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

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nov. 9, 2015

This week was transfer week, but because we weren't transferring, we felt like we had a lot of time! A lot of time was dedicated to our Dendo fireside which was yesterday and turned out pretty well! Lots of prep- met with all of our branch leaders and most of the returned missionaries (I think there's 5, so that wasn't too hard).  We were really worried about the time because there was a lot we wanted to do, but with 50 minutes to do it all, so...we mogi-ed! (Practiced/rehearse) we seriously had it down to how many minutes everything would take and miraculously, it actually turned out about the same time we planned! 

Okay so that was Sunday and the biggest highlight of the week, but going back...Monday we tried a Chinese restaurant we heard was good- Chinese food here isn't the same as American Panda Express...I really like Panda Express. But it wasn't bad, just didn't come with a fortune cookie.

Also it was REALLY cold! The weather has been all over the place!

Tuesday we tried again to follow up on a former investigator we've never met, and instead met his parents. Conveniently they own a cake shop, so we had some cake and the mom brought her husband out because he's interested in learning English (the last time we dropped by, we left an Eikaiwa flyer), so I spoke with him for a bit- his English isn't bad! He loves traveling and been lots of places and we talked about Europe for a bit. That's something as a missionary I didn't expect- you can connect with people about anything and connecting is really important! My expectation was more gospel-only, but honestly we can talk about anything and get to know people, and besides, everything connects to the gospel somehow. Found out this couple is Protestant, and scheduled a lesson for Thursday- NEW INVESTIGATORS!

Wednesday we met some investigators who are currently ma-ma, not really keeping commitments and not really too interested, but they keep meeting with us...kind of weird. Anyways, we felt like we took a step forward with one! She's the nicest person ever- always SO happy, she's a hairdresser and loves to talk and will listen but hasn't really progressed, so we tried something different and watched a video together "What the Scriptures Mean to Me"- so good! She started commenting and making connections without us asking questions!
Then in Eikaiwa, another former investigator came back! He's a high school student from Panama, here for a year for his dad's work. So he's learning English and Japanese- HARD. But his English is really really good, I think. Anyways, hopefully we get to start teaching him again, so to prep, I downloaded some a Spanish missionary app with basic phrases to use, really hope I get to!

Thursday picked lemons and mikans again for a member with the Watabe's. This time it was a little colder, but still fun! Minus the spider webs everywhere, those aren't so fun, but I managed to not scream this time (last time we went I basically walked right up, almost into a GIANT spider web, so I screamed. I think it was justified!)

Friday- basically the whole day was study and planning- Dendo fireside, weekly planning, and transfer goals. We had to give ourselves a little excitement, so we had good food! I made sweet and sour chicken for lunch and Fujiki Shimai made pumpkin soup for dinner. Yum!

Saturday we went to a less-active's shop and did service for a while. Usually she just has us do something super simple and we're not sure how useful we are, but this time she had real things for us to do! There were a bunch of embroidered towels, but one of the kanji's embroidered was wrong, so we had to unpick it really carefully. It. Took. So. Long. BUT she was so much more receptive to our message after! We shared Elder Lawrence's talk from Soutaikai (GC) and talked about the Holy Ghost- normally she politely listens, but she was more involved this time! "Ai o shimesu koto": show love, is one of our goals this transfer and it works!

Sunday was THE DAY. Dendo fireside! It went well, we were exhausted after! After, more Ai o shimesu koto! There's a less-active we visited a while ago with a member and she said she was going to start dieting/exercise and Fujiki Shimai remembered that, so we copied some pages from a book we have of different workouts and brought those over. When we went over, she was ready to say no/not have time for a message, BUT we pulled out the pages and she instantly changed! We talked about the workouts, etc for a while (okay so she talks really fast and I don't really understand her well, so it was mostly her and Fujiki Shimai talking), But anyways, it softened her! She's still not very receptive to gospel messages, but we strengthened our connection with her, and she did listen to our connection of exercise being like prayer- consistency is needed to see a difference, make a big change! 

So a lot of member visits about the fireside and a LOT of people not home when we tried to visit. It's a little discouraging to bike for a long time and then not meet someone, but we're learning patience and working on always staying positive- Fujiki Shimai is so good at staying positive, I love working with her! My ponderizing scripture this week was Alma 44:4 "Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith."
We just have to stay faithful because God will honestly always support us and give us successes- we're not made to fail!

Love you all so much- your examples and stories and emails- promise I read and love everything even when I don't reply!

Wagstaff Shimai

I'll probably be on a little earlier from now on because I'm officially done training, so there's less study time.  Thank goodness I'll always have language study time! For the first 12 weeks we have an extra hour of companion study where we're supposed to use our 12-Week booklet (focusing on basics from PMG, lots of watching
The District). Now down to 3 hours of study!  

Weird question did you see fireflies in the summer?  Nope, didn't see any! Just a billion mosquitoes that loved me

Shakes at an investigators cafe, taught a lesson, and after she gave us a soft "kekko"- rejection. 
I hate the soft ones, really awkward because technically they don't say "Don't come back" but they aren't begging us to stay, so we can't really drop them yet. Weird situation and that's a lot of our investigators to some degree or other right now.

Here are the lemons we picked! We pick them green so that they're yellow by the time they're in the store

So. Many. Mikans. 
And they are so yummy, currently eating one. Unfortunately it is illegal to transport Japanese fruit out of the country. Lame, because it's good!

This is the view when we pick mikans. Talked about it a couple weeks ago- PARADISE

Also, Fujiki Shimai told me last night I was talking in my sleep- switched between Japanese and English... That means I can speak the language! Thankfully I'm not keeping her awake and not alone, she snores a lot :)

Love you guys so much!
Sent from my iPad

Last week we went shopping and solidified the fact that I'm different :) sizing is different here since everyone is smaller, so I had to buy anXL for a heat tech undershirt. Honestly. I don't know where fat people could buy clothes here. Really haven't seen any fat people.

I've been trying to focus better during Sacrament too, especially because I really don't quite understand the Sacrament prayers. But before I thought if I just kept listening I'd get it and I shouldn't rely on English. Okay so that wasn't working and relying on English isn't a bad thing if that's what I understand, so I pull out my BOM
and open up to Moroni to read and I think it's made a difference.

With member missionary work, one thing I've realized here is that supporting other members and less-actives is really important- that's missionary work too. Basically we've discovered that not a lot of home teaching/visiting teaching gets done here...as I was feeling judgemental towards members about that, I remembered that I wasn't
very consistent in my YSA ward...need to improve! It's not every man for himself, I think we really do all need support

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