The first week of this transfer was GREAT. We've been seeing so many miracles with our investigators, and proselyting has been fun (but very cold still). This week has reaffirmed my theory that two friends are much more effective than two missionaries. Our mission president is all about that too---he calls it "synergy," the extra energy that comes from companions being united. For related theories, see 1+1=3 and Mum's two horses=10 horse power. But yeah, Grosland Shimai is on transfer 5 and her previous companion was a little slack too, so she's willing to work hard and loves the people. Plus she has a TON of faith. My job is to teach her a ton of Japanese (I didn't realize how good I'd gotten until I had someone to compare myself to) and help her learn the area fast because it's likely she'll be training next month when 13 new sisters come into the mission (our current total is 20). And we're helping each other learn how to do effective missionary work. Being the older of two missionaries for the first time is a little scary because there's pressure for me to do everything right, but I learn a ton from mistakes too. And I'm doing all the cooking again, which is much more comfortable for me (see this week's comics).
Follow-up from last week: did you take a look at that church magazine article about media standards in the home? What else are you learning in your study recently? Any cool service projects? How are your prayers being answered lately? It's fun hearing about chickens and bagpipes and tv shows, but one of my favourite things is hearing about your spiritual experiences and insights. It gi es me an extra boost for the week! Dad, I remember you talking about that Japanese woman at the temple even before I left for the MTC. That's so awesome that she's still coming every week! I look forward to meeting her. Thank you for spending that time at the temple every week! And thanks Mum for taking care of everyone at home!
This week we didn't plan it, but we spent a lot of time with investigators focusing on answers to prayer and recognizing the Holy Ghost. We talked about it in Relief Society yesterday too. Being a missionary and having to rely on the Spirit has taught me a lot about what the Spirit feels like and what I can learn. More often than not, answers come quietly and unexpectedly---not when I'm looking for them, just when I'm waiting and going about doing good.
Today I wasn't doing anything special---just hanging up my laundry and listening to one of my companion's EFY cds. There was a song about having a spiritual conversation with a stranger on a plane. A man admitted he might be an aethist, except that there were so many gorgeous things about earth that it couldn't have been an accident. The hearer told the man what she believed about Heavenly Father, our Creator, and how He designed everything from the rings on Saturn to a newborn baby's ear. While I was listening to the song, suddenly my eyes filled up with tears and I felt a gripping in my chest. In an instant I knew that the quaint song lyrics were true, that God lives and that all things are in His care. I didn't hear a voice or anything, but the feeling was an intense warmth that filled my whole being for just a few seconds. The moment passed, and as suddenly as it came the feeling was gone and I went back to hanging up my laundry with a quiet prayer in my heart of gratitude for feeling a manifestation of truth I'd needed recently.
The Holy Ghost acts as a teacher, but one of the Spirit's roles is to help us remember truths we've already learned. Jesus taught His disciples, "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). The Holy Ghost brings to our mind and heart things we've learned at times we need them. After baptism, when we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, we're promised we can have that comforting teacher's presence at all times, not just every now and then, as long as we are worthy. I'm so grateful for the gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, because I couldn't get through my days without Him. I know that the only way we can get that special gift is through the Priesthood of God held by faithful members of this church and none other. This is Heavenly Father's living church and He knows what He's doing.
I love you family and hope you have a great week! You're in my prayers and I appreciate yours!