I'm off to serve an LDS mission in Kobe, Japan from June 2015 to December 2016. My mom will be keeping this blog updated with my latest letters, photos, adventures, etc.! Also I would LOVE to hear from everyone - katya.wagstaff@myldsmail.net

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

First Transfer (for her companion)

1st transfer done! We just read transfer announcements and found out Sands Shimai is off to Osaka and I'm staying here with...

Fujiki Shimai! A Nihonjin companion! Actually I'm really freaked out, I think everyone thinks my language is better than it really is, but it'll work out and I'll learn a lot this transfer (and also hope she knows a little English)

So we're all going through big changes, but I love you all and will probably email later this afternoon.

Everyone says the 1st transfer is the longest- good, because it felt long! But so much fun also!

So I already told you about last Monday- so much fun!

Tuesday schedule is pretty full with SGG, Kodomo Eikaiwa and Eguchi Kyodai's lesson. I like having set scheduled lessons/activities. After kodomo Eikaiwa, we got to teach one of our investigator's who brought
her son who's about 3 years old- he's a firecracker! I ended up keeping him busy so that Kuroda Shimai could focus on the lesson. Thank goodness there are some toys our church- lots of Noah's Ark animals kept him entertained- so much fun! Also we saw a gaijing family- that's rare! We were biking back from SGG and they seemed a bit lost, so we went over and found out they're Dutch- the parents are here on vacation, then their daughter is doing a semester study abroad. We directed them over to the eki (train station). Simple service- it's so much fun!

On Wednesday I got to use my kappa again. Because it was raining we got to visit a LA who works at the fishing market and is home when it's raining. For Eikaiwa we had a birthday party/talent show! Everyone prepared a talent, which was really fun- one guy is a professional soccer player and showed some moves, one of the ladies loves gardening and brought a display board of pictures, and another is a good cook who brought food to share- yay! I sang, and one woman asked if we sing a lot at church- yes we do! Please come!! She was uncertain about how early 10 am is, hopefully she'll get over that and come sometime soon! Sands Shimai and I made a cake (well, box mix) celebrating everyone's
birthdays, so an un-birthday party! So much fun!

Thursday is Watabe Shimai's BOM study group- it's so wonderful to watch their testimonies grow and become more active in the church. This week was Alma 5-7 and a lot of focus on a "mighty change of
heart" - everyone needs to be converted! It was a LA that we've been teaching's birthday, so we made another
cake! Funny thing- people think I'm a great cook...:) We delivered the cake with Kaori Shimai and shared a quick message- he's so wonderfuland was happily surprised. Missionary work is so great! We especially
like cake dendo :)

Friday's are great because we have district meeting! It's just so nice to meet with other missionaries and help each other. After, the Watabe's took us to get another fancy sno cone celebrating Sands Shimai's birthday. We love those $7 sno cones! After, we visited Kazue Shimai at the hospital again. She hurt her knee and will be in the hospital for a month...interesting health care here, that's all I'll say, y'know not being political, but interesting. Nice that it's easy to visit her and she has plenty of time to meet and then read the Liahona and BOM! God works in mysterious ways. This time it was practically perfect- she was very receptive and Spirit was strong- we shared 2 Ne 32:3 and talked about how the word of God really does tell us everything we should do. It's spiritual medicine. Also, she shares a room with 3 other women who are all super old and it was really
sweet to see how much she cares for them and knows about them and their families.

Miracle that afternoon! We've been working on finding LA's from a list Kondo Kaicho gave us and realized one lives really close to our apartment (HALLELUJAH! lots of them live super far), so we went over but no one was home, right as we were leaving, someone pulled up, but looked too young to be 71 and he told us we were looking for the guy across the street- had he not pulled up, we would've never known it was the wrong house! So we went over and this guy is so ready to come back! He opened the door and said he knew why we were there and he needs to go back to church. Wow! Following up on himself. I guess he's been really sick and that's why he stopped coming, so we're really excited to start working with him.

Saturday was a really cool cultural day. Why? I took a Japanese calligraphy class from one of the SGG members who's apparently really, really good and well-known. We went with the Watabes and she first showed us her house and garden, which ps are quintessential Japanese. BEAUTIFUL. She's basically the model for a Japanese woman since she has a beautiful garden, has amazing calligraphy and teaches tea ceremony. So after the little tour, we went to her studio and I felt like a kindergartner in a glass shop- very unqualified! But she was so nice and just had me do some hiragana and a simple kanji- "hikari": light. She's so kind and generous! I've met the most wonderful people and it's only been 6 weeks! After that, we searched for LA's - one owns a gelato shop and another owns a Japanese sweet shop, so we went and got a little something from each! "Sweet is the work!"

Sunday was long- we were at the church from 8-5!  We have meetings with branch president before church, then there was a family history meeting after, then we made pancakes for everyone from the mix left from our party. Then clean-up and met with the Watabe's and Scott Shimai to discuss making Kodomo Eikaiwa a better missionary tool- it's supposed to help us get investigators, but hasn't worked too well so far, so we're trying to figure out how to get people to be interested in the church and not just English. That evening we had dinner at the Miyamoto's - a young family who are so cute! They moved here this year from Fukuoka and have a 2-3yr old
boy and a baby boy ab 9 months. Also, this week is a holiday weekend -they like to put multiple holidays in a row, and so it's called Silver Week- the biggest holiday week as you can imagine is Golden Week- anyways, Moyamoto Shimai's mom was visiting and she's also a member and has been studying English and really wanted to try out her English on us! Also, I didn't realize how cool traveling to Utah is for members- she got to go this year and showed us lots of pictures. How blessed are we to be so close to church headquarters and all these places these members want to see so bad!

Other things that happened this week not in other email- met a former investigator from the area book- a Phillipino couple and I'm quite sure the wife was drunk because she was too happy and random and I was
very uncomfortable but it wasn't too bad. But I don't know if they're really ready for the gospel right now.

Also Sunday night we went to visit an LA who we've talked with before, but this time she pulled out the Lord's Prayer and went off on some crazy Buddhist thing- I could tell it was weird and got close to Bible
bashing, but didn't understand details until after when Sands Shimai explained- something about only needing your own forgiveness and we'reall gods...interesting.

So with a new companion coming in, I'm area sempai- means senior, but obviously still trainee/junior companion. I'm excited to have a bit of a fresh start here and with all of our planning lately with the branch
president, Watabe's, Scotts, there are a lot of exciting possibilities!

A little scared of having a Nihonjin companion, but it'll be good and I've pretty much loved all the people I've met here so far! A little jealous that Sands Shimai is off to Osaka- I want to be in a big city,but I've got plenty of time and having a good time here!

Thank you for telling me everything that's going on at home

Love you all!

Here's our fancy snow cones--I tried chocolate this time, though the blueberry is probably the best!

Here's the calligraphy!

Yay for gelato--mine was purple potato?Turned out really good! I'd share Tash if I could 

Here we are with the Miyamotos.  Sadly no the best photo, but wonderful people!

Missionary work is the greatest work and I'm having so much fun! I especially love working with members--missionaries NEED the members! Help them out :)

My district--Drewes Choro, Murakami Choro, Kagawa Shimai, Watabes, me and Sands Shimai with Hatch Shimai in front of us!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sept. 14, 2015

Sorry this took forever to post--busy week! Stephanie

Lots of traveling to Niihama and Matsuyama this week- we had a koukon with the STLs, District Meeting, Interviews with Pres Welch and District Conference.

The schedule is becoming pretty normal, though one new thing on Tuesday afternoon was kodomo Eikaiwa! We assist and the Scott's teach (he's American, she's Japanese). It's for really little kids (6 and under). There were 50 people-so crowded and crazy! Free kodomo Eikaiwa is a big deal here because you can pay a lot and everyone wants their kids to learn English. So that was a lot of fun- we did introductions ("How are you?" "IM FINE!"- they get really excited) and animals. When they were guessing animals (we played some charades), one little girl always yelled out DINOSAUR!

On Thursday we had a koukon (exchange) with the STLs in Niihama. We switched at the Eki (train station) and Kagawa Shimai came back with me to Imabari. (Since transfers are coming up and Sands Shimai has been in Imabari for a while so people think she might transfer out, and in case she does, they want to make sure I know my way around.) We had such a fun day! Sadly none of the planned investigators were home/answered. But we met some great people, like this Obaachan who we sang a hymn for and talked about family, though she was very
uninterested in hearing about Christianity. In the evening, we made notes, had messages for a couple members. We started with the branch president, and had a screenshot of the map, then ended up getting a little lost and it ended up taking 1 hr 15 min to get there and it was so fun! We just laughed about it when it took us half the time to get back. Kondo Kaicho and his son who is a recent RM from Tokyo were home and Kagawa Shimai just had me take the lead in sharing the message, which scared me a little but I really appreciated that she did that. I
learned a lot about better working with members from her.

We switched back at District Meeting on Friday.

(I will need to update this later.  For some reason the rest of the email is cut off when we look on our computer, but it's all there on the iPad.  They had a district meeting (like stake conference), interview with Pres. Welch, and a P-day excursion to a shrine )

This is my district plus the Alba's (the couple in the middle next to me)- he's an area authority here that was teaching institute downstairs. Watabe Shimai brought crepes for our dessert after DM!! 

We spent Saturday in Matsuyama. We ate lunch as a zone at this chain called Osaka Osho's that has really good gyoza. Plus I had fried rice and it was THE BEST FRIED RICE EVER. I love the food here. I love love love the food! Anyways after lunch we had interviews with Pres Welch and talked to Sis Welch while waiting. They are so wonderful! They really care and its nice that they know all of our names even though I'm new and they've got 175ish missionaries. 
Also random, they knew I was from Springville and when I first got there, Pres Welch said, oh so you're a Red Devil. Realized that might sound strange to people who don't know! (I do have some school pride Tash!)
We had to stay for District/Stake Conference in the evening. Didn't understand too much, but I knew the general ideas- family, gospel teaching in the home and how church supports our families. Got home right at nine and had to get up and drive back to Matsuyama in the morning (oh can't remember if mentioned- if we're driving anywhere, it's with the Watabes). So the general session was held at a hotel. Imabari Branch sang the song we've been practicing "I Know that My Savior Loves Me"...don't remember Japanese translation.
Usually song translations are very different, though apparently this one is pretty close.
Pres Welch and Sis Welch both spoke- Sis Welch in English! Also Pres Welch's Japanese is MUCH easier to understand (very grateful to have an American mission president). One thing I realized in this meeting is that because I don't understand most of the words, I think I have to listen to the Spirit more and when I take notes, it's about what I'm thinking and feeling more than what they're saying, which I think is better (Elder Bednar talks about that sometimes). 
Also Sunday was Sands Shimai's birthday! Not very much that I can do here, but I was planning on birthday breakfast and a sign and card- I was really excited for birthday breakfast, and then she announced that she was going to be fasting...no more birthday breakfast. Ah well, she still got the sign and cute stuff from some members and other missionaries who remembered! Then in evening we were going to have cake (we have a bunch of mixes in our apartment), but she requested blueberry muffins- good choice! So we don't have a real oven, but the microwave is also an oven so we used that and the poor muffin cake thing took FOREVER to bake...but we had it for breakfast this morning!

Today was sooo fun! We had a District P-day and went to this mountain to this national park area to take the gondola up and go hiking. Well timing didn't work out perfectly with the bus for Niihama so we didn't go up as far as we wanted, we just stayed at the base and had a picnic- that's what the pictures are from. And then because the next bus down wouldn't be until 4, Watabe Choro drove them down to a train station then came back for us. In the meantime we had about an hour- hour and a half, so we took the gondola up and did a short hike to a shrine. I finally got to see Japanese touristy stuff!!! I was so excited and it was worth it, really interesting! So that took most of the day but I was so happy to see our district and have fun with them, then we spent a lot of time with Watabe Shimai. 

I'm so blessed here! Plenty of challenges, but I was reminded this week that I should be having fun! Pres Welch really likes to focus on the Doctrine of Christ and how it honestly can be applied to any challenge any of us face. So in my interview I mentioned that it's hard to adjust to being with someone else 24/7 and we talked about how repentance and forgiveness apply and with those 2 principles there's not a single person we can't get along with. 
I love you all so much!
Love, Wagstaff Shimai

Sounds like a pretty good week! I love you so much! This week I felt like I'm really getting adjusted and feeling good about this place. I think other people will be my biggest challenge here- I'm pretty independent, don't really like being told what to do, and can have strong opinions sometimes. But it's working out. Talking with Kagawa
Shimai on koukon was nice- my impression was that we aren't allowed to say anything negative about people and places, and I understand that's good, but at the same time I think we should be allowed some honesty and Kagawa Shimai as STL was nice to talk to about that, there is a balance and yeah we weren't gossiping and being too negative is bad, but getting to talk about struggles and have someone understand and help was really wonderful! As long as I'm obedient and trying by best and following the Spirit I'm okay.

Love you so much! I heard the BYU game was a good one! Yay that Springville also had a good game. Also nice to get to the temple, I'd love to go! Ah well, something to look forward to.

Love, Katya

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 4

Konnichiwa! こんいちわ

Tuesday. Rain. Like I was a wet dog. The SGG members took us out to lunch at this nice hotel here in Imabari and it was raining harder than I've ever seen rain come down, and sadly I didn't buy a kappa last week...but I bought one today! Anyways so I wore my blue rain jacket- turns out though it's cute, it doesn't help a ton in this kind of rain. I also wore my rain boots, but those just ended up holding water in. Needless to say we show up to this hotel and I'm this wet straggly dog they pulled off the street...I was a little embarrassed, but dried off pretty fast! Traditional Japanese food, I had this noodle dish, which was good but took me forever to eat, also took a
long time because they all want to talk with us and practice English. Seriously though they are the kindest people. One guy likes origami and made me a couple things- very cute!

Then after lunch we went and had regular SGG (still have no idea what the acronym is), and I totally forgot that I had promised last time to sing for them as part of my introduction, so I just pulled out my go-to: Savior, Redeemer of My Soul and then we briefly explained what it meant! So then they had me keep singing, for like an hour.
Apparently normally they have the missionary give a speech (so they can work on understanding English from a native speaker). So I sang a couple hymns, mostly Christmas because they recognized those, plus they remembered I'm a theatre major, so I also did "My Favorite Things" and "Think of Me". My favorite moment was when one lady, Higaki San asked about they hymn the Titanic band played- Nearer My God to Thee and we talked about that for a bit! We tried to keep inserting little gospel things, lots of "God gives us talents so we can share/develop them".

Then that evening we checked in with the 15 yr old who didn't have time for a visit, but we asked if he was praying and his response was basically "Of course." Wow! That made our day, because we weren't sure.

Wednesday- stopped by a bakery to get something for our Chinese neighbor who we've talked to a little bit and said she wants to come to Eikaiwa, but we haven't seen her yet, so we thought we'd make a nice note. Oh and appearance is everything here, so you can't just drop off a piece of paper, it has to be NICE! Hence the bakery treat. Lots of weeding for a less-active, we found out she's in the hospital for her knee. Though I guess going to the hospital isn't as big a deal here- the ambulance is free and they seem to go to he hospital for a lot of things, like the flu. Flu is probably a swear word here or something, they are really worried about health!

Then Kaori Shimai took us to dinner- Sushiro! This was another conveyor belt sushi place and I liked it a lot better than the other place. Tried eel for the first time! Nihonjin are still impressed when I eat all the foods, so I wonder if they're just nice, or Gaijin are just bad at eating their stuff...I think it's good!
Eikaiwa fun as usual!

Thursday- we went to the BOM study with the Watabe's and only 1 of the 3 sisters could come. It was on Alma 1-4 and went really well! She bore her testimony on Sunday and said that for the first time, the scriptures were fun/engaging for her to read! That was really awesome! Then in the evening we taught Eguchi Kyodai, the new convert Word of Wisdom. Hand of God moment- we needed another doseki since Watabe Shimai couldn't be there, and we tried 2 other people who couldn't come, then called the 3rd, Murakami Kyodai from the branch presidency which turned out to be a great blessing because he had WOW problems before converting and bore a powerful testimony! Watabe Shimai was running an English book group for some of our SGG members, so we popped our heads in and of course they had snacks- they always have food for us. :)

Friday- 1st zone meeting! We met in Matsuyama and to get there you drive through the mountains which were beautiful, though the road was really curvy- slightly reminded my of Hana Highway in Maui...though I think Maui's road is still worse than this one. We talked a lot about how to teach someone of a non-Christian background, which is everyone we teach, so that was good! Main points I pulled out were respect culture, teach simple and testify!
After, Sands Shimai and I went with the Watabes to an Indian restaurant- so good! The nan was huge and I had a 2 on the hotness scale from 0-4- I think I was feeling a little adventurous, next time I'm def going back to normal...0 or 1.

We came back and felt like we should go to the church early for our lesson with the 2 new girls- we get there and one of the girls comes up on her bike! She remembered to bring her BOM! Came to tell us school was busy and important, so she wasn't so sure...we asked if she could do 15 minute lessons, she agreed. We went over prayer again and thankfully our doseki (member present at lesson) came a little early, because the girl was an hour early! Anyways, Yamamoto Shimai, a young mom who's one of the YW leaders bore testimony of prayer and shared a
favorite scripture. Then we waited around for the 2nd girl and planned and she showed up 20 minutes after we scheduled, with a giant bandage on her knee! She's so sweet, she asked if it would be alright if we rescheduled so that she could go to the doctor...yeah! She's been praying and we got to meet her mom. This girl seems a lot more interested than her friend. Praying for them to have time to continue lessons! School is so crazy here, lots of kids-even members, have a hard time staying active while
in school here.

Saturday- went with the Watabes (I keep writing that and realize we spend a lot of time with them!)- they are wonderful! Anyways we went over to do service for a kind-of less-active who's becoming active again, Nishi Shimai. Sands Shimai and I pulled weeds. Basically we're pros! She was so kind to us, gave us snacks, then little gift bags
with flowers and a sweat towel. Took us to lunch. As a general rule, these people are just really generous, it's hard to actually do service because they always find a way to give back and to an extent it's rude to say no...always puts us in an awkward spot, we want to just do service! But this restaurant was he greatest thing ever! It's right on the coast, traditional Japanese where you kneel and the there was a ton of food and it was all great- the picture of the view is from right outside the restaurant!

After, we were going to go visit Kazue Shimai, the one in the hospital for her knee, turns out it was actually a little serious because she's been there a week- anyways we got into a little bumper accident on the way and that ended up taking an hour- someone was backing up and not looking, it was pretty minor, but still takes time, then we finally got to the hospital! In the evening, we had our branch pancake party + watch Meet the Mormons! We helped out with the pancakes, sadly none of our investigators came...but a part-member family the Watabes are teaching came! The branch was so nice to them- wife is less-active and they have an 8-yr old boy who's shy and really sweet, the Watabes are always talking about him!

Sunday- testimony meeting, as far as I could tell went really well! Also Fast Sunday is when all the auxiliaries meet instead of having Sunday School. I wish they could have RS all the time, it was really
nice. Watabe Shimai taught Pres Uchdorf's talk about the Potempkin Village. After church almost no one we visited was home. Thankfully we caught a less-active, Youhei Kyodai in the evening. We met him last week and
he's so nice and honest, not just polite like most Japanese. He told us he prayed twice and didn't read the BOM, just flipped through it. We talked about the BOM and I felt like I could talk and understand
more than I usually can, that was a really good blessing!

Sorry this was really long, love you all! Living the gospel is joyful! 2 Nephi 2:25 -Yamamoto Shimai shared that with our 14 yr old this week, such a good reminder!

Love, Wagstaff Shimai
Zone Conference

Service--pulling weeds

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Aug. 31, 2015

Lots of shopping today, so I'm late and not a ton of time, BUT I fInally have my own bike! Hopefully it was a good investment, kind of felt like I was selling my voice away or something with the contracts! So this week highlights!

Monday- I made banana bread- taking to less actives and it took FOREVER. Also Sands Shimai made homemade cheese, interesting, not bad!

Tuesday- typhoon warning. EVERYONE called/texted to warn us, nice to be thought of, but it really wasn't a big deal- apparently they usually aren't a biggie in Imabari, but we still stayed in a little longer. The wind was pretty bad though! I had a couple Marilyn Monroe moments. So we went to this other fancy snow cone place (not as good as
the first ps) because the owner's son is an investigator, and owner is potentially interested. Neither were there sadly. But funny moment after! So we stopped to help an old woman with her bike and then talked to her and she stopped us and explained multiple times that she can't convert because she just bought a $250 Buddhist God painting for her front room. She wouldn't listen after that, but after we said we should have pulled out e "Salvation is free" scripture! So we've been laughing about that all week. Also gave the banana bread away- it
turned out really well, woohoo I can cook!

Wednesday- lots of weed pulling (for a less-active) and thankfully it was in partial shade. Members are pretty concerned about my skin here- Mom asked about hair comments, I don't get any red hair comments here, but lots for my skin, they're all worried that I'm sunburned. Really I don't think they understand that pink is pretty much my natural color...:) had this fried chicken for dinner that was supposed to blow my mind away, didn't really notice a difference. Also I LOVE Eikaiwa! We had fun with introductions and birthdays, and we can't teach gospel
lessons, but we can explain beliefs a little (fine balance) and my birthday leads into the gospel really well! (Same as Joseph Smith's)

Thursday- went with the Watabes to this kind of BOM institute class they teach to 3 old women. It was my first seiza (the kneeling thing) and it was very uncomfortable, wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong or just not used to it...probably both! I did try and copy what I saw as well as I could. Also we had hijiki for dinner, sea kelp- not too bad!

Friday- hallelujah district meeting, I really like those! Met the ZLs, very cool. One's from Brazil and speaks 6 languages. WOW. We went to lunch at this beef bowl place- good food. That night we had a lesson with the 2 girls we found last week! They told us they'd be late, so an hour later they showed us, but it was obvious they had really
hurried to be there, so it was all good! We taught the godhead and prayer plus introduced the BOM briefly- they soaked it all up, though once we started to have them pray it took forever, they didn't know what to say and seemed to be a little embarrassed/uncomfortable/something, but both ended up praying and it was great! Really high hopes for them! After we went to the cat lady investigator's house, though this time they didn't lick me as much, so that was nice! Oh side note: Cats are serious business here, pretty much like children,
so weird.

Saturday lots of service and rain. Did service for the 15 yr old's mom, then talked to him and now he doesn't want to get baptized because he did some research and found out about the Word of wisdom and doesn't want to live it, he really likes coffee. Uh oh, working on that. After we did service at Kaori Shimai's moving demolition garbage
(she owns an apartment complex) and they're redoing kitchens, I think. She fed us a traditional Japanese dinner- really fresh stuff, nothing weird as far as I could tell. Of course there was mugi cha... After we visited less-actives with her and thank goodness she was driving us around because the rain was coming down!

Sunday- for 5th Sunday they talked about gospel teaching in the home, focused on youth retention because I guess that's a really big problem in Japan. There was a little oh I miss my family, poor me, but then we were super busy the rest of the day and it went sooo well! We talked to tons of people, met and taught one of our teenager investigator's moms and explained what we were teaching her daughter- importance of family in our church and how prayer and reading Book of Mormon helped us. We prayed with her at he end, and looked up and she was crying, it was the sweetest moment. She was so touched and now we're really excited that we might have the chance to teach a family!! Also later, Sands Shimai felt like we should visit a couple less actives and eat dinner later than scheduled- I wasn't a huge fan of that idea, but went along with it and turned out to be a good thing- we had 2 wonderful lessons! One was comfort- sang a hymn for her and just tried to boost her up. The other has been away from the church for a while and says he's not even sure if he believes in God anymore, but it seems like there's still something there, plus he still remembers how to pray! Most of the less actives don't remember anymore, so that was good! Lesson learned- don't be so selfish, we still got to eat dinner!

Love you all so much, even though I don't have much time to reply this week!

Also today we stopped by a recycle shop and as we call them "Engrish" shirts are very popular here, usually they make no sense or are a little weird grammatically!

Love, Wagstaff Shimai

We have Bank of America cards and have to get cash from the ATM at the post office (best withdrawal rate) because apparently credit/debit cards really aren't used in Japan.

Found my iPod- music really has helped

Pretty normal breakfast- usually this granola stuff for cereal from Costco (they have one in Kobe and we can submit orders to the mission home and it's not very expensive since bulk) also yogurt and sometimes miso soup with egg in it- not bad! 

Sister Sands is from Draper, out 9 months, getting along pretty well now- still a roller coaster but never very bad

Loved hearing about your week- I'm about out of time because a lot of shopping time, mostly on the bike. Hopefully I made a good purchase, it was kind of scary to realize it has to be good for the rest of my mission...I think it'll be good, plus it was about 350, not 500 like the mission office estimated! Everything's in cash here- also it's
rude to just hand cash to someone, there's always a tray to put it in. What a roller coaster this is! But it always ends on the up.

Going to the cat lady's house- we were there 2 hours. I really do love Sands Shimai, but she talks a little too much. I didn't know what was going on, so I didn't say much and felt useless and bummed out that night because I really do love that lady, but felt like they didn't need me at all.

But I talked to her about it and am being more aggressive with getting the chance to speak, and hopefully not taking so much of people's time. Last night was amazing because I felt like we were really teaching in unity going back and forth. Great lessons.

Staying busy and thinking about others and staying positive really do work! I love you guys so much- yay for I love reading [your emails].  Not too much at a time because then I'm distracted and depressed, but a little before bed has been good!

Still figuring out the picture situation...really it's annoying and I'm not the only one with a problem connecting to the iPad...hopefully something works out soon, till then I'll try and take more pictures on my iPad (though the other downside is were not allowed to take pictures while out proselyting-can't spell- but wish I could show you
all of it.