July 13, 2016




Celeste Barton


Hello everyone!
This week has been the greatest highs and the greatest lows (which I'm pretty sure is how it always goes).  As we get closer to Japan, I feel like I know nothing of this language, and I'm still trying to grasp the language of the spirit and love our investigators so that they can feel God's love through me.  I'm so grateful I am able to spend 9 weeks here to practice though.
- Operation ABC (Akagi's Birthday Celebration) For those of you who don't know, Akagi Choro has been withholding his birthday for some time, and we knew it was in July (we've bugged him about it almost every day...).  But, everytime you log in the email portal to email the branch president, you enter in your birthday - SO I watched his computer and saw that it was the 11th.  (the elders confirmed this by looking at his drivers license while he was in the shower).  So we made decorations and a candle out of a chopstick and a paper flame and surprised him!  Even though he was surprised, he was so happy and couldn't figure out how we knew (it was the best).
- Pokemon Go was released recently, and many of the sites (I am told) and church sites!  Pokemon is bringing people to church and the temple! (and I wouldn't be surprised if the Church made a deal with them to do that...)

The spirit has been AMAZING this week.  Pierre Shimai has joined our companionship and she is a spiritual GIANT.  There was one time in a lesson where she started her testimony in Japanese and finished in English.  The spirit was so strong and you could feel her love for this gospel and Heavenly Father's love.  Our teacher (role playing the investigator) told us later that she could not tell Pierre Shimai that she didn't understand English because who could misunderstand that spirit.

We also got to clean the temple the last week! (the chandeliers and the room - they explicitly only gave the job of hanging the cleaned crystals to the sisters because apparently sometimes elders treat them like swords and break them)  We also got our name tags in Japanese!!

We've taught and studied a lot about faith this week, and I want share some cool thoughts (read Preach my Gospel if you want some other ones): Faith is an ACTION.  When we follow the commandments, we show God that we love Him.  Heavenly Father wants to bless us with all the happiness in the world.  Faith is hope for things not seen but believed.  Faith is what brings miracles (study the 2000 warriors in Alma).

I am praying for all of you and I really appreciate your support!If you have any questions about the gospel or the MTC, don't hesitate to email me!

Sister Atkinson


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