We bought a zoo!

Dear family,
So life continues to be great!  We taught 15 lessons this week!  Our goal is to teach 20 so just a few more, and I think we can do it next week.  We have  a lot of wonderful new friends!
 One day this week it was super rainy so we went under this undercover shopping area thing to pass out English Class flyers.  It was going alright but we hadn't found anyone yet.  Then out of nowhere this young man came walking down the street and there was such a glow about him. It probably helped that he was wearing a bright yellow T-shirt and flip flops.  He definitely looked like he wasn't from around here. Anyway, I felt like I had to talk to him. I flagged him down and we started talking. He is from the Philippines and just moved here 2 weeks ago. He asked if we were from the Mormon church and we told him yes. He said "oh my cousin is Mormon. He said that I should join your church when I get to Japan because I will probably be lonely". It just so happened that we have another Philippino friend, Rosemary, who is never home when we go by. But luckily I had her Tagolag Plan of Salvation pamphlet in my bag and we were able to talk a little about how he is God's son and was able to give it to him. I asked him if he could come to church on Sunday and he said he would try. So yesterday he came to church and stayed all 3 hours.  He told me that his father died and so he only had a mother now. During our lesson we taught him about the Restoration and when we asked him what he felt after we told him the first vision, he said "I feel like I want to cry when we talk about these things". I loved his response too when we asked him, "what are your thoughts about God." He said "well God is a great guy who does impossible things".  I loved that. Teaching these people is like teaching little children.  It is the best!  We invited Richard to be baptized and he said "of course!" I sat by him in Sacrament and tried to interpret the best I could, he said at the end that even though he didnt understand everything that was said, that he had such a good feeling the whole time. I really can see that Heavenly Father has been preparing him long before we ever met, it is incredible! 
Another one of my favorite people we met this week is named Sayaka and her 6 year old sonNozomi.  We met them on the street a few weeks ago when we were biking home, and she was wearing this large hat with a flower in it.  She is really artistic and loves to take pictures.  She is the President of the PTA so she said she didn't really have time then, but I saw her again walking down the street on Tuesday so I tried to talk to her again.  I invited her to church but she said she didn't have time, but then said she had a little time now so would we like to go to her house?  She said one of her hobbies is rescuing animals.  I thought I died and went to Heaven when I walked in her home, which was more like an organic farm.   Her house was like nothing Ive ever experienced. SHE HAS 13 cats and 6 dogs!  They were the friendliest animals I've ever met, they all thought they were humans.  There was so much love in their home.  My favorite was a little dog named "Ichigo" which means strawberry in Japanese.  They said the story with her is someone left her in an abandoned apartment and moved out and she would go to the balcony and a man below would toss her up Onigiris (rice balls) until Sayaka was called in, she is the Rescuer of all things furry.  We got to know her and shared a scripture with her in Moroni about the gifts of the spirit and told her how each person has been given different talents and abilities from Heavenly father, and hers obviously was to mend broken spirits, especially animals.  They were such affectionate people, I cant wait to go back.  I love Nozomikun, he was hand carrying each animal over to us introducing them by name.  Holding the cats like they were superman.  While I was in Heaven on cloud 9, my poor companion Sister Dolan was suffering from an allergic reaction to all the fur, her eyes were very watery and red so we quickly left after that.  For some reason all the cats wanted to sit in her lap.  I felt like we were in the movie "we bought a zoo".  Anyway great family.  Nozomikun said the closing prayer and they all just had a great spirit.  I really want to teach them more!  
Also this week we invited our two Chinese friends, Ryu and Cho to be baptized. We are teaching them together, Ryu is 21, and Cho is 26, and after we taught them about the restoration they just said what an incredible man Joseph Smith is and they both want to be baptized on the same day, May 19th. I want to do all I can to help them make their goal. People in Japan are so busy, even on Sunday they are working, so this is a challenge sometimes to get them to church.  But just like Richard said "God is a great guy who can do impossible things".  I know that everything is possible with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on our side.  
Today for pday we went to the Brazilian town Oizumi, its one of my favorite places in the mission.  You feel like your in Brazil.  We played aggressive soccer and talked with many of the Brazilian ward members.  I love how they LOVE!  It is so great!!! 
Oh also my 19 year old companion turned 20 this week, we had a surprise Birthday dinner for her at the church.  Kentaro made an okonomiyaki cake for her. 
Okay well that is all.  I know that even if were afraid to do something God is on our side and he will help us.
love you
Your Sister Marni Vail

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