Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Letters home

Natalie seems to have time to write letters (on paper!) during the week, even though she seems very busy.  Her emails are sometimes a little scattered, so I thought I'd add some of her thoughts from these letters, this one sent 6/22/2013:

Wee (Jonathan), I'm sorry you narrowly escaped a beating!  (He brought in the mail last week and neglected to mention to the parents that there was a letter from Natalie in the mail).  Love you little man.  You're going to be an amazing missionary.  You and I (and Al!) are build for this kind of work.  We don't bend under pressure because we're made of tougher stuff.

Something the Spirit whispered to me this week--the gift of tongues is not the gift of perfect fluency or having flawless Nihongo (Japanese), but rather knowing what to say and when.  The Spirit knows people's needs better than they know themselves, and if we yield to it, we can help people more than anything else can.  Christ heals all wounds through the Atonement, it's not just for sin.

Mom, we pray A LOT!!  Let me see... at least 13 a day, usually more.  On Sunday the praying is out of HAND haha!  Like probably 25.  But I avidly try to feel the Spirit every time, the language is coming easier now (yes, I always pray in Jap. now) so it's easier to focus on the Spirit rather than the words.  I feel my Savior's love for each of us.  I feel it for my investigators.  Dad, you know how once you were ordained to be a bishop you held the keys to care for the people of the ward, and suddenly you loved all of them much more than you thought you'd be able to?  Well, same as when I was set apart as a missionary.  I have been divinely given gifts to help people come to Christ, and as I'm finding, I now feel Christ's love for those I teach and interact with.  I love the Nihonjins (Japanese people) already, truly.  We had a sub yesterday, and after some practice door-contacting, he sat us down and told us we all have excellent Nihongo.  Better than his when he left the MTC after 12 weeks, and now he's a sensei (teacher)!  Gives me great hope for my potential.  Thank you again for the package and the sweet letters - they mean more than you know.  It's a little spot of sunshine in my day to keep me going when times get tough :-).  I just love hearing about your lives!

One of the sisters' dad wrote to her the other day.  He told her that her decision to go on a mission caused her younger sister's heart to soften, and for her to change her ways and follow in the footsteps of her sister, and now the younger sister is going on a mission!  We truly have a much stronger effect on people than we know.  In D&C 18:10-16 it talks about if you bring but one soul unto God, how great will be your joy in the life to come.  I now realize it isn't referring to how many you baptize or convert.  If we only bring our own one soul to Christ, we will be blissfully happy in this life and the life to come. Our own conversion is the one that matters most, because we must be converted before we bring others to Christ.  I sometimes don't have time to include these thoughts in my email...I love you tons, I'm sorry I couldn't email this morning, even P-days are insanely busy!

I know that when we teach with the Spirit we teach to people's true needs.  It's not about the lesson I'd planned for hours or what I think investigators need to hear, the Spirit always knows best.

Oh!  And I just ran into Sister Jezel Cutia in the laundry room!  She leaves next Monday, the punk!!
Sister Clark demonstrates the laundry room

Finally, I just love that the missionary purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ.  We are his dai-hyosha (representatives) on Earth, and if He were here He would invite everyone to abandon their sorrows as He once did.  I love you all very much, and I thank you for your unwavering support and prayers.

Love you forever!

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