Monday, December 1, 2014

I made DELICIOUS Pumpkin choco-chip bread with the pumpkin from Maria. Yes, it's important.

Just another week of good-old dendo. You know how it goes!

Just a day in the life...

This week we focused our efforts in particular in teaching mogi lessons to the active members. It was a blessing in many ways- we got to hear the strong testimonies of our members and get to know more about them! I've learned to really love mogi lessons.

Our lessons with the L.A. Maru shimai just keep getting better and better. The more we show her love and listen to her, the more she relates her OWN life to gospel principles as she talks to us in lessons. She has real potential for coming back to church- she just needs to feel loved and accepted first! I feel that work with less-active members has been one of the biggest purposes that I was called to serve here in Sendai. I love the members here-active and less-active.

Eikaiwa is producing wonderful fruits!! People are coming to the church, having fun, losing their frightening images of Christianity, becoming close with the missionaries, and wanting to know why we shine the way that we do! The bonds that nearly ALL of the ECC students are forming are encouraging them to investigate the gospel from their own will! I had a student, Atsu san, tell me this last week that he wished he had heard the gospel earlier in life! Another student, 50 year old Sae san, came to church- just because he wanted to come to church! We were shocked. It feels good to serve the community through teaching English, but it feels doubly wonderful when those learning English feel the light of the Gospel and respond to it!

Our room with the futons out and somebody reading the ensign

We taught a lesson to Maria this week- and we are witnessing a miracle before our very eyes. A woman who has been a die-hard, dendoing-every-day Jehovah's witness for 24 years who declared passionately last week that Jehovah's Witness is Jesus Christ's correct church, and the Bible is the only book of changing. This week, we asked her if she had prayed about Joseph Smith's experience. She said, "I am praying every day, and asking God to tell me what is right. I'm reading the Book of Mormon, and it supports the Bible, just like you said. These books have the same things written in them. I believe what is written in the Book of Mormon. So now I'm struggling, asking God if he wants me to stay on this path, or to join the Mormon church." Ummm WOW! It bore such a strong witness to my heart that our message IS true, and that the Spirit is working in her and changing her. I don't know how much time it will take, but I know that because Maria shimai's sole desire is to follow God's path for her, she will receive a clear answer from God that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's restored church on the earth today. We're so blessed to be able to teach someone with such strong faith and such pure desires of her heart!

This is a lovely graveyard up north

The Word of the Week? Tensai. It means "Genius". My dear friend President Sai visited from Aizu this week, and started talking about the missionaries in his talk on Sunday. When he got to me, he said, "Orgill shimai...well, I'm sure you all already know, but her Japanese is...Japanese-person Japanese. She's a tensai." Very, very embarrassing. Also not true. But there you have it. Tensai.

Sister missionaries!

The Miracle of the Week (other than Maria's remarkable progress) was that after church, President Sai's son who has Downe Syndrome got lost- in a downtown area next to a large river. Not good. We prayed to find him, and all of the missionaries and a handful of members went out to search for him. I felt prompted that we should go east along the river; apparently so did elder Bo, and that's where we met up with Sister Mo and Cole who apparently felt they needed to go that direction as well. And that's ALSO where we ran into two members- who  had just found him where we had all been prompted to go. It was just starting to get dark and cold, and the Lord protected him and he was unharmed! The Lord DEFINITELY listens to and answers prayers!

That's it for this week! We've got a split this week in Aizu on Thanksgiving, I'll tell you about it next week! Yayy for getting to split with Ko!!

My favorite tractor "Zest-y"...

Have a great week!
Orgill Shimai

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