January 13, 2014

This past week was full of so many good things! I started off the week by cutting my hair and now it`s shorter than it`s ever been! I love it though and forget that it`s short sometimes.
   This past week sister Iwahashi and I received many blessings. We took a train to Morioka for our Zone training with all the other missionaries. It`s always so fun seeing all the other missionaries. Sister Iwahashi and I had a goal to talk every single person we sit next to on the train. It`s gotten harder for me to talk to people on the train because I`ve learned that it`s never seen to talk to a person you don`t know on the train. Every one has earphones in or are reading something, or sleeping. My past Japanese companion sister Stevenson never talked to anyone on the train and anytime I`ve been with other Japanese missionaries I don`t ever see them talk to anyone either. Sister Iwahashi is a strong example though and she`s the first Japanese missionary I`ve seen talk to someone on the train. I was so proud of her when we made the goal to talk to people we don`t know and saw her talking to people. We met one girl who talked to us for an hour and said she wanted to hear more. She lives in Morioka though so we told the Morioka sister Missionaries about her and gave them her contact information. I`m excited to hear how things go with her.
   I also met a mom on the train who had never heard of Jesus Christ. I gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet about God`s plan for all His children and she was so excited to read it. Sister Iwahashi and I were walking down the snowy streets the other day and met a 19 year old college student. We talked to her and found out she wants to become a doctor because her brother has Leukemia and she wants to help other people. We told her we wanted to meet again and got her phone number. I meet many people and sometimes I don`t ever seem them again. Sometimes I`ve wondered when I will ever be able to meet someone and keep meeting, instead of a one time meeting, like on the train and the street. But then I` m reminded of the Lord`s promise to His missionaries that He will be by my side when I bear testimony of Him. That gives me comfort knowing that every person I talk to does have meaning, even if I never see the results.
   All of us 8 missionaries went bowling today with the youth and investigators. Our investigator Ayaka and her friend who`s a member Kiyoka came too. There were 25 of us bowling! It was a great turn out and everyone had fun! I bowled with Ishida and Luna who`s 11. We had a lesson with her dad last Sunday. He`s not a member but his wife (who`s columbian) and his two daughters are. The lesson was on the Book of Mormon and praying together as a family. We committed them to pray together every night as a family. I was so happy when we followed up through out the week on the committment and they were keeping it. Every day Sato san prayed with his wife and two daughters. He`s had the lessons many times I guess but has never wanted to change. He likes his alcohol and said he doesn`t really know if God`s real. During our lesson last Sunday with their family I felt that they will be an eternal family one day. Today though when Sato san came to pick up Luna from bowling I asked him how praying every day was with his family. He said he doesn`t want to continue praying as a family. I was so sad when he said that because I know how much it will bless his family. I am praying we can meet again with their family next Sunday.
   Sometimes there`s things that are sad out in the mission field. Appoitments get canceled, or members go in active. But with all the things that are sad in life, there are ALWAYS blessings, and the blessings ALWAYS outway the negative. I am so grateful to be a misisonary in Japan. I love these people. I love my district and our funny, awesome district leader elder Nishiee. I love my companion. I love all of you back home, my family and friends. And I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.
It`s probably my last week in Akita I`m feeling. Transfers calls come Sunday which means sister Iwahashi will be done training and we probably will no longer be companions. I`m going to cry just thinking about it because she`s been the greatest blessing on my mission. I could write a whole novel on the things I`ve learned from her…well I guess I have in my journal haha.
I wonder where I`ll be transferred to. My guess is down south, near Sendai. We`ll see! Who knows I could stay in Akita!
Count your many blessings!
Sister Butler

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