Dear family and friends,
This week felt like it was really really long! But not in a bad way! I
felt like I am living, and not just surviving!
My companion Sister Bangerter is the bomb, we are so similar, and it's
crazy. She's like I was, but a year ago. Literally, since she is third
transfer, she came the MTC in May, and she will be going home almost
an exact year after me. ^.^ legacy.
So let's think... What actually happened this week. It felt so long, I
can't figure out what actually happened! Haha. Well, to start off,
last Pday, I went shopping after sending emails. And I went to Daiso.
It is a 100¥ store, and all things there are only that price (not
including tax. With tax, 108¥, which equivalent to one dollar-ish).
And it is the best place for shopping ever. So, I brought an older
version of the iPod Nano with me to the mission (it is more square.
Not the rectangle one!). But the charger cord is falling apart! I was
so sad, because it wasn't charging right, I thought, so I looked for
one at Daiso. And lo and behold. In Japan, they sell them at Daiso.
That was something I wanted to share. As expected of Japan, right? Blessings.
Talk about blessings, I was talking to my companion today during
cleaning, and I offered to let her have my purse that I've been using,
and she told me she was afraid it would fall apart on her. Then I
realized, I have had this bag since my first transfer when I bought it
at a recycle shop for 1000¥ (less than $10) and it still isn't showing
many signs of wear and tear. Wow. I felt blessed.
Ok, so what miracles happened this week? Well, let me tell you.
This week was crazy because we had sooo many meal appointments! So
much American food, which is nice, but a little strange. My companion
seems to finally be getting over the culture shock of half Japan, half
American land here in Yokosuka. On Monday, we had El Salvadorian food,
which was really delicious. And we shared a message, and we had a
commitment prepared, but the member was so focused on helping us keep
time, we didn't get the chance to extend the commitment, haha! But
they were so kind. We told them we had plans to go housing in their
area afterwards, and they helped us find an apartment building that
didn't have a sign saying that people who don't live there or have a
relation to people in the building can't go in. So that was great, and
that day, there was a thunderstorm! Which are so rare in Japan
compared to Missouri, but it was exciting. :)
We didn't have a dinner appointment on Tuesday, but there was a lesson
with our progressing investigator. She is so sweet. She is my best
friend. We are working on helping her recognize the Spirit, and we
feel it so strongly in all of our lessons. She is so prepared. She
also came to church this week! Kanae San has been taking lessons with
the missionaries for a while, but only since January. We want to
invite her to go see a baptism in Kamiōoka this Saturday! Which would
be so awesome if she could attend! We really want to help her along.
And then Wednesday we met with the Sasse (pronounced Zassa) family ,
and we successfully found their house, and we're there about fifteen
hairs past 5. But the Yokosuka Military Senior couple missionaries had
gotten lost! >.< oh no! Haha, they found it eventually, though. It's a
lot to drive in Japan, especially for Americans. Although most cars
will have GPS built into the car, it is most likely only for use in
Japanese, which would require understanding the hiragana alphabet. ^.^
hahaha.... Well. Lots of members in the Ward have trouble with it, but
they seem to make their way around.
And then, oh! Wait. We also met with a former investigator on
Wednesday. She spoke to us only in English, because her English is
just that good. We asked her if she was interested in learning more,
and she outright was straight and honest, and told us no. She was
really kind, though, and we exchanged business cards. I hope after the
mission too, when I come back, we can meet up. She's pretty cool.
So on Tuesday, there was something interesting that happened. We met a
really nice lady who also only spoke to Ius in English, and then ran
into her again at the food court we were meeting the former
investigator at! She was really kind, and said she loves to draw
Americans' faces. Haha. So she drew mine, and it ended up pretty
interesting. Remind me to send out a picture of it later. ^.^
We've been having ladies who are from Taiwan come to church. They came
twice in a row, and the one came to English class, and brought another
friend. It was a lot of fun on Thursday, because the one who brought
her friend to English class had absolutely no knowledge of English!
Wow! She was so excited to learn though. And she participated, and
learned, and spoke what she could. We were suprised by her coming to
church again yesterday. I hope hey come again. She said that she
really enjoyed English class, and wants to come again this week!
On Wednesday, we also met a really wonderful mother and her two boys.
They were so cute! We called them the next day, and she had really
thought about what we had talked to her about. She didn't want to ruin
the relationship with her husband by studying about our religion, so
she doesn't seem like she will take the missionary lessons right now.
But we became really good friends. I want to meet up again with her!
Well, I am being really all over the place today, with this email, but
on Thursday before English class, the elders told us to go visit
someone, and we did, and the person was home, and she came to the
door, asking for us to exchange numbers, so she can call us when she
has time to talk! Wow, and we also became friends.
Ended up doing weekly planning on Friday, due to a lot of busyness on
Thursday. But, another thing that happened on Thursday was Zone
Meeting. This zone is really laid back. It's a little strange. But we
enjoyed the zone meeting. My training was about the new What to Expect
pamphlet, and Sister Wright really helped me out. We did it together.
And we used a training that my cousin, Elder Blake used when he was
still out here in the mission. My trainer, Sister Padelsky told me
about how there's a cup, and a bucket of water. The cup is the
investigator, and the bucket is us, and how much gospel knowledge we
have. If we try to throw everything we know at the investigator, we
might walk away thinking, 'that was a great lesson, we taught them all
they need to know!' But really, the cup falls over, and all that's
left it not even a tiny drop of water. well, it wasn't as cool as the
original, and the cup actually didn't even fall over, but the zone
members really got the point, I think. Haha. I "bucket" people, too
much! I should learn from my own training.
Saturday and Friday were so amazing! Friday, we met up with that same
amazing family again, and the lesson was so full of the Spirit. We
watched the video of Jesus Healing the Blind Man in Japanese, and it
touched them a lot. I hope they went to church in Kamakura yesterday!
They told the Kamakura Sister Missionaries they would come to see
Sister Kaizaki (one of them) speak in church on Sunday.
Saturday, was the Rucker Family dinner, and I found out that Brother
Rucker plays the violin! I was so selfish, and I begged them just to
let me hold the violin, and they did! I then yesterday spoke with
Sister Crowther, who is over the music here, and she said we might be
able to pull something together for my last Sunday with the choir and
me and Brother Rucker playing the violin! I would be so happy if I
could do that!
Sunday yesterday was great. Set the alarm for 5:30, and woke up at
6:20 wide awake and ready to start the day.
Oh, and this last week, my bike finally made it from my last area
safely, after a lot of trouble, and calls to the mission office. They
told me it was expensive, but they were able to get ahold of a
teleportation device. The only problem is that you can only use it
once, I said, and then you have to get a new one. Well, that aside,
there's a member who drove it all the way from Hiratsuka to Yokosuka
in the middle of the night. I am so grateful for that member! >.<
Until now, I'd been using a different bike, but that person needed it
back, so it came at the right time.
I feel like I have some more humbling to do, but I realize that in my
moments of frustration, prayer and writing down my thoughts to try to
clear my mind, have been a big help. This work isn't mine alone.
Well, I love you all!
This week, I get to give my last testimony that all missionaries give
at their last Zone Conference. It's strange because it's too early in
the transfer. I still have quite a few weeks left, and it feels weird.
"You are hereby called to serve in the Japan Tokyo South Mission."