Hey family and friends!! Hope everyone is doing well! This week has been crazy but awesome! One scripture to sum up our week is: Ether12:6. So this past week we have had many more mogi (role play) lessons with members and they are so great and very helpful. They have helped me to improve substantially, and our ward has the sweetest members. They are all so encouraging and uplifting (we had mogis with shimadaしまい, mori しまい, morishita かぞく). So aside from mogis, we have visited a bunch of less actives and tried to find more people. But we never have enough time to get through everything in one day. Ok not gonna lie, it’s discouraging to bike in the rain and have no one home or people ignore you constantly, but whenever Nakamura しまいますand I feel discouragement seeping in, we say a miracle we have seen even if it’s
something small. One of our miracles was somehow escaping the super heavy rains when we were visiting less actives and even though we weren’t able to talk to as many people as we would have liked we were grateful for the little miracles The Lord blessed in our lives.
Ok so this actually happened last week, but when we were riding the train Nakamura しまい decided to try strange object dendo (basically you carry around a strange object to get people’s attention). In Japan, people are a little more closed in. Pres. Wada said because everyone is in such close quarters to one another (practically living on top of each other), the only privacy they have is to close themselves in. So, in order to pull people out and get them talking, Nakamura しまい had me carry around a melon to get people to stop and talk to us. Ok, so my first thought was, ‘Is my taller than the average Japanese man, Polynesian tanned-skin, crazy poly hair, no Japanese speaking ability and constant lost look on my face not obvious enough to attract attention? Lol!! So we went with it, and surprisingly, it got a lot of attention and we were able to talk to a few people.
The week began a little slow. We were trying to contact old investigators, and less actives with not too much luck. We were able to meet with Rie Chun and Saito しまい but I wasn’t feeling as effective as I could have been, based on our results. So Wednesday rolled around, and I love Wednesdays because I get to teach eikaiwa (English conversation classes). I love the students and they have such strong desires to learn. We are able to create friendships with the students and I feel like I can contribute more. So eikaiwa went great as always. We had a lively class and I made friends with this cute Japanese girl named Taeko, she was so sweet! We also had an outreach program with the eikaiwa students on Friday. Only two people showed up, but we had a great time with Natsuko and Sachiko. Natsuko is this sweet, young Japanese girl from Yokohama. I love talking with her. She loves hearing about our lives and chatting. Natsuko is definitely one of my favorite students! Sachiko is the cutest, tiniest lil’ grandma that you ever did see. She’s super spunky and loves to laugh.
Also on Wednesday, at eikaiwa one of the students approached us. Her name is Lee, and she has been reading the Bible and believes it’s true and wanted to meet with us. Nakamura しまいand I were freaking out! We set up an appointment with her on Saturday. Ok so this is my first real lesson with an investigator and she is a sweet Chinese girl and not Japanese, but it was amazing! We met her at Starbucks (lol) and had iced cocoa and expected to maybe get to know her and talk about what her expectations were. (HTBT: props to my awesome MTC teachers Ellsworth and Gauthier kyodai really drilling that into us) We sat down and didn’t know what to expect and it was ridiculously loud in Starbucks. But when we started talking, I didn’t notice the noise anymore. Lee went straight into her questions, and boy was she prepared! She started asking why our church is different; how do we know it is true; why we are here when we could be doing so many other things with our life; and so much about God and Christianity. It felt like we were in one of the District (MTC training) videos, haha it was that on point! We were able to answer her questions, discuss the restoration, and bear our testimonies of how the gospel has changed our lives. I told her honestly, there is no place I would rather be than right here in Japan, teaching about the most important thing in my life. Sister Nakamura also bore a strong testimony and the spirit felt in that noisy shop was undeniable. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she promised to read it, she said “I can’t guarantee I will join your church, but I will read it.” We explained to her about the spirit and how we learn from Him, we had to clarify some misunderstandings and then we taught her how to pray. It was so special and we left feeling ten times better than we had in the beginning of the week. It was an amazing tender mercy.
We then headed back home from the church and a random man in the rain stopped to read my tag, which was strange, since no one ever stops to talk to us. So we stopped and talked to him and he was the liveliest man I have met yet. He spoke a mixture of Japanese, English, and Italian. I have never heard so many mama Mia’s, dakara, and singing of the Star-Spangled Banner in one conversation! We talked about Hawaii and he pointed how we are onaji (equal), and I was like what? And he put our arms together and said “Look kokojin” (meaning black people). Lol! I died, he was pretty tan too. I was like yep! Haha and then we invited him to eikaiwa and church and he said “No, I’m ok”. Btw his name is Nakamura San, the elders met him a lil’ while later and we left a flier with him. Not thinking too much, on Sunday, he showed up after church and wanted a church tour. It was crazy cool. The elders had to give it to him since we couldn’t, but way cool, another tender mercy! Sister Nakamura and I were so grateful for looking for miracles and by the end of the week we were able to see even greater miracles. Bottom line is, there are miracles everywhere, take time to start out small and look for the little ones and then your eyes become opened to greater miracles and are able to see how blessed we truly are. Gospel is true people, I testify to that! I love you all and am so grateful and humbled to serve the people of Yamate! I love you all and am grateful for all the love and support!!
On a side note, I ate Mexican food in Japan, Crazy!
Nothing like home, but still fun!! Or what appeared to look like Mexican food, LOL!
Oh, also got to dance in a Japanese festival
Here is the sweet lady who taught us how to dance!!!! I love Yamate!!!!!