Hi Family! Loads happened this week and I believe if I hadn't sung hymns through it all I wouldn't have made it. Here's how they helped:
It seems as though every typical missionary letter home starts out with the weather. Well unlike in North and South America, in Japan it's been raining every day for the past week. It will probably continue to rain until October. What keeps my spirits up when I'm in my rain coat and rain pants getting absolutely pummeled by rain? "We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet." Listen, this hymn is my favorite! It's the only hymn I have memorized. I can play it on the piano and sing it at the same time without any sheet music. But it wasn't until I came on my mission that I realized how much missionary fire this song's got.
|1.||We thank thee, O God, for a prophet|
|To guide us in these latter days.|
|We thank thee for sending the gospel|
|To lighten our minds with its rays.|
|We thank thee for every blessing|
|Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.|
|We feel it a pleasure to serve thee|
|And love to obey thy command.|
|2.||When dark clouds of trouble hang o’er us|
|And threaten our peace to destroy,|
|There is hope smiling brightly before us,|
|And we know that deliv’rance is nigh.|
|We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.|
|We’ve proved him in days that are past.|
|The wicked who fight against Zion|
|Will surely be smitten at last.|
|3.||We’ll sing of his goodness and mercy.|
|We’ll praise him by day and by night,|
|Rejoice in his glorious gospel,|
|And bask in its life-giving light.|
|Thus on to eternal perfection|
|The honest and faithful will go,|
|While they who reject this glad message|
|Shall never such happiness know.|
The next one isn't in the hymn book and that's a shame. This is my favorite song on my Come Thou Fount CD by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (Shout out to my uncle Dave, who's a part of them and I couldn't be prouder.) It's called "My God, My Portion, and My Love" by Isaac Watts. He based it off of Psalms 73:26. Go on and read it.
This week was full of disappointments! We had a ton of appointments lined up and they fell through for one reason or another. People avoid rain like they're made of sugar! It was just a testament to me that we can only really depend on God. Us humans are imperfect, flawed, selfish creatures but God is perfect. He is the only thing that truly deserves our joys.
So while all this canceling was going on, we managed one appointment with the Tanzanian woman who came to church for the first time last week. SHE testified to US about how she knew that Christ was her Savior and had forgiven her sins. It's a beautiful thing: to witness all that dwell conspiring to lift the glories of God and Christ high. I love this opportunity to hear other's testimonies! When I hear their beliefs, it's more beautiful than this hymn when the Mo Tab sings it!
Then there's a second update: that member that wouldn't meet with us and wouldn't meet with us, made time for us this last Saturday! She let us into her home, listened to our message, shared some personal details about her life, drove us home nearly 50 minutes away, hugged us, and told us she loved us. As I thought about how we got this far, I honestly could say we didn't do anything. A lovely hymn called "Sweet Hour of Prayer" explains it perfectly.
I really really relate to the line "and since he bids me seek his face believe his word, and trust his grace, I'll cast on him my every care." All Christ asks me to do is to seek His face; that is do the things that bring me closer to Him. Namely, go to church, be a good person, read the scriptures and all that jazz. He asks me to believe His word. He asks me to trust Him when He says, "In me, you can do all things." He wants me to have faith in Him. That goes hand in hand with trusting His grace! I need to be humble and realize I can't do this on my own, but I need His help. I need to trust that even though my best isn't enough, Christ will make up the difference. Christ IS the difference. When I trust His grace, I know that my sins are forgiven me and that I don't have to repent for being weak.
And there are so many more but for now that's good! I have decided to glue all these together and make them into My Declaration of My Mission Thus Far. I can take no credit for writing these beautiful words I am simply copying and pasting them into a manner that suits my emotions. It's like a collage of poetry. My own anthology. I included some I didn't include in this email, see if you can spot them!
The girls she went to Tokyo with back in December
|So happy to eat Watermelon after all these months|