Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Live, From Rainy Japan!

9 March 2015 Sakado

This week flew by!

 I'm afraid of how fast next week it going to go. I don't want transfers to come! I love sister Bettridge and I love Sakado. I could stay here for the rest of my mission. I'd be more than happy.

The week was full of miracles. Wow! Heavenly Father just knows us each so well.

There were a few times this week where I just really didn't want to go finding. I just wanted to teach and we had investigators call us or we called them and they would ask if we could come over right then! I feel like I read a lot too. I was reminded of forgotten things and was able to really re enter my focus as a missionary. Back to the miracles! 

On Thursday we were finally able to meet with an investigator who previously had a baptism date. We hadn't seen her in almost two transfers. But, we've been praying for her. And finally we were able to get together with a member, have lunch and have a really good lesson. She is amazing!! At the end of the lesson she said the prayer and it was just so neat to listen to. She knew who she was praying to. She knew someone was listening. I think listening to investigators prayers are my favorite. I love when someone prays and they know they are talking to God. 

Well, after the lesson we had scheduled finding time. But like I said earlier I didn't want to find. And I'd told Heavenly Father that that morning. Well, we got a call from Takahashi San. Yutaka San, who we had sung for a few p-days ago was visiting and wanted to see us! She wanted to know if we could come over, did we have time? Oh course we did! Yutaka San had some crazy (but good) questions about God, so after clearing those up we sang. We were at a hotel. The manager of the hotel came over and they all loved our singing. Are voices are "crystal clear." I totally goofed at one point though! Gah! But I don't think they noticed because after we finished they started saying how we would just sound soooo good in the hotel's chapel.

After a little talking they decided we just had to sing there. And so we did! It did sound pretty cool! I felt like we were famous! And after singing the hotel manager announced he wants to have a gospel concert. Yutaka San also said something interesting. He wasn't saying it to us, but I caught it. He said "when they sing it makes me want to believe." It was a really cool experience. And I'm so grateful for our ability to sing. It's softening hearts left and right. Takahashi San was so happy. It was really great. We got to see her two times this week. That's a miracle too. 

The next day was our scheduled interviews with the mission president. Our interviews went over time and we were running late for our lunch appointment after! Oh no! It was ok though. We got to the restaurant and the bishop and Keiko were there talking.

After eating the bishop got her talking about her dreams. She just wants to help children. And sincerely help them, not like the way where people say oh I want to help and then do nothing. She is doing what she can already. Well, bishop took that and ran with it. He told her that as Bishop, he looks at someone like her and wants to harness that potential and passion. But, he can't do that until she knows more about church. So he said I want to make a deal with you. You take 6 lessons about church and then, after you know more, we will reassess and see what you think, find where you fit in.

Challenge accepted. He's a genius. And Keiko could make a huge difference at church and find a place where she belongs, and makes her happy. I guess she just needed bishop’s help realizing that. Our bishop is a genius. I've learned so much from him recently. There are so many blessings that come from working closely with your bishop! 

After that lesson we came home, did 12 week (a study program for the new missionaries) and then made some phone calls. I honestly did not want to do finding. No desire. And Heavenly Father worked with that. I’m so grateful. So we called Ri San. We hadn't heard from her in a while. Well, turns out just because we hadn't seen her didn't mean she wasn't thinking about us. She says she prays for our success always. And after talking for a little bit, asked us where we were. Then she told us to stay where we were she was gonna come to Tsurugashima.

We met by the train station, she bought us a bunch of pastries and we had a mini restoration lesson! There was a miracle in that too. I've never been too confident in my restoration teaching abilities, in Japanese. After the Elder Ballard conference I took the challenge to study the first lesson. And it paid off!

Everything came out perfectly. I didn't even need to think about it. It was amazing; Seriously the coolest thing ever. It just came out so smoothly. Aha! So great!  Bettridge shimai commented after too. It was just crazy! The gift of tongues is so real. After we had ping pong. We dropped off our pastries at home and then after a quick dinner we headed to Sakado. On the train we met someone who had gone to a Christian preschool. We invited her to church. Then as we headed out of the station we saw a member's friend, who she had brought to church. We chased after her and got to talk to her! She was tickled that we remembered her name and recognized her. We invited her to church, and while she couldn't come this week I think we will be seeing her again. It was so cool! 

On our way home from ping pong we ran into someone we had talked to earlier in the week on the train. She was so shocked she was speechless. It was hilarious. We asked where she was going. She said to see her boyfriend and she showed us a picture so I showed her some pictures and we bonded some more. I bet Heavenly Father has plans for her. Hopefully next time we see her she will agree to come to church or something! 

The next day was full of miracles too! We had district meeting that morning. It was fun. We and the zone leaders brought donuts for everyone. Yummy! After the district meeting we went and visited Ushimaru shimai. It was actually a good visit. She made lunch and we shared a short message about prayer and invited her to church. She said the whole family was coming! Yay! And the next day she came! The lunch was delicious and soooo filling. While she was cooking Takayoshi was supposed to entertain us, he was so bashful though! He is ten and just so cute.

After, we headed back to Sakado.

The zone leaders put together this list of things to do for dendō adventure. Honestly, at first I thought it was dumb but then decided I need to support my leaders. So we did it. And it was actually super fun. I just had fire! And I could feel the sprit. We went to the church said a prayer and then walked out on the streets. During planning the night before I said tomorrow we will see Helen. Helen is a lady from Africa we keep running in to. Sister Bettridge thinks it's funny. I like to "order miracles" as she says.

Well, that next day, after a super cool district meeting, an awesome lesson with a less active, an awesome Book of Mormon placing and a prayer before we went “streeting,” we walked out of the church and who is walking down the road? The one and only Helen. I wish I could have recorded  Sister Bettridge's gasp. Helen was a little busy at the moment, she had to go home and make dinner for her husband. But, we planned to meet another day for a church tour. 

The week was literally packed with miracles. It was so fun. I love in the bible dictionary it says "miracles should not be regarded as deviations from the ordinary course of nature so much as a manifestation of divine or spiritual power." I think miracles happen no matter what. Our faith does not determine if they happen or not. Our faith is what determines if we get to be part of the miracle, if we get to bring it about or witness it. And this weekend we got to witness and bring about many. It was so great. 

This week Sister Bettridge realized she had been saying something wrong in our prayers. She'd been praying that our effectiveness would be safe. I remember the first time she said that I thought that can't be right, I think that word means something else. But, Sister Bettridge knows her vocab. So I just figured I was the one who had it wrong and didn't say anything. Hahaha, oops. But all is well. she realized what it meant this week! 

During one of our meetings on Sunday I was making a face at one of the elders and accidently made a noise. Sooo embarrassing! Everyone laughed. Except for our ward mission leader. He hadn't heard it. In Japanese he asks what happened and I just shrugged then he says in English "what??" And everyone just laughed more. Leave it to Sister Molinari to make odd noises in serious meetings.

Ok well, that's all for this week. I love you all! 

Sister Molinari