Date

January 11, 2016

Area

Nishiwaki, Hyogo

Companion

Bean Shimai

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Akemashite Omedetou! (Like 2 weeks ago, sorry for no emails)

So remember when I used to do a miracle board every week and I said I would probably do that for the rest of my life? And then I got lazy and stopped doing it? This past week was too full of miracles not to write them down somewhere, so the miracle board is back! (... With no picture because I forgot to take one. But it's back!)

I learned again this week that when you look at your life and you look for God's hand, you see it. Sometimes it's kind of quiet but there, like a thumbs up saying "hey you're good, keep going!" and other times it's like a high five that hits just right and everyone around can hear it and you just feel really accomplished after. ?¿ oh man, describing a high five. Anyways, we had both kinds this week!

Monday: we met a referral from the Elders, and she and her mom were both so nice and friendly! They talked to us in the cold for a good 20 minutes, said we could come back anytime, said they'd go get ramen with us sometime.

Tuesday: we had mission leader council, at which our lives changed forever! I can testify that the Leaders of our church and mission are 100% led by God. This probably doesn't make sense to anyone who's not a missionary so I'll keep it short, but anyways from here on out companion exchanges will all be held in our area, and the 10+ hours of time/week and $250ish/6 weeks Bean Shimai and I spend on a train are GONE! SO much more time to work in Nishiwaki! Because of this new rule, we have seen Nishiwaki grow so much already.

Wednesday: our companion exchanges in Nishiwaki started off with the sisters getting off at the wrong train stop, then walking all over Nishiwaki trying to find their way to us. In our endeavor to find them we decided to take a short cut by the river. It was really dark and we couldn't bike through the weeds, so we ended up putting our bikes on our shoulders and walking through a small jungle of weeds for a good while. (Pictures below) but anyways, we found them and it was an adventure fitting 6 girls into one small apartment!

Oh, another small miracle- we ran into a girl we have been wanting to see for a long time in the most random way. We were walking down the street and saw this really cool house, so we thought "oh let's go ping pong (ring the doorbell) and see if anyone's home". As we were walking up the driveway, two high school girls walked around the corner and one of them ended up being the daughter of a member we have been trying to meet! God's guidance= real.

Thursday: The elders got a phone call from a mom and daughter who wanted to learn about God. They asked if they would meet at the church, and so Bean Shimai and Fullmer Shimai met them at the church. Basically, God found us a Japanese Bean Shimai. Ballerina, born in December 1994, had the same knee accident... Crazy similarities. But not only that, this mom and daughter had a ton of interest in our church, and said they would come to church, both accepted a Book of Mormon, asked really good questions like "why are there so many churches?" ... Just really solid, good people. But wait, there's more! (See Sunday:)

Friday: ran into another girl on the train who we have been trying to contact.:) Also, a member set up a really cool opportunity for us to share why we are in Japan! Go awesome members!

Saturday: we went to visit a less active member at her apartment complex, and she wasn't home. But there was a mom and like 10 kids who live in the apartment cleaning up trash at the park, and around the complex, and they let us help them out! (Which NEVER happens, people just say 'no we're okay thanks' and don't let us join in.) it was so fun! I love service. Jesus went about doing good, so I want to do the same!

Sunday: on Sunday, the mom and daughter from Thursday walk into sacrament meeting.. And then the dad walked in as well! We were able to talk to them afterwards, and get to know all of their religious backgrounds. They are a fantastic, close family- not your average family where the dad works all the time and daughter is busy with school and sports. Anyways, we introduced the Book of Mormon, they all said they would read it!

Then, today:This family calls us, and say `We read the Book of Mormon as a family yesterday. Would it be okay for us to come to the church and get baptized today?`.....

WHAT?

I`ll be honest, folks- my mission has been full of lots of thumbs up`s from God. but this family is the biggest one yet. This week, I got to learn even more that God`s guidance is real, his timing is perfect, and He is the one who is in charge of what we do every day.

.....So please pray for this awesome family! I don`t know if I can write their names or not, but We`ll just call them S family for now. Please pray for them to continue to have a desire to become an eternal family:) I haven`t even known them for a week, but I love them.

Life is good:) Thanks for the prayers, support and everything else! It is noticed, felt, and appreciated:)

-愛してます!
アレン姉妹




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