Sunday, March 4, 2012

Looking at Ube from Heaven's Eyes

Hello my dear friends and family!!

Samuel the Lamanite pose on the top of Mt. Shimofuri

This Email is going to be short and sweet so pay attention!
For about two weeks we have been telling everyone about and giving everyone flyers about our `Mochi Tsuki` or Mochi-making ward activity that happened this past Saturday. Unfortunately absolutely nobody but branch members showed up(haha) BUT a Sister in the branch brought her sister, mom, and sister`s mother-in-law to the activity!! She also asked us to come by and try making friends with her Father who she wants us to start teaching. He wasn`t able to come to the activity but she invited us over to their house this week. Apparently he is a huge animal lover and wildlife enthusiast, so she feels like we`ll be able to hit it off ;). The Mochi making was insanely fun (besides the whole gagging it down thing) and then after that Brother Fujitake and Furuya, two older members in the branch surprised Sister Ito and I by volunteering to drive us around to visit a bunch of less active members who live super far away from the church. We were SO happy because the member we intented on visiting (piglet grandma) lives more than an hour away by bike and Sister Ito hasn`t been feeling very well this week, so we kind of thought about canceling the whole trip. However, those two brothers saved the day and we visited not only her, but three other members! Not only that, but they surprised us by driving to the top of a mountain called Shimofuri yama, where Brother Fujitake says he goes to sometimes to pray and study the scriptures. We all knelt and said a prayer together on the dirt that we could find those in need of the gospel in Ube... and it was just the best. But the adventure isn`t over yet! After that they treated us with some special soy milk soft cream made in a little shop on the mountain, and we also stopped at a little station where you can drink the amazingly delicous water running in the mountain streams. Can you ask for a better day?
My two favorite members ever: Brothers Furuya and Fujitake
Apart from all of that we visited three of our investigators, including the Nishimura family (Vietnemese) who are currently following the Word of Wisdom for ten days, just like Daniel from the Old Testament. The Father, Kenchu, loves loves loves the Bible, so we used that a lot during our lesson to show him that even in Biblical times the Word of Wisdom was given by the Lord to help us be healthier and more in tune with the spirit. After a few scriptures and a slight spiritual wrestling match he and his wife agreet to cut out tea, coffee and beer from their daily diets and see if, just like Daniel, they would see a difference in their health and spiritual condition after the ten days. We fasted for them yesterday and have been following up everyday to see how they`re doing, and have a really good feeling about it all. When we visited them on Saruday Kenchu opened the door and I swear his skin was glowing, haha! He said he hadn`t noticed a difference or anything, but Sister Ito and I definitely noticed a difference. I hope that as they prayerfully follow this commandment that they`ll see and feel a difference in their home and know that it is from the Lord.
Best Day Ever!
This week another really exciting occurrence was for the first time on my mission I learned how to make sushi! We have an Eikaiwa student named `Cathy` or Uchihira san who went to Japanese culinary school and also has the most giant, beautiful garden I have ever seen. She gives us radishes, cabbage, carrots, and all sorts of delicious veggies all the time and this week she invited us over to learn how to make sushi! She is a super sweet lady and has been investigating the church for a while, so we`re hoping to get her moving in a good direction.
making Mochi
Other than that life is just swell and Ube is the best! We`re working hard everyday, finding new people to teach but we have so many investigators that its hard to find the time (not that I`m complaining!). Please pray for Ito Shimai and I that we can always make prayerful decisions in planning lessons for those we teach, and to be guided to those in Ube waiting to receive the gospel. I love this work and I`m so grateful for all that Heavenly Father has blessed me with. Have a great week! I love you!
Making Sushi at in investigators house

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