Transfer 2

Dear sweet pea family,
This week felt like a roller-coaster!  I just finished my first transfer!  So after 6 weeks of being here, I think it finally hit me that I'm on this mission, and I understand now why returned missionaries say it is "hard work" but "its worth it". Before my mission began, I never understood what could possibly be so hard about it? It's not like running a marathon or becoming a brain surgeon. For many different reasons, I think I'm beginning to understand what they all mean now. Everyday we go out and we invite people to change their lives, to change their hearts. Along the way with peoples trust, they start telling you about all their problems, and this week I found myself feeling like I didn't know exactly how to solve everyone's problems!

Thursday we had our weekly planning session, and afterward I felt almost sick thinking about all the help everyone needs, and just being a missionary I felt like some of the people we teach face challenges so big, I felt like I had so little power to solve them. We went dendoing (talking to people on the street) after that and I couldn't stop feeling stressed out and almost angry that I couldn't even speak the Japanese I needed to find help for one of the women we are teaching in particular.

Finally my trainer thought I needed a break so we just pulled our bikes over and my sweet trainer suggested we read Ether 12 together. She is so awesome. I felt like I could relate to this chapter exactly, "And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared... we behold our weakness, and stubble because of the placing of our words...And it came to pass that the lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weaknessthou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my father".

I totally forgot that as a missionary I don't need to have all the answers toeveryone's problems, I just need to relax and remember that I am here to do two things, to 1 love people and 2 show them where to turn-to our savior and Heavenly Father. I am thankful to be serving a mission, and I'm thankful for difficult days like this one, I remember Elder Holland saying something I heard in the MTC.  He said, "Salvation doesn't come cheap. And because Jesus Christ suffered and this is his work, sometimes we will have a little suffering on our missions. " 

Of course the rest of the week turned out to be great, and I really have learned a lot from this experience. This calling as a missionary is so important, and special, and I must do all I can to have this spirit guide my efforts, but in the end, I have to trust that Heavenly Father can help these people solve their problems, and I need only to show them where to turn.

I'm so excited next week one of our friends Sophia will be getting baptized! She is so full of excitement for her new life and seeing that light come into her eyes makes everything worth it! I truly know that after some of our most hardest days, there is a wonderful one just around the corner. 
Also this week we said goodbye to the Mushasino Zone, I love them!  They are such hard workers.  To say goodbye for our last District meeting we went to this thing called Tabehoedie which I think translates to Buffet or all you can eat.  Elders love meat. 
It's getting very hot here in Tokyo, the kind of hot where you wake up in the morning and your already breaking a sweat.  But I actually really like it for some reason, reminds me of Hawaii just without the breeze. 
This week I decided I will always live in the moment.  I never have felt nervous to talk to people until now! When you feel like you just have one shot and then you will never see this person again!  So I decided instead of being fearful that myJapanese isn't good enough, that I will always talk to everyone, no matter what!   Just like any important decision we make in life-deciding before hand makes in the moment decisions easy!  Deciding we will never gossip or treat someone unkindly, if we decided first before we are in the heat of the moment when all these voices are piercing us, then it will be easy. 
I think that's why some people say living the gospel is easy and some people find it so hard.  When you make up your mind to live a certain way, then the path is clearly marked for you.  It's just like climbing a mountain, you can either take the road that is clearly marked where Christ has already walked and there is promised beautiful sights---waterfalls and animals along the way or you can put a machete in your hand and walk up the same mountain but it will be sort of a guessing game if your heading in the right direction. That's always the problem, I think.  People think they are fine, and they don't need the gospel in their life, because they don't see it as a clear beautiful path that it is. 
I have been thinking that being a missionary is a lot like my old Security Guard job at PCC, I would direct the cars to where they could and couldn't go.  I'mdoing the same thing out here, just directing traffic, but only towards Heavenly Father.  Some of my coworkers at PCC were funny, they would bring their own white gloves and have bright cones that flashed, some would put on gold badges to stand out, some took our security job more seriously then others! 
I love this scripture:   Luke 15:4 
"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness and go after that which is lost until he find it?"
What a wonderful job showing people the path to eternal life!  I love this work!  I know even more than at PCC, how bright my light is glowing is dependent upon how willing I am to follow Jesus Christ.  All we need to do is follow.  Some people might think we are "directed in all things" but just like a family walks a trail upward together, no two people walk exactly the same with the same stride.  Some are faster then others, some slow, some may get hurt, or lost, but that'swhy we walk together, helping eachother get home.  I know these things are true! 
I love each of you and pray that you are happy, healthy and growing everyday!

Love Marni Chon

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