Tuesday, October 26, 2010
This has been a great week. Thanks for all the "hump day" packages and letters. I can't believe I'm already half way done already. Thanks for the cake dad. It was awesome!! You should become a professional cake decorator!
On Monday we put Linda and Amanda on date for October 30th! They are still a little nervous but we are helping them. We have a lesson with them tonight to finish teaching all of the commandments and review the Baptismal Interview Questions. I hope everything goes smoothly this week. They are so ready! Its gonna be a crazy week getting everything ready but I'm so excited. I just hope they stick with it and see the blessings that will come to them as they get baptized and receive the gift of the holy ghost. Me and Sister Furugen haven't been able to stop smiling since they decided to be baptized. There is no greater joy than helping someone into the waters of baptism!
We were only able to visit Kay once this week because she was crazy busy and had a family emergency. She is doing great though and is still excited to be baptized. She knows this church is true! I don't remember if I told you this last week or not, but she is already inviting people to her baptism. The gospel is truly making her happy! She is gonna be baptized on November 13th.
On Monday we had dinner at a members house, the Body's, with Skippy. It went really well and we think Skippy had a good time. After dinner we shared the first vision and talked a little about the restoration. A day or two later, he called us and said something along the lines of that after he prayed, he saw the restoration pamphlet or plan of salvation pamphlet ( I can't remember which one) glowing. He said he had only seen that light or glow one other time in his life. It sounds a little crazy but I thought that was a neat experience. We helped him recognize that that must be a sign for him that the church is true. We have had a hard time getting hold of him and getting solid lessons but we are gonna keep on trying. He is a great guy and he see's the good in our church. Hopefully things will go well this week and we will have better luck getting lessons with him.
We had the great opportunity of hearing from Elder Ringwood of the seventy on Wednesday night at a fireside that he put on. It was up in Renton. Karen and Terry took us and it was a fun mini road trip. It was great to hear from him and to hear his testimony. We also got to see all the English speaking sisters ( 9 of us) in our mission plus two of the Spanish hermanas. It was neat seeing everyone and feeling the spirit as Elder Ringwood spoke. The next day we had zone conference with him and it was really neat. I learned a lot from him, his wife, President Larkin, and Sister Larkin. It was a spiritually uplifting experience. During lunch, me and the sisters sat by Elder and Sister Ringwood. They are really nice, great people!
On Saturday, our ward (Victor Falls) put on a ward carnival and trunk or treat. It was so much fun! There were a ton of people there and most of them were non-members. Linda and Amanda came, and so did one of our investigator's named Carla, and also Paulette Daniels and her 2 girls. We had so much fun!
Its been a great week! This is the last week of the transfer so we are planning on having a great week and to end it with a baptism. I'm a little nervous to see what happens cause I've been here since May but I know if anything changes, its what needs to happen. I guess I'll find out on Saturday! Oh...and Sister Gibbons leaves on Monday. I'm sad but I get to see her today one last time so it should be fun.
Well I hope you all had a great week! I love you all!
Monday, October 18, 2010
This has truly been a miracle week. Me and Sister Furugen have seen so many miracles in our area. This week we put 2 people on date for baptism! We are so happy. I can't even explain how I feel. I can't stop smiling. :) The last couple of months have been slow and tough but now we are starting to see the fruits of our labor.
On Tuesday we put Kay Mclean on date for Nov. 13th!!! (She's not related to Karen and Terry) We met her and her husband tracting about a month ago. They are a very nice, fun couple. They are in their 30s. He is an inactive member but he sits in on our lessons. On Tuesday we took Kay on a church tour and talked about the importance of baptism and she said she knew it was important. We committed her to be baptized and she accepted! We saw her almost everyday this week and she is really progressing. Its so neat to see the joy that the gospel can bring into someone's life!
We also put Skippy on date for Nov. 6th!! He came to church for 2 hours yesterday and as he was leaving, we put him on date in the church. It was such a neat experience. As missionaries, it is important that we help people set a goal for baptism because if they don't, Satan is gonna work very hard on them. Its been a great week to extend the baptismal question to all those we teach. If we never extend it, then we aren't inviting them to change and to come unto Christ.
Yesterday we had 4 investigator's come to church!!! Words can't express how happy I was to see everyone. The most we have ever had in this area since May come to church is 2 so this was really neat. Kay, Skippy, Linda, and Amanda came. It was a great experience and Kay loved church!! (This was her first time to come to church)
On Monday, we had a FHE at the Watkins home (member's). They invited their neighbor over, Ken. We taught about the Plan of happiness. He enjoyed it and he had the desire to learn more. He is church hopping right now trying to find the church that is right for him. He is searching for a stronger relationship with God! Well...we told him we could help him with that! We had another lesson with him on Wednesday about the restoration. He is a great guy and I can tell he is truly searching for truth. We are gonna keep working with him. We were gonna take him on a church tour on Friday but he had to cancel. Hopefully we can catch him this week!
Linda and Amanda are doing great still. We went over to their house for dinner this week and we made caramel apples. They have now been to church 9 times! I love them but we are struggling to know how to help them. Its taking a long time but we know they will be baptized. Its just a matter of time.
So many great things have happened in our area this week! I am learning so much! I know this week is gonna be great too! I'm excited to her from Elder Ringwood of the Quorum of the seventy who is coming to visit our mission this week. It is gonna be a neat experience!
I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Thanks for all of your support and love!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Yesterday we witnessed a miracle in church. We were out in the church foyer waiting for Linda and Amanda. As we were waiting we saw a man walking towards the door. Me and Sister Furugen looked at each other and said "That looks like Skippy." Then we looked again and it was Skippy! I don't know if you remember but probably 2-3 months ago we tracted into this guy named Skippy. He was really nice. We had 2 lessons with him but we were never able to get any solid return appointments so we decided to drop him for the time being. Now...flash forward a couple months and he walked into church. Whoa! We were so shocked! He came with one of his daughters (probably around 4 yrs.). We were so happy because we had been praying for people we had met before to come to church. Linda and Amanda come every week but we were trying to get more people to attend church. The Lord truly answered our prayers! But...the story doesn't end there. It gets better. So we were sitting in sacrament meeting and Skippy was asking us questions since this was his first time in our church. We explained that it was fast and testimony meeting. Well probably about 2 people had borne their testimonies and then he gets up with his daughter. We thought he was stepping out for a minute to take his daughter to the restroom or something but no...he walks UP TO THE STAND!! Me and Sister Furugen looked at each other and didn't know what to think. We had so many mixed emotions....scared, excited, shocked, etc. This was his first time at church at he was going up to share his testimony! Well, he gets up to the stand and says who he is and then he calls from the pulpit for me and Sister Furugen to come up to the stand. Umm...no one ever does that but we slowly and hesitantly walked up to the stand and sat down. I don't really remember much of what he said because I was in shock but from what I heard he said how grateful he was that we knocked on his door when we did and how much we have blessed his life. As different as this experience was, it was a great blessing to hear. It truly was a miracle! Sometimes its hard being a missionary especially when you aren't seeing many people progressing towards baptism, but his short and simple testimony on missionary work made me realize that I am making a difference. Even though many of the people we meet don't progress, we know in time they will find the truth in the gospel. God has a time and a plan for everything. Its just not always when we want it. After Skippy bore his testimony, he had to leave to go pick up his other daughter so we didn't get to talk to him after but we are hoping we can start teaching him again. The spirit must of been speaking to him and prompting him to go up and say what he did. I'm so grateful that he did!
Linda and Amanda are doing great! They have now been to church 8 times! Can you believe it?! They are amazing. We can tell that they know this church is true. They are still scared though and have a few setbacks. We had 2 lessons with them this week and they also came to the High Priest Stew night that our ward had. They come to everything! We are meeting with them tonight and plan to teach about the priesthood and how they can receive priesthood blessings to help give them the extra strength they need to overcome the challenges that are standing in their way. They are sooo close! I say that every week but they really are. We just gotta help them to have trust in God!
Yesterday night, a member called us and invited us to come over to her families FHE tonight because there neighbor who isn't a member was coming over. Cool huh?! A couple of weeks ago this guy came to church for all 3 hours with the member family and seemed to enjoy it. Hopefully we can have a good lesson with him tonight! Miracles are happening all around us.
We had fun on Sister Furugen's birthday! It was a little hard for her because no one from Japan had sent her any birthday cards, not even her family but there must be some on there way. Even though she didn't get any from Japan, we had fun celebrations here. Karen and Terry had a little b-day for her at their house with cupcakes and ice cream. Then we had the High Priest Social that night so everyone sang happy b-day to here there. Overall it was really good and fun! Linda and Amanda even gave her a present. Oh...by the way, she said thank you so much for the gifts mom and dad! She loved them and appreciated all you did for her.
I had a great week and learned a lot this week. I know this week is gonna be even better and we are gonna see so many miracles. As long as we have faith, anything is possible! I love you all and hope you have a great week :)
General Conference was great wasn't it?! It is always such a spiritual feast for me. I always come away from conference wanting to be a better person. There were so many great talks! My favorite one was by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Mom and Dad, I thought about you during this talk and realized how ungrateful I am sometimes towards you. YOU are paying for my mission! YOU do so much for me. When he talked about the sacrifices his parents made for him when he was on his mission, I couldn't help but to cry. You guys always support me financially but I never thought of the sacrifices you are probably making so that I can be supported on my mission. I just want you to know that I LOVE YOU and I am so grateful for whatever sacrifices you are making that I'm not aware of. You have no idea how grateful I am! If it wasn't for the loving parents that I have, I would not even be on a mission or if I had come out, I probably would be home by now. Thanks for the financial support you make for me, but more importantly the spiritual and emotional support that you provide for me. You have no idea how grateful I am to receive e-mails each week and letters and packages during the week. There aren't many parents that are as diligent as you are. It makes a huge difference for me though! I can always count on my parents. I don't get hardly any letters anymore, which is ok, but I can always count on you. Pretty much your awesome mom and dad! Oh...and Hilary and Harrison, your pretty awesome too. I have the best brother and sister in the world... no joke. I love you family!
Here's a funny story. We were tracting in Rhododendron (Rhody) Park this week and we met this older man who was walking his dog. I don't remember exactly what he said but it was along the lines of "Your talking to a dead man". Um...how do you respond to that?! Anyways he proceeded to tell us that he had been dead for 2 months and came back to life. It was so weird! I had no idea what to think!
Oh...another funny one is that we were going to contact a referral that a member gave us. We knocked on the lady's door but no one answered so we turned to walk away and a Sheriff was walking up to the door. At the same moment this teenager opened the door. The Sheriff said to the boy, talking about us, "I'm not with them. I don't know what they are doing." haha What are the odds that the Sheriff would show up at this persons house just a minute after us. Kind of freaky. It wasn't for anything we had done though. No worries :)
Linda and Amanda came to a session of general conference! They came to the Saturday morning session and they seemed to love it. Now they have been to church 7 times! They still aren't on date. Right now we are just trying to help them build their trust in God. I don't know if I told you but Linda smokes and drinks coffee so that is the biggest road block right now. She doesn't want to disappoint God if she slips after baptism. We have a lesson with them tonight so we hope we can have the words to say so that we can help them progress towards baptism. They are awesome! They just need a little push.
We tracted into a lady and she let us come in to her house to share a short message. She was really nice but was sure if she wanted to learn more at the time. I wish people could just see the joy that this gospel could bring into their lives. If only they knew what they were missing
Yesterday the Washington Seattle mission was truly blessed. Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi of the seventy came and spoke to our whole mission (188 missionaries). It was a once in a life time experience. I am still trying to process everything I learned and I felt. He is an amazing man and I know he is God's servant. As he spoke and also my mission president, I could feel the spirit so strongly and I know this is what we needed to be united as a missionary. He blessed us with so many beautiful promises if we are exactly obedient. I wish I could share everything that I learned! He talked to us for about 2 hours and it was one of the neatest experiences. Now I, and my companions, are more determined to be exactly obedient and to go out and find those who are prepared to hear the gospel. All we have to do is BELIEVE!! Nothing is impossible with the Lord. Elder Kikuchi said that our tithing as missionaries it to be 100% obedient. In order to be a full tithe payer, we can't just pay 9%; we have to pay the full 10%! I thought that was a really neat comparison.
Here are a couple things that I learned from Elder Kikuchi:
*Read the Book of Mormon everyday for at least 30 minutes! We need that spirit everyday and we can't get it from any other book.
*Every morning we can have our own sacred grove experience. As we follow the morning schedule exactly and take time to pour out our soul to the Lord, we will be blessed with sacred, special experiences.
*He read in the Bible Dictionary under prayer on pg. 753. "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others, blessings that God is already willing to grant..."
I learned so much more! I will send you a letter if I have time today and share some more thoughts.
I have to go now. Sorry I don't have more time to write! Know that I love you all though!
Have a fantastic week!