This week we had a really cool experience while we were finding. We had been finding before, but weren't putting our all into it. On Saturday though, we had the whole day to find. As we headed out we prayed to make sure where we were headed was right. Then we headed out.
While we were biking Howden Shimai told me to lead the way. I told her that in theory I knew where we were going, since I had only really been there once or twice and not for a whole transfer. So we put our trust in Heavenly Father, and contacted people along the way. We were also able to talk with two of our Less Actives who the branch has been asking about but we haven't been able to get in contact with. They were both home, although neither of them were interested in hearing from us. We also contacted a lady on the street, but she didn't have any interest either. We have realized, and really feel that in Tsuyama, we really need to find those people who will be able to strengthen the branch rather than really needing to be strengthened. We are still keeping our eye out for everyone, and contacting everyone we feel directed to talk to, but now we have a little bit more of a focus. As we kept biking, I was trying my best to be guided by the spirit, and not over think where we were going. Each time we came to a place where I felt like we needed to turn, or to go straight, or to go this direction, we tried to follow those promptings. After a while, we came to the place that I had in mind. A ramen shop where McLaughlin Shimai and I had eaten dinner once before heading home. We had met this couple there that seemed interested, but because we had to answer a phone call from one of the members in the Branch Presidency, we weren't able to get any information from them. We knew that they must live close though, because we saw them riding their bikes home. Once we found the ramen shop, we said a prayer, and then listened to know where to go. Our thoughts were guided to an apartment building off the road, and down this little bridge. So, we headed over and said a prayer before we began housing. As we were knocking on the door of the first couple apartments, a girl on a bike rode up. Neither Howden Shimai or I felt directed to talk to her (we felt like we should just wait until we got to her apartment). So, she went upstairs, and we kept housing. No one was home, and we weren't having a lot of luck, but we knew that we were directed there for a reason. So we kept on housing. We got upstairs, and with only four apartments left, we ping ponged, and a girl answered the box. She seemed like she may have been a little interested, and didn't immediately keko us, but after about a minute, she and her boyfriend told us they weren't interested. I thought that she was the girl on the bike, and said a little prayer that we could be guided to someone who was ready to hear the gospel. We ping ponged the next door, and another girl answered. We told her who we were, and she told us to wait a second, and then she came to the door. There she was. The girl on the bike! As we talked to her, and told her that we had a message to share with her about the purpose of this life, she said please share. Please teach me! We were so surprised, and we knew that Heavenly Father had guided us there to find her. She told us that she was moving the next day to Tokushima (on Shigoku), and that we wouldn't be able to meet with her again. We told her that there are missionaries there as well, and she seemed really interested. After teaching her for about an hour, we asked if we could pass her information along to the missionaries in Tokushima, but she said she didn't have a phone, or an email, and she wasn't sure of her new address. She asked if we had their information, and we gave her a chirashi, and told her where she could get in contact with them. It was an amazing experience to really try and rely completely on the Lord as we were finding, and although we didn't find someone who could strengthen our area, we were able to find someone who was prepared. It also helped to remind us that there are others out there who are prepared now to hear the gospel, we just need to rely on Heavenly Father to guide us to them, and them to us. I have been thinking a lot recently about why I am here on a mission. Over the past 5 months, and even the 5 months leading up to my mission, my reasons have changed. I've realized though that one of the reasons I am here right now, is so that I can learn now how important the gospel is, so that one day I can teach my children that. I have really grown to love reading the scriptures, and praying, and bearing my testimony. I don't do it anymore because I have to. I do it now, because I want to, and I love it. I want to share the love I have for this gospel with everyone I meet, and I want to be able to help my children love it too. Being a missionary is the greatest, and like I said before. I couldn't be happier!
I love you all so much! You are all so wonderful, and I pray for you everyday. I know that your Heavenly Father loves you, and cares about you more than you'll ever truly know in this life. He wants to hear from you, and He wants to help you. I promise He hears and will answer you prayers!
I love you!