Hello from the lovely island of Okinawa where it is summer all the time! Doesn't feel like fall here but at least it's not cold so I'm not complaining!
Anyways, this week has been great! It was a pretty busy week as far as appointments and proselyting! On Sunday I gave a talk in the Military branch and I talked on developing Christlike attributes. It was really fun giving a talk in English! I shared a lot of experiences from my mission of how I've tried to be more Christlike. I also shared my mom's mission experience about how she prayed for charity. I know that as we prayerfully try to be more like the Savior and have His attributes, Heavenly Father will help us to be more like the Savior.
Last P-day, we went to the famous Okinawa aquarium which is huuuuge. It has one of the largest tanks in the world which has even whale sharks in it! It was a lot of fun to go as a district as well as with some of the Young Single Adults from the military branch. We got to see manatees, turtles, and also a dolphin show! It was like a mini Sea World-- it was so cool! We also got to see the beach and it was so beautiful. I took TONS of pictures.
This week we got to meet with Melanie again who is a Marine and goes to the military branch here in Okinawa. She had us over at her apartment on base and she made dinner for us and we had a great time talking about missions since she served a mission in Brazil! Afterwards, she took us to the commissary which is like the American store on base and I got some Cheerios because it's been a long time since I've had American cereal haha. Let's just say it was really weird going to an American grocery store.
Anyways this week we had an eventful Friday the 13th!! We spent the day going to various appointments which included an "eternal" investigator named Atsuko. She basically goes to church every Sunday and reads the Book of Mormon and understands it as well as a member does and she believes in the Restoration but does not want to be baptized. The reason is that she doesn't want to give up coffee. We had a lesson with her for the first time in a while and just talked and I was trying to dig in deeper into her situation of why she doesn't want to be baptized. We were asking her questions like "Do you believe in the Savior?" and "Do you love God?" And I think she was kinda surprised about how basic the questions were but then we just straight-up laid it down and were like "listen, if you believe in the Savior and Heavenly Father and love them, you will give up coffee and get baptized" and it really hit her haha. She was like "I will pray and ask God if I should get baptized." I know that if we really do ask and pray to God for any question, He will answer us and give us the guidance that we need.
Anyways, as far as the Friday 13th, when we were going home it started raining soooo hard like the hardest rain I've ever seen and we got soaked! It was way fun!!
This week, I was pondering some of the things that I've learned from my mission so far, and if there's one thing I've learned, I have a testimony that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us and watches over us. He numbers His sheep and knows each and every one of His sheep. He knows exactly what we're going through and knows when we need help. But, He also knows exactly what we need, even if we believe that we don't need it. He gives us trials such illness, loneliness etc. so that we can overcome them. He knows more than we do and He knows what is best for us. I know that as we try to humble ourselves and seek to do the will of God, our lives will turn out better and we will get the strength that we need to pull forward. I also think of the Savior and know that if we get lost and stray from the path, He will leave the rest of the sheep and go looking for the one lost sheep. And then, He will lift us and carry us and bring us back into the fold. I have seen this with people I've met on my mission as well as with myself. The Atonement really does apply to everyone. I have been so grateful for the opportunity to be able to witness the workings of the Atonement in people's lives here in Japan and in my own life. I wouldn't give this mission experience away for anything and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord.
Anyways, Okinawa is great and I love Japan so much!! This mission is amazing! みなさんを愛しています!