Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Apr 4,2017 Until we meet again, may God be with you." - Lloyd Newell to me on April 26th"

Hello all,

This is the last hoorah! I'm going home on Wednesday! 

We've been too busy with General Conference this week so I haven't had time to be sad. 

Also, here is my replacement Japanese sister. Her name is Sister Halvorson. I got to be her companion for 2 hours on Friday when she came to Temple Square from the MTC for a short visitors' center training! 

And I got this wicked spider bite (?) that started spreading and burning around my arm. Sister Risenmay says "Well, everyone needs a story about the last week of their mission." 

(don't worry guys I'm better now and I'm not bringing home disease)

So yeah, this was it. 18 months of telling people about how they can find peace in life by following the teachings of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful. I can say now with conviction that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is truth. 

I know it because I have met doctors and scientists and educators, as well as little children, young students, and humble visitors have their faces light up as they learn and make sense of the message of the Restoration fo the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I know it because I get that same lightbulb face as I read the Book of Mormon and the Bible together.

I know it because I have seen a stadium of 21,000 become reverent and full of love and awe when the living prophet Thomas S. Monson walks in for General Conference. 

I know it because whenever I share that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith to restore lost truths, I feel love in my heart and guests that have never even heard of Mormons before say "that makes me feel peace." 

Friends, following Jesus Christ is not easy, but it is worth the lasting peace. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Mar 28, 2017

So since General Conference is this coming weekend, all of our going-home meetings and trainings and housekeeping things have been moved up to this week. The main thing that I learned from all these meetings and lectures about what to do when you finish your missionary service is this: DO NOT LOSE GOOD HABITS. I was kind of planning to sleep for three days when I got home to Japan, but I NOPE. I got called to repentance. Things like waking up on time, going to bed on time, praying all the time, and studying the Bible and Book for Mormon are habits that are so simple, but make all of the difference. I think the reason I feel so great and happy as a missionary is probably 30% because I'm a missionary, and 60% because I'm doing these physical and spiritual necessities. To anyone reading this, if you see me lose these things when I get home you have permission to slap me. Kindly.

***************************************************************************************So I saw my beloved old Provo companion Sister Lenogon, and while we were taking selfies, Sister Li who we used to teach in Provo walked by us and shouts excitedly, "啊 武重!我受洗礼了!“。"Takeshige! I got baptised!" 

Mar 21, 2017 "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Hello crew,

Some guy interrupting our zone conference 


-end of email-

Mar 14, 2017 "I Held Hands With a Man This Week"

This week!

We went to a senior center to spend some time with friends:

This is Pauline, Harry, and Don. Don loves to hold hands with people, so I held hands with him for 30 minutes. It got really sweaty but his grip kept getting tighter and he would start muttering panic noises every time I tried to pry him away. I guess I'm glad that I made a new friend.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mar 7,2017 "Where There is a Will (dimsum) There is a Way (dimsum)"


Once upon a time, when Sister Sookhoo and I were companions, we had preparation day on Tuesday. We also shared a love for dimsum. We decided to go get dimsum one Tuesday p-day. We got to the dimsum restaurant, and it was closed. They had a sign that said "Open Monday-Sunday. Closed on Tuesdays". We felt much anguish.

We vowed on that autumn afternoon that if ever we were transferred to a different zone and got the same non-Tuesday p-day, we would come get dimsum so that our friendship and companionship would be cemented by shaomai memories. 

6 months/4 transfers later it finally happened. (Look how much we are glowing (it's from the grease of the glorious foods we partook)) 

Some other cool things that happened: 

We took a VIP tour of some fancy humanitarian work representative from Israel. It was really cool, and he was very kind. 

AND THEN 10 MINS AFTER THE TOUR WE MET THE REAL VIP. Elder Stevenson, an Apostle of the Lord, and his lovely wife. 

We just ran into them at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and they were so sweet and warm. 

Also some other exciting things happened, like meeting a sweet woman from Germany who said that she would love to learn more about the things that we teach. It's sad to admit, but sometimes I assume that European people are not interested at all in listening to the message that we share as missionaries. But then this German woman helped me know that my assumptions were wrong and that I need to stop deciding their interest level for them. 

Also there was a group of school kids misled by an over-enthusiatic disagree-er of the LDS church, that decided to come to Temple Square this week to tell us that what we believe is wrong. And they did so very directly. I appreciated their concern for our welfare, but was not so appreciative of the spirit of argument and contention that they brought. Is it bad to admit that I found secret joy in watching Temple Square security take them away? 

Either way it was a really good week of good events and good food. 

Sister Takeshige 

Feb 28,2017 "Hebrews 12:6"

So in the missionary world, we use the term "killing a companion" when your companion goes home. 

Bye bye Sister Goncalves. 

Also here is Sister Nunez and I's last picture together. She also went home. 

Look how happy she looks. 

Here is my new companion. This is Sister Lu from Tai zhong, Taiwan. She loves ramen and loves to clean our apartment. She is also about the same size as me, and has cute clothes. Also whenever she speaks, people listen so intently to her words. Also she was half trained by Sister Nunez. This is going to be a good transfer. 

This week I feel like I was nonstop being chastised and fixed up. But it's not like people were straight up yelling at me. I just had a lot of experiences where I realized that I could do better. That's the awesome thing about God. He always wants to make you improve. He doesn't just throw us down to this earth and leave us be. He gives us Taiwanese companions who are so bomb at talking to people and sharing scriptures and helping them understand the teachings of Jesus Christ to show us how we need to work hard too. 

"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth" (Hebrews 12:6). 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Feb 21,2017 "Busy Week! (Nothing Feels Better)"


Happy Valentine's week everyone. 

This week was packed with 10000 things. 

On Valentine's day we went and served a special lunch at the Millcreek Senior Center. 

It was really nice to get out of our regular Temple Square routine and just do a service project and do something nice for people. We don't get a lot of opportunities to spend time with people and just be their friend on Temple Square. Everybody is always rushing to the airport or rushing to the temple or rushing to some concert. At the Millcreek senior center most of them had bad knees so they weren't rushing anywhere. The best part about this service project is when two ladies were asked if they wouldn't mind being seated with two gentlemen, and they said, "Yeah, they don't even have to be cute. They just have to be rich. You sisters remember that for when you go home from your missions." 

On Friday we had a mission tour with Elder Kim Clark from the Quorum of the Seventy. He taught us a lot of things. Here is one of them:

 I learned that overcoming our weaknesses is a life long endeavor. In Ether 12:27, it says, 

"27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

Elder Clark pointed out that in this scripture, it doesn't say "weaknesses (plural)". It says "weakness (singular)." Meaning that this scripture is referring to the fact that we are weak. I used to see weaknesses as kind of like a checklist. When we conquer one, we can move on to the next. But nah, that's not what the Lord was saying. He's not saying that he'll point out things we need to develop one by one. He's saying that we as human beings, in general, have weakness. We are tiny minuscule beings in this big big world. Sure we might overcome some trials and overcome weaknesses, but they will never completely go away and we will always need to rely on our Savior Jesus Christ to show us how to improve. 


We also took a tour with a couple that basically said, "We have friends who are Mormon, and we came to Salt Lake City specifically to learn about your church." They were so touched at everything we were sharing that they basically cried the entire tour. "We have been to all kinds of cathedrals and churches in Europe and even Vatican City, but we have not felt anything as strong as we feel here on Temple Square." 



We also made lasagna. I never thought I would want to eat it again, after being fed lasagna basically every single night in Provo, but here we are.

Happy Feb 20th. 

Sister Takeshige