January 19, 2014

Last Week in Akita!

The time has come for me to leave amazing Akita and go on to bigger and better things!

I had a feeling all this past week that I would be leaving Akita. I wasn`t 100% sure but sister Iwahashi and I both felt it would be the case. Last night would be our last night going out together trying to find someone in Akita who needs the Gospel. We prayed that we could find a new investigator. We were walking down the snowy streets and both felt we should go to an apartment complex we had been to the last week. Last week we were knocking on doors and surpirsely found O-san! He is from China and I had met him 4 months ago at the college campus. He was interested in Eikaiwa and came but because he`s been so busy as a college student he hasn`t been for the past 3 months. I was so surprised we knocked on his apartment door! We talked a little bit and then asked if we could come again some time. We talked a little about God and our relationship to Him, but not a lot because we didn`t feel it was the right time. Well last night we went to his apartment and had a lesson with him outside his apartment. We said a prayer together right there outside and gave him a Chinese Book of Mormon. He said the closing prayer and I was so impressed he prayed for the first time, especially because we were outside. The Lord answered our prayer to find a new investigator!!!
     It was 8:30pm by the time we returned to our apartment and then the transfer call came! I honestly had thought I would be going down South but I am going up north to Hachinohe! I will be companions with sister Kanno!!! She is Japanese!!! I feel so blessed because I really want to master this language! It`s so funny because sister Iwahashi was MTC companions with sister Kanno! Sister Iwahashi says she loves her and I am so lucky to be with her. I am so excited to meet sister Kanno Wednesday!
   This past week sister Iwahashi and I taught many joint lessons with our progressing investigator, Ayaka. She is really progressing in the Gospel and came to Church for the first time yesterday. Ayaka keeps saying “I want to become like Jesus Christ“. She`s been saying that since she watched the video “Finding Faith in Christ“. We brought up Baptism again for the third time in her lessons this week because both sister Iwahashi and I felt strongly after prayer that Ayaka needs a baptism date. One of my most spiritual lessons was when we taught Ayaka about Temples and Eternal family`s. I shared an experience where I went to the Temple with my cousin Emily in Washington 2 years ago. I felt the Spirit so strong and none of else could hold back tears. Ayaka needed that lesson because she says she wants an eternal family. Now that I am leaving I know sister Iwahashi and her new companion will keep teaching her.
I will miss all these amazing members in Akita! Such a small little branch but such strong faith. I am so grateful I had the experience of seeing members serve in so many ways when they would receive nothing in return. They never complained and were always so humble. I saw some members open up more throughout my time here and not so stiff. I noticed some members who had a hard time looking at me in the eyes in the beginning, just because Japanese people are more timid. But now these members and I can laugh together and give hugs.
  Sister Smith and sister Tuttle and I gave a Relief Society activity on American culture on Saturday. It was so fun! We got all the 8 sisters laughing and having fun, including our investigator Ayaka and her member friend Kiyoka. We did a trivia game about America and I ended up learning things I didn`t even know about America! Like New York`s state animal is a deer haha
    Sister Iwahashi and I also had a neat experience going to Ishida`s house! We had talked to him earlier in the week about coming by to teach his non-memeber mom a lesson. He said he thought it was a great idea. We had a lesson with his mom and I love Yoko san! She is so nice, and even if her time isn`t right now to join the Church, I know her son Ishida will be an example for her. I`ve been talking to Ishida about receiving his Patriarchal Blessing and he said he wants to next month. He is currently talking to Bishop Sato about it and I am so excited for him. He also is preparing to go to the Tokyo Temple in April! I am so happy for Ishida!
   I am excited to meet the members in Hachinohe! I don`t know what to expect but I know my mission just gets better and better from here. I love the Lord and I know this is His work!
Sister Butler

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