The elect

Dear Family,

My joy feels full this week. I don’t know how I could be happier! I’m slowly starting to understand how much God loves us!
This week’s miracles, comes from places all over the mission. My second area, Fujisawa is where this miracle takes place. In the stake of Fujisawa there are 200+ less active members. When this mission opened last year, we had no missionaries that could speak Spanish or Portuguese. Now we have 5 native speakers and another Elder who is fluent in Spanish. They had an activity last month for these brothers and sisters and there were 60 members!
Then a couple weeks ago the sisters in Odawara found a girl who is so prepared! She speaks only Portuguese and the missionaries have been translating at church for her and she felt the spirit and decided to follow the example of Christ and get Baptized.
Then yesterday they had the first Spanish/ Portuguese Sacrament Meeting, and right before that meeting, this wonderful sister got baptized and got confirmed in a sacrament meeting where they spoke her native language! What a great blessing to her. It also helped at the less actives members in attendance feel the spirit an desire to come back to Christ.
How amazing is that!
On a different note, I’m finally starting to understand what Preach My Gospel means about the elect will hear God’s voice. I can’t remember if I wrote this last week, but on Friday we were walking down the road and we saw the Elders sitting on a Bus bench. Knowing those two they were probably praying and asking God which way they should go to find someone in the little spare time they had in their day.
Then we went to the church and they walked in with a 20 year old man. He had just quit his job that week. He was trying to decided what to do with his life and met the missionaries!
They had a lesson on Saturday.
He came to church on Sunday, he stayed for all three hours, and then found out that there was a YSA devotional being broadcasted from Salt Lake City and he decided to stay and watch. He didn’t leave church until like 5 pm. ( During Sacrament Meeting a Recent Convert told her conversion story and said that it took her three years from meeting the missionaries till she got baptized).
Then on Monday, he had a lesson with the Elders . There the Elders talked more about Baptism and invited to get baptized. They asked when he thought he’d be ready he said well it took her a year, so maybe one year? The Elders said if he truly studied, prayed to God with all his heart, and met with them like 30 times he’d be ready. So he set a date for Feb. 21!
Tuesday he came to a mini party we had. We made New Years resolutions.
Then I’m not sure when the next defining moment happened, but it was before Friday.
He loves the gospel principles manual and the Book of Mormon. When he was reading the Gospel Principles Intro page to the teachers he read this section and his life changed!
「Being a teacher is a great responsibility that includes many opportunities to strengthen others and see that they are “nourished by the good word of God” (Moroni 6:4). You will teach effectively as you follow these principles:
• Love those you teach.
• Teach by the Spirit.
• Teach the doctrine.
* Invite diligent learning.
Love Those You Teach
When you show love for those you teach, they become more receptive to the Spirit of the Lord. They become more enthusiastic about learning and more open to you and to others. Strive to become acquainted with those you teach, and let them know that you genuinely care about them. Be sensitive to the challenges of those with special needs. Create a comfortable environment in your class so that participants feel free to call upon you for help with any questions they have about the principles of the gospel and how to apply them.
The Lord’s Spirit will be present when love and unity exist. The Lord said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).」
Our friend said that when he read that he was so sad! He went to gospel principles and received so much love from the teacher, but he didn’t give it back in return! He was learning the doctrines but missed the important part feeling their love and returning it to others. So since then he is always trying to serve people and show his love for them.
So then,
His girlfriend called and said, you have to pick right now: the church or me. He asked if he could have a day to think about it. She said no, right now. So he prayed right there with the Book of Mormon in hand and asked God. He told her. I feel like I need to study about the church so that I can learn to love more. Then I will be better boyfriend to you. She was stunned by his response and said, ” Tell me about this church, I want to know”
I know that telling your testimony changes people’s lives. You never know the difference it will make. God really loves everyone and he uses everyday people to make miracles happen. It is all according to our faith.
And a lot of other great big miracles happened this week, but if I tell you now I’ll have no exciting stories when I get home!
Love you all!
Sister Hokanson🌺

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