Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why Koga is Prepared by God

Konnichiwa everyone! I'm so glad that some of you enjoyed my last email home! I hope tons of miracles come out of it. Worked for me.
Speaking of Japanese, this week I learned the grammar behind "konnichiwa."
Wa-Subject marking particle

I knew all this meanings since I've been at the MTC, but it finally clicked this week. Every afternoon I've spent in Japan I've just been shouting: "THIS DAY!" at people. You just have to love the Japanese language. 
This Sunday I witnessed my first baptism. It's a great story: The elders were riding their bikes home, and they were late. Despite their speed, despite the rain, a man who would eventually be affectionately named "Brother Alfonso" pulled his car over, jumped out, and inserted himself directly in the path of these rushing elders. He was returning from his father's funeral. His father had one dying wish: That Brother Alfonso and his family find the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brother Alfonso was already a member, but his wife and six kids weren't. His love for his late father and big family gave him the courage to step in front of the elders. On Sunday, his wife and oldest daughter were baptized by him. After the service, his wife cried and testified that their journey wasn't over. They're anticipating to be sealed for eternity in the temple. It was a gorgeous day. I can't help but be anything but smiles when I think about all the baptisms happening all over! I love to hear about baptisms back home, and in Peru and Kobe, and literally everywhere in the world and it's awesome. 

This week I also had my first Zone Conference. I'm afraid this letter is going to turn into a letter full of missionary lingo. Ask other missionaries this stuff is cool! But anyways Zone Conferences are cool because they're inspired, and we perfect our teaching and feel the Spirit but unlike Mission Wide Conferences, we get fed and there's more time to sit and chat with fellow missionaries. There are missionaries from all over serving here in Japan it turns out! Right now, we've got a Peruvian in our Portuguese branch speaking Portuguese! I met a missionary from Korea! He smiled pretty big when I tried to speak Korean to him. And the Peruvian elder was way happy to know that there is another Spanish speaker serving in the area where he once served. It's just way cool to know that no matter where we are, people will hear the gospel preached in their own language. God promised, and it's happening! 

I don't know what you want to hear about this week folks! I didn't take great notes..It was a long week..
Hey remember that email where I promised we were going to reach the Standards of Excellence every week? We did it again this week. Our next goal is thirty lessons a week! Are we crazy or what?
Here's something awesome: Every night at 5:00PM a song comes over the loud speakers of Koga. There are loud speakers everywhere. We can't escape them. I've heard a lot of reasons for them from other missionaries. It's a bell summoning children home. The alarm system is being tested every day just in case there is a natural disaster. But it plays this simple tune that vaguely reminds me of those Bioshock videogames. When Sister D. first got here, she started singing along to the tune. As if I wasn't already creeped out, she said she couldn't even remember how she knew the song. I was convinced we were being brainwashed until we received a package from my mom.

First off, thank you Sister Cottam and Caitlin for the cookies! They were marvelous. 

Second, she included an Alex Boye CD. The very last song on this CD is the song that I've been hearing every night here in Koga. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES. The song is called "Goin' Home" and it's about someone on the verge of dying, welcoming death openly because, truly, the speaker is "going home." It's apparently a popular hymn sung by choirs in England. The song started to play and we both widened our eyes. "No wonder everyone in Koga seems so prepared!" Sister D. exclaimed. "They listen to hymns every night!" Now we use that beautiful song as a tool for missionary work. We're bringing people home. Thanks for the CD, Mama. Everyone look up this song and listen to it when it's 5:00 Japan time and we can feel like we're together. 

I love you! I love my Savior because He first loved me! See you soon,

Sister Goldsberry

Eating Girl Scout cookies

You can only watch  this video on a computer, not a mobile device :(

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