This week was really good! Right now we`re focusing most of our efforts on visiting and strengthening up the ward. We`re doing a ton with the Sisters in our area, Sister M and Sister M (they`re awesome!). The four of us visited a few less actives and some members this week and had a few really cool experiences!
The first member we decided to visit was an older woman in the ward. She`s one of the sweetest people I know and has a great energy level. We went by her house to say hello, sing a hymn, and share a short message with her, but when we arrived, we were pleased to find out her nonmember younger sister was there visiting from Akashi (my first area). She welcomed us in and gave us some really good Japanese treats like she always does. Her sister was really nice and was asking all sorts of questions like what the U.S. and New Zealand are like (Sister M is a Kiwi), and why we came on missions and stuff like that. We sang Nearer My God to Thee and the Sisters shared a short scripture. I think it was 1 Nephi 11:17. After they shared the scripture they shared their testimonies that God is Our Father in Heaven and he truly does love his children. It was a great message and the Spirit could be felt for sure. Well that was all fine and dandy until Sunday we found out from the member that right before we came over that day, her and her sister were talking about God and the sister had a question that the member couldn`t answer about our Heavenly Father that the Sisters were able to answer for her in their message! It was so cool. I`m so glad to be working with such wonderful, in tune Sister missionaries.
We also had the chance to go over to a potential investigators house for dinner with her and her two children. The woman lived in Cache Valley for a year and England for seven so her and her kids speak fluent english (phew). We had dinner with them and talked about our families and about the fact that we wanted to help people so we joined the ranks and entered the mission field and stuff like that. It was awesome because she actually made us a straight up American style meal of chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy! In Japanese that would be `natsukashi` or `nostalgic`. They weren`t able to become new investigators, but they asked us to come back for dinner every Tuesday from now on! Hopefully we`ll be able to soften and touch their hearts with the message of the restoration.
I`ve come to realize on my mission that it isn`t the huge miracles and defining, once in a lifetime moments that make your mission amazing. It`s the little things every single day. A smile and wave from a little kid, a random act of kindness from an `obachan`, or a chance to share a testimony to a college kid in front of the train station. It all piles up to make for an amazing experience. This week was my one year mark in Japan. I know, right? I`m coming home in like ten months or something like that. I can`t believe what an amazing experience my mission has been. I love this stuff. I love my mission!
We were able to watch conference as well. Yes, it was amazing. Yes, I loved all five sessions. I think my favorite talk was by one of the new recently called Seventy, Elder Jorg Klebingat. His message was awesome. I loved the six principles he shared with us and how they can help us live better lives. I love our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson as well. I know he is a Prophet of God, the worthy successor to Joseph Smith, and the leader of our church. I sustain him fully and try to live by every word that comes from his mouth! I love the Prophet!
I hope you all have an awesome week. Yes, there`s quite the typhoon coming, but we should be fine. Christ calmed the tempest, right? No problem! I love you all! Have an awesome week!
Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles