Monday, March 2, 2015

Persecutions Galore

Last week, we were SO LUCKY to have Elder Ballard visit our mission. I got to shake his hand. It was awesome. Of the tons of counsel he gave us, he also told us this: "When it rains, just say: Yeah! We get to be persecuted all day!" That's sort of what happened this week.

It rained twice. It rained hard. Harder than it ever has since I've been here. Because of this, I realized that while many of the material I bought was water-proof, it wasn't necessarily mission-proof. But no worries family! No matter how cold we get, no matter how much pain we're in, it's nothing compared to what Jesus went through for us. He understands our daily struggles perfectly. The work of salvation is not a cheap experience! It's a bumpy ride! You may get wet! One way is through baptism and the other way is by riding in the rain to teach friends the gospel. It's hard both ways. We ask others to change their lives, and we experience a ton of heartache and physical aches. It balances itself out. 

On top of the rain, three of our friends told us they don't want us to visit anymore. That was way sad. Stuff like that happens all the time. It's a kind of heartache that only missionaries and possibly parents feel. But life goes on.

Also, I can't remember if I told you all about my companion's bike, but, like two weeks ago it suddenly exploded. We watched the tire blow up and up and up until it exploded. So we got that whole tire replaced and then the other day we're riding a long and I witness the mud flap of that same tire crumple and I hear a whoosh. She ran over a nail. When we discovered the nail, I yanked it out, wound up my arm, and chucked it into one of the millions of fields here in Koga. Sister O. only has three weeks left in Japan and this happened. To the same tire. But life goes on. (She is currently riding a borrowed bike, all is well.)

On one of these rainy days we went to see a couple referred to us by a Peruvian sister in our ward. All she told us was that these people were Brazilian. Well, after being dropped three times we were pretty desperate so we went to see them. We'd gone before but no luck. That night, as soon as we pulled up, they pulled up in their car. I wanted to high five Sister O.
As this couple got out of the car in the night rain, we tried speaking to them in Japanese. They just kept moving toward their house. In utmost desperation and humility, I asked them in Portuguese: "Do you speak Japanese?" They both stopped and looked at me. "Wait a moment," The man told us in Japanese.
He talked to us for a good ten minutes! We were able to teach him a lesson. I was way grateful that I took some time to let God teach me Portuguese as I stared at the Portuguese Language Books I found at the MTC. That was an awful run-on sentence. But I don't want to fix it.

I forgot to write this in last week. Thank you everyone for all the love you send me through letters! I can't believe you guys think of me enough to spend a buck on a letter. You're incredible. Last week I got a letter every day for four days in a row. And they were all from different people! I love you all, I'm writing you personal responses, but I just wanted to let you know I received them. Thanks to everyone else who's praying for me too. Sometimes just when I think I can't go on, I just pull out this strength from no where. I know ultimately it's from God, but also because of your faithful prayers for my well being. Thank you. Prayers work.

I'm eating fine, my legs are conditioned to nearly every hill Koga's got, and I love the people a little too much. It's beyond: "Oh, I want to live in Japan forever!" It's more like: "Sister N. won't you come live with me in Utah? Bring the whole ward!" I can't help it.

That's pretty much what happened this week! We saw loads of miracles, people are coming close to Christ here in Japan. I'm not sick, I'm not depressed, but I am out of things to write. And I still have to come up with a clever title. GAH!

Love you and I'll see you soon!

Coolish, Japanese ice cream in a pouch.


Opening her first package she got, with Guatemalan spices for her rice. Watch to see what happens.

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