Sunday, October 6, 2013

Week 18 -- Aomori, Japan

Another week doing the most important work on this Earth. Something I've have realized more fully this week is just how much I LOVE my mission. I LOVE the people. I LOVE the gospel. I LOVE Aomori and LOVE Japan. And Heavenly Father has blessed me richly. First off- THANK YOU for the package!! The Rasmussens thank you for the truffles they received;) And I thank you for all of it! WE BAKING COOKIES TONIGHT!!! (I sent a package with chocolate chips and oatmeal, plus other items, so that Natalie can make cookies just like home).
This week hasn't been anything crazy, just filled with blessings from our faith, prayers, and more than anything WORK.  J Shimai are learning to love each other! Man is she a fabulous missionary. She can't speak Nihongo and she doesn't care! It's not the Japanese that converts people; it is the feeling they get when the Spirit that they feel when we testify to them without beauty and without eloquence in Japanese that I know that these things are true by the power of the Holy Ghost. I prayed to find out if these were true, I testify that I received the answer that you too can have that these things are true. It's really that simple. We do WORK. LOTS of biking in the mountains on the far southern outskirts of Aomori this week (and some GORGEOUS pictures to come).
And I got even MORE exercise than usual when I lost my companion....yes really. I was bike leader to the far reaches of the city where we were meeting with a member. I'm a....very speedy bike leader. Gotta use every minute we have in such a short 18 months!! So I was ripping along singing "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet" when I turned off the highway into K Shimai's neighborhood. It's a tricky place to find, so I turned back to see if J Shimai had seen me make the turn. She hadn't. She was gone. Anyone who knows anything about mission rules knows that this is like LEVEL 10 DAME BAD. So I rode back out to the main highway, where I could see about 1 km in both directions. Nowhere. I biked FASTER THEN I EVER HAVE ON THIS BIKE, stopping every (VERY surprised) person, asking them, "Have you seen the gaijin?!?!" I biked about 5 km trying to find her. NOT good times. But we were STILL on time for our appointment, and I got some CRAZY exercise that day when we had some serious mountain climbing after (my legs were absolute NOODLES).
Well, as you would expect for Aomori, I'm FINALLY biking LOTS of mountains and eating LOTS of delicious apples!! Best in the world, they weren't lying. So when my comp and I started again fresh here 3 weeks ago, we had 1 investigator (who dropped us.) We now have 4 official and 3 more unofficial investigators to date. We are being so blessed for our work. We talk with EVERYONE. This week we had chihobu taikai (Zone conference?) down in Misawa, and on the train we missionaries engaged about 12 people in discussions about the gospel. Met some amazing people. A less active member that we were already planning on contacting this week sat down next to M Shimai without us even knowing it! And she's also 19 and we made friends with her so now it won't be hard to bridge the gap between us and try to strengthen her:) 
Something that my testimony has truly been strengthened of recently is the blessings of living worthy of the Spirit. It is the best gift to ourselves we could ever give. It allows us to be filled with our Heavenly Father's love and always have his companionship and guidance! The Law of Obedience is given ONLY for our benefit so that we can return to live with God and so that He can bless and direct our lives. I have become SO HAPPY from it!!!
I sang "Abide With Me; Tis Eventide" for the conference, one of my favorite songs! J Shimai and I often sing hymns for people to just open a little window for them to be reminded of the love of their Savior. Music is such a blessing!
That's it for this week! Thank you for your prayers, Grandma I'm praying for you!!!
Peace, love, and oatmeal chocolate chips cookies y'all!

Orgill Shimai

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