Monday, November 7, 2016

Visions and Angels: Nihon Week 35

Minasan, Konnichiwa!

Hope that you all had a super wonderful week wherever in the world
that you might be! Unfortunately I do not have a ton of things to
email about this week....Satan decided to try and get me down (don't
worry, it didn't work though) and I was sick literally all week, which
was a major bummer because we didn't get to go out and work nearly as
much as I wanted to! I had the chance to participate in what a lot of
missionaries have fondly dubbed Lehi dendo (a.k.a. Sleeping lots in
order to receive visions and revelations lol) and as fun as it was, I
am super excited to get back to work this week. I feel that I was
super blessed with Fujii Shimai as a companion though, she was an
absolute angel to me. She took care of me so constantly and was so
patient even when I was being a punk and trying to go and work anyways
(she looked up vocabulary this week and proudly told me that I was the
most stubborn person in her entire life haha) when I probably
shouldn't have. Truly such an angel. So grateful for her!
I did get some time out and about this week though (I know, I am
really rebellious, gomen ne), and so I will just quickly summarize
some highlights below:

-We got to do lots of service! I love service. Not only do I get to
wear pants, but I get to feel the Spirit in such abundance during that
day. We had the chance to help a lady move, to clean a Japanese guest
house, and to dig some more holes. My companion and the elders banned
me from doing too much, but I still just love service so much. It is
so so great. Everyone go serve someone today please :)

-I accidentally ended up with another persons belongings again this
week. We are walking through this park contacting people and one
minute I am complimenting this lady on her hat and teaching about
eternal families, and then the next thing I know I am standing there
with a handmade and sewn dragonfly pin thing. I am basically the worst
person of all time haha, these people kill me.

-We found some inaka (countryside) in our area and it was the happiest
thing. We went adventure dendoing for a little bit on Thursday (it was
a holiday, hurray Culture Day) because there were so many people out
and about with their families, and then ended up contacting people up
in these neighborhoods in the mountains. It felt so much like
Yamatokoriyama and it was the happiest thing. Working in the city is
fun, but I love being in the Japanese countryside!

-ZTM! We all got together in Shimogamo and talked a lot about how we
can keep improving in regards to this baptism challenge, and then
focused a lot on how we can us our key indicators to improve our
studies and have our work be more focused to the glory of God. Super
good meeting, learned lots of things, I have lots of repenting and
improving to do but it is okay because the atonement is a thing.

-There was a YSA activity on Saturday night where all the young people
and friends got together and watched the Testaments movie! Before my
mission I was the worst and mocked that movie mercilessly in a lot of
aspects, but now I think it is the BEST! I just feel the Spirit so
much and cry so much every time at the end. Every time I watch that
video I just feel the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon SO strongly,
and I am always reminded of the love that the Savior has for me. The
Spirit in the room was really strong and at the end we had a little
testimony meeting and it was neat to see everyone so visibly touched
by the movie. One of our members had a friend there that we were able
to teach and give a Chinese Book of Mormon to, and so it was super
neat. Love dendo so much!

Because this email isn't terribly exciting, I will just end with some
closing thoughts I have had lately as I have been reading the Book of
Mormon! First of all, I love the Book of Mormon with my whole heart. I
cannot even put into words how much I love that book, and how much it
has come to mean to me on my mission. It is just so true, I cannot
even handle it! Anyways, over the course of my mission I think I have
developed this crush on Nephi (and not because he is large in stature,
lol)...his faith is just so amazing to me. For ZTM we were asked to
study 1 Nephi 3 and 4 and ponder what the chapters meant to us in
regards to this baptism challenge that we have going, and I learned so
many things. First of all, like I said, Nephi is such a boss and his
faith is incredible. I love his "Go and do" attitude, and that has
been something I have really tried to adopt on my mission. I need to
go get the plates? Okay, going. I need to build a ship? Okay, where
are my tools? I need to find and baptize someone before the end of
December? All righty, lets get started. Seriously I have been able to
learn so much from him. Another thing that I really loved is that they
were not successful in getting the plates from Laban the first took three solid attempts. The first time, they left it up
to chance who would go by drawing straws. Obviously that did not end
up so well, and the conclusion that I drew was that in our life, when
we are promised blessings and miracles, we cannot just leave it up to
chance on whether or not we will get those blessings. We need to be
righteous agents and ACT to follow the Lord. The second time they
tried to bribe Laban using money and treasure, and that didn't work
either. The same goes for us as well...when we receive commandments
and challenges from the Lord, we CANNOT rely on wordly methods to
accomplish His ways. This means we must follow the prophets, the For
the Strength of Youth, PMG, the white handbook, WHATEVER means of
divine instruction that we have. Finally, the third time, Nephi finds
success. He tells us that he was led by the Spirit, not knowing what
he was doing..but he acted and in that attempt he found success. I
know that is the same with all of us, in this baptism challenge now
and in every aspect of our lives. As we follow the Spirit and lean not
unto our own understanding, as we use our agency to trust God and do
what He asks of us, we will find that the way has ALWAYS been prepared
for us. It is just up to us to go and do and find it for ourselves :)

I know that the Lord loves us and that He has a plan for us. I know
that He has the way already outlined our us to have happy and
successful lives, and all we need to do is seek Him and then go and
do. I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I know that as we read it,
we can receive answers from God and that our lives will change! It is
true! Read it and you will find out for yourself, I promise. Lastly
and most importantly, I know that the Savior lives. I have felt His
love very strongly numerous times this week, and I know that it is the
same and outstretched to all of you as well. Please always remember

Hope you all have another amazing week! Aishiteimasu!

Sister Pickering

Photos: Ignore the fact I look sick in every photo, to quote my
beloved companion I "look like dead" haha. Also I hit 10 months
yesterday, so that is crazy...and shoutout Japan for being a
non-Christian nation (or so they think) and having Christmas
decorations up starting November 1st! Wooo! Also also Kyoto in the
fall might be the most beautiful thing of my life. Seriously in heaven

10 Months Down


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