Sunday, July 26, 2015

Weekly Downpours, Typhoons & Life-Changing Experiences Mail

Monday we headed south & spent some time at the Shuri castle. Okinawa has had quite a bit of Chinese influence throughout its history, so this castle looks a little different to most that I've been to here in Japan.
Later that night we were housing & half-way through an awesome contact with a guy who took a Book of Mormon, right when we were setting a return appointment with him, it started down pouring! He gave back the drenched Book of Mormon & shut the door and we hung around with hope that the rain would die down but it turned out to be a massive thunderstorm. We rode back home through rivers of rain water in the streets but the classic Okinawa weather proved to be a friend yet again with perfectly clear skies the next morning, just in time for companion exchanges with, my favourite, Elder Mismash. 

After reaching our investigator Gima we had time for probably one contact before heading back for Dinner so we walked a bit through a street & felt impressed to stop at one house. It started with a woman who looked like she was in her 50s open up, see my badge & immediately say (in Japanese of course), "I love Jesus!" And I was quick on the reply, saying, "I'm not Jesus, I'm nothing more than a missionary," which got her laughing and she ended up letting us in so we sat in her Genkan (the space where you take off your shoes in between the door & where you step up into the house) and taught her the Restoration. She was really interested in our message,  she is studying or part of a religion that believes Christ failed because there aren't scriptures saying that he was married, but was instead crucified. We shared with her 3 Nephi 27: 13-14 and with all the sincerity we had, testified to her of Christ's mission & Atonement & how it was fulfilled completely. I felt the same feeling I get when I take the sacrament, when I say a sincere prayer, when I learn from the scriptures, when I go to the Temple, when we have a powerful lesson with someone with a willing heart - the Holy Spirit. I felt my testimony grow stronger of the words that I was saying, right as I was saying them. I don't know what will happen when we go back, but I know that on that day we were led to someone who needed missionaries to share with her the truth that she could feel for herself. 

We rode to Ishikawa, an area north of here that was closed down about a year ago when they combined its branch with the Okinawa Ward, and had a bit of fun up there. 
We also met with a few members and seeing the fire & appreciation that comes from visiting members & sharing missionary experience is so worth it. I hope I can be uplifted by the missionaries regularly after I return home, and I don't want to take it for granted, especially after visiting a member family in Ishikawa who, because there aren't missionaries there, never have the chance to be visited.
Saturday was inside all day due to a Typhoon, and to top off the week, I translated for a Japanese member during the Sacrament Meeting of the American Military branch. 

I love Okinawa & I love my mission. 

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