So I turned 25 this week. If that doesn't sound like a mature lady I don't know what does. But it was actually great. Tokyo was a winter wonderland on my birthday so we shoveled the nearby intersections around the church trying to talk to people as they crossed. We got a lot of people bowing to us and saying "oskaresamadesu!" like 'wow you look like your working hard!' It actually was hard work! I don't think Japan invested in any snow plows so most people walk around the city with personal shovels. It's kind of funny. My shovel was all bent up so it was actually really hard work to get under the snow to make any impact. I felt useless with it. But it made me start thinking about how I want to be a sharp tool in the Lords hands. If it were first not sharp, no matter how great and powerful Heavenly Father is, he can't perform his work working with a dull shovel. I want so badly for Heavenly Father to choose me to perform his work, but maybe right now I am getting to see miracles worked in different ways.
This week we invited one of our investigators to be baptized and she said no. We really prepared a lot for her and prayed for her answer to be yes but she said she still wants to study more. Sister Stankosy said something really great this week that helped me keep my spirits up. She said, "you cant look at a diamond mine and say "look at all these diamonds I haven't harvested, because your working with a fork. You have to look back at all the tiny diamonds you harvested, because even though they are tiny they are of great worth". This helped me a lot to count my blessings at the progress our friends are making towards getting to know their Heavenly Father. When Maeda-san came to church last week in Gospel Principles class the teacher asked her how she came in contact with the church. She said, "I first searched for Ekaiwa because I wanted to study the Bible in English. At first I had no interest in the Book of Mormon, I had a Bible and that was enough. But then I met these sisters and because of their character, I want to know more and read the Book of Mormon." After that I felt really good that maybe we are helping her. We just need to be patient and trust Heavenly Fathers timing.
For my Bday we went out for lunch at an Okonamiyaki place nearby our apartment. You just pick your vegetables and what you want in it and then they bring it out out to you raw and you cook it yourself. Reminds me of mommy! It's fun in Japan because there is a big pan thing on your table so you feel like a chef. It was so awesome because that night we decided to visit one of the less active ladies in our ward, Wasano Shimai. She just had a baby and has a cute 4 year old named Rei-chan. It turned out to be Wasano Shimai'sBirthday too! We celebrated with each other and Wasano Shimai turns out is 36 but doesn't look a day over 25 either. She is always telling people I'm from Hawaii so of course she was so nice and made us locomoco. At night the Elders brought us BaskinRobins and sang which was nice of them. I loved this Birthday!
This week my sweet friend Nao-chan came to church with us and stayed all 3 hours. She is the girl with pink hair we met standing in line at an ATM. She was so cute she said she hardly understood anything but she had a really good feeling the whole time. Also this week we met a really small oba-chan. She literally came up to my elbows, I felt like. (I sent a pic but I'm hunching over a little). Just the sweetest people in the world here. I also tried to sneak a pic of when we got lost which is a frequent occurrence. You inquire to one person and suddenly the entire community is involved in ensuring a safe route to yourdestination. LOVE these sweet JAPANESE!
Lately I have been reading about Moroni, I love the description of him in Alma 48:11 "Moroni was a strong and mighty man; he was a man of perfect understanding. A man that did not delight in bloodshed and whose soul did joy in the liberty and freedom of his country and his brethren from slavery...Yea a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God..yea and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people his rights his country and his religion even to the loss of his blood"
So intense but anyway I love this missionary work! It is very fun! I know that this gospel has the power to set people free from spiritual bondage and help them know that they are of great worth. Heveanly Father wants us to be happy that's why he gave us this gospel to show us how.
LOVE YOU ALL
have a wonderful week!!!!