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 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.

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