Sunday, December 29, 2013

I Genuinely LOVE This Family, and the Amazing Thing is That They Love Us Too! So This is What it`s Like... ;)

She died this morning.

That`s what you call it when a missionary leaves--death.  The companion they leave behind `kills them off.`  So I`m officially a murderer.

It`s really hard to believe she`s gone.  She`s been my companion since I was `born,` and  was her companion until she `died.`  It`s a little bit rough.

So here`s a little tribute to her.
I will absolutely never forget this time with Walker Shimai.   I never thought that I could like someone so much that I had to spend every second with, but she became on of my best friends.  She has taught me so much through these last few transfers, through the thick and thin, and I just love her to death.  I look up to her in so many ways and I hope that I can keep doing her proud.  I don`t know what I`m going to do without her, but I`m so glad I was able to have her for the time that I did.  She taught me how to keep going when things are rough.  She was my really cheap personal therapist.  She taught me that the best way to make brownies is by doing a layer of brownies, then oreos, and then cookie dough.  She showed by example how much you need to love the Lord in this life and how much you have to sacrifice, and she`s leaving behind a far bigger legacy than she knows.  If I were the only one that she impacted her whole mission (and I know that she influenced tons of people, many she doesn`t even know about ), then it would have been one successful and impactful mission indeed.

Sayonara, Walker Shimai.  Enjoy America. :)

Well, she ain`t getting any deader!

(Please someone recognize that reference.  Anyone!  Moving on.)

The Lord really knows how to send a missionary off.  This week was a pretty good one.
We were able to teach both of our yakusokusha; the bishop referred his parents to us.  We were able to do some fun service for the members, had a couple of member meals, and it was just a pretty good week. :)

We went to go help with A******* Shimai`s Eikaiwai on Christmas Eve, and that was really fun. Then she took us out for dinner the next day!  She is so nice.  We just love her.

We went to the M*****'* for dinner on Friday night.  M***** Shimai made a bunch of Japanese food, and they invited some of M***** Kyoudai`s students from his college as well.  It was really fun.

On Saturday, we went to Bishop`s house to make mochi (pounded, sticky rice stuff that`s just wonderful) with his parents in law.  We kind of taught them too. Older Japanese people speak reaaaally hard Japanese.  I didn`t understand a word of it.  I was so glad that I could rely on Walker Shimai!  She said this experience was very typical of her whole mission and a great way to wrap it up.  A little awkward, a little fun, Japanese conversations she didn`t understand at all, a little bit of the Spirit.  She said she was like, `This is it Walker Shimai.  This is your mission. BASK in it!`

The best part, though, was teaching our favorite family!  C******* and her family.
 C******* is super busy though and only has work off on Saturdays, and we hadn`t been able to teach them for three weeks.  And whenever we did teach them it was hard to get the kids together and usually only one or two would participate.  On Saturday, though, we went over for our appointment, they got excited that we were there, all quietly sat down excited for the lesson and everything went perfectly.  We taught the chart, with loads of examples for the kids that also helped the mom to understand, and they listened with rapt attention the whole time and asked questions.  And then they accepted the challenge to be baptized!  All four of them at the end of February!  The mom has a concern about coming to church, but she really does want to grow closer to Christ.  All of the kids are excited too.  R******** didn`t want us to erase the whiteboard we were writing on because she wanted to MEMORIZE the 5 steps!  So we gave her a list. :)  It was the most wonderful thing.   And then when we went out to leave, they ran out after us and took pictures with us, and were obviously so sad that Walker Shimai was leaving.  However, they`ve already found her on Facebook, so all is well.  I genuinely LOVE this family, and the amazing thing is that they love us too!  So this is what it`s like... ;)  Haha, I`m so excited to help them progress!

Our other investigators though (especially U*** and H*****...who at this moment are also the only other ones meeting with us), we`re having a really hard time with.  We`ve been meeting with both yakusokusha almost since we got here, and they are just not progressing.  We`ve been trying everything we can think of, trying to seek revelation, everything.  But nothing is working and we have no idea what to do!  It`s so frustrating!  We can`t get either of them to feel the Spirit, and we just feel like we`re at a dead end. 

But, as Walker Shimai would say, Do de do. :)

Anyways, have a good week everyone!

The church is true!  The book is blue!
Sister Whitney

Oh, plus you can tell everyone that my new companion is Sister Watkins and she`s coming on Thursday.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It`s Sister Walker`s Last Preparation Day, So We`ve Got a Lot To Do.

Sorry, this is going to be a little bit of a short letter.  It`s Sister Walker`s last preparation day, so we`ve got a lot to do, and she`s got to do a lot of packing!

Not much happened this week.  We taught U***** on Monday after eating lunch with her, which she seemed to really enjoy.  We had a relatively powerful lesson about eternal life last week, so we were wanting to follow up with another powerful lesson about baptism this week. 

Tuesday: Much much housing. :)

Wednesday: We went to Hikone to help A******* Shimai`s friend with her Eikaiwa class. Basically, we just talked to some nice middle aged women who were really good at English for an hour and a half. Then A****** Shimai was super sweet and took us out to lunch at an ITALIAN restaurant!  (It was kind of weird.  Japanese Italian food is a lot different than American Italian food.  They like to put fish in everything. was...still good.  Yeah, still good.  Or, that`s how I would say it if I were Stitch.) That night we also had our own Eikaiwa, to which fewer and fewer of our students are coming, but that`s just because it`s the holidays.  Things will pick back up in a few weeks.

Thursday:  We taught H***** about Jesus Christ!  And she says she believes in Him!  We don`t think she quite understands all that that entails, but it`s definitely a great starting point. :)

Friday*  District meeting, finding, and study!

Saturday:  Finding in the rain and the Christmas party.  (See attached pictures)

Sunday*  The Elders had another baptism, so we went up to Otsu for that.   The kid is an 11 year old named K**** from a part member, inactive family.  His dad baptized him, and it was so sweet!  He started crying and could hardly dunk K**** under the water.  The Spirit was really strong.  The mom, who didn`t look happy to be there the entire time, also started crying.  Hopefully the family is able to remember what they felt and will start coming back to church!

Before I go, here`s a thought about personal revelation from Elder Bruce R. McConkie!

`We are entitled to revelation. I say that every member of the Church, independent and irrespective of any position that he may hold, is entitled to get revelation from the Holy Ghost; he is entitled to entertain angels; he is entitled to view the visions of eternity; and if we would like to go the full measure, he is entitled to see God the same way that any prophet in literal and actual reality has seen the face of Deity.`

This Christmas, I intend to give God more than I ever have for the next year.  I need this revelation, and if we give all we have, we can really get it.  He wants to give it to us, we just have to be in a position where we have readied ourselves to here it.  

I love you all!

The church is true! The book is blue!
Love, Sister Whitney

          Pictures of the Christmas party we had on Saturday night at the church!

                  Also, me and N********** Shimai! 

Finally, Walker Shimai and I with the present we got from the ward.  It had a lot of candy and food, a warm scarf each, and some warm winter boots each!  It was really sweet.  Plus there were Lindor truffles.  I`m eating one now. :)

Today we tried to go running to the ruins again.  Made sure to get there at nine and we brought a dollar like it said to on the outside.  But it turns out the entrance fee was five dollars!  We were so mad.  Clearly, we are just not meant to hike these ruins.  THen we're going to dendo for a couple of hours, go grocery shopping and go home so Walker  Shimai can pack.

     The face Me and Walker Shimai made when we found out we couldn`t hike the ruins after all.

                       The face we WOULD have made if we could have hiked!

Me and the trees and stuff by the ruins.

      I actually really love my Japanese translator now.  It`s helpful for when I`m talking to someone and we both know I don`t understand a word, so they tell me how to spell it, I look it up, and Walker Shimai and I go `OOoooh!`  It`s also getting easier to be able to hear what people are saying so I can look it up.  I also figured out that I can draw Kanji (the big complicated characters that there are around 80,000 of) and look up what they mean.  That has been awesome. :)  I would recommend it.