Well in some ways this week was a trial of faith. Two weeks ago in a single day we found 7 new investigators (more than some areas in a single transfer) Then in the next two weeks we found no one. And then half the new investigators didn't show up to their appointments, and the other half dropped us after only 1 or 2 visits. But despite that trial there were miracles that far overcame all that!
There were far more than this, but I will share two of the most amazing from this week
The Rugby Comeback:
Remember the Tongan family? Whose last name was also Tonga? They have been here in Saijo for a long time. Brother Tonga is a member, but he has been less active since high school. And Sister Tonga is a strong christian in another faith. Recently She has made amazing progress and wanted to be baptized. But as they always do some obstacles appeared. She started to question her decision to be baptized. To make matters even worse. Brother Tonga's rugby contract has expired they will actually be returning to New Zealand in a few weeks making her emotions wild and further making the decision to be baptized difficult. She has really been struggling.
But yesterday the sisters were teaching her and asked her how she feels about baptism, she said "I still just don't know" And over comes brother Tonga. Who normally has been really passive about the gospel. Not really doing much or being especially involved. But we've been noticing a change in him the past few weeks. And now it is clear he has changed. At that moment he walks over to them and says boldly to Sister Tonga, "What do you mean you don't know? Don't you know that if you get baptized we can get sealed together in the temple? Our kids can grow up in the church! Think about what this means for our family." Even now I'm getting a little emotional because I know what a change must have come upon brother Tonga for him to have done this.
Also this week some people gave them champagne as a going away gift. And sister Tonga was going to drink it, but Brother Tonga comes up and says, "Hey if you're going to be learning with the missionaries and maybe getting baptized we can't do that." So they didn't.
Brother Tonga, though sitting quietly in inactivity most of his life, is rising up. Rising up to be a man of God, and from this his families lives and so many more will be changed forever.
The Middle School Miracle:
We've been trying to get a member to the Morita Families lessons for a while and finally we were able to get Brother Tohma to come. We thought he was going to meet at the church and drive over. But apparently he was walking, so we met at church and walked 30min to the Morita's. Brother Tohma has one leg longer than the other so we really struggled, but he gave it his all it was so amazing. Then we get there, and it turns out that the wife Sister Morita (Also one of the happiest kindest people I've ever met) was one of Brother Tohma's students in middle school. In fact she was his first student in the club he did when he moved to a new school. And she was the only one in that club, so they knew each other very well. But at that time she was really struggling. Because of family and other difficulties her life was really struggling and everyone was worried about her. Tohma kyodai especially. He prayed so often for her. And then finally 10 years later his prayer was answered when they let the missionaries into their home and began investigating the church, finally in his words, her chance at true happiness.
Needless to say that was a way good lesson. The morita family finally began to understand what this message really means. Whenever Tohma kyodai talked they listened intently to every word he said. And he is becoming the means to answer that prayer he prayed so long ago, that a poor struggling middle school girl might have help and find happiness in her life.
There were miracles so above and beyond this, but unfortunately my time wears thin.
I love you all and pray for you!
Well transfers came and gone and.....
Nothing happened, in our whole district. Actually we were pretty surprised we thought for sure someone would transfer, it is pretty rare for a entire district to not change, but Saijo is experiencing so many miracles, and all 8 of us (plus God makes 9) are working so well together and so many miracles are happening I think that is why we all needed to stay at least for another 6 weeks to work together. I'm excited for that!
It was also new years which was pretty exciting! We got called by Tohma Kyodai (brother Tohma) who invited us to dinner at his house that night at 6. But before we left we got a call from the sisters who said they were bringing over a box from Tohmas for us, but wouldn't tell us what it was. We all met at our apartment building, and then Sister Ito begins to explain (even Sister Williams didnt know) That because on New years, people give their children gifts, and since we, the missionaries, are all like Brother Tohmas children he got us all G-shock watches (not cheap) with colors specifically chosen for us. We were pretty surprised, but so grateful. He is such an amazing man!
Then we went out to his house to have new years dinner. We come in and there is just this box on the table. We were a little confused. Then he opens it and inside is layer upon layer of all the most interesting crazy different unique Japanese food you can find. Fish eggs, strange sushi plants you name it it was there. Apparently it is a new years tradition. And us being all 4 American Elders he wanted us to experience/ see how well we could actually eat the really strange stuff that was there.
Elder Henderson struggled quite a bit, he saw the box and put his head in his hands saying, "oh no oh no oh no" But he made it through. I did much better than I thought, eating everything and telling him it was delicious, (though it was...different) Apparently I did the best on eating weird new food and he told me because of that he prophesied my Japanese would become really good. So I’m excited for that to come true!
At the end though we laughed about it and he brought out the classic super delicious american food he actually usually makes, this time a delicious turkey with cranberry sauce and crescants. It was a super fun night!
And then finally on Sunday Sho got confirmed! I actually got to do it, and I was a little nervous because I've actually never done anything like it before. But it was in english so it wasn't nearly as worrisome. It was a really amazing experience though. The spirit was so warmly and strongly there. Everyone in the circle could feel it. It's amazing when you give those blessings how the spirit really does guide you to know what God would have you say.
So you could say this was an awesome week!
I love you all and thank you for all your support! Deepen your conversion by continuing to read, pray, and participate in Sacrament and temple ordiances and you will find the source of greatest joy!