Dear Family and friends,
Well, I began the week a little sick, and I had to take a week a little sick, and I had to take a couple days in the apartment sleeping. Boy that was fun. in the apartment sleeping. Boy that was fun. I just spent the whole time sleeping, and my companion was also just a little sick. Anyhow, that was Monday and Tuesday.
Thank you for all your emails, and I am especially sorry for all your emails, and I am especially sorry for the lack of a good email last week, and I hope that this one good email last week, and I hope that this one will be better.
Well, as a zone, we all went to Kamakura yesterday and climbed up a hidden trail in a park until we reached the top, where we could eat lunch, and enjoy the view as we played frisbee. It was on our way there that we recieved transfer calls! Everyone together, walking to the park.
The news is in: I am going to Kofu. Here is the little bit about Kofu that I know. It is the hottest area in the mission, and it is also the biggest area in the mission. The size of Kofu is actually half of the size (or there abouts) of the entire mission. It is farm country, and many fruits are grown there, including the famous Japan white peach which costs about ten dollars for one. ^.^ Expensive, desshou(right)? Fruit is actually interestingly expensive. In Japan.
So the cicadas have begun to fill the air with beautiful sound! Hisashiburi (It`s been a while)! I am happy to have them. Since my companion is half Japanese, and has visited Japan during the summer, it wasn`t her first time to hear them. But one died near my bike, and when we went to go out on our bikes, she took one look at it, and said, "What is THAT?" That was really great. She then accidentally ran it over. ^.^
So, I was wrong about weather here! It is actually MORE humid than Missouri! Who would of thought? I mean, it`s like it`s surrounded by ocean or something, it`s so humid. ;)
Well, I will have a Japanese companion next transfer. Akamatsu Shimai(Sister Akamatsu)! I don`t know too much about her yet, but because we were in the same zone last transfer, I have met her! Which makes me super happy! I am returning to my first zone that I was in!
Ok, so a bit more about my life the last weeks. I have experienced a Japanese Festival. There was one being held near the church, so we decided to go with one of our investigators and her children. It was the best. We were only there for a short bit, because it was right after our lesson and then we had another appointment that we had already postponed with a Less Active member. We went there by bike, and got to stay around and talk with her and her son who was never baptized. He really likes videogames, so it is interesting to talk to him. They came to the Sports/Soba night that we had a couple weeks ago! Everyone came and played cards, pingpong, and ate soba noodles. really fun. They came super early, so we spent time talking to them, and helping set up for the activity. The son gave me a history lesson on kanji, because I asked him why sometimes kanji appears different in textbooks than it does when people write it. Its probably a lot like "a" . The way we actually write it is totally different.
I`ve really been able to get to know some of the members here. Well, one family invited us all (the four Elders and 2 SisterS) over for dinner that night (this was Sunday), and they lived far away. Maybe 45 minutes by bike. Well, we got together and bike rode, because the only one who had been there before was Hokanson Shimai. Well, a member also came with us, for the Elders, so they would be ok at the house until the Father got home. And we went on our way. It started downpouring on the way there. It had started raining earlier, so Hokanson Shimai and I got on our rain suits, and started biking to the church, and then from the church, with the Elders and the ward member, to the house we were looking for. The rain was super strong! Man. Cloudburst! And then, I was being super weak and tired. OK Here is something to consider for those who come to Japan, When I got here, I had to choose a bike, right? Well, when I chose my bike, I decided to buy a foldable bike. Because a foldable bike doesn`t make it hard to ride with a skirt. The bar is low. But the tires are smaller than a mountain bike, so you have to be able to work harder. OK, back to the story. Here`s my companion who bikes really fast, and can really power down, and then, here are the Elders who just can go so fast, and then there is me. Behind everyone. I was trying my hardest to get up the hill. So hard! Then my companion made me lead, so I wouldn`t be at companion made me lead, so I wouldn`t be at the back anymore. She did it on the way home, too. I have a loving companion who doesn`t want to leave me behind!
The member visit was great. I really got to know them really well. We had an akashikai (testimony meeting) at the end. I bore my testimony that through my own experiences, I know that because I am not perfect, I make a lot of mistakes, but because Christ was and is perfect, I can trust in Him. And I can rely on the Spirit to guide me.
Oh! So the funny part of the visit! The Elders had not worn any form of rain gear, and so they were soaked to the bone when we got there. The member saw us, and she said many times, "Chouroutachi ga kawaiisou!" .. The translation for that is hard to explain, but it goes along the lines that the Elders looked pitiful, because they were drenched. Well, even though I wore a rain jacket and rain pants, the water had gotten in thruogh the jacket! Well, to be short, the Elders all got to where Brother Endo`s clothes, and Sister Endo lent me a shirt. We took a picture with all of the Elders in Endo Kyoudai`s clothes with Endo Kyoudai.
It is sad to transfer. But I am looking forward to being a third transfer missionary in Kofu!
Love you all!
Because I was sick today, I slept most of the day. Have no time to email now. super sorry! we got shopping done, and then now we are emailing. Lots of miracles, though. we had a sisters training conference and it was with all of the sister in the mission! One of them went to college with me, and we were in the same ward. Another one looks really familiar, but I am not sure where from. Oh! By the way, my companion cut my hair! :) it is cute. I will have to attach a picture later when I get wifi on my ipad. The wifi at the church is down this week and last week.
Well, its just a common cold, but I am super tired today. Got a priesthood blessing from the Elders, and know that I will be ok. Transfer calls are coming up again! We will see what happens!
Dear Family and Friends,
Sorry I wasn`t able to send the entire email last week with the pictures. That forest is super creepy at night, especially when the winds are high, like when it`s typhoon season. To be honest, I was really excited for the typhoon. I was on splits with my sister training leader that night, so we predicted that if we got stuck in the apartment all day together, we had a plan. It was a great plan. But the typhoon did come and pass that night, which was really good, because then we were able to have our lesson after all the next day.
But in that forest lives a lot of cats, and they all have names. There is a really nice lady that we see all the time, who comes everyday to feed them all. She doesn`t want them to die, so she takes care of them.
That red mushroom was also found in the forest!
So, isn`t the Totoro house cute? The lady who lives there, that is her mail box, and she makes them herself! It is so cute.
As far as earthquakes, we do have them. A lot. but most of the time, I don`t notice them. ^.^ We only had a couple last transfer, but we`ve had countless this transfer, but they`re all minor, so no worries, right?
I did have my birthday, the same day that we had district and zone meeting. and Eikaiwa. That photo in the church classroom is our eikaiwa class! We teach the student class. Elementary level through High School level.
My birthday was pretty busy, though. I kept forgetting it was my birthday. But we went to eat lunch together after zone meeting was over, and got Indo Curry. It is always really good.
My companion made me breakfast, and also cooked brownies for me, in our rice cooker! Isn`t that the best? Since we don`t have ovens here, many people use their rice ccokers, or their microwaves, which can conveniently turn into ovens. Convenient, right?
It is really humid here. Actully more than Missouri. I think it is hot, but then I realize that it is just the humidity level. Walked into the church building today, and even my arms were covered in a layer of sweat! Crazy. This is why Sister Wada has commanded us all to drink two liters of water a day. I think I drink enough, but then again, I never measure.
I am learning a lot, about how the Lord workds through the Holy Ghost, to bring things to our remembrance when we need it. He has given me many tender mercies this week, when I was feeling really down about myself. No one can ever be the perfect missioanry, like we all would like to be. But that is why we live.
Today, I read a really good talk by Elder Bednar. His talk this last General Conference was the story about the truck that his friend bought, and was so confident in, that he got stuck in the snow, on a mountain.
You should read it. And then, I would like you to think about the paragraphs under "Our Individual Load".
When I read the last paragraph, I thought of cake. Well, rather, I thought about the Pioneers. When they took their journey across America, pulling their wagons with their only belongings with them, which do you think they would have rather carried: A cake, or a bag of flour? Which would have been more meaningful to them, would have lasted them longer, and would have been the best to hold onto?
Then I thought about my own life. What is the cake in my life, that is "nice but unnecessary", and what is the flour in my own life, that "truly matters most"?
I will let you think about it for a week. As for myself, I came up with a few things for both of the lists.
First, the cake in my life, which is nice but unnecessary:
-Media. Things that would distract me from what is most important. There are many good things, and yet, if they detract us from what is really important, then they become like the cake which, not weighing as much as the bag of flour, will not contribute much to our spiritual traction.
-Relying on myself instead of God. The Book of Mormon says it so many times, that the destruction of the people came when they relied on the arm of flesh, instead of relying on God. Believing in God is the only smart way to live, because He loves us, and if we let Him, He will give us the greatest things we could ever hope for
-Comfort. As the talk says, "Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load."
-The things I possess.
I am sure there are more, but now I would really like to touch on the flour, or the things that matter most to me:
-The covenants I have made
-The words of God`s prophets, which we conveniently hold in our hands, and can freely read.
-My testimony of and conversion to God.
-My witness that He lives, and is our Heavenly Father, and my relationship with Him. -My eternal salvation, and the eternal salvation of my family.
-Helping everyone I can, so that we can all live together with God.
I hope you made a good list yourself of what is important, and what is not so necessary.
There was a speaker at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) who said this, "If you put first things fist, the seconds things are thrown in. If ou put second things first, you lose both the first and the second things."
Hope this letter was a good one.
I testify to what I have said in this email, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I'm sorry! I wrote a long email, but because of the pictures, I think
it deleted everything! I'll be more careful next time!
Thanks everyone for your patience! Out of time today, but thanks!
Dear family and friends,
So, I guess I haven't been doing the best job on writing the main
letters. Last week was just really interesting. Splits, going to
Yamato, and celebrating my companion's birthday! So, I thought I would
let you know about some things going on around here in Japan.
First, in my area, we walk through creepy woods, a bamboo forest! It
has other trees there, too, but there's a lot of bamboo.
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."