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, January 25, 2016

Jan. 25, 2016 I am a child of God

Welch Kaicho called a little bit ago and I'm an STL. !!! Feeling waaay too young for this, and we're opening a new sister area in Kawachinagano (kind of close to Sakai) and I'm with Chapman Shimai! She's Tahitian and the STL I koukoned with this transfer, I love her! Really excited to work with Chapman Shimai because I like her dendo style- she works really hard and obedient but seems to have a lot of fun.

So still in shock, but that's what's going on.

K I'll get right to the point- so today is transfer announcements, but they said we're doing it different now and you'll get calls from zone leaders instead of the email with everybody on it. So with that they said we probably wouldn't get a call until Tuesday. So about an hour ago we were doing our grocery shopping and Pres Welch called... I'm
transferring to Kawachinagano new sister area as an STL. ...DIDN'T EXPECT THAT.

So anyways this week...Monday right after we finished emailing, Edison (half Phillipino recent convert who's the MOST AMAZING PERSON YOULL EVER MEET) came to the church because he left his jacket here and ended up staying a while telling us his conversion story. I would write the whole thing because it's so good, but that would take forever but the simple reason he joined? He came to church and everyone was smiling and welcoming and he noticed that he was happier here. That simple! So with that, don't forget to smile and love people at church, it goes a long ways!

Tuesday we went to Kobe for TTT( Trainer Trainee Trainer Meeting)-successfully took the trains! Of course the meeting was great! My favorite was seeing Fujiki, Rees and Sands Shimai- so happy!

They are also really emphasizing Preach My Gospel because there was a mission survey a while ago and they found that overall we haven't been using PMG very much, so we're focusing on that. Here's a crazy thought, you'll be more successful at missionary work if you read and apply the manual the prophet and apostles wrote about missionary work...good reminder! 

Wednesday was a normal day- lots of biking trying to visit lots of people, most weren't home, got a little lost, it's the usual! Plus Eikaiwa- I really need to write down the questions they ask me because there's some weird stuff and I have to try and stay serious because they are asking these questions seriously... Example: One of the vocab was "weeping" and this guy asks "So I say 'the weeping pig?' not the 'crying pig' right?" I tell him I honestly don't know if there's a rule about that. Then someone else asks "what about horses?" There's my challenge English people! Do horses cry or weep? 

On Thursday we watched a Broadcast from the Missionary Executive Committee. The focus was on the principles from PMG. Good timing with our mission's focus! 
Also on a side note- we found this soup/salad/sandwich place like the ones Mom and I like. First one I've seen in Japan! We were SO HAPPY

Also we had a lesson with Miki Chan - followed up on prayer and she said she did pray everyday last week! This may sound pretty simple, but it's a huge deal! She said she prayed at work and had a good feeling. !!! Before she didn't really understand prayer and the Holy Ghost and we focused on simplifying our teaching and helping her understand. Little miracle for her! Also she brought a friend and that means another really good potential investigator! 

Friday we had Mission Tour with Elder and Sister Choi (but you say it chay). They're Korean and really funny and POWERFUL. That was most of the day and we learned so much, I wanted to share some things that stuck out to me:

- Elevate our thoughts! (Thoughts lead to action, habit, character, destiny) and with that they are elevating the mission vision again. Welch Kaicho recently changed it to aiming for 1 baptism a month per companionship. We still haven't reached that, but they are changing to 1 baptism a week per companionship! In order to achieve that, we have to work with the members better.

- LOVED Sis Choi, felt the Spirit so strongly when she spoke. She talked a lot about how Heavenly Father trusts us because of our faithfulness in premortality. We are the front line for Him and we shouldn't be afraid of anything!

Hurried back for an LA (less active) lesson with Kitada Kyodai (our dendo shunin- Ward mission leader) doseki-ing (member present at a lesson...something like that). So good! We asked her to read the Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and she told us before she thought repentance was just fixing bad things you do, but we need to repent of anything that separates us from God, even our thoughts. Yes! HUGE PROGRESS! We've talked about repentance with her all transfer and now she's really starting to get it! 

Saturday night was Stake TaiKai (conference)! Elder Choi was there, plus the Welch's! Sakai's a big stake, not quite American size, but still pretty big with some of the greatest members! Pres Welch and Elder Choi both talked about missionary work- one challenge was for every member to read PMG everyday and then tell the missionaries what you learn. We're excited to follow up with all the members. Also with hastening the work here, they've asked all missionaries and members wherever they are to pray for the work in their area at 6 pm everyday. The promise is that we'll all become more united as we are all doing this. They also told everyone that as we actively share the gospel, we will feel more of the joy. 

Saturday night the Wakayama sisters slept over with us (Arnold and FONUA SHIMAI!) Fun in our little apartment- Fonua Shimai was sort of sleeping in the kitchen and Salisbury Shimai was in the doorway! 

Then Sunday was more Stake TaiKai- sorry this email is getting super long because I learned a lot this week and want to share! The music really stood out to me this time. There was a special youth session and they sang the EFY medley. I'll never be able to explain how special this was- so many Japanese youth together, singing. Can you imagine being a church member in a non-Christian country where church is generally regarded as bad or weird? I think Heavenly Father sent some of his strongest children to be Japanese members. 

After Elder Choi had the missionaries come up and sing our mission theme song (Armies of Helaman with our words). Lots about missionaries again, and then a huge theme was that we are children of God. We are glorious with an eternal destiny. In the regular session, they had us sing "I am a Child of God"- first they sang in Korean, then had English speakers stand and sing in English and then everyone in Japanese. That's a moment I'll never forget. Music is powerful!

After conference we went out delivering banana bread to LA's. I don't think I've ever been so cold. EVER. And no one was home and we couldn't really feel fingers and toes by the end, but we went out and we tried!

I wish I could send you all the Spirit that I felt in meetings this week. One of the simplest messages we have in our church, one of the first things you learn in one of the most powerful and profound, we are children of God! 

Love you all!
Wagstaff Shimai

Before the more spiritual part- we're doing District P-Day today and we're going to COSTCO!!! Literally we're all so excited! One of the elders has a membership. It's a good district!

All in all this transfer has been a little hard because a lot of the time it was slow, and now I know I never want to work that slow again, EVER. Still really shocked about the STL thing. So far nothing "normal" has happened, and I guess that's good because it goes to show that God is in charge and I have to keep exercising faith.

Some other notes from this week. Seriously Elder and Sister Choi are so great- they speak basically fluent English (he was the Mission President in Seattle a while ago) and are SUPER funny but he's also very bold (one of those pound the pulpit types). I sang for Mission Tour- AP's called and requested Savior Redeemer. Good because that's
about all I've got without practicing! :) Anyways then Elder Choi talked about using talents in missionary work, and a interesting point was that if we really use our talents in this work, we'll be more productive. Interesting. Also at Stake Conference with the youth he told them not to use our mind and talents focusing on other purposes, He gave us our talents, so we should use them for God's work. Anyways, just interesting things I'm still thinking about. Also not sure if I've told you about it before, but our Mission Theme Song. Not that it's that hard to do, but brings me to tears every time:

ニーファイのように           Nifai no youni
よい父母より                        Yoi chichi haha yori
福音学び                          Fukuin manabi
戒 め守る                              Imashime mamoru
ヒラマンの勇志のように.     Hiraman no yuushi no youni
子供のときから.                 Kodomo no toki kara
教え受け御言葉                     Oshie uke mikotoba
宣のべ伝える                         Nobetsutaeru

We have been called to Kobe, Japan
To work with members in teaching God's plan
Walk with the Lord, and raise up the light
Establish Zion with all our might

We are as the army of Helaman
We have been taught in our youth
And we are now the Lord’s missionaries
To bring the world his truth.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mon. Jan 18, 2016

Dendo is hard but God LOVES us


It hasn't been the greatest week, but I'd be really ungrateful if I didn't acknowledge that God is always sending love in different ways. 

Monday we got invited over for another Brazilian dinner FHE! We purposely left early to be sure we were there on time and we actually did pretty good getting over to the convini close to their house, then we called and they couldn't come guide us back...anyways 45 minutes later we get there. We try. It was good, not perfect but we loved it- kids were running around and being crazy. It was 2 families and 2 recent convert teenagers who are the only members in their families. We shared the message and the kids weren't perfectly quiet but we left happy because that's what family life is like! Definitely not perfect, but trying and sharing with the people around us. 

Wednesday we koukoned with STLs in Higashi, Osaka. Coming from Shikoku, I thought Sakai was city...never mind! I love dendoing in the city because there are so many people! I was with Chapman Shimai and she stops everyone, even jumping off the bike to talk and it was so much fun. I felt really productive! It was also raining a little and SO COLD. But they have new people coming to Eikaiwa and 1 definite potential investigator. 

Thursday we finished our koukon and had an appt in Sakai at 5:30 that we literally had to take the train straight to and ran the whole way to the appt and got there EXACTLY AT 5:30. We were pretty happy, even if we probably looked, well...yeah we had our giant overnight backpacks and normal bag. But we got to the appt on time! It's a less-active's friend who we teach English and gospel. Then we taught our LA Suzuoki Shimai and she took us out for Okonomiyaki! We absolutely love her and she's coming to church this week! She broke our hearts a little last week by promising to come and canceling last minute, but she was sorry and is coming this week. Pretty spiritually powerful lesson with her. 

Friday after District Meeting the Komatsu's invited us all over for lunch. He was the mission president in Tokyo awhile ago and they are so strong and helpful! After lunch they invited a recent convert over for dessert and our message. Salisbury Shimai and I had a message about Jesus Christ. We watched Because of Him and had everyone testify. This week everyone please do this- Watch the video and have an Akashikai (testimony meeting) if you can because the Spirit we felt was undeniable. 

Saturday we made sushi! Investigator's mom gave us fish and we were a little scared about it, I mean it's raw fish but it was pretty successful! Also we got to the church pretty early for Game Night but right when we got there, one of the elder's PI's came. Perfect timing

Sunday less-active's came to church!! Seeing Suzuoki Shimai and Nakata Shimai- 2 we've worked with come was so good. Seriously so happy. 

Shorter letter this week- but those are the big highlights. So grateful for the wonderful people Im surrounded by and am uplifted by because not every moment is great. Sometimes, a lot of the time people don't want to listen, investigators won't answer your calls and you can't perfectly communicate. It happens, but Welch Kaicho told us before that as young missionaries, he hoped we would run into walls and figure out how to climb over them. There are lots of walls! And the promise given to Joseph Smith is given to all of us: 

7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

So this week I can testify that God is with us forever and ever. We are here to learn and grow- that's part of God's plan and the plan is perfect. It all centers around Jesus Christ's Atonement. He knows. 
We're pressing forward (and love the new youth theme song- very motivating, go listen)!

I love you! 
Wagstaff 姉妹
Sent from my iPad

Everything in my big email was true, God does love us and I think writing that was more for me to remember. You probably noticed lots of gaps...didn't really want to put those parts in, but here's the full story:

Tuesday- wasn't bad, just boring. We had to finish all the training videos for Salisbury Shimai and that took all afternoon, then in the evening went to teach Miki Chan. She's the one we thought would get baptized soon and came to church. But not so much anymore, we don't know what's up. Anyways, so we get to the Eki early to meet our doseki (member coming to lesson)...she's not there. It's time to meet Miki and she's still not there. We wait together a little and can't get a hold of the member. We leave because it's not fair to Miki to cut her lesson. Lesson goes more according to her needs than what we planned- followed up on prayer and she's hasn't been. Spirit was leading the lesson and went pretty well. We think she understands a little more now. (Her mom gave us the fish for sushi)

She cut it while we taught and gave us 2 pieces- look how huge this thing is!

Wednesday and Thursday koukon (exchange) I was with Chapman Shimai who's from Tahiti! She's truly a Gift of Tongues miracle because she's learned English and Japanese. I loved working with her because she's so happy and really does stop and share the gospel happily with everyone. I felt like I was a bolder, happier missionary just being with her. We taught a few pretty successful street lessons- one even told us the whole "you guys are shining/you have lots of light"- I've heard about that, but no one's said that to me. But I felt it then, I just felt really happy, full of light!

This next week will be good. Why? Lots of meetings and it's the last full week of the transfer. We have TTT tomorrow in Kobe (trainer trainee training), then Missionary Executive Council broadcast Wednesday or Thursday, then Mission Tour Friday with Elder Choi (I'm singing- excited to be singing again) and Stake Conference on the weekend. Having lots of plans helps because it's not having set plans that's been hard. 

Trying to adjust my expectations. I kind of expected this transfer to be full of huge miracles because we are 2 young missionaries together and God would just be working through us the whole time because we can't do much on our own (and admittedly part of this vision was that everyone would be impressed with us)...okay so it sounds a little selfish now. In our first follow-ups with mission leaders everyone has been surprised about how we're so young and together and there must be something big in store. From my limited vision, not seeing anything big in store, just a few little successes and plenty of struggles, but that's from my perspective. Maybe there is something a lot bigger coming, or maybe it'll never look "big" to me. 

So that's the full truth from this week. I love you guys, praying for you, know that you are praying for me


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Monday Jan. 11, 2016


Overall, we had a really good week because we're working on just progressing- being better than we were even if it's different than other people around us or even where we think we should be, and yeah we didn't reach 20 lessons or have an investigator come to church and we want that, but we felt pretty good where we were because it was better than before.

So last Monday, the nicest older member in the Ward, Izumi Shimai, invited us over and gave us kimonos! We were trying not to freak out, it was pretty cool! She told us she had given some to sisters before, and we asked her why she did it (kimonos are NOT cheap) and she just kind of shrugged it off and said that the sisters were just always so happy to receive one. She likes doing it because we feel joy! THAT is charity I think!

Here's what the back looks like- this is a fast fold, not one of the super complex pretty ones. Also this thing is tight (not like not fit, but how it's supposed to fit)! They really bind you in, and as Americans we were feeling a little fat in it, also of course the sleeves aren't long enough for me, but no complaints, really pretty! I'll send it home eventually.

Then after we were invited to dinner by her son's family who are members. It was their family, another Brazilian family, Edison (recent convert- MOST AMAZING KID) and a friend they brought. So the younger Izumi Shimai is Brazilian and cooked a giant Brazilian dinner. So so so so so good! They split us up- young people at one table and adults and little kids at the other. Whole point was so that we and Edison and the girls (all in high school) could fellowship their friend that came. After dinner we played Jenga with them (after finally getting them off their phones...) and then shared a short message with everyone! Such a good night! 

Tuesday was a lot of iPad/phone time because there's a bunch of training videos you have to watch. But we got out in the evening and brought mochi for a less-active family. They have a daughter who just turned 10, so we said Happy birthday- hoped to teach a quick message, only the 10 yr old stayed at the genkon to listen, but she was really sweet and no effort is wasted! Maybe through her the rest of the family will eventually come back.

Wednesday we had a doseki lesson (member came with us) and it was amazing! We visited this lady who was found housing a while ago and was busy through New Years. We weren't sure how interested she would be, but learned to never give up hope for people! She was given a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and BOM before...she looked up every single scripture in the pamphlet and had questions for us! She was pretty hard to understand, thank goodness for Tanaka Shimai, the member who came with! They talked together really fast for a while (kind of seemed like forever) but both Salisbury Shimai and I got to talk and take charge of the lesson. She has a lot of potential, we're excited!

Also tender mercy- a member came to Eikaiwa that night and was able to help take control of the eternal Eikaiwa students (people who have come forever but have absolutely no interest in the church). There are some hard people there- learning patience and charity!

Thursday as a district we tried music dendo- went to a bigger Eki to sing as a way to find people. There weren't very many people and we didn't get to find/talk to anyone...but we tried and we felt good, so someone else had to have felt the Spirit! After got to go teach a LA and set a date for her to go back to the temple! The thing getting in the way is attending church regularly. Trying to focus on that and help her come. 

Friday ZTM in Wakayama- Salisbury Shimai started talking to a high school girl on the train and we ended up talking/teaching for most of the ride (30 ish minutes)! Plus found out the girl lives super close to the Sakai church. 

ZTM was great- I just always feel more uplifted and motivated after those meetings. Plus Fonua Shimai is in my zone! The sisters went out for Okonomiyaki after. We each ordered a different kind and shared. SO GOOD. SO FULL. 

On Saturday visited a referral and a PI (potential investigator) and took the train and walked and ended up talking to a lot of people! We're going to try doing that a little more- getting off our bikes a little because we end up going too fast to talk to anyone. Then a couple members came to game night- working on getting more people to come because lately it's just been the missionaries and Edison and then 1 or 2 other people...who then don't come again. 

Sunday- I don't remember what was so good about Sacrament Meeting, but it was really good- not anything that anyone said, just that it's really peaceful. I look forward to Sunday's like I never have before.

Kind of funny moment in the evening- we were trying to find this less-active. We get to the right area according to the map, then asked a lady who was nearby and she pointed us to the right house. We're feeling really great-locking our bikes, reviewing the message, pray, then realize we can't find the door! Seriously no front door. So we tried to check the back- little hard in Japan because houses are literally right next to each other- finally found a way to get to the back, but then there was this creepy dog that we thought was going to jump over the fence and attack us, so we went back to the front. Maybe it was in the garage-looking place...so we try and slide past the car but there's no space and that seemed really weird and it was dark so we might look like stalkers or something, so since we also finally at this point noticed there weren't any lights on in the upstairs windows, decided to try again in the light. Still don't know where the door is.

So we didn't get 20 lessons in a week like would like, but we taught more than we did last week and we followed through on all of our plans- we tried! We sang in an Eki even though at first it seemed potentially awkward and weird. That didn't turn into a giant miracle, but we tried. Don't remember who said it, but I really believe that God cares about the direction we're heading and that we're trying. He magnifies our efforts. I don't fully understand it, but God works with weak things like us and even lets us fall sometimes, but we're here to succeed. We're here to have joy! We just like to laugh, and hope that eventually we'll find that woman's front door or figure out another way to meet her!

Love, Wagstaff Shimai

Also first Sakura (Japanese cherry blossom) tree we've seen!

Now all of our leaders think we need lots of help- it's nice but kind of a little much maybe? Zone leaders called yesterday for a follow-up and at the end told us we're doing amazing! they're so proud of our work! etc. Hung up and laughed a little-they were a little too enthusiastic. We're the babies of the zone and feel a little babied, but we figure we'll just go with it and enjoy for a while because honestly sometimes we do need that help maybe! We're only young once!

Love you guys so much!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday Jan. 4, 2016

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!

New Year's is HUGE here, so meeting with people was a little hard, but we had a pretty good week!

Last Monday we tried to go to a shrine by our apartment, but we got there and it was deserted and they were preparing for New Year, duh, forgot! But it was pretty!

That big thing is the tori: gate, or something like that. 

In the evening, we went to go find and teach a less-active. We were following our map and got to the area but couldn't figure out which house it was. Then this guy came by, walking his dog and we asked for help. He came over and checked our map and the address was his! Wrong person though, so he took his dog inside, the insisted on walking around the block with us checking all the names (everybody's name in on their house, but usually in kanji so we can't read it). Couldn't find it and so we thanked him, Salsibury Shimai gave him a Mormon.org card and explained who we were a little bit and we left. We were several blocks away when he came up in his car and said that he found who we were looking for! We walked back and his wife had come out and had a map of the area with all the names listed as well- turns out it was their next door neighbor and we somehow missed that house! Thanked them a ton, then went to the less-active sister and taught a lesson. Wasn't the greatest lesson, but we got to meet her! (Story doesn't end here, there's more later in the week!)

Tuesday we had Korean food for lunch with an Eikaiwa student/former investigator. She doesn't like all of our "rules" because she wants freedom. Testified and taught all we could, but she needs to find out for herself. After that we rode out to Mikunigaoka with the elders (40 minute bike ride, next area over). We visited a member there who we want to doseki (member who join-teaches at a lesson) with us. She is SUPER! She's a recent convert and had tons of problems before that she thought she couldn't overcome, but did mainly through reading the BOM. She was baptized last year and told us since then she's read the BOM 3 times. After the meeting, we handed out mochi party flyers with the elders for a little bit, then the long ride back to the other side of Sakai to teach Miki Chan, an investigator with a TON OF POTENTIAL! We teach 30 minutes English, 30 gospel and Usui Shimai, one of the YW leaders who also speaks English was our doseki. She is so good! She's an RM and really good at relating and helping them understand. 

Wednesday morning the ward had a Mochi Party! Mochi is smashed rice that gets kind of gooey and stretchy and they make desserts, but it basically has no flavor and I'm not really a fan. But to make it they put steamed rice in a stone bowl and smash it with a giant hammer! Sorry should've got a better picture. We got to talk to lots of members, especially some less-actives that came! So they smash it with the giant hammer then you make it into little balls and roll it fast while it's hot before it hardens a little. Sometimes you put anko in it, which is red bean paste...it's a dessert. Not a huge fan, unless there's also a strawberry in it or something! They gave us a ton to give away and take home. We found out it's edible with Nutella :)

You can see the giant hammer in the back!

After the bishop met with the missionaries and Ward mission leader to talk about next year's Ward mission plan. They've really stepped it up and he is so ready to work hard and set some high goals- Bishop Yoshida is pretty young and has TONS of energy, he's really cool! Also, half Brazilian and served his mission in Brazil. Random side note: lots of Brazilians in our ward, okay like 3-4 families, but it seems like a lot.

On Thursday we had interviews with Welch Kaicho and since they were in Sakai, we did set up and take down and that took most of the day. We got to spend lots of time with Welch Shimai and that's always so much fun! No doubt that he is called of God and they are really here to help all of us individually! 
We had dinner with members that night and were STUFFED. Yakiniku, COSTCO ROLLS!!! hot pot, crab, dessert, so good. Izumi Shimai- grandma in the grey sweater in the mochi picture and her family fed us. They are so kind! 

Friday, New Year's Day! We had District Meeting, then Komatsu Kyodai (member, former mission president) brought us pizza because we were going to have lunch with them but his wife was sick. We then went as a district to Otori Shrine, same one as Monday because we heard the food was good and even though we can't proselyte we figured we could flyer for Eikaiwa. TONS of people, like Disneyland at Christmas and you can't move kind of busy. So basically once you are in the crowd you can't leave and it was pretty hard to flyer. Met a member there! So for Japanese Buddhists it's like Christians in America who only go to church on Christmas and Easter. They go to the shrine on New Year's and throw in some money and pray. 

Can't really tell in this picture, but there's a billion people or so!

Saturday our district went over for lunch to a member's. It was a mom and her daughter here from Tokyo- RM who went to Hawaii and speaks fluent English. They fed us pizza. That was kind of funny, I was sort of expecting all the traditional New Year's food, but still haven't eaten it. They usually assume we can't/don't want to eat their food, so Salisbury Shimai and I try to make it a point to tell everyone we love Japanese food! We can have pizza anytime when we're home. 

Sunday- something I love here is that as a mission we send in investigators/LA's that are struggling and we all fast for them. So we were in Gospel Principles class and in walks Kaoru San!! She's the Eikaiwa/former investigator who doesn't like rules. We didn't invite her, but she decided to come and the lesson was seriously on exaltation and we were talking a lot about why we keep the commandments in order to return to a God's presence and receive eternal life. !! Wow. She didn't stay for RS, she came to that class, then said she had to go. We don't know why she decided to come, but obviously we can't give up on her! Then after church, a former member of this ward was home from Tokyo for the holidays and gave us a whole list of different LA's and some former investigators from before that she wanted us to visit, who in the ward is their friend, so helpful! She's an RM, speaks English and doseki-ed with the sisters all the time here before she moved. She's a superstar! 

In the evening, we had dinner with the Usui's (YW leader, speaks English). They are a young couple and so funny! Once again tons of food- new experience for us! We hardly ever get fed, New Year's really is a big thing! 

This week my testimony that God is a God of miracles was strengthened. He loves all of his children and He's making sure we find them and help them. This is HIS work! 

Love you all! 

Wagstaff Shimai

I thought Sakai would be more big-city-ish, I mean it is, but it's not downtown, it's in between downtown and suburbs? Hard to explain because comparing Japan and the US is hard. Imabari was a huge area, but that was just because of the mountains- the town wasn't actually that big, so I do way more biking here. Though we also take trains. Trains everywhere. Unique? Honestly still not quite sure.

Salisbury Shimai was a dancer, but not super intense about it. She went to UVU for a year. LOVES K-pop (Korean) and J-pop and coming to Japan was her dream, loves Asia took Japanese for 3 years.

When I had my interview with Welch Kaicho he was really supportive that this is hard, he knows and we can
do it. He said he hopes we run into walls because then we learn.

Also Izumi Shimai (grandma who fed us) told us yesterday she wants us to come over today...why?

SHE WANTS TO GIVE US KIMONOS. At New Year's people wear kimonos and all the little girls and even
some of the YW and Isumi Shimai wore kimonos to church yesterday! So that's a good pick-me-up!