Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happiest News Ever!!!!

This letter is all about happy tears i think. However, I will only
include one very sad thing. Because this week was super happy.

N-chan. :( After an incredible lesson, where she expressed wanting to
be baptized and had felt the spirit while praying, we received a text
at 3am saying that she had researched about Mormons on the Internet
and asked us not to come over for our next appointment. I just felt
sick after reading that. A lot of tears were shed..after the spiritual
high lesson, then after the heartbreaking news that temptation caught
another one of the lost sheep. Cline Shimai and I took that one pretty
hard. We tried to visit her and call her, but after failed attempts,
she did not want us to come back. She will continue to be in my
prayers and in my heart, it was a tough experience for sure. Waaah. :(

Mom, since you are getting cline shimais emails I'll let you read her
details. We don't have a ton of time today! Going to district
activity, But we had a lesson with A-chan, oh my soooooo amazing. We
talked to her about the spirit and really figured out where she is at.
Cline Shimai and I had a little movie party this week. Invited YSA,
A-chan, B-chan, and recent convert T Shimai. Watched the testaments movie.
Docudhwnckdidje the spirit was so strong. One of the YSA members bore
her testimony after the movie and said that she could feel Christ in
the room. B-chan said she was excited for the second coming. And A-chan
was crying, she said she had forgotten what the spirit felt like. The
spirit is so good at His job. :) So then on Sunday, as we were talking
about the spirit, we asked her if she had knelt down and sincerely
asked God whether these things were true, and received a confirmation
from the spirit. She answered no, and with a little nudge from the
Holy Ghost, we invited everyone to kneel down together and for A-chan to
ask God whether it was true. Bet you could guess what happened
next..YES we were all in tears. T Shimai, her member friend bore
testimony and expressed how badly she wants A-chan to receive the gift
of the Holy Ghost. It was so special. I'll never forget these sweet
moments.

However, the happiest news ever...I just can't stop crying whenever I
think about it. ❤️ MATT AND MISTI ARE HAVING A BABY!!!??!? What an
incredible blessing straight from heaven. AHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHHHH I
CANNOT STOP CRYING SO SO SO HAPPY Misti!!! Matt!!! My heart feels like
it is going to explode, I watched the video and the spirit just filled
the room, my companion doesn't really understand the situation, but I
felt like Papa and grandmas parents were celebrating here with me and
we are so so so so happy. Oh, Misti and Matt. OH I just wish I could
call you up and we could scream and cry and pray together and just
thank the Lord for his glorious plan. Caleb and Sadie needed righteous
and trustworthy parents of the Lord. He sent them directly through
you, through a way that we just didn't understand at first. The plan
is so clear now, my heart is so full and heavenly, peaceful, pure joy
is real. I saw the video on Saturday, and I just start crying
whenever I think about it. :) You and your family and our loving
heavenly fathers plan have filled my thoughts and prayers. I have
shared this faith-filled story with members and investigators, and
your brothers and sisters in Japan are rejoicing with you! We love you
so much! So so much. Thank you for your incredible faith, you are my
heroes. God requires of us a broken heart and a contrite spirit, with
that and your faith, God has continued to pour blessings upon you. You
deserve all the blessings of heaven.
How lucky you are to be receiving so many heavenly blessings now in
this mortal life. I love you so much. AHHHHHHHHH ARE YOU SICK OF
CRYING YET??? Haha can you just cry with me for a little bit? :) I
love you guys so much. My heart is so happy!

Also, parks I've been thinking about you a TON. I love you brother.
I'm cheering for you and I get updates on you more than you think. ;)
Just want you to know that our weaknesses WILL become strengths as we
rely on the lord. With desires and faith to act, we can do it. He sent
you in your first area with your first companion for a reason. USE
your talents and personality. Do not fear men, investigators, less
actives, members, your companion, don't even fear yourself. The work
will NOT be frustrated. I know you are someone that the Lord can
trust. He wants you to be you, that's what he needs. Make it fun, make
it worth it, and come home every night with no regrets. You're my man
parks, I look up to you so much. We are as the army of Helaman, we
have been taught in our youth, and we are now the lords missionaries
to bring the world his truth. Xoxoxoxo

Just some scripture thoughts for your Monday...
2nephi 22:2
When I want to be comforted, I want to talk to someone. I want council
and guidance and support and love and healing. God is so brilliant to
prepare this record of scripture that he says 'whether through his own
voice or the voice of his servants, it is the same.' God knows exactly
what will succor his dear children. He wants to speak to us. I love to
read and know that Heavenly Father prepared these sacred words for me
and my family and friends and investigators.

"The more you feel, the more you understand" ....seek opportunities to
feel the Holy Ghost.

Haaaa this letter is so random. Sending love. Sending so much love. πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š
Sister Wilcox
video

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sweet Week!

I'm just over here DYING at Parker's letter oh my gosshhhhhh Parker
your mission will be SO different than I ever imagined and so
different from mine and shays missions. I'm jealous and want to be
dendoing in Arj with you!!!!! Hahah a man just straight up grabbed
you? Hahahahahahah your comp "Elder run!" Oh wish I got that on film.

But on a serious note, that's way neat that you give so many
blessings. Remember in Mexico going to those investigators houses and
that one lady received a blessing? The spirit was so incredible, I
won't ever forget that night. That's one of the reasons I wanted to
come on a mission so bad! I could see that the Lord does reach out to
His children, and in most cases it is through other people. I want to
be someone that He can use to comfort and uplift and reach and teach
and loooove- and you are so doing just that. Proud of you lil brother.
:) also. In reality, our missions are not that different.
For example:
1. Handshaking is different here too. It's like shaking a dead
fish and if I grab too hard, bones will be broken. a cute little touch
of the fingers is more than enough physical contact. #imisshugs
2. We don't buy milk in a bag BUTT we buy little schools of fish
in a bag that taste like mashed potatoes.
3. Everyone drinks from the same matΓ© cup? Yaaa at every drinking
fountain there is a cup you use to drink from. I don't know who's in
charge of washing those things but....mahh γ„γ„γ˜γ‚ƒγͺい?
4. When housing, We also need to get past the gate. Then we need
to get past the "kekkou box". In Japanese, kekkou means "no thank
you." So we ring the doorbell with an awk camera, and they watch you
as you talk into a box saying who you are and what you're doing. And
if they're not interested you hear a great big KEKKOU DESU. *thuper
duper exthiting* (what a girl wants)
{When I was serving with Mineta Shimai, I would stand in front of the
kekkou box camera and just mouth the words while she talked
....hahaha}
5. Lots of people ride bikes here too.
6. When we see dirt or grass it is a really exciting moment and
we always take pictures.
7. People are attracted to our cameras, too. We always ask people
to take pictures of us as a way to start a conversation (using the
only sentence mom and dad taught us in Japanese. Shasshin wo totte
kudasaimasu ka?) ;)

So. Whether in Argentina or Japan, life just isn't that different you
see. :) and the message we share everyday is the same. And the
feelings are the same. And God loves all his children with the same
perfect love we have all felt. DAKARA Issho ni GANBARIMASHOU! (Let's hang in there together!)

This week was sweet. A really really AWESOME week. Let me just give
you updates on the cherries on top of the million things that happened
this week.

Met with N-chan a couple times. She has been taught a lot, but my
favorite thing was when we were teaching about the Spirit. We
explained that it was the love of God and a really great feeling. We
did not really explain what the spirit actually feels like, however
when we asked if she thinks she has ever felt the spirit before, she
said, "Well if I remember correctly, at General conference I felt a
warm feeling in my heart."
Wowwww just such a miracle to me that for the extra few min that we
had, we went housing, found someone interested in the gospel, and this
person has now prayed to Heavenly Father, knows who He is, and has
FELT THE SPIRIT. She is really progressing and we have so much faith
in her! Please pray for N-chan.

Remember the girl (Y-chan) we talked to during "harp dendo" who
ended up inviting us over to her house? We stopped by again this week
and only had about 20ish min to visit. We prayed that we would be able
to use this time effectively and that the spirit would touch their
hearts. Well right as we sat down, she just started asking all about
missionaries and the church. The whole time we were able to testify
about why we are here in Japan and what blessings we receive from
living a Christ-centered life. It was AWESOME, then as we were about
to leave she told us to come back any time and tell her in more detail
about church. #yessssssss #answeredprayers

We got a referral from Sister Clines mother! Her friend had a Japanese
girl home stay with them, she lived in Utah for about 20 years and
just moved home to take care of her mom. We visited her and she was so
surprised and stoked to be talking in English again. (Sister Cline was
also stoked on English) Of course she knows a ton about Mormons and
has been to church a few times. Excited to meet her again!
#miracleshappenonceinawhile #whenyoubelieve 🎢

B-chan. We will finally get to officially teach B-chan. She wants lessons
at her house as well as at church, and her heart is changing and
softening its so VISIBLE gahhhh anyway yesterday, we had a lesson
after church with her and Imai Shimai. B-chan had looked up things about
Joseph smith on YouTube and obvs was not good. So she had a lot of
questions and doubts and Imai Shimai KILLED it and laid down the law
about Joseph Smith. The spirit was so strong. By the end of the
lesson, B-chan said all her doubts were gone. Also, sitting in on this
lesson was Yagi Kyoudai, who just last month has been coming back to
church after being less active for many years. At the end he bore the
sweetest, most sincere testimony I've ever heard. It was such a happy
moment. I love the gospel so much SOOOOO MUCH

Last story...
We had the best zone conference ever this week. We had a testimony
meeting afterwards, and it was the most sacred and special meeting
I've been in on my mission. One of the elders shared about coming on a
mission right after his mom passed away. He shared his testimony and
you can tell he knows the Plan of Salvation is so true. Earlier, When
the meeting had started, the song "if the savior stood beside me"
popped in my head. I turned around and imagined...or really saw the
Savior sitting with us. Then as I went up to bear testimony, the
chapel was filled with angels, and I really believe Elder Laumatias
mom was there. And Sister Humphreys mom. And so many from the other
side of the veil that want so desperately to help us. It was a sacred
and hallowed place for me, a moment I will never forget. I know this
is all so true. How can it not be? We cannot deny the feelings of the
Holy Ghost.

"I'll walk with you, I'll talk with you, that's how I'll show my love for you."

The Savior does show us love, and we can show love back to Him. Do you feel it?
I love you so much. Have a happy week!!!!.





Monday, October 12, 2015

Conference Thoughts

WASN'T CONFERENCE WONDERFUL? I couldn't have asked Heavenly Father for a clearer way to answer my prayers. It was all inspirational, familiar, and filled with such a joyful spirit. It was so fun to watch for many reasons. Sister Clines mom sings in the TABchoir, President Yamashita gave a prayer, Elder Whiting gave a prayer, Elder Aoyagi gave a talk, and of course Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Ballard spoke. We have been trained by all these men in the Japan Nagoya Mission. The familiarity of their voices, the words of apostles and President Monson, and familiarity of the conference center took me home for a while. ❤️ This weekend was very special.
(MY FAVS: Niell F. Marriott, Jeffrey R. Holland, Bradley D. Foster, Russell M. Nelson, Allen Haynie)

At the conclusion of this conference, my thoughts kept going back to families. And how excited and anxious I am to be a Mother.

I thought this was interesting. In preparation for training for DTM, I read this story which really tugged at my heart. I can't read it without bawling! Read this story and talked about Faith. Anyway this was Friday, then on Saturday, Niell F. Marriott, the mother of the young girl, told this same story. Tender mercy and tender moment. My faith is increased by seeing her faith and trust in the great Plan of Salvation.

Ten years ago as my wife, Kathy, and I were living in SΓ£o Paulo, Brazil, President David Marriott was presiding over the Brazil SΓ£o Paulo Interlagos Mission. He and his wife, Neill, and their sons Will, Wesley, and Trace lived near us. They had left their home, their business, and many in their family to respond to a call from the prophet to serve a mission.
President Marriott called me one afternoon. Their precious, righteous 21-year-old daughter, Georgia, a senior in violin performance at Indiana University, had been hit by a truck while riding her bicycle home after a Church meeting. On first report, Georgia was doing well. Hours later her condition dramatically worsened.
Family and friends began fasting and praying for a miracle for Georgia. Her mother flew through the night from Brazil. Arriving in Indiana the next day, she was met by her older children, who tearfully explained that they had been with Georgia as she passed away.
I watched the Marriott family at the time of this experience and in the months and years that followed. They wept, they prayed, they spoke of Georgia, they felt immense pain and sadness, but their faith did not falter. In this morning’s session, we heard of similar faith in the beautiful lives of the Bowen and Wilberger families.
The gift of faith is a priceless spiritual endowment.
We treasure our faith, work to strengthen our faith, pray for increased faith, and do all within our power to protect and defend our faith.
How do you remain “steadfast and immovable” during a trial of faith? You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others.
When faced with a trial of faith--whatever you do, you don’t step away from the Church! Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes into view.

I love this story so much. During the most painful moments of my mission, I realize that literally the only thing that kept me going were the same steps in this talk.
1. you exercise faith in Christ,
2. you pray,
3. you ponder the scriptures,
4. you repent,
5. you keep the commandments,
6. and you serve others.
As I think about experiences I had with practicing each of these steps, my heart is so full with truth from the Spirit that this counsel is directly from a loving Heavenly Father.
"Whether from mine own voice or the voice of mine servants, IT IS THE SAME."
We were just edified and touched by words of dear prophets and apostles, and yet it was our loving Father talking to us the whole time. How cool is that ❤️. I love Him!

Michael, thank you so much for praying specifically that investigators would come to General Conference. CHECK OUT THIS COOL STORY:

Remember our investigator we housed and tried to make a next appointment with, then she didn't come to church and couldn't contact, yada yada yada WELL on Friday we got this text:

こんにけわ。
γ‚­γƒͺγ‚Ήγƒˆζ•™γ«、γ‘γ‚‡γ£γ¨θˆˆε‘³γ‚’γ‚‚γ‘γΎγ—γŸ。
ζ•™δΌšγ§γ‚、どんγͺことするんですか?
ζ•™γˆγ¦δΈ‹γ•γ„。

IT SAYS
Hello.
I've had a little interest in Christ's church.
At church, what kind of things do you do?
Please teach me.

AHHHHHHHHH AHHAHAHAHAHA Sorry just a tad excited.
Soooooo we told her about #GenConf and she said ok. I'll be there.
N-chan is the name and she came to Sunday general conference!!!!!! :) we have an appointment with her tonight. Yay!

This week we went to institute with A-chan. One of the other YSA members there asked her why she still comes even without T-chan. She said she always leaves with a good feeling and is always glad that she comes. We are really trying to be so prayerful about what she needs because WHY she isn't baptized, we know not. She really is incredible, though.

Last Monday, cline Shimai and I went to a busy street near Gifu station. We brought a harp that a member let her borrow and she played her harp while I sang and talked to people. Hahah buuutttt we got a few numbers and passed out a lot of English class flyers. One of those numbers was a cute 17 year old girl who later texted us and said, "my mom wants to meet you guys! Can you come over for dinner soon?" WHOA THIS NEVER HAPPENS it was so fun. Were able to be in their home, build a good relationship, and try our best to bring the spirit into their home. We sang I am a child of God and shared our beliefs with each other.

Also met a super cute girl named S-chan, who is now doing 30/30 program! After our training at ZTM, I'm so glad Cline Shimai wants to use her talents more to hasten the work. I don't want her to ever be afraid the rest of her mission or her life to sing, or play, or make someone laugh, or comfort someone when they need comfort. She has many gifts from God. I totally believe the Lord uses each of our strengths, and because of our talents or personality or willingness or whatever, we were sent here. And Parker was sent to Argentina. And Shaylee was sent to Hong Kong. And Michael was sent to ?..Florida? And Jaren will be sent where his sweet testimony and witty humor will be needed. :) We are not perfect, but we sure are blessed. Blessed with gifts of the spirit. We should not be afraid to speak out and speak up, just like Elder Nelson taught.

Anyway, I love you soooo much dawlings. Thank you for your emails. You are full of the spirit and I LOVE IT AND LOVE YOU.
Have a fab week.
PARKER SO COOL YOU FINALLY IN ARGENTINA.
Song for you and song of the week,
"Heart don't fail me now, courage don't desert me don't turn back now that we're here. People always say life is full of choices, no one ever mentions fear. Or how the world can seem so vast. On this journey to the past."
Love you gump.
Love, Sister weerukokkusu


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

You're a wizard, Harry

OH MY the lodge looks perf! Shay your wedding is gonna
be such a party! How FUN! So exciting! Mom, noooo you don't send
too much, you don't send enough;) I want more more more details!
Your toes are cute. Funny that you sent me that pic, I took the same
pic this week, I'll send it to you. Haha our nail parties were fun.

Speaking of the blog, Kiyomi Shimai still reads my mission blog! Do
you remember her? One of my favorite nihonjin everrrr from Shizuoka. I
got to call her on Oct 2 for her birthday, It was the funnest time, I
love her so much. I cried having to hang up the phone, we sang "Come
stop your crying, it will be alright. Just take my hand hold it tight,
I will protect you from all around you, I will be here don't you
cry.", just like she did my last night in Shizuoka. :) Oh I can't
leave this place! I can't leave Japan!

Last night I had quite the dream. Michael knows half of it. But it was
those dreams that missionaries dread of coming home. It was so vivid,
the whole airport scene, driving home from the airport, not wanting to
go to bed we were so happy and had so much fun talking and laughing
and crying together. But then it skipped about a week later. We were
in the kitchen of our old house, and I just fell on the floor in
tears. Shaylee came over and was talking to me, but all I wanted to do
was come back to Japan. In the dream, life just started right back
where it left off and Japan, with all the people and experiences and
love, felt like a dream. It was awful! As excited as I am to come back
to you, I feel so at home here. I love the companionship of the spirit
and how directly we are led everyday. I feel at one with the spirit,
with the Lord. There is no greater feeling than feeling the spirit, it
is Heavenly Fathers love.

This week was SERIOUSLY the best ever. the best.
First of all, I am SO SORRY these must be the most boring letters of
history do you even read them? Haha ELDER BROSHKUM is flipping
hilarious and my letters are like "blahhh pity party you love Japan
blehhhh"

This week though, so many happy times. AHH the best. We found a class
that teaches Japanese to foreigners, and it was so fun and hopefully
will bring some solid PIs but on our way home from that, we ran into a
festival! Cline shimais first festival, she was YOSHED on life. So we
stopped there for lunch and walked around for a while. CRAZY we got
stopped 4 times (all men) asking if we were Mormon missionaries! While
we were there we met a way awesome girl, Ayaka that we are excited to
meet with.

Hey ok I'm almost out of time but this week we had ZTM, and my bff
Humphreys S is in our zone now, so we are STLs together. We did a
training on HARRY POTTER. Let me explain. Park this is for you.

*Have you ever wanted to be a wizard? What is the first thing that
someone would need to train to be a wizard? ....A letter! ...(and you
hear "OHHHHH" "Ahhhhh") As missionaries, we all received a letter in
the mail, right? The Wizards then go shopping and get all their
supplies, books, capes, etc. these are all great tools and us as
missionaries will use these tools quite often. But what is one thing
that all Wizards need, and what all wizards have? A wand. We all need
them, and we ALL have them. (Because this conference was about faith-
our wands represented faith.)* "You're a wizard Harry. ...a what?"
"You're a missionary Parker"
Anyway, it was super fun, I wish I could tell you all about the
conference, the spirit was amazing. Ever since Elder Whiting did a
mission tour here, and talked all about faith, some missionaries feel
that if they are not seeing "success", they must not have enough
faith. We want to strengthen the faith of this mission a thousand
times. It is through faith that the lords miracles and works are
performed. We introduced 2 faith projects that I'm SO excited about!!!
We all received a new BOM. We will be reading the BOM as a whole
mission. And marking references of faith, the Lord, etc. (you should
TOTALLY do it with us! PMG back of the Book Of Mormon chapter under
'mission president.') I've already found myself thinking and pondering
and finding more ways to increase my faith. Our second project is the
"faith project" where we will be reading several scriptures about
faith everyday. ALSO we introduced a new way of "dendo" that we have
been applying and it is incredible the blessings we have already felt.

I'm out if time but alsoooo we got to watch the general women's
session, it was AMAZING. Oh my heart is so full and I almost start
tearing up just thinking about it. From the opening hymn until the
very end, I felt like my heart was going to burst. Felt the spirit so
greatly and it was the best feeling ever. I want to write all about
that. But anyway, CANNOT wait for conference to hear the voice of the
Lord through his servants, the prophets.

A-chan is doing so great! She told us yesterday that although her
parents are hantai, she knows she has agency and wants to choose for
herself. Please pray for her!

LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

"When the times get tough, you gotta get tougher, if you wanna stay alive."
If you can name what movie that is from you get 1000 points.
Love love love you. Xoxox

Jare--back in the days of me and shays childhood, we watched
Buttercream gang every Sunday of life. Do you watch that?