My dearest family,
I love you all so much. This week SO many amazing things worked out. Not just in the mission but personal things with school and whatnot. I felt so much relief this week as prayers from a year ago were answered, as well as countless prayers on behalf of our investigators and Branch were answered. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father has a hand in everything that is going on around me. It is incredible. This week I was insanely grateful for my obsessively meticulous journal writing habit that I formed a couple of years ago. I always have this incredibly strong desire to write down my every thought, feeling, impression, etc. in my journal, and for a long time I`ve thought, `Why am I doing this? I am never going to want to read this in the future!` Especially times when times were hard and I felt everything around me was crashing down. However, this week I took some time to read from some past journals from a year or so ago and it was incredible how things I thought about, yearned for, and inspiration I received are unfolding at this time in my mission. I felt so much gratitude for my journals and the fact that I can look back and literally see the change in my spiritual growth through my own writing.
I had a cool experience this week while riding the train back from Zone Conference in Hiroshima. Sister Hattori and I made a commitment to do as much finding as possible on the train ride out and back (four hours), but by the time we were headed home we were both beat and not feeling any sort of motivation. I sat there feeling guilty for a little while, not talking to this adorable couple sitting next to us. Suddenly I felt an intense urge to open my Bible and start reading from the very beginning of Genesis, which, embarrassingly, I have never read before and as I read about the Creation the spirit just enveloped me and I thought about the temple session I had done the week earlier, and the incredible knowledge and blessings that Heavenly Father has entrusted me with. I immediately shut the Bible and for the next hour or so Sister Hattori and I talked to this couple about eternal marriage and the gospel. I felt SO happy after that, feeling like I had done my best to follow the spirit. My testimony of the Bible was strengthened. I know that it contains the Lord`s words. The rest of the way home we had no trouble opening our mouths, and even met two funny Americans named Fanny and Muffy. One was a geologist and we talked for a while about New Mexico and Utah and whatnot.
Right now Komeda san and Yamamoto san are doing awesome. We taught them both about the commandment of the Sabbath Day this week and the spirit was strong in both lessons. Komeda san came to church and after Relief Society said, `I loved it! I really understood more about my purpose and worth from that lesson!` She is so amazing. She mingled with the Sisters in the Branch and I think everyone got a little more `dendo fire` or desire to do missionary work from her being there. We commited them both again to be baptized, but changed the dates around a little. We think Komeda san will be baptized on the 21st or 28th of this month. Among other miracles, last week she told us she absolutely could not get baptized because her son was against it, so we challenged her to pray about that everyday. This week when we met with her and asked her about it she said, `Oh, that? He`s totally fine now. He hasn`t said anything lately and is fine with me coming here to study!` Seriously, this woman`s faith is so strong, it seems like every single one of her prayers is answered in a snap.
This week`s sacrament meeting was insane! Two baby blessings (one was the daughter of our ward mission leader), an engagement announcement (which I was SUPER excited about because there are WAY too many amazing, beautiful, spiritual single members in Japan- I just want them all to get married! Haha), and the entire Branch Presidency got switched around! It was very eventful. We talked to the new Branch President about a missionary fireside we`re having in a couple of weeks and he suggested that we get some of the YSA`s and Young Women together and do a musical number using guitars! One of the Young Women, Lana chan is super cute and always plays her guitar for us when we visit, so he suggested it would be a good way to get potential future missionaries involved as well as lure the members to attend. I`m so excited!
I think thats all for this week. I love you so much!! Until next Monday...
Love, Tingey Shimai