Date

August 31, 2015

Area

Higashi Osaka

Companion

Rowe Shimai

God's Love, Souvenier Coins, and Selfies with Strangers...

Hey fam and frands-

Life is good here in Higashi Osaka. The phrase "God is so cool" is being used day by day. Two of those instances this week:

1. A few months ago, Steere Shimai and I were lost while trying to
find a members house -sasuga. (typical, I know). We stopped a family
on their way home to ask for help, and it turns out that the mom is an
English teacher (tender mercies for dayssss)! They help us on our way,
we give them our number, and that's all from that story- Until this
past Friday. We had planned on visiting another member, but due to
lack of time, we decided to try to go visit one who lived a little
closer to us. We got to her house, and as we were praying before we
went in, a lady on a bike called out to us- the same lady we had met
on that same street months ago! She told us how she had tried to
contact us because she wanted to learn about church (um..what!?) but
the number hadn't worked. Anyways, we took care of that real quick,
set up a church tour, met her again the next day, and we'll be seeing
her again this week。*\(^o^)/* God's guidance is too good.

2. A member brought a childhood friend to church yesterday, and asked
us to teach her- we had a presentation in primary class, so she and
the friend tagged along with us to primary. It was so fun singing and
listening to the primary kids bear their testimonies. Afterwards, we
had a lesson about our Heavenly Father, how much he loves us, and how we can speak to him through prayer. Her friend wasn't really
religious, but she did believe in God- and as she listened to us share
stories about prayer and how it has helped us, she said "I talk to my
parents all the time, and it makes them happy and it makes me happy. I
think God would be the same. I should probably start talking to Him."
We agreed, and invited her to say the closing prayer. As we heard her
speak for the first time to her Heavenly Father, there was the most
amazing feeling in the room. the member cried, her friend cried, and
she said "I feel like my heart is so full right now."

That's what it's all about, folks- we are children of God, and He loves us. If we will let it, that love fills us up, turns bad to good, and makes us happy and confident and unafraid. It was amazing to be a part of helping one more of God's children come to recognize that for themselves. I sure do love being a missionary.

Other fun things from this week:

-we went to two different matsuris (festivals). At one we met this cool girl who is the Japanese version of Adele (she gave us her CD to prove it). So that was cool. we'll hopefully be seeing her again soon. At the other matsuri, we attempted to put on our yukatas ourselves (a process of 30 minutes), and accidentally crossed them the wrong way (the way dead people are dressed in them for their funeral). We had no shortage of people point
that out to us, but it was still fun!
- this week's ekaiwa (English conversation class) discussion topic was "what does your dad do for work?"- (if any of you don't know, my dad owns a funeral home.) so they got to learn a lot about the funeral business! I love ekaiwa.
- we have a few families who are doing our 30/30 program- 30 minutes English, 30 minutes gospel. We do it as volunteers, but the kids are so cute that it feels like I should be paying the parents to get to spend time with their cute families!
- we went to Osaka Castle last Monday! I found a souvenir coin machine. Best day of my life, no lie.
- Fukui Shimai (one of our investigators with a baptismal date) was finally able to come to church for the first time in a long time, and see so many of her friends there! It was such a good experience for her. Also, the opening hymn happened to be her favorite hymn- seriously, tender mercies for days.
- we got eaten alive yesterday by Mosquitos. Rowe Shimai- 42 bites. Watashi (me)- 37. All in the space of probably 1 hour. Ick.
- in Japan, the children's song "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" is frequently sung in sacrament meeting. I love it! I can't help but grin as the congregation talks about sharing the light of Christ "at home, at school, at play". As we taught in primary, one of the best ways to share the light of Christ is by smiling! When we smile, we are happy, people around us are happy, and I'm sure God is happy too.

So this week- don't forget to smile, don't forget to pray, and don't forget that God loves you!

皆さん、愛してます (^^)/~~~

-アレン姉妹




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