Hello from 八王子!!!!!!!
So biggest news this week is we got our transfer calls on Saturday (drum roll please)………I will be staying in Hachioji, but sad to say another companion is leaving the nest. Sister demoss is transferring to takao, which is the next ward over but still sad to see my lil girl go….but as far as my new companion I don’t know who she is yet, she should be coming into japan tomorrow night, Another new trainee.
So this week has been another international experience…so this last week when we had a zone blitz (we gathered together as a zone, and dendoed like crazy, talking to everyone and anyone on the streets, knocking down doors for about two hours and then we share the miracles we were able to witness at the end, so good). Well while I was working with sister tamagusuku for the first hour we met a super nice woman from Korea who talked about her church experience in Korea, nothing super crazy happened but we had a great brief convo about church with her. The next hour I worked with sister taketomi, she’s awesome, so we got out there fired up and no one would stop, but sister taketomi is just bursting with positivity so we kept following the spirit. (Ok just a side note sometimes when walking in the street and intending to talk to people to share the gospel, we sometimes can be a lil creepy)There was a woman walking in front of us and I looked at sister taketomi and we both knew we needed to talk to her but she was a considerable distance ahead of us so we walked faster(not too fast, but hastening our pace meanwhile trying to look normal), but could not catch up to her and when we were getting closer she turned like twice and we were right behind her and about to talk to her and then she starts running in the opposite direction away from us. We stood there not really knowing what to do because we felt so strongly that we had needed to talk with her, and now she was gone and it took us to a far street I didn’t know And because of the heat no one was out. So we decided to house with the last twenty minutes we had left, we chose an apartment that felt right and started knocking, and no one would open up. Meanwhile I kept thinking, why in the world would God have me chase down that woman and not even talk to her, while we were knocking doors I tried to understand what God wanted as door after door no one came. We were about ready to leave when a door we had knocked but continued on two doors down swung open. He was clearly not Japanese and we came to find out that he was from dubai and was studying here,but as we talked with him, we taught him why we are here that we share a message from God, and he was intrigued. He was Muslim but asked about our ideas of God and we had a great talk about God and his plan for us. Sister taketomi and I felt the spirit so strongly as we taught him a brief version of the plan of salvation , and in that moment sister taketomi and I saw why God brought us all the way out there to a seemingly random apartment building to teach a simple lesson to this man from Dubai.
Sister demoss and I set out to visit a progressing investigator and well she was pretty drunk so we couldn’t talk with her all that well, it was about time for us to head back, but I remembered we were close to an apartment, reeves shimai and I had housed and had briefly met a Portuguese lady who was not at all interested in talking, but a week later we left a Portuguese Book of Mormon in her mailbox, and decided we would go back. We knock on the door, no answer. We knock again a little girl answers looks at us petrified, slams and locks the door. Knock again and the little girl opens up looks at us again scared and locks the door. We finally knock again and the Portuguese woman comes to the door. We start talking to her but realize she doesn’t speak Japanese all that well and can’t understand our not all that missionary Japanese. Communication was a real struggle, but I have come to learn that when the spirit is there you can overcome any barrier, so we began communicating with her through gestures, bits of Japanese, and we would throw down a couple of random Spanish words (which were closer to Portuguese than English or Japanese) we remembered from school, and amazingly we were communicating and understanding. We talked about God and realized that our sweet friend Hamada San was catholic and she can only go to church once a month, we invited her to church and she said she is interested in coming!:) the spirit truly is the key in this great work, it opens up hearts, and fills in so many holes of imperfection we have, I was even more grateful for the spirit that day.
The end of our week brought us to a bbq with a couple of ward members. Brother yoshida, sister Yamada and her family, and our ward mission leader brother nakamura and his family put on a Brazilian style bbq with just a ton of meat, and brother yoshida invited his friends Annaliza and dianara, who we previously met to the bbq. It was great, everyone got along so well and president wada even joined us for some good Brazilian beef. At the bbq, sister demoss and I sat down and had a lesson with Annaliza and dianara we began talking about the plan of salvation and eternal families, but as we kept talking we began sharing about the restoration of the gospel, and it was great they both felt the spirit and were touched by Joseph smiths experience. They are so prepared and after the lesson sister demoss and I talked about how we felt a lot of gods love for them. Annaliza has so many questions and is seeking truth and knowledge, I love talking with her because she loves talking about God and how great he is, she has even started reading the Book of Mormon!
So with summer vacation everyone is either too hot and tired from the heat to come out to have lessons or are preoccupied with having their children home all day, but everyone makes time for the summer matsuri, so we decided to make our own opportunities. We weren’t able to meet with ueda San but she invited to go with the her and her family to the Hachioji matsuri and were able to meet her husband finally. They are the cutest little family, their daughter mizuki loves reading about mother Teresa, and wants to work in Africa and help people, she’s only 10…and such a saint. Their dad actually studied at Harvard and knew quite a few members, we are hoping to maybe teach their whole family. Well we were able to make a great relationship and experience hachiojis summer matsuri which is insanely packed with people, tons of cart like floats that people play traditional music and dance, it was so great to be with their family!