This Blog is being updated by Travis's Mom with pictures and weekly emails received as he serves a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Fukuoka, Japan from May 2013-May 2015.
Travis would love to hear from you. Letters and packages should be mailed to him via USPS only. His address in Fukuoka, Japan is (each comma represents a new line):
Elder Travis J. Bloomfield,
Japan Fukuoka Mission,
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
6 February 2015 - "Who Can I Help Today?"
So this week...
We got to return to Kagoshima! The weather was perfect and our beloved volcano Sakurajima was blowing ash strong as ever. Apparently recent gas readings show that it may soon have an unusual large explosion similar to one they had in like 2003 or something that will create problems of lots and lots of ash.
But anyways it was fun to be back. Both of the trainings we did there were super good and the Spirit was way strong. Sasuga Kagoshima. Here are some cool experiences we had there, we got to see both Yamauchi Kyodai and Irisa Shimai! Yamauchi Kyodai was the man Elder Sasaki and I found that first said "ya~ shukyo kyomi nai node..." "I don't have interest in religion, so please leave..." then by the middle of the contact was like "well I've sometimes wondered about Christianity before" and then by the end of the contact said "well I'm pretty much free all the time so you can come back anytime!" then when we went back for the first appointment he told us he did not understand why but he said he began to cry as he first read the Book of Mormon before our appointment and felt so strong inside him. He has no family and has been living alone for awhile, but saw a huge change in his life as he started feeling God's love and coming to church (he's kind of an older guy and to get to church he takes like a 30-40 min trolley ride then does the 20 min walk up the mountain to get to church every week). He was super cute. He was way excited to see us and was just giggling and swaying back and forth like a little kindergartener when we were talking to him. Ha ha it was way funny. He was super genki and the best part was he was wearing a beanie, but it was a little large... so every time he would laugh or giggle, his head would shake and the beanie would fall down and cover half of his face, so basically most the time we were talking he kept lifting the beanie up over his face. It was nice to see him though.
After the interviews and trainings President was going to get some dinner with one of the Senior Couples before we went back to Fukuoka, so we got permission to go to Irisa Shimai's cafe to see her and have dinner real quick while they ate dinner at the eki. It was a super good experience. She is doing super strong and is helping the Kagoshima Branch so much. I think the biggest thing I learned from our trip back to Kagoshima is we never understand the bigger plan. The plan God has for us and for others. We have no clue sometimes the effect or influence we may be having on others just by the simple things we think we are doing, but for them and for God's plan, it is exactly what they need to continue on or make that change. Irisa Shimai cried a lot of the time we were there and explained to us how before we met her, she didn't really feel much purpose, and her cafe was still getting started so they were kind of struggling. But through the gospel, not only has she found purpose, feels God's influence everyday, but she said her cafe is doing better than she had hoped. Her vision for her company was to have a place where young people could come and work or find a place to start their own visions. Apparently there was an entrepreneur who heard about her cafe cause it has been getting kind of bigger lately, and the day he happened to come and check out the location, the missionaries happened to have a training meeting that day and all came there for lunch, so the cafe was filled and the entrepreneur was super impressed and approached Irisa Shimai with the offer to start a sweets business in that location where the cafe would be and Irisa Shimai would be able to continue her cafe at a nearby location. She has also started a choir in the Kagoshima Branch so they can finally have special musical numbers in Sacrament Meeting every now and then. When we were visiting with her she had a friend there and after we introduced ourselves she just testified how the gospel had changed her life and helped her and basically set up an appointment to meet with the missionaries there on Thursday.
My testimony was strengthened this week of God's special plan he has for each person. We never know how or when certain things may come to pass, but he is watching us everyday. Simple service is all that is required of us. Taking a moment to forget about ourselves and ask who can I help today? As we begin to make this a daily habit, we are able to touch lives all around us and work as a tool for God in times we don't even realize. If you are looking for more purpose in life, wanting more happiness, I testify to you that all you need to do is forget yourself and ask, "who can I help today?". In the Lord's timing and in His way, you will find yourself being the person you wanted to be, doing the things you had wanted to do, with the happiness you had been looking for.