So Derksen Shimai is transferring to a mysterious place named O******. Both of the Elders are transferring, and an American and a trainee or coming in. I ALONE REMAIN. And Broadhead Shimai was in my district in the MTC. Hisashiburi desu ne! (Long time no see!)
I`m not going to lie, I`m really sad that Derksen Shimai is getting transferred. But all things are done in the wisdom of the Lord, right? Right. So even though Derksen Shimai and I are both sad, it`s okay. I`m really glad I got to have this transfer with Derksen Shimai. I learned a lot from her, and am a far better missionary than I was 6 weeks ago. She`s going to (as our Zone Leader Hutchings Choro would say) punch O******* in the face! With Christlike love of course. And she`ll be a fantastic senior companion. She`s incredibly focused, hardworking, fun, and gives this work all she`s got. Hopefully enough of that has rubbed off on me to be able to keep up the work here and help these people she`s leaving behind with me. That`s a whole different stress right there. But yes, all things are done in the wisdom of the Lord. And that phrase is another thing I learned from Derksen Shimai. I intend to use it forever, probably.
We didn`t see a baptism to meet the mission goal this week, but the Lord revealed His hand here more strongly than I`ve seen up until now on my entire mission, so I can`t even think about being discouraged.
First of all, we finally got a yakusokusha on Tuesday. It was the most beautiful thing ever. This woman, N***** Shimai is totally golden. She wants this so much. We taught the chart, and before the commitment, we asked her what she`d been thinking about during the lesson. She said, `Well, when I`m baptized, I`ll receive so many blessings, deshou?` ... Why yes. You would be right on that one. When we invited her after that, her affirmative reply had the feeling of, Well of course. Why not, when the blessings are so awesome? Now, this was not the finest lesson we`ve taught, and our Japanese was all over the place, but the Spirit was still so strong, and nothing was going to hold this woman back from enthusiastically agreeing to be baptized! This was one of those lessons where I could just hear the Lord whispering (kindly) to me, `I don`t NEED you, Sister Harris. But I`m really glad you`re here.` Me too. N***** Shimai is SO ready and I`m excited to see her baptized this next transfer!
We also found two new investigators this week. I hope Broadhead Shimai is good at understanding Grandmas, because we have a lot of them here, and we have a couple more who are likely to become investigators soon. Older people are very hard to understand, but they`re just the most adorable things ever. They`re so cute it hurts sometimes! I think the Lord is sending us to them just in time for them to accept the Gospel in this life. One is named K*********. We found her on Wednesday. She`s 80, and lives alone, and by some miracle we can understand her really well.. She`s Buddhist, but agreed to listen to us, `because we look like dolls and she just likes to look at us.` And she likes God. And feeling Derksen Shimai`s hair. She`s the most adorable thing, but continues to insist that she`s too old to understand or remember our message. So...we made a picture book for her! (Pictures will be attached.) It took a LOT of work, but now that I know the drill, I think it will go more quickly in the future. Plus, it was stinking cute. Many much thanks to the Toyooka Shimai for the idea! (And the woman that they used that with just got baptized this Sunday, so that`s a good omen.)
We went to go visit her again on Saturday when we had an appointment with her, but came to find that she was sick and couldn`t meet. I`m ashamed to say I got a little bit discouraged then and thought, `Well that figures,` starting off our backup housing plan with a bad and doubtful attitude. And then what happens but fifteen minutes later when we find another lady in K*****`s same area who just invites us in after two seconds. Her name is S*********, and she is ninety and is already a Christian. Her son died two years ago, and her biggest desire is to see Him again. I think we can help with that. However, I can`t understand a word she`s saying. She talks about the economy and says `ano ne` a lot, but that`s about all I`ve got. And she doesn`t slow down! Usually when I take out my electronic dictionary and start looking up words, people remember that I`m a gaijin (foreigner) who doesn`t actually speak this language and then slow down and help me out, but not S*********! That`s okay. It`s going to be good. The Lord will assist us!
We had another random miracle on Wednesday as well. (And yes, I call this one a MIRACLE.) We were visiting an investigator to try to set up an appointment and parked our bikes on the side of the street. A sweet little obaachan walking along the way said, `Senkyoushi san desu ka? (Are you missionaries?) Watashi wa Iwasaki to iu oyasumi kaiin desu!` (I`m I*****i, an inactive member!) She proceeded to talk to us about how her family was hantai and wished she could come back to church, and then said she could meet the next day. When we got there, she just introduced herself, told us her entire history with the church, and then said she`d come to church the next Sunday. We were afraid getting her to come to church would be hard since her children were hantai, but all we did was ask, and she said yes. You know the senmin/sheep number we have? The number of people in the area who are ready to accept the message right now? That includes less actives. And I********** is very senmin-poi (poi means ish) if you ask me.
And those were just a few of the wonderful things to happen this week.
We had a lesson with S******* Shimai on Saturday about the Book of Mormon. U******* Shimai came a long and was a fantastic douseki (member who participates in a lesson). The first half of the lesson went really well, and then the second half...well, let`s see I`m now trying to figure out how to help someone who has no desire whatsoever to know if something is true get that desire. It`s a tricky one. HOWEVER. She DOES desire eternal life, and that`s something we can work with!
On Tuesday, we had a Talent Show for Eikaiwa! It was so much fun!
S***** Shimai and U***** Choro sang the fight song for the Hanshin Tigers, a favorite baseball team in Japan. The A****`s performed a lively dance to `Rolling Thunder.` Donaldson Choro played a last minute piano arrangement. Y******** sang a couple of songs in English. Y************ showed us how she paints and gave us each a picture that she painted, which was so cool! N******* (a guy who came for the first friend with Y*****) played the guitar and sang, which was beautiful. Y********* played the Harmonica with Y************ and then some solo`s on the Chinese Violin.
And then N************, this 80 year old lady, came to church! We`re going to meet with her this week. She`s a spunky little thing. She punched me when I said she was cute. Haha.
It was a great week, among the best I`ve had on my mission so far. The Lord is revealing His hand here, and I`m excited to be a part of it for a little while longer.
Sorry this letter was a little all over the place. But my final thought is one that Sister Weigl`s mom shared with me in a letter from Elder Anderson:
Remember that, as well as
The church is true.
The book is blue!
Picture from the zone last transfer.
Me getting a package from Nana Rose!
Me and Derksen Shimai today at Mr. Donuts, eating away our sadness at her getting transferred. :`(
Little goodies M********* shimai gave us.
The fruit and yogurt I****** Shimai gave us at her house.
Our little book we made for K*********!
The first page says, `Kamisama` - God.
More book! So the pages from before said, God, then a little summary about God, a heartfelt about God, then `God created everything. He created the mountains, the oceans, and the universe.` `He also created our spirits.` `God is our Father who lives in Heaven.`