I wish I had a really clever intro to start into this, but I don`t.
And also, Yes. I am hungry. (Mostly always, but that`s another story.)
We went to a giant slide! It`s supposed to be a bobsled track slide thingamabob, but when we got there...it was closed. But next to it, there was another giant slide...thing. I wish I knew how to explain it. I would have sent pictures, buy my memory card got corrupted, so that`s a no go. Too bad, because I had some sneaky videos of Howard Shimai singing about seeing a baptism at the email place and also a little bit of Cher. I`ll have to figure out how to recover those one day, because those were golden.
Tuesday was crazy! A crazy miracle!
First, we went all the way out to Omishima Island to teach K Shimai. She also made us lunch! Japanese spaghetti (which is not like normal spaghetti...I don`t know how it`s different, but it`s just not the same...but it`s still pretty good).It turns out that K Shimai has a really deep interest in the purpose of life, to the point where she`s been studying a book called, 何野ために生きるか？ Nan no tame ni ikiru ka? Basically, why are you here? Why are you living? We read Alma 34:32 with her, (`For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God.`) and she said, `That`s it! That`s exactly it!` It was pretty cool. We`re excited to give her even more to answer this question of the soul.
After that, we got home (not until almost 5--that island is pretty far away!) and went to go teach our little Obaachan (grandma, older lady) investigator Y Shimai. She`s an interesting sort. Whenever we say something, like, `God is your Father; He loves you!` she agrees straight up. `Yeah, you bet He is!` `And He created your spirit and your body!` `Yeah, He did. How cool. Our bodies are mysterious, aren`t they?` `Yeah, they are, Y Shimai. So He created our spirits, and our ANCESTORS` spirits! He`s the Father of our ancestors too!` `Yes, He is!` But then sometime later she tells us about how she prays to her husband`s grandfather three times a day. Clearly there`s some connection missing here. :) But we love her. And we taught her how to pray (to God, and in the name of Jesus Christ), and she was excited about it! We asked her if she would practice by saying a prayer with us, and she got right on it! Unfortunately, we forgot to say, `Out loud.' 7 minutes of never ending silence later, punctuated by awkward swallows and Howard Shimai and I looking at each other and mouthing things like, `Is...she praying? What should we do?` But it ended eventually, and she seemed pretty happy about it. We have another appointment with her tomorrow, so we`ll be sure to remember to say, `Out loud` this time. :)
We were planning on having dinner after her lesson, but only had just enough time to get to the church before H Shimai`s lesson. Luckily, God inspired K Shimai to give us the leftover spaghetti, so we were able to scarf down a few bites of that at least. But it was such a good lesson! We taught about repentance and the power of the Savior to make us clean again. We testified about not only the truth of repentance, but the joy of it, and the joy we can find through the Savior. And at the end, H Shimai said, `I want to try repenting!` We`re grateful for the Spirit that was with us all day. And we love H Shimai!
Wednesday was also pretty crazy. First of all, we went to go visit Y Shimai, a kind of spontaneous decision, and share a scripture with her. It wasn`t anything terribly special, but at the end, she told us, `I really wanted to meet with you today. I was in the middle of picking up my phone to call you, but decided it was too all of a sudden--that you would be too busy and wouldn`t be able to meet, so I put down my phone. But you came anyway!` It was such a miracle that shows me (and even better, showed Y Shimai) how truly aware of us and our needs the Lord is.
After that, we visited a great PI named I san. She`s a lonely little lady who is very prepared to hear this message. We just taught a simple first lesson about God and His love, which she accepted very readily, and you can tell she really wants to feel God`s love in her life. We`re excited to be able to bring it to her.
We had some finding and the like, and Eikaiwa. A lot of new people and a lot of middle schoolers have been coming lately. Some life in this little dead Eikaiwa class at last! And Kodomo no Eikaiwa (children`s Eikaiwa) earlier in the day. There`s a song they sing every time that drives me and Howard Shimai nuts. It goes, `Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?) Yes I am! (Yes I am!) And repeats, and eventually starts listing some foods. And by the time Kodomo no Eikaiwa rolls around...we`re always hungry...so we don`t exactly need reminding. Haha.
We taught O Shimai with the W's. The lesson went a little bit off track, but ended up with the beginning of a great relationship between O Shimai and W Shimai. And ever since the lesson, W Shimai hasn`t stopped talking about her. We love the W's and all they do!
Friday was a lot of service! First, we spend a lot of time helping active O Shimai sweeping her abandoned towel factory, and then we biked over to less active O Shimai`s store to pull her weeds, something we`d offered to do before, but she would never let us do. But this time, since we were already in jeans from doing service before, we showed up and said, `We`re ready. You can`t turn us down. Just tell us which weeds you want us to pull!` I think it showed her how much we really care about her. We also did a lot of contacting on the way to places. Howard Shimai is really good at talking to middle schoolers as they ride their bikes together. :) We hope some of them come to Eikaiwa!
All day in Matsuyama! We had interviews in the morning, and then were there until the General Women`s Broadcast (which was phenomenal!) and then until District Conference that night (which I actually understood a decent amount of, considering it was in Japanese). And interviews with Kaicho were great. Every time I talk to the man, I respect him more and more! He was talking to me about my mission and how time is winding down, and said that the Lord accepts my mission and all I have done, and to not spend another second worrying about it. Now that`s easier said than done, but I`m working on it, and it was good to hear. It brought peace to my heart and also made me more determined to give every last ounce of heart and soul I have these last two months to the Lord! One thing Howard Shimai and I have made a goal for this week is to wake up every morning, do a double high five and say, `Yes! This day is for Jesus!` It`s been helping motivate us to get up early and to keep the attitude of giving the Lord our all with us throughout the day. (D&C 4:2)
Another day in Matsuyama! For the rest of district conference, which was also great! After the conference, we had a shokujikai (every one ate together), and the branch brought some yummy food, including delicious cinnamon rolls made by Sister S! When S Kyodai was dishing out the food at first though, Howard Shimai paused, got a mischievous childlike grin on her face and sang out, `Are you hungry?` And he just stared. And everyone else stared. She tried again. `S Kyodai...ARE YOU HUNGRY?` And he said, `Just eat...Now is not the time for singing... But...yes I am.` BAHAHA. And if you knew S Kyodai, this would be even funnier.
After that, there was a Baptism for the Niihama Elders, which was so cool. It was a 19 year old guy, and when he got up to bear his testimony, all he could talk about were how much he loved his missionaries, and how he wants to be just like them when he leaves for his own mission next year. Wow! And we didn`t end up getting back until late.
All in all, it was a pretty great week!
The church is true!
The book is blue!
I didn`t get to watch any of conference yet, except for the General Women`s Broadcast, which I really really loved. I identified a lot with Sister Marriot`s (I think? The one with the wonderful Southern accent) talk, and President Uchtdorf`s talk was indescribably incredible. I want to watch the rest of conference SOOO MUCH!
These pictures were taken by Sister Crofts. Sister Harris and Sister Crofts met at BYU and both were called to the Japan Kobe Mission.
Sister Howard, Sister Harris, and Sister Crofts