21
May

i don’t believe in coincidences!

This morning I’m putting the finishing touches on my lesson. I thought I had it all-but-finished last night. Typed a few stories in [actually, cut and copied, then edited] and saved. But when I got up this morning I wanted to go back over everything, make my posters, copy the speaking parts for some of the sisters in the ward and to my utter dismay I noticed I didn’t save my work from yesterday Apparently. But, I’m sure I did. I thought: Oh well, it’s easy enough to cut, copy and edit again.

But, I went to Hotmail, instead, and found a letter from my friend, Lana Hillstead, who, with her husband, Randy, is serving a mission at the National Archives in Washing DC. Her letters are incredibly inspiring and she had a wonderful story that  just happened [just happened, ha! — I don’t believe in coincidences!] to go with my lesson.

Last Saturday night we were invited to dinner at the Dougall’s – a missionary couple that works in the mission office.   They also invited President and Sister Maatsumori.  We had a very nice dinner and a nice visit.  We were talking about mission calls and where people are called to go and how sometimes it is a big surprise and takes a lot of faith. President Maatsumori told the following experience.

He is third generation Japanese American and although he looks just like the Japanese, he does not speak Japanese at all.  His parents wanted him to be American and so they did not encourage his learning the Japanese language.  He had a friend his age who was also third generation Japanese American, but unlike President Maatsumori, he was taught Japanese by his parents and spoke it very well.  So when it came time for their Mission calls they both expected to be called to Japan.  It was a fruitful area for missionary work at that time and almost all young men of Japanese ancestry received a call to Japan; especially those who spoke the language.  President Maatsumori was called and served his mission in Japan even though he did not speak Japanese.

When his friend, who did speak fluent Japanese, got his call both he and his family were disappointed and even upset that his call was to Brazil rather than Japan.  They couldn’t understand it.  They were all so hopeful he would be called to serve in their homeland.  They were so concerned, they talked to their Stake President and discussed with him what they should do.  He told them they should fast and pray and perhaps they would be able to feel better about the call.  They did fast and pray, but they still did not feel all that great about going to Brazil rather than Japan.  However, they decided it was a call from the Prophet and this young Japanese Elder would go to Brazil.

When he got there he discovered that many people of Japanese descent had settled in Brazil.  Soon after his arrival he and his companion were teaching an elderly lady.  His companion was teaching the discussion in Portuguese.  As this new Elder was looking around the room really not understanding much of the discussion, he noticed a picture on the wall of two young girls holding hands.  He said to his companion.  “Ask her about the picture.” His companion put him off saying, “Not now, I am right in the middle of an important part of this discussion.”  He insisted and finally his companion agreed and asked the Elderly lady about the picture.

The elderly lady’s response was, it was a picture of herself and her sister when they were young girls living in Japan.   They had lost track of each other when they were young and did not know anything about where the other one was or what they were doing.  She then asked why he was interested in the picture.   He said he was interested because his grandmother had one exactly like it in her house in Salt Lake City.  It turns out that one of the very first people that he met in Brazil was his grandmother’s long lost sister.  He wrote home that he now knew why he was called to Brazil.

What a great faith-promoting story. It goes perfectly with my lesson on hearkening and heeding.

Thank you, thank you, whoever you are who’s watching over me today! [I said that out loud, too, in case s/he doesn’t read my blog.]

[Ha ha ha ha. I’m having a great day!]

Yep! My basement has water in it because of all the rain. My cat threw up on the stairs. I’ve lost a favorite earring. [Tracy?] I’m pretty much out of groceries [got an acorn squash in the oven for later] and had to do a Donald Trump comb-over because my hair on top is getting thin! But what the heck. All is good because I’m at 145! SOOOO much better than 151! Going to get there!