Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Perfect Week in Japan :)

NOTE: This letter was supposed to be posted on Mindy's blog... ! :D LOL  Oh well! You can read it on either! ;)

I don't have any words to describe... just the perfectness of this last week. These last two weeks even, and the cap was yesterday.

Living in Japan is a beautiful thing, but living in Japan and being a missionary is another thing entirely. Christmas is totally different, and I was expecting Christmas miracles and a normal day where we dendoed on Christmas, plus maybe a few Christmas presents.

At the end of yesterday though we, both my companion and I, were completely emotionally drained. In a good way! I didn't know that that was possible. We were all energy the whole day and by the end of the night we were super quiet. When our district. leader called we were like, "How do we even narrow it all down?"

So here's a summary of yesterday:

We woke up early and under our cute tiny undecorated Christmas tree my companion and I exchanged the Christmas presents that we had gotten for each other and the ward. :3 I was so fun! Sister Keiser got me a
pair of Gudetama cooking chopsticks and a Gudetama contact lense case for after I get home (she's great). I got her two 'My Friend Totoro' pens. :) From the ward, we got blankets! :O Cute little blankets that are so so cute! We were so happy. After we opened our presents and read our letters we got ready really fast and ran to the church where we skyped our families. It was such a special treat to see everyone there waiting for me and so involved in the conversation. I felt a lot of love and felt my concerns about going home fade just a little bit.

After that we had ward mission correlation meeting in which my companion and I brought a gift we had made together that her mom designed. Little Christmas tree ornaments! We shared them with all of the members of ward council after everything was over.

After that we started to head out of the building but were stopped by one of the youth who brought a cake he had hand made for Keiser Shimai (she loves cake), and a... well, something un-dendo related for me that I hid in my suitcase for the next two months. It was awesome! We were on our way out and as we went the members stopped us because on top of the advent calander they had given (with a gift every day) they had a huge box of gifts for us prepared! We carried the huge box home and then went wirh Sara, Shugo, and Hiromi to their apartment. There
were a few hours till Chrostmas dinner so we dendoed in the area. At one point at a fork in the road my companion and I stopped, looked down the same road and simultaneously said, "Should we go this way?" We went that way and at the end of the road, last house on the right, we found a new investigator! We aren't sure how much potential she has yet, but it was awesome!

Afterwards we watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas and opened presents and had Christmas dinner with Sara and Shugo. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of time to talk about it, but it was so so tender and I felt so special to be a part of it. Hiromi is the less active girl we have been trying to get to church and Sara and Shugo did Christmas with her just like she was their own daughter yesterday.It's not hard to see how much they love her. I was in tear so much

Just the perfect day.

Love you all! Merry Chritmas!

Pics later!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Noticing that I am Loved and Cared For

Hello, dear reader. :) After procrastinating sending in my broken computer for most of the year, I finally sent it in and got it back! :D I can write again! :D As for the past many months... Well, life has been just crazy! As crazy normal here as it is anywhere, I suppose.  ;) Life is good. It is filled with challenges... and blessings! :) It is filled with struggles, and victories! :D Yeah. I have nothing to complain about. ;)

But I DO have something cool to share...

For some reason, God has decided to make a special effort to reach out to me and to show me that He is TOTALLY AWARE of ME, and of MY needs. He loves me so much!!! :D I know He feels this way about all his children not just me, but that does not diminish the experience for me in the least and I will not take it for granted!

I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life. With big things (very big things), and small things. The big things are easy to appreciate and not take for granted, and often have to do with others. I am often prompted to bless another, and this shows me that God loves the people that He asks me to serve.

This week, the Lord served me.  :)

There have been several blessings. I will share one.

I bought a small black hooded coat from Costco last year or so. I LOVED that coat! It went missing a few months ago. I think my purple gloves may have been in the pockets, too. Sniffle. Sniffle. Oh well. As much as I loved it, I used to think that maybe I SHOULD have gotten the teal coat. I never forgot that. Anyhow, I have thought of that missing coat often lately, as the days have gotten cooler. I have a beautiful pink coat that is perfect for spring, summer, and fall, but I was very concerned about not having a coat for winter. And I really wanted my Costco coat back!

Earlier in the week I went to Costco and noticed that they had those coats again. Only I was too late. There were only a few left. They were all black, and the smallest one was a medium. So I bought a black medium. I wished they had a small one... in teal. I really wanted a small, teal coat. But they were out. I thought of the small teal coat they probably had before I realized they were back. I thought of it several times with just a tinge of regret for having not been to Costco sooner...

Then, a few days later I needed to go back to Costco to return something, and kept getting this prompting from the Spirit, "Go now. You need to go to Costco, NOW." I didn't know why it was urgent, but I went. I went directly to the return line. I chatted with the lady in front of me. When her turn with customer service came I turned to the lady behind me and saw a kid's Costco coat in the basket. "Is that one of those cool hoodie coats?" I made eye contact as she smiled and we corresponded briefly with each other. "I LOVE those coats! They aren't bulky at all, but they are comfortable and SO WARM! I just got one the other day to replace my missing coat. I wanted a small turquoise one, but by the time I saw it all they had left were black medium's. Oh well." "Small turquoise?" She asked. "Yeah." I responded, "I bought a small black one a long time ago, but I always decided that if I had the chance again I would get it in turquoise." The lady then lifted the kid coat on top and a few other items and pulled out a small ladies turquoise coat. "Like this one?" she asked. "Oh my gosh, yes!" I exclaimed... "Are you returning that?" :D

Turns out, she bought it for her daughter and realized she didn't need it. I was so happy! :D I tried it on, and sure enough it fit. :D And I bought it and it is mine! :D

I know it may sound like nothing to you, but I felt the hand of God in my life. It isn't even anything that seems to matter. But it does. He created us, not to merely exist, but so we can be happy. He knew that having that particular coat would do MORE than meet a need for me; it would bring me joy. And He really cares. He cares, not only about meeting our needs, but also about us having some of the things we WANT. And He cares enough to prompt us to be in the right place at the right time so we can experience these simple joys. :)

I hope you know how much God loves YOU. I hope you know that He wants YOU to have your needs and righteous wants met. I hope you know He wants YOU to be happy. And He knows where you need to be and what you need to do to have those opportunities. He whispers in a still small voice to each and every one of his children. He loves each and every one of us so much! I pray we all listen and obey so He can bless us as He hopes to. :)

Corine :D