Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ayaka Chan

Well if there is one thing that is evident after this week of emails is that Alyssa loves her new companion.  They seem to have adjusted to each other quickly and Alyssa is already learning so much from her.  Companionships can teach us all kinds of things about ourselves, both our strengths and our weaknesses.  I like something she mentioned that she learned from her mission president.  It is "that we are all learning how to become senior companions, and so basically we just need to learn the good things from each companion and apply it, and then forget the rest. We don't need to dwell on the negative or frustrations because someday you will set the pace in a companionship."  Very solid advice,  not only for a missionary but in life as well.  It sounds like together they are weeding our their teaching pool,  inviting many to come unto Christ and making solid progress in the work.  And as always, she mentions again how much she loves being a missionary:
"This week was just another good and solid and fun one. Honestly I really love being a missionary. Sometimes it can be rough, but overall it is so great. I am always so happy and we have such a blast and I love Japan. And feeling the Spirit every single day is so cool, because it means I am just automatically happier and elevated and I am already trying to plan what I can do when I get home to keep up this spiritual high. It really is just the happiest way to live when you are following the principles of the gospel as much as you can. I am just learning so much about the person I want to be when I get home, and I am just so grateful for my mission every single day."
I am so proud of her and especially of her relationship with the Savior.  Here is her weekly group email:

Minasan, Konnichiwa!

We had another great week here in Yamatokoriyama, Japan! I know that I
literally say that every single week, but I am not even sorry because
it is so true! There is literally never a bad week on the mission I
think...for sure there are definitely weeks that are harder than
others, but that doesn't make them bad, it just makes them harder and
that means that it is a time to grow and so all is well! But anyways,
sorry for the tangent, this week was great!

Edwards Shimai and I are growing so much as a companionship, and it is
so much fun. She is such a strong and hardworking missionary with such
a fun personality, and so we have a blast like every single day. I am
learning so much from her, and it is fun because she is really pushing
me to become a better missionary every single day. She likes to do
things like give me some fliers and then shove me in the direction of
some random people and tell me to chase after them and teach them, and
I am sure it is thoroughly entertaining for her to witness, but I am
also grateful because I am becoming a better missionary slowly but
surely. I am still so weak and have so much to learn, but I think I am
on the uphill climb, so that is always a positive! We really do have
such a blast though (as you will see evidenced in some photos below),
and we have even gotten to the point where we both woke up last night
because we were sleep talking to each other but then we woke up in the
middle of our sleeping conversation and laughed for a good while...ahh
you guys, being a missionary is seriously just the best.

We taught a bunch of lessons this week, and that was great as always.
I really love teaching, because it makes me feel like I am actually
fulfilling my purpose as a missionary, and so that is happy thing. We
are trying to teach literally every single person that we come in
contact with, and that can be exhausting at times, but it is also so
satisfying. One of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced
is going to bed each night here in the mission and being dead tired
but know that I worked hard and spent a good day in the service of my
Lord. It is honestly the best.

Our investigators are doing so great as well. Our cute little grandpa
FINALLY set a baptismal date! It is currently at the end of August,
but we are confident he can be baptized sooner and so we are working
with him on that, but we are just so happy with his progress! Cute
little Ayaka Chan is still so golden as well. She came to church AGAIN
and another baptismal service and she reads the Book of Mormon every
day and prays and really believes in Jesus Christ. She is super shy
and so she is kind of nervous and is wanting to take things slowly,
but we are also trying to get her to have an official baptism date by
the end of the transfer. I am feeling very hopeful about her, and
selfishly I want her to be baptized SO badly! I really am excited for
the chance of maybe getting to be a part of finding, teaching, and
baptizing one person...sometimes that can be kind of a rarity here in
Japan as the average convert here takes about three years of
investigating...but that time is definitely hastening as the Lord is
moving His work forward. I feel so very blessed to be apart of so many
miracles here in Japan!

Some other cool things from this week were ZTM where we learned a lot
about how to use PMG more (that manual is so inspired, I invite you
all to read it) and how we can sanctify ourselves even more and become
more obedient. The longer I am here the more I realize the more
obedient that I can be, and the crazy thing is that I WANT to be more
obedient! Back when I was a young and foolish youth I never always had
the most positive mindset about obedience. I mean I was always
obedient, don't worry, I am not that much of a heathen, but I never
really understood the significance...but here I have truly come to
realize that every single chance we have to obey is a chance we have
to receive an incredible amount of blessings for ourselves, for our
loved ones, and for our investigators. Obedience brings miracles, and
I really do see that!
I want to become as obedient as I can so that I
can receive all those blessings that the Father wants to bestow upon
these amazing Japanese people that I teach.

Just one last thought that has been dwelling on my mind these past
couple of days comes from the New Testament in Matthew 10. It reads:
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess
also before my Father which is in heaven.
This scripture was shared with us when we were in the MTC, but lately
I have been pondering it a lot lately as I really try and talk to
EVERYONE I come across. Opening your mouth is a hard thing. It was not
something that I thought would be difficult for me, but surprisingly
it has been, especially in another language. However this verse
reminds me that if I make every single effort to open my mouth and
speak of my Savior, the Savior will speak of me to the Father. That is
seriously so merciful and such a blessing, and it has been a great
motivation for me this past week as I try and elevate myself to the
type of missionary that I want to become.

However, I know that this scripture does not just apply to
missionaries, and so now I want to give all of you guys the challenge
to think about how often you are speaking of the Savior, and then I
want to invite you all to speak of Him more. Our knowledge of the
Savior is one of the greatest blessings that we have, and how can we
not share that? There is someone who died for us, who suffered for us,
and who lives for us still, and so how can we not tell that joyful
news to everyone around us? I know that as we speak of the Savior, we
will not only be fulfilling our missionary duties, but we will unlock
the windows of heaven to receive more mercy and grace from our loving
Father in Heaven than any of us could even imagine. I know that I have
seen that in my life here, and I know it to be true. Jesus Christ
lives. He is our Savior and He loves us more than we can comprehend.
He invites us all to speak of Him and follow Him, and as we do, we
will NEVER regret it.

I love you all, I love my mission, but most importantly, I love my
Savior. I am so grateful to wear His name every single day and try my
best to honor that in every way I can.

Have an amazing week everyone! My love and prayers are with you all!

Sister Pickering

Sister Edwards and Sister Pickering
Ghetto Fondue


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