Monday, December 1, 2014

Hi Mamanoff!

My dear Mama! I love you so! 

I:m happy you had a good Thanksgiving and got to spend time with Dave:s kids! 

This week I said a specific prayer of gratitude for the Fowles kids: sacrifice of selling their home. Like, I know most of them are grown up and have moved out anyway, but I know it's probably still sad for their home to get sold. So I just cried and prayed to Heavenly Father feeling sad for them, feeling so grateful for them, and so grateful still that my Mama gets to come Home. 

This week was Thanksgiving! We got to have dinner at the Chapman family home. We had the whole works! It was so nice! 

Then as me and Kanno Shimai were leaving, Sister Chapman ran upstairs and brought down some little treats for us: chocolate chips! Swiss Miss hot cocoa! and Peter Pan Peanut Butter! I have a little place in my heart for Peter Pan Peanut Butter, because when I was a bean here in Izumi last year, ( I think I probably told you this story) a brother in the ward was talking to me and my trainer one Sunday after church. 

He asked me what food I missed from home, and I told him Peter Pan Peanut Butter. I didn:t know it at the time, but the reason he was asking me was because he was going to America in a few days on a business trip, and when he came back to Japan, he brought with him a big ole jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter for King Shimai. It was so nice. Its funny how sometimes little things like peanut butter mean a whole lot more than just a yummy snack! For me then it was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. 

So it was fun to get another big jar of Peanut Butter from Sister Chapman and remember the little good things in life. 

Our investigator Obara san is doing great! A little while back we were talking about our living prophet, President Monson. I was telling her that if we follow the prophet, we will be blessed. Then she asked me to explain that to her, with an experience from my life. 

So I told her about a time when I was really sad, and Mama wrote me a little letter encouraging me to follow President Monson:s recent counsel to count my many blessings. I shared with her how my mission President gave me that same advice when I was really homesick as a bean. So something I:ve done is most days on my mission, after writing in my journal at night, I write down one blessing of the day...a little blessing from Heaven that I:m grateful for that day.

How very much following the prophet has blessed me. Being grateful for the simple little everyday things matters and it makes a difference. Then at one of our later lessons, Obara san told me that she was changing! So I asked her how. She said that because of the experience I:d shared with her, now when she writes in her journal, instead of writing all the bad stuff that happened that day, she is trying to focus more on the good things that she is thankful for that day! She says now its so much more fun to look back through her journal and see all the good things! 

Something else I:ve been thinking about lately is how everyday can just be kinda dull and half-hearted, always kinda waiting for whatever exciting, fun, big thing is coming up next. But if you think about it, there are only a few days in life that have super big events. Heavenly Father doesn:t just give us all these days in between just to "try and get through the day" or "make it through this week." If we:re living that way, then pretty soon, the weeks just pass by, and nothing changes. Our life is everyday. Its why we are here. Of course there are times that are super hard, and require us to wait and patiently trust in God.

But day to day life is usually pretty normal for most folks. So whether we just "make it through the days" or feel that its beautiful and meaningful is a result of our perspective and choices. We can choose to find comfort and goodness in the little things. We can choose to let love be our motive. Something my mission president:s daughter said (in one of her letters home when she was a missionary in Korea) was "What if everything was an act of love? Each day could be filled with small, holy experiences." 

Truly, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Stopping to look up at the sky and be grateful for the pretty clouds; choosing to do the dishes out of love instead of because its your turn. I:m grateful to Heavenly Father for gratitude and love, because they are real, and they can bless our day to day life. 

Well, that's about it for this week. We finished going on all our splits this week, and this coming week we:re heading to the Honbu for training! 

Love you so so much! Kingu Shimai

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