I have officially been in my first snow in Hokkaido! Luckily it was relatively far away from where I live at a members house, and we were able to ride in the members car, so we just got to play in it, and throw some snow balls :) There is nothing sticking yet, and today is really sunny, but this morning when we went out for morning sports all the puddles from yesterday's rain/frost were frozen solid - it is getting pretty cold! It wouldn't feel so cold most of the time, except for that it starts getting dark now around 4 in the afternoon - by the middle of December it will start getting dark around 3! It's super early, and it makes dendoing pretty difficult because there aren't as many people on the streets (everyone wants to stay inside when its cold and dark :) ) and housing in the dark can feel a little iffy sometimes... so we try to make evening appointments as much as we can :) But all in all we're doing great! We can still ride our bikes, and we've stayed pretty warm - but I am a little nervous for when the real winter sets in! :)
Well it turned out that this week was not the week for Eiko san to be baptized. She hasn't been feeling well for the past week or so, and so we weren't able to have any lessons with her this past week - we met her once for about 15 minutes at her door, we just stopped by to see how she was doing - and although she is sick, she expressed how fortunate she feels to have met the Mormon church, and she is even keeping the Word of Wisdom! We are hoping to meet with her in the middle of this next week when she starts feeling better and set a new date. We tried so hard all week to be able to have her be ready for this past Sunday, fasting and praying, and doing everything we could think of - but it wasn't the timing that the Lord has in mind. But we know that he does have a time in mind, and that everything will happen when it is supposed to happen. And although we didn't see a baptism this week, we had so many other blessings in return! We got a call from an investigator that we haven't talked to in a few weeks, and she made an appointment with us! We were able to meet with a part member family for the first time since I've been here and rebuild a really good relationship with them - the daughter is about 17, a recent convert of about two years and recently she's been inactive, but she loves Joseph Smith and knows he was a prophet. Her mom loves the missionaries and I really feel she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of prayer - she just has to overcome some word of wisdom addictions, but she knows it is true. Then on Sunday we had one of our investigators show up at church unexpectedly! It was 2 hours after church had ended of course, but luckily there was a Relief Society activity going on and we had just happened to come back to the church to talk to a member when she came in! She was able to reconnect (she's been investigating for about 15 years - the last time she came to church was about 10 years ago! ) with a lot of the members, a few of which even remembered her and made her feel welcome which was great!
I've learned that as a missionary, and in life, it is important to plan - but more important than the plan you make is that through planning you show God that you are willing to work - and when you show him that effort he will bless you with His plan, which often times is totally different from the one you prepared :)
I'll end this week with a scripture that I have come to love, Alma 26: 35-37
"Now have we not great reason to rejoice? yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had such great reason to rejoice as we... for (God) has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on His name.
...For this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from an everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of his people...
... Now my brethren we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen"
I love you all! Thank you for your support, love and prayers!
I hope you are all doing well! How was the mission president's seminar in Korea?
Sister Sheri Budge