Off To Sendai Japan!
My last week at the MTC just flew right by! All of us missionaries ready to depart for the field are so excited. I don’t feel scared or nervous, which I guess is weird to others haha. I am just EXCITED! I know as soon as I get to the SLC airport it’ll hit me, “Oh I’m a missionary, I should talk to people”. I have made the goal that I will talk to as many people as I can on my trip over to Japan. I know someone along the way is prepared to hear the Gospel, I just need to find in faith.
So I have a few stories about this past week. I hosted the new missionaries on Wednesday and saw my two friends from Jerusalem, India my roommate going to Kiev, Ukraine and Ashlee Lyons going to Brazil. It’s so fun seeing all these nervous and excited new missionaries. It brings back memories of when I first arrived at the MTC 9 weeks ago, ready to start the mission I’d be anticipating for so long. Now it’s as if my anticipation is arriving in Japan.
Sister Morrison and I were able to do our last skype teaching a member in Japan. We skyped with a 60 year old man named Muira san. He had the kindest smile and as we asked questions about his life we found out he’s a convert to the Church and was baptized when he was 31. He told us that all his children are inactive and I soon found out he was divorced. I could feel how this kind man only wanted his family to be happy. I could see the sadness in his face that he desired the happiness he felt through the Gospel for his children. He seemed so diligent in Church and truly converted to Christ. He goes to the Temple in Nagoya often. Sister Morrison and I asked him many questions and I felt unsure at first what we should teach him. Then as I began to bear my testimony I began to cry as I told him the great love I have for the Japanese people and that I am serving a mission because I want to help the Japanese people and love them. I could feel the Spirit strongly. The Spirit is so amazing, you can feel unsure in one moment but then as you bear truth you are filled with light and feelings of peace and comfort. I have learned that in helping others to come unto Christ, it is important to always leave an invitation to a commitment. I asked Muira san how often he speaks with his children. He said he doesn’t talk with them very much. I then invited Muira san to share his testimony with each of his children this week and promised him that they would feel the Spirit if he did that. He said he would.
I have loved getting to know my district. I am really going to miss each one of them. On Thursday we had our last class together with our teacher Sister Watanabe who’s 25 and Brother Workman who’s 23, they both served in the same mission in Japan. I have loved these teachers and learned so much from them. Sister Watanabe taught me to always teach people, not lessons. Brother Workman taught me how to truly love others and he honestly is the best teacher I’ve ever had. Every time he teaches I feel the Spirit. I desire to be like him, and one day I’d love to teach at the MTC because of his example. Thursday’s class sister Watanabe wanted us all to have the opportunity to share our testimonies in Japanese. I can’t even describe in words the love I’ve felt for each person in my district. They’ve been my family, and we really do feel like a family. As I listened to each heartfelt testimony I was touched. I then thought for a moment. Here are these young 18-19 year old boys and 19- 21 year old girls are out giving one and half to two years of their live to completely forget themselves and serve others. For some it wasn’t easy coming out to serve a mission, but each one said that it’s been the greatest decision they’ve made so far. I know that true joy comes through forgetting yourself and serving others. Christ was that example his whole life. When others turn inwards, Christ always turns out.
I have a little story about two elders in my district. First of all I have been so blessed to have such diligent, kind elders. They can be young boys at times but they have such good hearts and I love em like brothers. During our Testimony sharing, Elder Low started to speak. He began sharing with all of us how this morning him and Elder Sorenson got into an argument and he was really mad. He was feeling frustrated and then he realized, “I’m a missionary of the Lord, I shouldn’t be getting mad”. He said that he started to say a silent prayer in his mind that he would be able to not not be angry. He said before he could even finish that first sentence in his mind, this overwhelming feeling of love came over him and he felt all this love for elder Sorenson. As he told us this he began to weep and said that he could feel how much Christ loves elder Sorenson. He then testifed to all of us that Christ has an even greater love for all His children that we can’t comprehend. After his testimony, I heard soft sobs and looked over to see elder Sorenson crying. I never thought I would see Elder Sorenson cry. He just seems like he likes to keep his feelings inside. He then quickly said, “I have to say something”. He began to tell us that this morning he too was angry and frustrated after Elder Low and his argument but felt feelings of guilt and said a prayer that Elder Low would feel God’s love. He said, “My prayer was answered”. We all got teary and so much love was in that room.
I know that Christ loves all of us so much. I know that He knows us each individually. Prayer is real and Heavenly Father will always answer your prayers.
I am so excited to meet my new ward in Japan and meet all the membres. I am excited to finally meet my mission President, President Rasmussen.
Thank you for your love and support. I love all of you and pray for you each night. The Lord lives and He will come to the earth again someday and we will all see Him as He is, the true Son of God, even Jesus Christ.