NOTE from Sister Yoshimoto's father: Sister Lauren Yoshimoto received word that the first part of the Brazil visa process is complete and she needs a new police clearance letter (which requires her to send a notarized authorization to us so we can obtain the letter from the police department). The next two parts of the process should be much shorter. We hope.
Oi minha querida Familia!!!!
Oh, wow..... so I gave the papers to the notary public and hopefully she understood, because she just did the normal notary stuff and said "That's it!" Soooo, I don't really understand that stuff but it seemed like the notary public understood, so we'll pray and see haha. So I sent it and we didn't get to go to the post office before 12 noon, so it won’t be there before tomorrow :( sorry... but it will be there by Wednesday, I think. sorry, I couldn't really control where we went for pday because Sis Jensen-Coon was kind of planning the schedule so she could get to some shopping places cause she thinks she's leaving the area ..... haha idk. We'll see.
But wow. when Sis Royal called and said my visa is coming through my heart stopped and I couldn't breathe for a second haha ... It feels so surreal that I'm even going to go to Brazil. I feel like this is my permanent mission and I always say that I'm going and that I'm waiting and will get there eventually, but it never really seems real. I still feel like it's all a dream. I'm not even really sure if I still want to go. It seems too weird and foreign haha. I feel comfortable here, like I got the hang of it, finally! I'm still challenged and pushing on here but I feel like I know what I'm doing, which of course means it's time for me to get thrown a huge curve ball. Sighh... why does growing have to be so painful ahah. I'm so nervous and scared....
But I want to tell you all a really cool experience I had relating to that. So, Saturday was pretty much the best day of my mission and I'll tell you why! haha. First of all relating to the Brazil thing, we went to the Temple but got there late and had to do initiatories instead of endowments, which was still the most amazing thing. I felt the Spirit so strongly the whole time, I just feel like it was exactly the boost I needed, especially since I got the call from Sis Royal the night before so I barely slept thinking about what it means that I'm going to Brazil eventually. I just couldn’t reconsecrate my mind and refocus and I was just so worried and upset almost by it … haha. But I prayed in the temple to help me just get my mind off of it and let me refocus and be okay with what was happening. A few minutes later when we were waiting for the next bout of initiatories, I held the Book of Mormon and just couldn't really focus on anything I was reading. so I prayed that I could be inspired to know where to read so I could learn something.
All of the sudden, the word Moroni popped into my head and I was like okay, what chapter, and I clearly saw the number 4 in my head and I was like wow, that's specific! cool! And I went to it and it was the sacrament prayer on the bread. At first I was like okay.... that's weird. I even doubted it was inspiration at all or just a random thought popping into my head that really didn't mean anything. (earlier that day I made a list in personal study about what I need to work on and the main one was faith haha) so I decided to read it anyway just in case it was a prompting from the Spirit that I felt so strongly there, and in FAITH I read it and omg. I never learned so much and felt so powerfully that this was exactly what I needed, that the Lord knew exactly what I'm going through and was giving me what I needed to overcome it because I was willing to ask and act in faith.
As I read this verse, I really thought about it and all of a sudden, everything just hit me and flowed to me. It says: "...witness unto thee, O God, The Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep His Commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen." It's so simple and straightforward and we hear it every week in church, but the Spirit just overwhelmed me and I knew that I was witnessing to God that I am willing to take upon me Christ's name as I put on my name tag every morning and represent Him where ever I go. I always remember Him and keep His commandments and in return, I am promised His Spirit will be with me ALWAYS. And in that moment, I realized that that is all I need. Where ever I go, the Spirit is the same, the Church is the same, the Sacrament and the prayer is the same. No matter where I am, in Vegas or in Brazil, I don't need to worry as long as I represent the Savior and always remember Him and keep His commandments, I will have His Spirit and be happy and guided. It will still be hard, but I can do it with His help.
It seems almost insignificant now when I tell someone and look back on it, but to me this scripture will forever be such a special powerful testimony of how the Lord is so aware of me and answers me through His holy scriptures and how the Spirit can literally teach us anything from anything.
I am so grateful for this experience. and right after, we went to the Herbine's family sealing. WOW! The most amazing family I've ever met. All converts of exactly a year ago and they are all the strongest people I've ever met. 4 kids, ages 10, 13, 16, and 17. They are THE definition of true converts. Wow. I never felt so amazing than when I saw that amazing family look into each others' eyes as they were sealed for Time and all Eternity in the Temple of God. Wow. They are the family from Kingman, I don’t know if I told you about them before, but I never realized so strongly in my life how important it is to be married in the Temple. And how badly I truly want that for myself and for each of you at home. I'm so grateful we're sealed as a family. I never realized just how much of a blessing it truly is. WOW!
That night, we went to Kingman to John Meharg's baptism! WOW! I WAS SO HAPPY!! I never saw him so happy!! It was so short, but I felt so fulfilled and happy and just so darn filled with the spirit!! haha. I was kind of his surprise present because they didn’t tell him I was coming and when he saw me he was so surprised and was like SISTER MOSHI MOSHI!!!!! hahah. I love them so much!!! I’m sooo excited for their sealing in a year from January!!! yay!!! I love missionary work. I named that day the Day of the Fruits of Missionary Work! haha. Wow. The gospel is just so amazing!
P.S. Could you send me the directions to making an origami paper heart? I forgot how :( THANKS! :)))
I love you all sooo much, and I am so grateful for all of your support and love and just everything you do for me. I could not do it without all of your prayers and support. I am so excited to keep going out and being a full time servant of the Lord and am so proud of all of your work for Him as well!! I have never felt so strongly about this work and how important it is for everyone to know how much their Savior and Heavenly Father love them and that the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is restored (along with all the accompanying blessings) and is here waiting for them.
Love you all soooo much!!!!
Com Muito Amor,
Sister Yoshimoto :)
Top picture :
Top picture :
The Herbine family and the missionaries!!!! :)
Keri, Janice, Grace, Will, Hannah, Jack Herbine.