Towada has been great! I love it here so much. Saying goodbye to everyone in Yamagata was hard though! 2 transfers felt too short.
I spent most of Wednesday riding buses up to Aomori ken, but I had a little bit of finding time with Elder Gagnon who was transferring up to Misawa. We had just a tiny bit of spare time before our bus left, but we decided to use every minute and went finding in Sendai. We got mostly just kekkoes but we were able to find one high school student who was interested in God, we got his LINE and have been chatting a bit. Hopefully we will be able to pass him to the Sendai Elders soon! After our DTM on Thursday, the Shurtleff Fuufu gave us a ride down to Towada! And it has just been straight miracles ever since.
Every day we have been able to find at least one new investigator. We have been trying really hard to seek revelation for where to go finding, and so far nearly every area we’ve gone to has had someone who agreed to let us come back. Every time we would knock doors for a while, and after getting rejected for a while, we would question if we were in the right spot. But we would decide to just try a little bit longer, then we would meet the person we were supposed to. Every time!
One night we had planned to visit a newish Investigator who is in college, and lives pretty far away. It was a crazy blizzard and it was almost time to head home, but we decided to sacrifice a bit of our dinner time and go visit them anyway. After walking through snow blowing horizontally for a solid half hour, we got to the apartment, knocked on her door, and she wasn’t home! But, I was sure we had been prompted to go visit her. And we were soaking wet and so cold! I concluded that the Lord was just testing us to see if we would follow the Spirit. But I was still ticked haha. Then, as we were walking away, we passed by a young lady looking at her car engine. We offered to help but she said her car was ok, she just had to check something really quick before she went inside. We started talking a little more and found out that she is a practicing Catholic, possibly the first one I’ve ever met in Japan! We asked if she had ever heard of Mormons, and she said she has heard the name but doesn’t know anything else. We explained what the Book of Mormon is and gave her a copy, which she gladly accepted! We have been chatting
over Facebook a little bit and she told us she doesn’t want to change from being Catholic to being Mormon, but is open to hear a little more about what we believe.
We met with an Obaachan Investigator who is super nice! She said that she was thinking about being baptized but that she doesn’t want to be tied to her parents and siblings in the afterlife (I think her familywas pretty abusvie or something...not totally sure) so she changed her mind. We were able to explain how she wont be forced to be with any family members that she doesn’t like, and that the sealing ordinance is not mandatory after baptism. Besides that, families will only be together forever if they honor the temple covenants anyway. It was so cool to see the spirit soften her heart as we focused on her concerns. We called President Sekiguchi to get special permission to teach her at her house (she lives alone so normally we would not be allowed to enter her house), he asked how old she is and when we said 82 he laughed out loud and told us it was fine.
Yesterday we experienced the power of prayer—multiple times we felt like we were trying our best, but people just weren’t answering the door or people weren’t friendly, and we weren’t sure where else to go. We decided to stop and say a prayer; right after, I felt like we needed to turn left at the next road. We turned and I was keeping my eye out for good-looking houses or apartments, but didn't really see anything. Then all of a sudden I realized there was a college-age girl walking right towards us! We stopped her and she said he had metmissionaries before around Christmastime, and that she and her friend wanted to try coming to church sometime to see what its like!!! We were able to give her the info for our church services and re-invite her to come.
Later we were at a dead end with our finding again, but we prayed and found a new investigator at the next apartment we went to! When things started to die down again, we prayed and felt prompted to visit a less active member who the Elders have tried many times to contact in the past, but have never been able to meet her. But she was home when we stopped by, and super friendly! Then during our last little bit of finding time, we were in the same type of spot and decided again to pray. We had a goal to find 2 investigators that day, and had found 1 so far, and we were about out of time to find the second one. But we prayed to be able to find this 2nd new investigator during our remaining time. I looked up when we finished praying and my eyes just went straight to this 2nd story door a block or so away. We made our way towards the house, but it was really hard to find the road that led to this house. We ended up knocking on all the doors around it, walking in a big circle back to the road where we started,
but then eventually found what we thought was a gravel driveway but was actually the road that led to the house we were looking for! We went there and there were 2 doors—we knocked on one, and got kekkoed right away. But we walked up the stairs to door #2—the one I had looked at right after our prayer. We rang the doorbell and waited—and waited—and waited—and there was no answer. We started to turn back, and made it down the stairs when we heard the door start to open! A nice-looking grandma opened the door, and we started talking to her from the bottom of the stairs. As soon as she realized we were Christians, she slammed the door on us. Haha. I just thought...”Heavenly Father...why do you do this to me...” Because we had tried so hard to follow the spirit! And we felt sure that this was where we needed to be. We started making our way back toward the road down the gravel driveway, and realized that there was one more house on the way back. We decided it couldn't hurt to knock on it, and an old man came to the door. He was very open to talk, and even told us that he had read the Bible before. He is Buddhist, but says learning about religions is very interesting. We explained what is different about our message from other Christian churches, and showed him the Book of Mormon. He flipped though it and then handed it back, but we told him it was a present and he was so happy! He agreed to let us come back again next week...and we met our goal to find 2 new investigators! :)
I know God answers our prayers! Even if at first we think it’s too late, even if we are ticked off at God for not answering our prayers—the answer will come! They will come in His time, but they will come. I think sometimes He makes us wait so He can teach us to be humble and patient. But everything He does, He does for our benefit. He really does love us! I know it and I am so glad to be able to share it :)
Love you so much Mamasama!!!!
|Last few days in Yamagata|
|Watanabe and Paskett|
|The new district|
|Elder and Sis Shurtleff are military relations missionaries, so he gave us a "challenge coin!"|
|More from Yamadera (last p-day in Yamagata)|