pay for missions with our own money. We kept talking and she told us she was tired of having a sick heart and was ready to change. She said it was too late to come over tonight, but how does Wednesday sound? Of course we accepted. I love finding people who want to hear the message we have to share. It makes up for all the people who don't!
Dopp shimai and me at the temple
This week was great! I love you all.
Sister Molinari