Sunday, November 2, 2014

Everything is Different Here! It's the City!


Monday was CRAZY.  Let`s just say that I was not expecting to transfer, so we didn`t actually go to email until, like 2.  Then, Howard Shimai insisted on us going shopping, so I bought a skirt with her.  Maybe I`ll send a picture sometime. :)  We went to FHE at O Shimai`s house with the Elders and Dsan, but then had to cut out early to come back home to teach our neighbors, TR and Mchan!  We started teaching them doing the Family English/Gospel program with them last week.  When they found out I was transferring, Mchan insisted on giving me her old Kanji book to practice from!  Unfortunately, 5th grade kanji is WAAAY above my level, so that will have to be put on hold for a little while.  I did get both of them to sign it, though!


WE KILLED OFF A MISSIONARY!  B Shimai and H Shimai came in from Matsuyama, prepared to send H Shimai back to the States.  We said some tender farewells, I took a picture next to a statue of a waterbender, and we were off into what we called san-nin (three people) week!  B Shimai`s a party.  At 11:30, we went to lunch with some of the practically fluent people from Eikaiwa and with the Elders.  And it was at the Kokusai hotel again (remember the unfortunate incident with all of the gross sushi and shrimp faces with Eddy Shimai?), but luckily this time we ate Chinese food instead, and it was actually delicious. :)

Later, we went to go teach Y Shimai with M Shimai (a member) and we taught her about Jesus Christ.  It went super well!  At first, she just kept saying, `I`m BUKKYO!` (Buddhist), but after M Shimai bore her testimony, Y Shimai said, `That would be cool.  I would love to become like M Shimai!`  She just said it`s going to take her a little bit of time to gain a testimony, is all, because she`s been raised bukkyo her whole life.  And that`s okay.  But she`s open to it, and she`s coming unto Christ already.  I told her at the end I was going to transfer, and she shot up straight away and said, `Do shiyou?!  DO SHIYOU?!?`  (What will we do?  What do we do?)  And then she was like, `Look into my eyes!` and put her face really really close to mine and stared for about 20 seconds really intensely.  And then she laughed and said she would remember me.  She`s a character, that obaachan. 

We also got to teach my beloved O Shimai and followed up with her about how wonderful it was she came to Sacrament meeting on Sunday!  She also showed us a fantastic Carebear costume that she`s going to let Howard Shimai wear for Halloween. :)  We told her we`d be back on Thursday.

Finally, we got to meet with H Shimai for an emergency goodbye lesson. I shared Mosiah 3:17 with her, and bore my testimony of the Savior.  She said that through her time meeting with the missionaries so far, that that verse is a really good summary of it all.  It ended up being a really good lesson, and we talked about how the gospel is simple...but complicated...but worth it.  `Kachi ga arimasu, yo.`  And then, she gave me a cute little Totoro keychain and the most delightful stickers I` ve ever seen.


We got to go visit Y Shimai (remember her?) and give her a Book of Mormon!  She also said that she might be able to meet with Sister Howard and her new trainee sometime soon, which would be so awesome.  It was great to see her and little Rchan looking so genki. :)

We tried visiting some other people who weren`t home, but then we got to go teach A Kyodai!  And we got to go in his house, because when you`re a san-nin, the third person acts like a doseki (member who comes with you to the lesson!).  It doesn`t count as a doseki lesson, but you can go into a man`s house without another woman, and it was such a powerful lesson!  A Kyodai is a rockstar, I tell you.  He read all of Mosiah 3 and came prepared with such deep and beautiful questions about how to recognize the Holy Ghost and why Jesus Christ performed the Atonement. He said verse 7 was his favorite, because he was `moved.`   And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.   I know this is true!  The Savior did this for us.  When we asked Him why he said, `Because he loves me.  Just like you taught me; he feels about me the same way I feel about my children.`  That`s true bits, A Kyodai.

Then we had children`s eikaiwa and I recorded a video on my camera of all of the kids (especially little Kchan) screaming the ABC`S at the top of their lungs and had a right good time doing so. :)

In between that and normal Eikaiwa, we went over for a farewell dinner at the W`s house for...BAKED ENCHILADAS.  HOLY DELICIOUS.  They make me so hungry just thinking about them!  AAAAH.  But they were delicious, as well that the raspberry pretzel pudding pastry thing Sister W made for desert.  I love the W`s so much, and I`m so sad to leave them!  They are doing sooo much good for Imabari and the branch and even the investigators though, and I`m so grateful to God for putting them there. I feel like they`re another set of grandparents, so I`m hoping I make it on their family tree!


We had plans to visit a lot of people, including teaching O Shimai, but then we got word that instead of leaving for transfers at 5:30 like we had planned, we would have to leave at 11:30 (long story).  We did get to go visit Esan one last time with the Scotts, her English teachers from 20 years ago!  It went so well and she made us delicious apple pie!  And then we transferred, picked up B Shimai and dropped off B Shimai in Matsuyama, and went to Okayama, where we had some delicious cheese bread and  a drink called Boba?  All I really know is that it was yummy.  Then Howard Shimai met up with her other humans going to train and left us behind.  We picked up W Shimai, though, and she`s a sweetheart.  We stayed the night in Okayama.


MORE TRANSFERRING!  I went to all three transfer points across the mission in one day!  From Okayama to San no Miya in Kobe, traveled from there with Derksen Shimai and some other missionaries to Tenouji in Abeno, where I met Croft Shimai!  She`s a 4th transfer.  She`s been here the whole time, and loves it to death.   She is always doing her best to give the Lord her all!  She`s also a sweetheart, and secretly serves.  She`s been laying out my futon for me every night and cooks delicious Japanese food.  I need to get her to stop cooking for me, though, or I`ll get fat!  At Tenouji, we took a picture together by the tallest building in Japan!  And then she took me home and filled me in on my new area.


Everything is DIFFERENT here!  For one, It is the CITY.  (What in the world?  An old dog can`t learn new tricks!  ganbarimasu!)  I`m doing my best to learn streeting, and it hasn`t been toooooo awkward so far. haha.  We had a lesson with A Shimai (who speaks English.  Unfortunately, almost every one here speaks English--my Japanese is going to get soooo bad!).  She told me that I have a shy personality and to stop being nervous.  I like her, though! We visited some people, did some streeting, and had Family Home Evening at the H family`s house, which was really fun!


OH MY GOODNESS THE CHURCH BUILDING IS HUGE AND HAS THREE STORIES AND REAL PEWS IN THE SACRAMENT ROOM, AND THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT I DON`T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF, AND I`M JUST TRYING TO MEMORIZE NAMES, AND THERE`S LIKE 70 OR 80 PEOPLE WHO COME EVERY WEEK.  DOES THIS EVEN EXIST IN JAPAN?!?  Apparently yes.  Yet somehow, they`re still a branch?  Don`t quite understand that.  But anyways.  It completely blew my mind.  I`m trying to learn all of their names, though!  And I gave a self-introduction/testimony during sacrament meeting (at a real PULPIT!) that made everyone laugh  by telling them, honestly, that I`d wanted to come to here since the beginning of my mission, ever since I heard a missionary in the MTC say that some area had a park with lots of tiny little deer that you can pet.

On a related note, one thing that I have learned from the people ion Japan is not to compare--yourself with others, or other people to other people.  So many people came up to me afterwards and said what seemed quite honestly how impressed they were with my Japanese.  The thing is, I know that the missionary who was here before me, M Shimai, was a LOT better at Japanese than I am.  And had been in Japan for quite a bit less time.  (She`s part Japanese and studied before her mission.)  But the people here didn`t even seem to think about that for a second.  They just saw me for who I am and my Japanese level for what it is and complimented sweetly.  That`s one of my goals for this transfer is not to compare.  People are at the level that they are at, and everyone is just doing their best.

Anyways, that was the just of my week.

I know that the church is true!
The book is blue!

Love, Sister Whitney

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