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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mon. Dec. 28, 2015 Christmas.....it happened

Merry Christmas everyone!

Our week was pretty good, Monday evening we went over to Miki Chan's- SHE'S GOLDEN. We had a good lesson and as we were leaving, I just casually invited her to church (she already had other commitments, so I didn't want to overwhelm her) but then she was like, when is it? Can I come? WHAT. So that was really cool- there really are people being prepared and people who have real interest.

Tuesday we taught some really good short lessons on the train to visit a LA. After the visit, we got on a train and started talking to a girl who had interest !!! and then realized after she left that we were on the wrong train in the opposite direction. Obviously not the wrong train! Then I realized I gave her an Imabari card instead of Sakai...hopefully she somehow still meets missionaries again!

Wednesday was my birthday! We went to Abeno (downtown Osaka) for missionary Christmas Taikai (conference). So much fun! I love Pres and Sis Welch, they really know and care about each of us. Also got to see Fonua Shimai and other missionaries I love! We got back to Sakai in the evening and went to get cake, then taught Eikaiwa. Honestly I miss my Eikaiwa students in Imabari...but just new people to learn to love. Family- I loved the Frozen picture! It's hanging in our apartment :)

                                   Comp unity! Also Welch Shimai said that she wants to be in our companionship- YES!
This was Christmas Taikai! 

 Here were the friends from my MTC district that were in Abeno! 

Happy birthday to me!

This was at the cake shop

First time Katya was able to see Fonua Shimai since the MTC.

Cake for the December birthdays! Gomen, not the greatest picture...

Christmas eve- went caroling as a district and no one wanted to listen to us...awkward, but we had fun! Then we took banana bread to our neighbors- we didn't teach them lessons, but they all seemed really happy and if we spread love and they have a good image of us, then I feel good about what I did. 

Christmas! We opened presents from the ward as a district- we probably don't have to buy groceries for like 2 weeks! 
This was our Christmas food from the ward, mostly treats, which we're trying to give away to other people or else we're gonna get FAT

District Meeting was fun, then we went caroling to a rest home with the RS. This was a lot more successful than our other attempt! CHRISTMAS MIRACLE: so we went to visit a less-active and she wasn't there and as we left, her dog was still barking like crazy so we thought maybe there was a problem (we both kind of think of the extremes so we thought maybe she had passed out or something, I don't know) so anyways we go back to the part net, wait a little bit and then she came up the stairs! So we got to share a Christmas message and hear about her goal to go to the temple! 

After that we tried to visit another less-active who lived far away and we decided to take our bikes because we're trying to be healthier and save money by not taking the train...so an hour later we get there and she tells us it's too late (it was 7) so we biked back another hour. Also it was raining. So not the greatest and we were exhausted, but we've laughed about it since then...better planning and sometimes it's okay to take the train! So Merry Christmas- it's not big here, hear a couple songs in the mall, everyone buys a Christmas cake and that's about it. 

But New Years, well let's just say New Years will be big and we're got a couple invitations from members, plus there's this Ward activity where we're going to make mochi- what I hear is that we're smashing rice with a big hammer, so that should be fun! 

This is my District on Saturday at our game night. There's this recent convert, Edison who is from the Phillipines and really funny and kept yelling out different reactions and then he'd take a picture. This one was "you're really mad because you got another kekko (rejection)". Anyways, it's a fun group!

This is "look! There's an angel!"

Sunday Miki Chan came to church!! The YW and leaders just took her right under their wing and basically became friends really fast, so we're excited! This is the first time one of my investigators has come to church, it felt so good! Then in the evening this family invited us to their curry party, kind of homecoming for their daughter and basically almost the whole ward was at their apartment and it was just so fun. They are all friends and SO nice to us!

God answers prayers. We had lots of time and wanted more people to visit, activities, etc and at church we received 2 LA referrals to visit and 2 other referrals plus dinner invitations. God is very aware of us! I read Mark 11:21-24 this morning and felt like Peter- oh my goodness a miracle happened! But when we really develop our faith in God, we know that miracles happen. Prayers are answered. 

I love you all and love hearing from you! God is in all the details of all of our lives, even when and especially when it's not going according to our plan. 

Love you all!
Wagstaff Shimai

It was SOO good to see you, talk to you for Christmas! Yeah the companion being there is a little weird, I was there for her's too. Funny thing is we both cried during both of our calls- prepared with a box of tissues! I love you so much, and tender mercy after was that I wasn't homesick at all, I wanted to get out and go work. You don't hold me back at all, you push me forward. I don't get homesick, I'm motivated! 

Also, yeah not every moments great, but I just overall feel happier, and we just have lots of fun but we're dendo-ing (missionary work/proselyte) and riding bikes in the rain and it shouldn't be as much fun as it is. So it's not that we're wanpaku (trouble-makers) just having fun, but we're having fun doing what we should. 

I love you! Katya

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