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!

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