Dear family and friends,
Today was transfer announcement day (tomorrow the new transfer begins)...and I’m staying in Izumi with my companion, Yoneda Shimai! It will be my fourth transfer here in my first area, Izumi-and my third transfer with Yoneda Shimai. I love both Izumi and Yoneda Shimai and am grateful to be able to stay here for another transfer!! I can hardly believe I’ve been in Japan for four months already!
It’s been a wonderful past week and a half. We’ve had two Izumi ward sports taikai’s (activity)-one soccer and one volleyball–and went with investigators to both. The soccer taikai was intense-besides one other girl, Yoneda Shimai and I were the only girls-and Japanese people are so good at soccer! Yoneda Shimai and I were both pretty sore afterwards!
Last Wednesday we mogi’d (a practice lesson) with one of the recent converts, Yukina Shimai. She’s in her 20’s and the only member of the church in her family-but is planning to go on a mission in the next year! We studied the first lesson together and practiced teaching it with each other, switching who taught together. When I was teaching without my companion, Yoneda Shimai-I had to teach more and couldn’t fall back on Yoneda Shimai to help me. As I tried, I was able to teach a big part of it by myself! It may seem like a little thing, but I’m grateful for this small success that built my confidence in teaching in Japanese.
On Sunday we had a neat experience. Saturday night we both felt like we should contact a member’s referral-their neighbor who they wanted us to visit the next day (Sunday). We hadn’t been able to yet because they live far away, about an hour trip by bicycle, and mostly uphill. Yoneda Shimai and I were both still sore from the sports activities and tired, but we decided we’d go.
Sunday after church one of the ward members asked where we were going for the rest of the day. We told her how we were planning to go to Akenodaira. She and her husband (both return missionaries) offered to drive us there (and our bikes-so we could come back, mostly downhill)! This was an answer to our prayer, and it strengthened our faith that the Lord prepares a way for us to do what He wants us to do! 1 Nephi 3:7: “...the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” The member’s neighbor ended up not answering, but we were able to leave a note as well as visit some members in the area we’d never visited before.
I know that this is the Lord’s work! I’m grateful to be able to continue to serve in Izumi. I know that God loves each one of us. We are His children! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and I’m so grateful for His sacrifice for us.