August 17, 2014

TRANSFER CALL!

The big TRANSFER CALL came!!!
Usually it would come Sunday evening but President Smith changed to Saturday night, Sunday morning so that the we`d have time to tell the members at Church and say our goodbyes.
Well… I was pretty surprised that I will be transferred…drum roll please….
Aizuwakamatsu (you can shorten it to Aizu)
It`s Fukushima ken!!! Where my great grandpa Shichijuro Sato was born!
I will be companions with Risa Nakaima! If you don`t remember, we lived together for 4 transfers in Akita. There were a lot of hard times, but I know the Lord put us together for a reason.
Nakaima shimai and I will continue to be STL`s and it`s so funny because I will STL over my trainee sister Iwahashi again!!! I am excited to see her and other sisters!
I heard that sister Johnson from Eugene will be living in our apartment too! Her companion is sister Holmstead, who I LOVE! I spent one day with her when sister King and I first transferred to Morioka and sister Holmstead was so fun and so easy to get along with.
It will for sure be a fun apartment!
I have just 3 more transfers so I wonder if Aizu will be my last area. Sister Nakaima (my new companion) only has 2 more, so I will at least have one more companion after her.
I`ve still kept the record of only Japanese companions, yataa!
I am sad to leave Morioka, actually really sad. This beautiful, green city has been my favorite area so far and I will DEFINITELY come back someday!
I had the opportunity to bear my testimony and say goodbye to the members at Church. I looked out to the audience as I stood up to share my testimony. I felt the Spirit completely guide my words as I spoke to those members. I shared one of my favorite experiences from Morioka.
It was a day I will never forget. I was handing out flyers for English class on the street and this older woman with a bike came right up to me with a huge smile and look in her eye that she wanted to talk to me. I looked at her with a smile and she said,
“Who are you?“
I told her who I was, a volunteer missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She just smiled, not saying anything and I told her that God loves her and knows her personally. Tears filled her eyes, as well as mine. I had just met this woman, with out knowing anything about her, but the Spirit told me that God knows and loves her. I showed her a picture of Christ and she had interest. I knew that she yearned for light in her life, and I believed she stopped because she saw that I had light to give.
As I shared that experience, I could see tears in many of the members eyes, and I then felt so much love for these members. One member, recent convert from December, named Mayo cried and gave me the longest hug I`ve ever received from a Japanese person. That touched me and told me that I had helped strengthened her in some way.
I had so many MIRACLES this past week!
Hamano shimai and I went on our last split together in Sendai and on our way coming back to Morioka we saw this African girl walking infront of us outside of the station. She had super colorful shirt and see through black skirt. I immediately judged this girl to probably be a crazy partier. I told Hamano shimai she should say hi to her, and when she did this girl turned to us with the biggest smile and the sweetest personality. She asked who we were and we told her we`re missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She immediately asked where the Church was and wanted to come! We found out that she`s 18 from Mozambique, Africa studying Japanese. She said that she`s Christian and loves Christ. I showed her the Book of Mormon and told her that we believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it`s translated correctly and that we believe the Book of Mormon to also be the word of God.
   She immediately had interest when I told her that the Book of Mormon is an account of Christ coming to the America`s after He was Ressurrected. She said “Really?!“.
Well at that point we were trying to figure out how to contact the sister missionaries for the Kamisugi ward but we didn`t have their phone number. I didn`t know then, but Hamano shimai said a silent prayer that we could somehow contact them, and as I`m talking with this girl, here comes the other sister missionaries!
It was a complete miracle! We introduced them to Pashi and then had to run to the bus. I know the Lord answered my companion`s prayer.
Next miracle!
On Saturday Hamano shimai and I were walking on a big open road to put English class posters in stores and while waiting at a stop light a white car quickly drove up on the sidewalk. Hamano shimai and I were a bit surprised. Two men were in the car and the one driving had this creepy smile and started asking me all these questions,
“Where you from? How much longer are you staying here? How old are you?“
I immediately got the feeling this guy is not someone I can trust. He spoke English well, but then started talking to my companion in Japanese, trying to make the mood light by asking about English class. As he was talking to her I was carefully watching him. He suddenly put his hand up to his mouth covering what he was holding in his hand, but saw that I had seen it so quickly putting his hand down and smiling at me with this dark smile.
I felt super un-easy and asked him in English,
“What are you holding?!“
He embarassingly answered hesitantly that it was oxygen and quickly changed the topic. My companion was being super friendly because she thought he sincerely had interest in Eikaiwa and I was trying to figure out what he was up to. He then put his hand back up to his mouth and I could see it was some spray can. He quickly put it down again and continued the conversation. In the moment the Spirit strongly told me, “Get away from him!“. My heart was racing and I quietly told Hamano shimai, “Let`s go!“. She ended the conversation and the man quickly zoomed away.
It wasn`t until after the situation that I realized he was holding something to spray us, but he tryied several times to take off the cap and could not. He tried about 5 times. I then realized that it was the Power of Heaven that saved us from him getting that cap off.
Hamano shimai and I went off near by to say a prayer of safety and quickly went back to our apartment. I know that the Lord protected us from those two men.
Last Miracle!
Hamano shimai and I just came out of a store to go back to our bikes and up rode a tall, blond hair guy. Hamano shimai said hi and we learned he was from Canada. We talked for a while and he told us he had friends in Canada who were Mormon. He said,
“They didn`t preach by their words, always by their actions. I always noticed They were different, in a good way“
I asked Justin what he believed and he said he believes in God. I then felt prompted to give him a Book of Mormon. I showed him my small pocket one and promised him that if he reads this book sincerely, and pray to ask God if it`s true, he will come to know it`s true. He said he would read it. I got super excited but realized I didn`t have an English one, so we rode super fast back to our apartment to grab one. I quickly wrote my testimony on the blank front page telling him it wasn`t coincidence we`d met and then raced back. He told us that day that he`d be leaving for home, Victorai, CA the next day, but that he`d read it with an open heart. I loved that he said “I`ll read it with an open heart“. He asked for our emails and said he would let us know what he thought.
I had such a good feeling about Justin and can`t wait to hear if he meets up with the missionaries in Victoria.
Well, those were a few miracles this past week. Hamano shimai didn`t have anyone to teach so we did a lot of finding. I prayed each day that I would be able to recognize the miracles from the day and Heavenly Father answered my prayer!
A quote I loved from personal study,
“If we remember the Savior and all He has done and will do for us, we will improve our actions and thus come closer to Him…“
I want to change a few words in this quote to make it more personal,
“If you remember the Savior and all He has done and will do for youyou will improve your actions and thus come closer to Him…“
 
As I learn about the Savior, I have been able to grow in Charity and love for others. 
I finished my 40 day challenge on Saturday given by a friend. I fasted from FEAR for 40 days, and strove to open my mouth teaching about the Savior wherever I went. It increased my confidence and even though I can still improve I`m grateful for that challenge and am continuing to throw away my fear.
 
Love,
Butler shimai
 
Tori
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