Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week: Lots Of Craziness

This week was pretty crazy. When I was reading back in my journal to remember the beginning of this week, I thought some of those events happened last week. Craziness.

Anyways this week was really crazy. Full of fantastic and less fantastic experiences. On a mission, or life in general, it always seems to happen that way. So anyways on Monday we decided to visit an investigator who wasn`t home, but his Mom answered the door. She was like hysterical and crying. She told us that her Mom had just passed away that day. We just didn`t know what to do. She kept apologizing, crying, and then she would stop crying. In the end she wanted to be alone so we prayed outside her house and cried together. We tried visiting her again a couple of days later but they weren`t home. So we left notes, hopefully something touched her heart. She really needs to hear about the plan of salvation so that she can know that she can meet her Mom again. 

The rest of the week was also crazy. We did a lot of housing. Hardly anyone would listen then somehow at the end we would always find someone who would seem somewhat interested or very. We found a high school girl who we made an appointment with next month and this young family. Now to be honest, I really thought they were going to reject us. But he listened keenly and was totally fine with us stopping by the next week. It was awesome! Went super smoothly! And a young family is really someone we wanted to teach! So that was great. Young people are the greatest, I think most of them understand that there is a greater power and i feel like their hearts are more open to the gospel. 

Then on Saturday we had a really busy day scheduled. Four lessons planned. It was going to be great, except everyone cancelled. Everyone but this 20 year old college student. It was our first time having a lesson with her and she was an hour late so we thought maybe she wasn`t coming. But she did and the lesson went awesome! We asked her to get baptized in March and if she thought what we were teaching her was true. And she was like, ya I do, and yes I will. But March was going to be busy for her so she wanted to do it earlier. Earlier?! I was surprised, but pleasantly so. She is kind of busy though and needs to attend these next couple sacrament meeting in order to meet her baptismal date. But I know with the Lords help it will all come to pass according to his plan for her. So we are gonna work to get her to church. Speaking of church. I spoke again. They asked me to do 10 minutes, then 5 because they thought I couldn`t do 10. Please! I did 10 and then some! Just kidding by the grace of our Father in Heaven I was somehow able to find the words to speak to these people and it went pretty well.

Finally yesterday we did a bunch of housing, met some pretty scary people. But also some really awesome people. A lady who kekkoed (no thanked) us, but gave us oranges. And another young family who said we could totsuzen (sudden streeting lesson) them if they had time. And an older drunk guy who was way nice! When he answered the door we asked him if he believed in God. And he told us he was God. We later found out that the kanji for God is in his last name. Soooo he wasn`t completely crazy. He was way nice, but we couldn`t really do anything because he was a little drunk. But we gave him our chidashi (flyer) and he called us that night apologizing for not telling us his name and said if we ever need anything to call him. He was super nice! And we`re gonna go visit him again, hopefully not drunk this time.

Anyways that was my week! I love you all and hope that you had a fantastic January! 

Johnson Shimai

P.S. No pictures this week. We were locked out of the church computer so we had to come to a store like place where you can`t send picture. Sorry!
Blog: Lost Track Of The Weeks

Ya, I stopped counting weeks on my blog because now I don`t know what week it is :)

To be honest this week I don`t remember much. And I feel like I just emailed a blog post. Because of transfers things got pretty crazy. Before transfers it was just running around like mad men because my companion was going home and two other shimai in the apartment were transferring. So we were just all over the place trying to say goodbyes and pack. But I just said goodbye to my trainer!! I`m so sad! She was the best trainer ever! I can`t believe she`s back in America. And our goodbye was cut short because I had to hurry and leave to get on my bus. It was a 5 hour drive to Taniyama. And I was the only missionary on the bus transferring down there. So about an hour before I had to get off I started panicking because I thought I had missed my stop because the names sound the same on the intercom, and I can`t read anything here. But I said a prayer and stayed on until the time I was supposed to get off and I made it safe and sound :). But merely by coincidence I met a girl from the U.K. who was on the same bus as me. She was pretty cool. She was visiting her friend before she goes back and said that she went to school with a Mormon. We just chatted for a short time and we were thinking of hanging out again, but she didn`t have a phone, and neither did I and she was only staying for a couple days. So maybe I was just a stepping stone for her, maybe she`ll want to hear more from the missionaries in the UK. Except I kept calling her Abbie. Ya, her name was Emma. Maybe I just ruined her whole image of the church. But it was such a blessing from God that I bumped into a foreigner in the middle of nowhere!
But since I got here not much has happened. But my new comp is way awesome. She is from Tokyo and speaks pretty good English actually. But we try to mostly speak Japanese in the apartment, so hopefully I will improve. We have taught two lessons so far. One to a member who has troubles with gaining a testimony. And one to a new investigator who is really busy. If he wasn`t so busy I would consider him a kinjin (golden investigator). He seems like he really wants to know the truth and understand God`s plan for him. But right now he wants to be a doctor so he is so hard to meet with. But hopefully we can find some time to meet with him. 
And then Sunday was fun. We just kind of chilled with the members. It`s a branch so there aren`t very many members here, but they seem nice. Taniyama is actually not that countryside. It`s more suburban. I haven`t been here that long, but I`m excited to meet some more crazy Asians! I love you all and hope you have a fantastic January! Stay warm!!

Outside Fujisaki apartment! The last time I saw it :(

Saying goodbye to Southworth-sama.

Saying goodbye to Messer shimai who transferred to Okinawa

Doi-sama and me. She was the only one that stayed :). I`m gonna miss our 4-man in Fujisaki!

Monday, January 19, 2015

 Blog: Saying Goodbye

So this week was waaaaay crazy!
Because my comp is going back to America and we visited a whole bunch of people. Which worked out great because I`m transferring to Taniyama!!! Which is like 5 hours away from Fujisaki. I am way excited, my new companion is Nihon-jin! (Japanese) Everyone says she`s the greatest so I`m pumped!
Anyways this week just lots of biking around our whole area!
So on Wednesday we visited some less actives and they fed us lunch, which was so delicious. Then they started to karaoke in their house and wanted us to sing ave maria. He wanted us to just sing it acapella And his nonmember girlfriend was like, ``You`re Christian right? So you should know how to sing this.`` So they brought out a blank tape to record us and when we told them that we couldn`t sing it they put some music to it. But it was in Dutch or something. So we kind of... made it up? We would just like try to pretend like we knew, but neither of us can sing to begin with, so it was terrible. And I couldn`t stop laughing. But it was way fun! Then on Thursday we met with a former investigator who fed us until we were about ready to pass out. We had a big lunch, then she bought us ice cream, then we walked around to some temples that she visited during new years and then we stopped and had juice and cookies. I thought I was going to die! But she was super nice and an awesome lady. But she likes being Buddhist and kept trying to get us to tell our full names and address to Buddha. I just said a small prayer to Heavenly Father, haha. But then she had us drink some fresh ground water as part of the Buddhist culture, maybe? I am not actually sure if she drank it, but I was expecting something cool and refreshing, but it was salty and warm and very nasty. But the experience was photographed :). Then on Saturday we celebrated the birthday with like the only high school girl in our ward. She has a hard time with self confidence, but when we spend time with her I can see the light of Christ in her. We went to the local mall and ate at subway and bought her crepes and surprised her. She was very surprised. I don`t think she understood that we did these things because it was her birthday because she bought us presents too, haha! But that`s okay because they were cute! 
Then on Sunday I had to give a talk. It wasn`t so bad, but I read the wrong scripture for like 5 minutes. I also did it in a kimono as well, because an older woman in our ward does kimono stuff for a living so she brought some and we wore it all day during church. They were way pretty, but quite uncomfortable. And we undressed at the church, which was very strange. But it was a cool experience and the ward member is the cutest obaa-chan (grandma) ever! I wish I could write more details, but maybe the pictures will explain it better! It was just a crazy and fun week! Also we were pretty sure I was transferring because no new sisters are coming in so they brought our area down to 4 man. It`s pretty crazy at our apartment with 3 of us leaving! Wish us luck!!
Two miracles that happened this week though. So at our zone meeting they talked about talking to the younger generation. And the next day we happen to be riding around on our bikes when my companion said we should house this one apartment (I`m so glad that she is so in tune with the spirit). And a high school boy answering the first apartment we go to! And he said we could come back! So we`ll have to see how that goes. Then on this last Sunday we had two less actives come to church! It was amazing! But yep, the church is true. Spirit guides me everyday, if he didn`t I probably would`ve been hit by a car by now! Crazy city drivers! Love you all! 

We took a selfie at the karaoke people`s house, いけだ兄弟 and 山口姉妹 house

Me praying at the Japanese temple

My face right after I drank the salty water at the temple with Miyamai-san and my comp

Us at a shoukuji ( meal ) with Mori shimai. She made us fancy sushi and cake for her friends birthday who the other shimai (sisters) taught a message to

Us standing outside a shrine that we found one night. But we got too scared to go in. It was really creepy.

Us putting on our kimonos at the church

Me and Southworth Shimai on her last Sunday wearing our kimonos! She looks so cute!

Us at the bishops house for a shoukuji. It was SO far away and up a mountain, but the food was so delicious and their daughters are so cute!

Our last kodomo eikaiwa ( English class) with (left to right) Hikaru, Aiki, and Asahi-kun

We went out to eat with yamamoto-san for Southworth going back to America, we ate at a chanpon noodle shop, which was very good. But I was so stuffed. After we ate I just wanted to stand up and cheer because I was able to finish mine

We went kimono shopping with Westover shimai and matsuura shimai and had mandu afterwards. Matsuura shimai is just the cutest in her kimonos

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Blog: Happy New Year 2015!
Hey. It`s me! So this week was basically completely taken over by New Years. It`s like the biggest party in Japan. Except I have no idea what people do, and when I ask nihonjin they can`t really tell me either because they don`t know. But it was pretty hard to dendou this week because everyone said they were busy because of New Years. It`s like if someone came to your door on Christmas trying to preach Hinduism to you. It just didn`t really work out. But they were pretty polite about it for the most part. But because the streets are basically desolate on New Years and New Years eve we get invited to a lot of shokuji`s. On New Years eve we were invited to a mochi suki. Which is where they pound the rice and make it into mochi and then they eat it in warm sweet anko soup and they also have a big bowl of miso soup, too. It was really fun. Like half the ward came! It was great! But then as we were walking home this crazy lightning/rain/hail storm came out of nowhere and broke both mine and my comps umbrella`s. There was a lot of screaming and trying to duck for cover, but we made it home. Wet, but alive. It was a great new years eve! I know what question is really on your mind, though. Did we stay up until midnight? No. No we didn`t. But we did set an alarm for 11:59 and we all got up and gave each other high fives. But we didn`t tell my comp that we set an alarm so she was mad when she first woke up, haha! Then on New Years day we went to two members houses to eat.
There was a huge snow storm while we were riding our bikes to our first shokuji. It was crazy! But when we finally arrived we helped make it and then they like basically just watched us eat. When you eat at Japanese peoples houses they just basically shovel food into you until you look like you might explode. Don`t get me wrong it was super delicious, but we started off with like crepe wrap things (crepes, but with like meat and lettuce and stuff) and I had like 4 because we had to at least finish off the crepes. Then we had desert crepes. Then we had mugicha and snacks. We were there for like 5 hours! But it was really fun we played a Japanese card game with their son and read scriptures with them. But then we had to book it to our next appointment on our outrageously full stomachs and go and eat more food. Luckily this was with an american family so it was self serve and we had pizza, so it was good. We played card games at their house, too and that was way fun! But ya, that was basically new years for me :)
It's Snowing

Lunch on New Years with the Okumura`s

Us at the mochi making bowl! We arrived late so we didn`t get to hammer any, but cross your fingers for next year!

Us during the crazy rainstorm hiding under a building with our broken umbrellas! Me and Southworth Shimai

Eating Mochi balls. OISHI !

Brother Shiki who invited us over to the Mochi suki. He`s hilarious!
This week has also been awesome spiritually. It`s 2015! I can`t even believe it! But I am going to finish the Book of Mormon today, so I am super excited! Finished it in three months which is like the perfect amount of time to remember still what happened in past chapters, but I don`t feel like I have to read half of Alma in one day. And I think that through reading the Book of Mormon consistently I have received many other blessings. Like yesterday we had a less active who told us that she now gets two Sundays off a month and we told her to try and make some goals for the new year, and she said she wanted to make a goal to come to church this Sunday! It was so cool to see her make that goal herself! I know that the spirit works through many people in many different ways. I`m so excited to see the many miracles God has for Japan in 2015! I love the gospel and am thankful for the people who got me on a mission this past year! Have a great 2015 everyone!