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 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


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