Sunday, August 31, 2014

Can You Eat Fermented Soybean Paste?

Squid.  Shrimp with eyes.  Snail.  Wet seaweed, every sort of raw fish you can imagine, and perfectly and precisely placed upon a fancy platter and valued at ¥3300 (about $33).  This all took place inside the K Hotel, the tallest building and most expensive hotel here. We were there with the M*******`s (the ward mission leader and his wife), a less active named H******* Shimai and her very strongly hantai (opposed to the church) husband.  And they were paying for us.  I had no choice but to eat it. 

But other than that, it was a great week!

This week, strangely enough, we felt really guided by the Spirit in our finding efforts and that we have been guided in the last week or two as well, which isn`t something I can say I`ve really felt before on my mission.

On Monday, we had a dinner appointment with the branch president and his wife instead of going to FHE at O*** Shimai`s, so we had mysterious half our that we weren`t entirely sure what to do with.  Luckily, Eddy Shimai, with her fabulous sense of direction and sensitivity to the Spirit, led us up to the top of a ridiculously tall hill where we began to ring some doorbells.  After only a few doors, a remarkably genki lady opened the door  and said, `Morumon Kyou?`(Mormons) and invited us on in.  She was apparently once an Eikaiwa student of an American member in our  branch and was very excited to see us!  (She is also completely fluent in English, which is lovely, so we talked to her in English.) Her name is A** E****, and she`s 67, but she doesn`t look it. (No one in Japan ever does.) We had to rush in order to get to the branch president`s house in time, but she invited us to the hula class she was teaching the next day to meet her friends!

We went and watched E****`s hula class, which was the coolest thing ever, and then we sat down with her four friends who thought we were adorable and got to talk to them about God.  We have now been invited to come back every week after their hula lesson to talk to them.  After that, we had a lesson with M******* N********. Last week I wrote to you about feeling prompted to pinpon a certain house and setting up an appointment with the lady inside. That`s her. :) Her lesson was a wonderful experience.  She loved the things we talked to her about, and thanked us for how we made her feel when we prayed.  She`s a new investigator now!

We did service at `active member O**** Shimai`s house, and then went to go teach less active member O**** Shimai at her shop again.  We had planned a lesson for her, but then felt like we needed to instead share Alma 37:36 and 37 with her about counseling with the Lord and asking him questions, which she`s never thought to do before.  It went really well!

Alma: 37: 36, 37
 36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

This was the seafood disaster.  You see, it`s very impolite to not eat everything someone gives you in Japan. Quite impolite.  And I might have been able to get away with not eating a few things, but...this woman`s husband is the one keeping her from coming to church.  I had to make a good impression on him, I just had to!  He just needs his heart softened just a liitttle bit.  `Can you eat this food?`  He asked.  `Yes,` I replied cooly, trying to be subtle about wiping the sweat from my brow.  `How about nato? [fermented soybean paste]  Can you eat that?`  `Of course,` I said, saying a silent prayer he wouldn`t order nato as well.`  He sat there for a second and said, `Wow.  That`s pretty good.`  And he didn`t order nato.  Moral of the story...don`t ever let someone take you to a fancy schmancy Japanese restaurant.  It can only end in upset stomachs and tears.

After that, we intended to teach Y**** Shimai about baptism and invite her, but then her baby got fussy, so we had to postpone that until this week.

District meeting!  Found a couple of really good PI`s housing, and we taught O*** Shimai about the temple and she set a date to be ready to go by! She`s been really struggling, particularly financially lately, and she said that she thinks us teaching her about the temple and her making a goal to go inside it is the answer to her prayers.

We also bussed way out to an island in our area to teach a referral one of the members gave us, K***** s**, who we visited before, and this time she brought another friend!  They were both really interested.  She said she wants to bring more friends next time we come as well.  (Now we just need to figure out how to afford going there more than once a month!) 

Then we had branch Family Home Evening at the church, ate lots of Soba noodles, and played `Do you love your neighbor?` or rather, `Rinjin o ai shite imasu ka?` which turned out to be a blast!

Church!  And we went to go visit E**** again and actually teach her a lesson.  She apparently went to a Christian school when she was younger and was so excited about what she heard that she stopped us in the middle and said, `I want you to talk to one of my friends.  Is that okay?` and called her up on the spot and gave us a referral!  It was hilarious to hear her on the phone, `Morumon Kyou, ne?  Futari no onna no ko, kawaii, kawaii, KAWAII!`    `So there are these Mormons over here, two girls, and they are so cute, cute CUTE!`  We were just dying laughing while listening to her. She`s hilarious. Also, we set up our next three appointments!  Whaaat?  Including on where she`s going to teach me how to make Okonomiyaki!

It`s been really cool to watch the Spirit at work this week, knowing that this really has nothing to do with us, but just that the Lord can do His own work! We just have to be willing to go along with it.  It doesn`t feel like we`ve been doing anything different lately, just the usual--trying to be obedient, trying to follow the Spirit, trying to get a little better every day--and things are just beginning to work out.

Alma 26:27  Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

Doctrine and Covenants 100: 15 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly, and to the sanctification of the church.

I know that this is the Lord`s work, and I`m lucky for every day I get to be a part of it!

I love you all!

The church is true!
The book is blue!

Love, Sister Whitney

Sometimes trains in Japan look like this.

The view from the train last week.

The little bike we`re borrowing from the branch president since Sister Eddy`s got stolen.

My futons hanging out to air today!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It Was a Good Week This Week, As is Every Week in the Japan Kobe Mission.

It was a good week this week, as is every week in the Japan Kobe Mission.  A couple of crazy things happened.

On Tuesday, we had Zone Conference on the other end of the `Rock` (the Island that I`m on).  We had to leave during preparation day time on Monday to stay at in this end of the "rock"  that night, in order to make it to the Conference in the morning.  

It was a good conference.  For me the biggest thing that I learned is that I have not been the best companion I should have been. Sterling Choro, one of the assistants, talked about a companion he had who was determined to be every companion`s favorite companion, to serve them and make them feel loved.  While he was speaking, I felt the Spirit whisper to me, `You have been far too selfish in your companionship.`  And I realized it was true. This week I`ve been trying to work on that.  I`ve been examining my motives for what I do, asking if it`s for my benefit or for my companion`s, and changing my actions accordingly.  Now, before I speak to my companion, I ask, `Is this meant to bless, inspire, and encourage?` And if not, to change it or not say it at all.  In result, I think that our companionship has improved quite a bit.  I think we`ve both been more sensitive to the Spirit and other good things have been happening.  I`m sorry that I didn`t realize this before, but glad that I`ve been able to act on it since.

Then we took a train back, but had to stay overnight in the Shimai apartment in the area next to ours, because we wouldn`t have made it back to our apartment until after 10:30.  We finally returned to our sweet little area on Wednesday morning.

Also on Wendesday, we went to go visit what we called an `awkward referral.`  A member gave us a flyer for a man she didn`t know who owns a guitar shop.  She heard he was in Spain for about 30 years and might have some interest in Christianity.  And we were not entirely sure what to do with that. But we went, braved the awkwardness, and talked to `Mr. Spain` for a while.  And he was talking about deep things, saying he used to be Christian, but now isn`t because of mistranslations from the Bible in Hebrew of Jesus`s name, and concerns about the law of Moses, saying that Christians are hypocrites because they eat pork and worship on Sunday and not Saturday.  The thing is, I could have answered most of his concerns.  But Sister Eddy and I realized that that wouldn`t really help a man whose heart is not open to answers.  We just testified, and testified, and testified about the truth of the Gospel, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon.  We finally convinced him to take a Book of Mormon, testified one last time, and then left.  If he ever really wants the answers to the questions he`s asking, he now has the source to find them.  And that`s what we`re here for. :)

Thursday we visited O*** Shimai with a member (N******* Shimai) and just shared  a little scripture about the words of Christ being like a compass to direct our lives.

Other than those, our lessons were kind of low this week, and we were a little down about it.  There were a few cancellations, and we were trying not to get discouraged about it.  One of my goals this week was to seek the Lord`s help with my attitude.  (I didn`t have a  bad attitude before; I just have a tendency towards discouragement when things don`t go well.)  So I`ve been praying more throughout the day this week, taking a moment or two to excuse myself, or to close my eyes and say a quick little prayer before hopping on my bike to help me to see things the way the Lord sees them, to have a positive attitude, and if I can`t do that, then to at least do the best I can, and that`s helped quite a bit.  On Friday and what was planned to be a busy day turned into three lesson cancellations and straight housing, I did this again, and we went off to go finding.  We were set on finding some apartments to house in an area Eddy Shimai had been wanting to go to for a while but weren`t having much luck finding apartments.  And then we experienced probably the closest thing I`ve had to a `Spirit-speaks-to-me` miracle moment on my entire mission!  Lodged in between two big buildings we rode by was a little house, and I had the thought, `Pin pon it.`  I`ve had this thought a lot of times about places.  I try to follow the thought, but it`s never resulted in anything besides the normal `Kekko desu` responses from normal housing.  But we got off our bikes, rang the bell, talked to a cool lady who invited us inside right off the bat, told us she wanted to come to church sometime, and invited us to come back next Tuesday!
And it was awesome!  We were just giddy with excitement afterwards and grateful to the Lord for helping us be receptive to His Spirit.  Eddy Shimai was sensitive to the right area, and I was able to find the right house.  All things are possible with the Lord!

Saturday morning we went outside to find that Eddy Shimai`s bike was gone.  It had been locked, but it was now gone.  So most of the day was spent going to the police station and going to the bike store to look at new bikes like the office couple told us to.  Because our apartment is so far apart from...well...everything here, and a lack of a bicycle puts us in a bit of a tizzy, they told us that we could by a new bicycle that very day if we wanted. And that`s what we were planning to do, but we decided to pray about it. And when we did...we didn`t feel quite right. The police officer had told us that since there was a giant yellow sticker that said the church`s name on it, the chances of finding it were actually quite high.  We didn`t know if maybe some prankster would return the bike overnight, or if it would maybe be found, and we didn`t want to waste a significant portion of the church`s money, so we decided to hold off.  By the time Sunday night rolled around, we were feeling kind of silly.  The bike was still gone, and without a bike, Preparation day wouldn`t exist.  (It would probably take about an hour and a half to walk to the email place.)  But then the branch president and his wife brought a very little extra bike over that they said we could borrow!  And then the office commisarian called and told us that if we could manage to borrow a bike from a member or someone, they had business down in our area and would be able to bring one of the mission`s extra bikes to us and save a lot of money.  So maybe it was the Spirit!  We mess up a lot of times, but sometimes when we try to follow it it actually works.  And we`re getting better every day.

My little scripture for the week: D&C 6:36, 37

36  Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
37  Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands 
and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. 

The Church is true!
The book is blue!

Sister Whitney

Our bikes after the typhoon (It`s still a little windy in the picture.)  Mine is the only one that didn`t fall over.  Hear Blazer ROAR!

A surprisingly large number of foods in Japan have faces on them.  There`s Panda-face pancakes, star crackers with giant smiles that cover their entire bodies and have little belly buttons--there`s everything.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

From President and Sister Welch

We are happy to be here and serve with your wonderful missionary in the Japan Kobe Mission.

                            President & Sister Welch

We Had the Closest Thing I've Ever Had to a Straight Out Missionary Miracle.

We`re definitely alright.  There was a little bit of a typhoon that lasted from Saturday afternoon until after church on Sunday, but by the time church was over, it was over, and looked like nothing had ever happened.  It really wasn`t that bad.  It was just really windy and rainy and we still went housing on Saturday night when an appointment fell through because of the typhoon.  It was actually quite fun!  And then when we were done, we realized that we had 3 missed calls from our district leader telling us to get the heck back to the apartment. Haha.  All was good.

We went to bike the Shimonami Kaido bridge!  Sister Eddy and the Elders biked it with C****** last transfer, but we apparently went so much farther on Monday than they did before.  It was so much fun, and quite possible, my favorite thing I`ve done for preparation day in Japan!  I kept thinking about how much I love the ocean and how much Dad would love a bike ride like this.  If I ever come back to Japan with my family, this is the thing I want to do most! Except we would go the whole way. :)  The way they build the bridge that long is because it connects a lot of different islands.  We would ride the bridge to the first island, ride across the first island, ride the bridge connecting to the second island, etcetera, until we reach the third island, Eddy Shimai is dying to go back, and we realize we`re pretty sketchy on time for making it back by 6 o`clock.  But it was so much fun!  I had a little bit of a crash (one should never brake while quickly going downhill at a very wet spot...never a good idea), but God sent a nice lady from Tokyo with kleenexes in her purse to clean me up a little bit.  Eddy Shimai was also such a trooper!  She doesn't enjoy biking and going so far, but she was a champ and went the whole way!  She even went FASTER on the way back so we could make it back in time.  3 cheers for Sister Eddy!


We did some housing, a lot of housing, in the rain.  BUT, we made up a great song called `Happy Smilers` to the tune of `I Am Hungry` from the Dr. Seuss soundtrack I love so much at home.  To sum it all up, here`s the last verse:

`We are happy, happy smilers;
Won`t you please open the door?
We sure hope that you`re a senmiiiiiiiin!
But if not then we`ll just house some more!`

And we saw that it was good.
Also, we had possibly the closest thing I`ve ever had to a straight out missionary miracle that I`ve ever seen on my mission.  We were biking home from housing when a car honked at us and pulled over.  I thought it was some drunk teenagers (they honk a lot) and was just going to keep riding, but Eddy Shimai was wise and stopped.  The lady got out of the car and said (in English), `I have interest in missionaries! I`m looking for church!` Hold up. Wait a second. This doesn`t happen in real life, just in my friends letters and the miracles section of the email, right?  It turns out she`s an investigator in Tokyo, here visiting her parents, with her little daughters for a couple of weeks and wanted to know where the church was and to meet with us.  It`s too bad that she`s going to go back to Tokyo, but she came to Eikaiwa this week, we`re meeting with her on Friday, and she`s coming to church on Sunday.  She`s super sweet and really good at English.

And then ANOTHER miracle. We stopped right after that to buy Taiyaki (fish shaped pastries filled with chocolate and or custard or something of the sort which are about a dollar each).  I bought a custard one and a chocolate one.  I reached into my wallet and pulled out 200  for both of them, but he stopped me, insisting that the chocolate one was free because it had broken a little bit.  Things like that really put everything into perspective for you. ;)


We had a lesson with a less active named A****** about prayer!  He`s really interested, but can`t meet for a couple of weeks because of a holiday about your ancestors coming back to earth for a day.  It`s called obon. And then we had Eikaiwa.  Eikaiwa was a wee bit of a let down. Remember last week when we passed out 7 zillion chirashi at the Onmaku Festival?  We were expecting a small crowd of eager newcomers, but alas...  the only new person who came was our miracle Tokyo lady. 残念です。 Zannen desu. Too bad.  Maybe one day.


We had lessons with our two favorite investigators!  Y**** Shimai is showing a lot of promise.  We taught her about the Chart (the Gospel Jesus Christ overview lesson) and she says she believes everything.  She was so into the lesson, that even though her kid and her dog were going nuts, she was just focused.  She also wants to know more about Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost and how she can apply them in her life.  Well then.  We didn`t get to explain baptism enough to invite her, because her lessons have to be really short because she`s taking care of her kids, but can you guess what the next lesson is on?  Probably you can.  But it will be a couple of weeks from now because she`s gone for obon too!  Then we met with H******* Shimai, who we teach in English, who is adorable and making a lot of progress as well.  We`re finishing up the plan of Salvation with her and rebuilding up the interest she had before.  She`s doing great!  Plus we gave her a notebook for taking notes, and she started writing stuff down like crazy.


We had Zone training meeting and headed home at the beginning of the typhoon. And that was really about it.


We taught our wonderful less active friend O**** Shimai a lesson from the Book of Mormon to help her understand the importance of reading it.  This lady has a lot of hard trials in life, mostly centering on not having enough money and always having to be worried about her family.  When Porter Shimai and Eddy Shimai first started teaching her, she hadn`t had anything to do with the church for years, including reading the Book of Mormon or even praying, mostly just one of those `life got the better of you` cases rather than anything against the Gospel. She`s been on and off reading the Book of Mormon since then, but has been praying regularly, and she has been seeing the blessings from doing so.  She says that while her trails haven`t gone away, she isn`t as stressed about them.  She says that she is able to find joy even though she`s experiencing hard things, even joy from the hard things.  Because her daughter is sick a lot, she has to take care of her grandchildren much of the time, while at the same time running her little store we teach her in.  This is tough for her.  But she says that recently, during small moments, she gets glimpses of them laughing, or smiling, and it just fills her with joy, even though it`s hard to have them there.  She knows that reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church are important too.  It`s just a matter of doing them, and I`m excited for her to see the blessings from those start coming too.

I`ve been trying to do a little bit better with prayer, lately too.  The last little while I`ve been realizing I need a little bit of an attitude adjustment, and have felt myself feeling like C.S. Lewis when he said, `The need to pray just flows out of me.`  Whenever I have a spare moment, I find my thoughts turned to the Lord, sometimes in gratitude, sometimes in pleading, and sometimes just simple prayer.  I have felt myself, little by little, growing closer to the Lord and finding myself ever so grateful for a Father in Heaven who is constantly there to support. There`s still not quite as many answers coming from the other end as I would like, but I`m pretty sure it`s a work in process.

Also, Alma 37: 36 and 37 is really good.  You all know it, but it is.  I remember Dad had us memorize it once.  (I no longer have it memorized, but that`s okay.  Sometime soon again.)

  36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thydoings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Church, typhoon ended, and we housed a 10 story apartment building!  
And that was the week.

I love you!

The church is true!
The book is blue!

Love, Sister Whitney

I bought this little Japanese doll in this bag. It`s the same place I bought the hair clip from. 

We live by a bunch of rice fields, and apparently they`re a pretty good breeding ground for little frogs in the summer.  Baby frogs are every where!  Basically my all of my attention immediately outside of the apartment is spent focusing on trying very hard not to step on or run over little baby frogs with my bike.  Also, they`re often all over our doors and windows.  This little buddy was hanging out on our window by where we study.

We biked this bridge!

The bike I rented for biking the bridge!  (We had to take a train to get to the area, so we couldn`t bring our own bikes.  And these were CROSS bikes.)

View from the bridge.
It is a common thing to do to bike the bridge.  The whole way is 70 km, but we went about 14 miles each way.  It was really fun

Us on one of the three islands we biked to on Monday.

More bridge view stuff!

Zone Training Meeting

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Saddest Thing in the World is Walking Away from the Beginning of the Fireworks Show.

The saddest thing in the world, I`ve discovered, is walking away from the beginning of the fireworks show.  

There we were, seated at Onmaku festival Sunday night with K**** Kaicho (our branch president), K**** Shimai, and the Elders, small bottles of grape Fanta in hand, looking eagerly at the big dark sky ahead of us. The time was slowly ticking down to 8 o`clock, the time the show was set to begin, and there was a tenseness in the air, the breath of thousands slowly waiting for the event the city has been planning since last year.  There were more people seated around us than I`ve seen in total during the last few transfers, all gathered for one cause: the viewing of the 花火, hanabi.  The kanji, or the picture characters that make up Japanese, mean `fire flower,` or in layman`s terms, FIREWORKS. 

But there was a problem with this.  You see, we Shimai live quite far away from the Shotengai (covered shopping center) where Onmaku was occuring, (Heck, we live quite far away from most anything here, but that`s another story.)  about a half hour comfortable bike ride from our apartment. And the missionary curfew on Sundays is 8:30.  We had a dilemma.  Stay tuned to find out!

We wrote letters and had our final lesson with D******** before passing him over to the Elders!   

In contrast, Tuesday was quite busy!

Wednesday : 
We taught Y*** Shimai (a less active) one of the best lessons we`ve taught to her, about who God is and how He sees her.  She enjoyed it so much that she wanted to write down all of the scriptures we shared and said that she felt like God would help her come to church.  (This poor sweet lady knows it`s all true, but just lacks the self confidence to be able to act accordingly.)  She didn`t end up coming on Sunday, but she`s moving.  Slowly, but surely.  

After that we went to go visit a PI who lives with her 98 year-old mother.  She didn`t quite have time to meet, but her mother insisted on giving us lace doilies and kitchen scrubbers she made!  She so proudly said about 15 times, メガネをかけずに作りました!Megane o kakezu ni tsukurimashita!  I made them without even using glasses!  She was so proud, and quite possibly the most adorable older lady I`ve seen in Japan.
And then we taught Eikaiwa.

We taught Y**** Shimai about prayer, and she loved it!  She`s one of the bright ones who gets it right off the bat and can begin right away to feel the Spirit when she prays.  I like those sorts.  She`s doing well.  That morning, we also went to go visit some less actives who lived rather far away, and coincidentally by a Baskin Robbins (which they call Sati Wan (the Japanese attempt at Thirty One), and is just coincidentally happened to be the 31st, on which day ice cream at Baskin Robbins just coincidentally happened to be 31% off!  Or maybe it was slightly arranged.  Anyways, we got to talk to the less actives and then took lunch eating yummy ice cream! (Just so you know, Popping Shower and White Chocolate Macademia nut is probably the most scrumptious ice cream combo on the face of the planet.)  And I saw that it was good.

We taught O*** Shimai a lesson about enduring trials, reading from Ether 6: 5-12.  It was good, and she understood incredibly well, even though she usually has a really hard time understanding the Book of Mormon.

We went to go visit a referral from a man in our branch, a nice lady named K***** san who lived crazy far away on the farthest island out in our area. Let`s just say it was a nice bus ride and a $21 round trip.  But it was fun, and she brought her friends.  They took us to a cafe, and we were able to share a little bit about what we`re doing as missionaries and about God.  And then about the Word of Wisdom when they tried to buy us tea.  Mostly they just want to be friends with がいじん (gaijin, foreigners), but they said they`d be willing to let us teach them real lessons when we come back! They`re so far away that we can`t do it often, but we`re going back later this month.

And then as soon as we got back, we headed for Onmaku.  Onmaku is the celebration of the year in the area around the city.  The word itself means something like `Outrageous,` `Full,` or `Fabulous` or some sort of combination of the three.  AND THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE.  It almost blew my mind.  And there are areas in the mission that are like that every day!  

We got there, sticking out like sore thumbs as always because we`re gaijin, and a guy came up to us and asked if we like meat.  Eddy Shimai promptly responded that she didn`t (which is just crazy if you ask me), and then he insisted we come meet his English speaking friends.  They were two other members of the event staff who actually were pretty good at English, so we invited them to Eikaiwa, and they said they wanted to come. Then the guy who brought us over in the first place insisted we eat some Onigiri rice balls, and then brought us cups that looked mysteriously like beer.  It`s only mugi-cha, they insisted (the herb barley tea Japanese people drink), but we were suspicious.  They had to bring over a real cup of beer to compare how different they looked, and then I sniffed it, and then deciding it was actually mugi cha tried to gulp it down as fast as humanly possible to not look like super bad missionaries who were standing around holding beer cups!  And then the Elders came over and we had to explain ourselves. Then C** san came too!   C** san spent the night handing out Eikaiwa Chirashi (fliers) with us. We handed out SOOO many, up and down, up and down the alleys.  We knew by the end of the night that we had done good work when people kept saying `moratta` (I got one!) and saw some chirashi littering the ground.  Good times.  Good times. And we`re going to bike the bridge with him and the Elders today, so I have to go in just a second.

Church, some finding, returning to Onmaku, and then leaving the fireworks show just as it started, sadly listening to all of the booms and pops and biking away in the opposite direction.  But we got home in time and were able to talk to our next door neighbor about English and missionary work while we stood outside our apartment watching the fireworks together as we planned.

I learned some other lessons this week as well, but they`ll just have to wait for next time.

The church is true!
The book is blue!

Love, Sister Whitney

And happy birthday to Grandpa on the 31st!

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Quick Update and Pictures.

Monday - Went to the Towel factory with O*** Shimai, the Elders, and D********** and his mom.

Tuesday - Did lots of housing and visited some PI`s, but no one was home.

Wednesday - Did some housing.  Took a stressful mission language assessment online that gets sent back to the MTC and totally failed.  Oh well.  It was fun.

Thursday - SKK, taught Y*** Shimai, and housed.

Friday --
District meeting in Niihama.  Learned some great Japanese in one on one time with K******* Choro.  He`s probably the best Japanese-explaining human alive! 

We got to teach T*********, which was wonderful.  The elders have been teaching her on her doorstep lately, but she`s been too busy to make appointments and unwilling to let them bring someone back with them so they could teach her in her house, so they just decided to pass her to us.  And we went and visited and she let us right in!  We taught a lesson on Jesus, and she wants to believe.  We have another lesson with her tomorrow.

Saturday - Many much housings.

Sunday - The Smart family came to church, visiting all of the areas Elder Smart served in while he was here.  It was fun talking to them.  Then we tried to visit some less actives and went housing.

Yay.  That was the week.

Sister Whitney

The Church is true!
The Book is blue!

Pictures the Smart Family took on their visit to Japan.  Thank you, Smarts!

Me on the other end of the bridge thing at the flower park.

Me and Sister Eddy on the same bridge.

The roley slide thing from the top.

More of the flower park.

Hey look, I'm in on it too!  I'm part of your world!  I know about Frozen!  I see it on waterbottles and stuff all the time!

The towel factory.

The view out from the towel factory!

Me and Moomin the hippo?  I have no idea what relation he has to the towel factory, but he's all over inside.

Giant giraffes made out of towels.

Sneaky giant swiss rolls made out of towels.

A giant burger!  It's like America!

More giant food!

This is what a place that makes towels looks like.

A strange `Moomin` exhibit inside the towel museum. I really have no idea why.  We were all confused.

A mysterious park outside with elephants.