Monday, August 31, 2015
Soooooo..... I'm staying in Okegawa and Sister Bettridge will be my new companion. She has been on Sado Island for awhile and now she's coming here. She transfer 7 and I'm transfer 5 so it should be fun! I'm really excited! Sister Teruya is going to Nakano where the mission home is and so she will probably finish her mission there (she has two transfers left). This will be my first time being area senpai!
This week I experienced a major changing point in my mission. I think I am truly starting to recognize my purpose as a missionary. I knew in my mind what my purpose was but now I think it is starting to sink deep down into my heart. At district meeting the elders challenged us to read a talk given to new mission presidents in 2014. It was from President Uchtdorf called "Fear Not, I Am with Thee." I felt the spirit so strong when I read it. It made me realize that I am truly a disciple of Jesus Christ. I should not fear anyone. The Lord has promised to be with me always. If I avoid the prompting to talk to someone because I'm afraid then I am showing God that I am not willing to try and that I'm more afraid of man and that could be turning into becoming ashamed of the gospel. I read Romansand it really helped give me confidence.
Also, so last Sunday when I talked to the lady in the ward who I hadn't seen before, I asked if we could come visit her. She was more than happy to say yes. So we made the appointment for Saturday. It was the most spiritual experience I've probably had in a lesson so far. We were on exchanges and Sister Reyes was able to experience it with me. We went over there and the member and her husband told us all about their recent trials and how she wasn't able come to church for a year because she was taking care of her sick mother. She said during all that time missionaries never came to visit her. She felt so lonely and she needed so much comfort. I know I wasn't there for that troublesome year and neither was Sister Reyes but we felt so sad and like it was our responsibility. We shared the video "None were with Him" and talked about how the Savior is always there for us. The spirit was so strong and tears filled the room. She was so grateful that we visited her. I am so blessed to be able to experience that moment. Heavenly Father does truly guide us. He lead me to sit next to her in relief society and to talk with her. That lead to me asking if we could come visit and then that lead to a very humbling experience and a truly great friendship. I learned that members truly do need missionaries as well as investigators.
I'm so grateful for the chance I have to be a missionary here in Japan. I love the people so much and I just wish they would all be willing to except the restored gospel. But, I know of I follow the spirit, I will be lead to those who are prepared. I love you all so much! I miss you! Thank you for everything! Aishiteruyo!
Love, Sister Lacey
Monday, August 24, 2015
This week I received major keiji! (Revelation). First off I'll start by saying that we had three investigators come to church yesterday! It was a huge miracle! Namatame San came for the second time and stayed the whole time and had a great time. Olga alsocame and she loves the ward and we are very excited for her progress. Also, earlier in the week we met with Kaneko San. She has been meeting with the missionaries for about 10 years.. She is a funny, a little forgetful, sweet old lady who likes to hit all the time. I can't even tell you how many times she has hit my arm or my hand for no apparent reason. It's hilarious. Anyways we had a good lesson with her and asked her to meet us at the train station and we would go to church with her. Well, she came! She only stayed for sacrament but she said her view of church is different now, she said she has been to other churches and didn't like the feeling there and she loved going to sacrament. She also became instant friends with some of the elderly ladies in the ward. One sister, Sister Nakanishi testified to her about Jesus Christ and also said "if I can come to church every week and I'm 93, you can come every week too." It was awesome!
Okay, so now for the revelation I received. At the temple last week as I was in the celestial room, I met a new sister who is in her first transfer. I was getting to know her a little more and I asked her how
she was doing. All of the sudden I saw a very familiar look in her eyes. The "what have I got myself into" look. I felt the exact same in my first transfer. She looked at me and said, "does it get better...?" I gave her some advice and I hope I helped a little but I really feel like her and I will be companions soon...
Also, a member from a different ward came to Eikaiwa to do a survey for the foreign missionaries. It was a personality test and my results were that I am gentle and don't like to argue or fight or blame people. I'm not sure how accurate it is but the brother who gave it to me said "computers never lie, and I created the program so it is
true." Haha he is so funny and he asked me what I wanted to study in college. I told him how I've always wanted to study technology and then he got very excited. He is a professor at a college here and he majored in technology. Long story short I'm almost 99% convinced to come back to Japan and study... He said all the big companies in Japan require you to know english so he said once I have Japanese down I will be very successful. He wants me to go to his college. So... We shall see! I have never been so excited about schooling.... He told me to focus on my mission right now and gave me lots of good advice. He said the most important thing is for me to always pray for Heavenly Father to grant His spirit to be with me. It was very good advice because sometimes I just rely on myself and just expect the spirit to be with me but if I don't constantly ask for the guidance of the spirit than I might not be as in tune with the spirits promptings.
We also had lunch at a members house and then she took us to all of her gardens. We had "Adventures with Niina" and had a great time! She gave us all sorts of fruits and vegetables.
I love you all so much! I love being a missionary and I love Japan. I'm so blessed to be here and to be learning so much! Oh, also, I sat by this one lady in relief society yesterday who I haven't met yet. We started talking and she just seemed kind of sad. She then told me everything. She said how she hasn't been to church in a year because
she has been taking care of her sick mother. Well, her mother passed away last month so she has been coming again. She told me how she is having a hard time and then she was just quiet. I started comforting her and I asked her if we could come visit her this week and she was more than happy to say yes. It is just interesting to see how so many people open up to me when they just meet me. I think it's the "missionary power" but sister Teruya says it's my personality lol. I love you all so much! Thank you for everything! I miss you!
Love, Sister Lacey
Monday, August 17, 2015
|She said she was forgetting how to teach English|
|Yummy Japanese food|
|With Sister Nakanishi|
7 months already?
Hey everyone! Sorry o forgot to remind you my PDay is a day late this week. Just a clarification, every 5th week of the transfer we have temple pday. We have a normal day work day on Monday and since the temple is closed Monday, we go to the temple Tuesday and have our PDay then. So I went today and it was awesome! I love the temple so much! I definitely receive so much knowledge and spiritual strength whenever I go.
Last week was awesome! Sunday night we decided to go housing and streeting and we weren't having any luck. Before we left I just had the simple thought to bring an English Book of Mormon. So we went housing and again no one was interested but as we were riding home we past by a lady who didn't look Japanese. We decided to go talk to her so we did and she is from the Philippines. The next day she was going to go back on vacation. She asked for our contact information so I wrote it down in the Book of Mormon. She seemed excited to have it and I'm so grateful I followed the prompting to bring an English Book of Mormon.
So as a zone we are doing Power Dendou (power missionary work) where we try to work with the members everyday. We made a list and sisters in the ward signed up for a day. They pray in the morning for the missionaries and at night we share the miracles we see throughout the day and we also share a scripture. Well, one day we had Kirigaya Shimai and the first person we talked to on the train was her friend! Kirigaya shimai told us that her friend emailed her and wants to meet up with her! It was a really cool miracle and hopefully she will want to start coming to church activities.
Friday was zone meeting and it was amazing! I felt the spirit so strong and I know the zone leaders were inspired. It helped me so much. After zone meeting I sat next to a lady on the train and we started talking and then she eventually asked me how I study Japanese because she said I was "jōzu" which is like skillful and then an idea
popped in my head. I pulled out the Book of Mormon and said "Kono hon wo yomimasu." (I read this book). She seemed fascinated and long story short she took the Book of Mormon. It was an awesome miracle. It is now my new goal to give away a Book of Mormon to someone after every zone meeting because last transfer that's what I did.
Also, that same day on the way home, I talked with another lady. It wasn't as "successful" I guess you could say but I came out of that conversation so happy and proud. I was talking with a lady and I was asking if she believed in God and she kept saying no no no and then it was kinda quiet and I was going to change the subject because I could tell she wasn't interested but then I had a little conversation in my head. I don't know if I heard these words or just thought them to myself but I'll phrase it like this, "Sister Lacey, why are you in Japan..?" I waited a few seconds and after feeling guilty I turned to the lady again and said, "watashi wa Kamisama wo shinjiteimasu. Kamisama wa watashitachi no Ten no Otōsama desu. Soshite, kamisama wa minasan wo ai suru da to shitte imasu." (I believe in God. He is our Father in Heaven and I know that He loves everyone." She just looked at me for a few seconds and then completely changed the subject. I don't think I've ever felt so good after talking with someone. Again, she wasn't interested, didn't ask any questions, but I knew I did what I was supposed to. I know I am here as a witness of God's love.
I love you all so much! I can't believe that in a few short months I will be halfway done... It's insane how fast this all goes by. As I have been serving I have definitely realized how missions help you for the rest of you life. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity.
Love Sister Lacey
Monday, August 10, 2015
So.. Where do I begin...? That video of Jason and I exploded. One morning I looked at my iPad and I had a billion notifications from facebook. That's pretty crazy about how many views and shares the story has but then, here comes the funny part. Every morning we have a zone call and then one of the zone leader said that he saw a video of me and that everyone should check it out. Then, just wait, it gets better, we had interviews this week. I was scheduled to be first. Pretty much the first thing President Nagano said to me was, "so I saw an article and video." I think I sunk in my chair a little. I think the lady who wrote the article sent it to him. He thought it was cool and read the article to me because it's blocked on my iPad. To make a long story short President thought Jason was assigned to my mission. I told him it was Fukuoka and he said, "wait, really..? I started a rumor that he was coming here..." Haha so that was pretty funny and then I was talking with Sister Nagano and she thought the same thing but I said no he's going to Fukuoka and she said, "Oh that's good because we were already thinking that we could never have you two in the same district or zone." Haha it's been a crazy couple of days and whenever I talk to any missionaries they always say, "oh by the way your famous" or "I saw that video." Also, some missionaries thought I got special permission to do a FaceTime call to watch his mission call opening haha and even some members have said, "did you see facebook?" Or "I saw your article." And the elders in my district told me for their meal hours they spend it reading all the comments on the video that people have been saying. So, again, it's been a crazy couple of days. It's weird being famous ;)
Okay, so now moving on to this week. It's been so busy! On the way home from visiting a less active, we were on the train and I saw this one lady who looked very sad. Sister Teruya sat down by her but was talking with a different lady. The women I saw had bruises and wounds all over and I've just never seen someone look so sad in my entire life. I finally obeyed the promptings I was having to speak with her and she smiled so nicely when I spoke with her. I couldn't understand everything she said but one word I heard her say sounded a lot like the word "death" in Japanese. I was a little confused but tried my best to just be friendly with her and show her love. I had the feeling to give her a Book of Mormon but then we arrived at our station. Sister Teruya and I were talking and figured out that she said the word "suicide" so we ran back on the train. We started talking to her and comforting her and showed her the Book of Mormon. She had been in an abusive relationship and was on her way to go commit suicide somewhere. We were trying our best to tell her that we loved her but especially that God loves her. We read some of the Book of Mormon with her and told her that there is a purpose of life. We went well out of our area with her just comforting her but knew we could only go so far. She took the Book of Mormon and she seemed a little better when we said goodbye. I'm not sure what happened with her and I hope she is okay but I know we were in the right place at the right time and I'm so glad I followed the promptings of the spirit to talk with her. That was my first experience speaking with someone who wanted to commit suicide and I've seriously never seen someone look so sad. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary and to be able to do all I can to share Gods love.
This week I have really started to understand the importance of having Christlike love. I've realized when I truly love the people I try to do everything I can for them. When I first got her I sort of had the wrong impression of one of our investigators. I was told that she was in a down and wasn't really going anywhere so I didn't really focus on her or try to form a relationship. But then, last week, I decided to just get to know her. She comes to church everywhere but isn't ready for baptism. I had really good discussions with her and we bonded so much. This week we have been in a lot of contact and I love her so much! She is amazing. She knows the gospel is true she is just scared of something.
Last week I asked Jason to send me a simple email of his testimony and how he decided to be baptized. One of our Philippino investigators has been having similar concerns as Jason had so I read what he sent to her and it helped her a lot. She still doesn't really see the importance of making the gospel a priority and said she just feels like she's missing something. We asked her what that was and she said she's not sure. So we are going to try to help her figure out what is holding her back.
Namatame San came to church for the first time yesterday! It was a lot of fun and the members we very friendly and welcomed her. She had a great time and wants to get baptized but she is busy next week with Obon and so hopefully she can get baptized onor 13. We talked about baptism and the Holy Ghost and she is excited but she said she's scared to be fully immersed in water. We told her she will be okay.
Okay, so I'll finish off with what I learned from President Nagano. He is such a great man. We were having a really good discussion. He said that if my mission seems to be getting harder then that is because I am being trusted to do more. He said I'm not given as much grace because I can do more. We are asked to be perfect but when we can't do everyone that is when we receive grace. So anyways, we had a really good talk and he is such a smart man and I learn so much from him.
Last scary story. We had zone PDay today and literally within the first five seconds of playing capture the flag, Elder Dimick almost died. He was running and tripped over a rope and landed on his face. Elder Solomon and I ran over to him and others followed and he couldn't breath and then his eyes rolled back and he had a seizure. We were terrified and then he just went limp but then he was perfectly fine. It was the scariest thing but I had some hope because there were a bunch of priesthood holders around. Anyways, he's fine, he'll just have a major black eye for a while.
I love you all so much! Thank you for everything! I miss you! Aishiteimasu!
Love, Sister Lacey
Monday, August 3, 2015
|Making rice bowls|
Can I just express again how my mind is still blown that Jason is coming to Japan?!? It's so crazy and I'm so excited!! Let's just say I've probably learned like 1000 new words this week and Sister Teruya is teaching me funny and very useful Japanese. She says she doesn't want Jason beating me with the language because he has 6 more months than me and I totally agree. Game on.
So This week was really good! I think I'm finally getting used to the humidity. Just kidding. I'm not. I didn't think heat has a smell but it does. I can't explain it but yeah. The air is so thick it feels like I'm drowning. But, I love Japan!
We saw a huge miracle on Tuesday! We went to meet a PI for a few minutes. She is from the Philippines and had met sister missionaries before but nothing really happened. We met her at an eki and she brought her mom! She had been telling her mom how much we have been helping her (I have been contacting her through facebook and she had told me some trials she's going through so I have been sharing scriptures and videos with her). They both work a lot but said soon they have vacation and they said they can't wait to finally sit down and meet with us. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she is so excited to read it! I have so much faith and hope for hem and I hope they get work of soon because I believe they will progress fast.
On the way to visit a less active I sat in between two ladies on the train. I wasn't sure who to talk to first but I kept feeling to talk to the one on the left of me. I finally followed that prompting and turns out she has been to Utah before, knows about Mormons, and has seen the Salt Lake City Temple! And I found out she can speak English too. It was so cool and she had to get off at the next station but I gave her a chirashi and invited her to come to church.
We met with our other investigator from the Philippines and had a good lesson. She loves the church and believes it's true but she has concerns with her family and she says she likes being catholic because there's not so many rules but she likes how our church focuses on families. Hopefully we can help her see the importance of how there's only one true church here on the earth.
Our only Kodomo eikaiwa students mom brought a friend this week! Now we have two students and they are so cute! Teaching children english is kind of making me want to be a teacher after my mission... We shall see. Although I'm really interested in technology and want to study it. Hmmm. I have plenty of time. Anyways, back to dendou. We had two people come to church today and it was great! Olga San took the sacrament for the first time and said she felt so happy and different after she took it. I talked with Rei San more about concerns she's having and tried to help her. We had a good bounding moment and I really understand that we need to love the people we teach. It makes so much more of a difference when we have Christlike love for others.
I know this gospel is true and that this is Gods work. I would not be able to do any of this if it wasn't for His help. I know I need to be a more consecrated missionary and have more faith. I don't want to have regrets when I look back on this time. I want the Lord to always trust me to guide His lost sheep. Sometimes I'm hesitant to follow the spirit but I realize when I follow the spirit I never regret it but when I don't follow the spirit, I always regret it. I love you all so much! You're amazing and I miss you all! Aishiteimasu!
Love, Sister Lacey