Friday, December 12, 2014

Week 1 of Japan:

This keyboard is different than American ones. The space bar is very small. So it is taking me a lot longer to type. So bear with me, haha!
Anyways! Japan desu, ne?! (right?!) I wish I could remember what happened! But I didn`t even remember my camera or address book, so I really feel like I am losing my mind! But things have been really crazy since I left the U.S. which feels like forever ago now, but was actually exactly a week ago. So I arrived on Tuesday night, even though I left Monday early morning. So there was a bit of a time warp. But basically I was sick on the whole plane ride, it was awful. But when we got to the mission home, we were all just zombies at that point, and it was literally like walking into heaven. The mission home is underneath a temple. That`s right, you heard me, under a temple. There was a christmas tree, american style classic home with some Japanese touches. And she had food laid out for us. Real food! We all just ate and passed out. It was the most beautiful dream ever. The next day was basically orientation, it was good, I don`t remember what it was about really, except they showed this really graphic video on bike safety. It was interesting. Then the next day I was brought to the station and shipped 15 minutes away by train to my area. I am like one city south of the honbu (mission home) in a place called Fujisaki. My companions name is Southward shimai. This is her last transfer, and this is my first. She is really an awesome trainer, though. It`s four sister in our apartment. And we actually have no elders in our are at all. It`s just the four of us sisters, which is weird from going from a district of all elders to just sisters. But it is still awesome and fun.
All we really did that day was weekly planning, and then we went to bed. The next day was so cool, though. Although missionary work is like exactly what I thought it was, but it is so different experiencing it vs. like actually being out and doing it. It is kind of dejecting when people don:t want to listen to your awesome message. And Japan really needs this message. I can tell that even in just the week I have been here. But anyways, we had one of our investigators volunteer to come to the church so we could teach her, because she thought it was going to rain. So that was a miracle, apparently she had never volunteered to do that before. But it was an awesome lesson. Basically all I did was stare at her, and shut my companions fingers in the baptismal font doors. Whoops. She is the nicest lady, though. She made us bookmarks for our BoM and she gave me a big hug the first time she saw me. I was surprised, but it was awesome! Then we taught kodomo eikawa (childrens english class), ya they were off the wall. But they were so cute! It was so funny, though, one of them was doing a puzzle and he dumped the pieces everywhere and he couldnt find the last piece. I saw it was behind me and handed it to him, and he basically said along the lines of, ``Ah, so you were hiding it from me.`` I just laughed, like really hard. But Japanese kids really talk fast, I can:t understand anything they are saying, but still awesome.
Then the next day was sunday, the members were nice and I had an interview with the bishop which was... good. It gave me a lot to think about. But while I was bearing my testimony (because it was fast sunday so they asked me to do an intro) I told them I like to each Japanese people, not Japanese food. Haha! Luckily I caught myself and the members laughed with me. The members are nice, but I still haven:t met most of them yet. Then on monday brother Heaten, who is the person who runs the MTC, came and did a training meeting with all the missionaries in Fukuoka mission except Okinawa. Apparently it was a big deal, but it just seemed like another day at the MTC to me. So I got to see everyone that I said goodbye to on Thursday, so that was nice to see people I actually knew :).
I really do love it here, and am learning a lot. I have come to realize that this mission is very much not about me at all. Although sometimes I like to make it out to be. But I am here to invite, which is my success. But it isn:t about my success it is about the people of Japans success which is them choosing to come closer to their savior. And that:s all that I can really do. And it`s frustrating at times, but still so humbling and cool! 
Also a small miracle (there are lots of small miracles, but) so I was riding my bike to like the other side of our mission in the rain, and it was uphill. I was so tired I just wanted to stop peddling and lay on the ground and cry. So I said a little prayer in my heart. And I kid you not, I look up and on the side of the building in huge letters it said, ``You can do it, don:t give up!`` I have no idea if it was an advertisement for something, or I was delusional at that point. But it was really a sign from God. And I did make just fine.
I will continue to do my best. I`ll never have the opportunity to do something like this again! So gambarimasu (I will do my best)!! Have a great week everyone. I don:t think my emails will be as long as this one from now on, but it:s week one so kamaimasen (I don`t care). Love you lots!

(johnson shimai)
 P.S. Something interesting I`ve noticed about Japan. Is that they get surprised easily. Like on the streets it makes sense, because it`s weird for someone to just come up and talk to them. But I`ve also noticed something else that is strange. When I knock on doors. They answer, jump, and say, ``oh! Bikuri shita!`` Which means, Oh, you surprised me. So I don`t know what they usually expect when people ring their doorbell or knock on their door. But ya, just thought that was pretty funny.

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