Monday tried to visit a less-active that never really talks to missionaries, but she's a piano teacher so we printed out Savior Redeemer sheet music for her- hopefully she plays it!
Tuesday the RS had a service project activity- we were cutting fabric and I didn't understand what for, so I asked a sister and she was being indirect about it and I don't understand indirect Japanese, so still didn't understand, then she was more direct and a little embarrassed: we were making disposable wipes for old people! So now I
know the Japanese for that... Later a really good lesson about JS, Restoration with a LA and the RS Pres came with us- Spirit was very strong and LA said she'll come to Seisankai (Sacrament Meeting), which ps she did!
Wednesday we went over to lunch at the Nakata's - members and they invited their friend who used to meet with the missionaries a little. SO GOOD. Really good doseki's (member present at lesson)! Also she asked us for our parents names, looked them up on Facebook and sent pictures :) Funny random thing: Kawachinagano members LOVE taking pictures and they post everything. Best moment was the other day when the RS Pres was taking one and said "I'm going to put this on Facebook and then the mission president can see it!" - They get so excited
every time he likes a picture because everybody loves Welch Kaicho! Also lately when we visit members and even some less-active's, they tell us they saw this picture/that Tahitian dance video...so I guess it's good advertising?
Anyways so Wednesday after met a ton of people on the street, especially around eki's. Then in the evening went to Ping Pong night, then we're planning to visit a LA close by, but as we were leaving the church, both felt like we shouldn't go, but we didn't know what to do so we were in the lobby, went and talked to a member there for a little bit, then another brother came over and asked if we could come with him...went to a classroom and there was a mom and son, friends he had brought over! He's older and super friendly and was playing Japanese chess with the boy and we just sat and talked with them for a bit, then the member asked about the BOM- he had given her one with his testimony last week! She's a member of another Christian church and we got to talk, testify about the BOM. Shukufuku! Walked right into a doseki lesson.
Thursday visited an LA who lives up a big hill, but a beautiful area- it was actually a really warm day and we didn't need a coat or jacket- seriously this weather changes so much. Unfortunately the lady's house was Antarctica in the dark and we both froze and pretended like we were fine, but the sister was very nice, she's old and really just needs people to talk to. Then we stopped by a woman on the way back who was out watering her flowers- stopped and ended up talking for about 30 minutes mostly about our lives, families, little gospel and she said we can come back anytime for a drink/visit. We don't know how interested she is in the gospel, but she was really nice and we don't want to turn down an invitation! Then we started and finished SKK (weekly planning) on Thursday! Lately it gets delayed, takes a long time and we finish by Saturday, so that was pretty good!
Friday, District Meeting in Hashimoto. Really good- we talked about accountability and felt so much dendo Fire- there's so much work for us to do!
Then we had a koukon with the Wakayama sisters...FONUA SHIMAI! MTC doryo ❤️ We had so much fun together- stopped and talked to lots of people, visited an investigator and struggled a little reading Japanese with her, but at the same time look how far we came, we're reading Japanese! Then visited the Bishop's family in the evening- Bishop's wife's mom is an eternal investigator who likes the church, but has Alzheimer's and doesn't remember anything and is also partially deaf and a really funny person. We talked about the gospel blessing families and it was just really fun- they're a really strong family. Also found out their son went into the MTC the same time I did, sadly neither of us could remember him...sorry too many people!
Saturday morning started with a member visit to a really strong couple and talked about sharing the gospel and charity- really good way to start off! Later plans kind of changed because it started raining pretty bad and it's harder to go finding in the rain, but we still taught a few people, then did an Eikaiwa Kubari (pass out flyers) at a big Eki with the elders
Sunday. Wow. Sacrament- talks were about the area plan and all of the speakers also talked about/mentioned missionary work- really good Ward! Then we taught YW's and got to show them one of my favorite talks- it's Pres Uchtdorf "Your Happily Ever After" about princesses that got turned into a book. Very fun! After church, we were waiting to meet and talk with the bishop, so we went into a classroom and we're updating our Area Book. Then the Stake President walked in. Really surreal- he asked about the area, then about Zone Conference coming up and what we'll be teaching (Companion Relationship) and talked with us for a bit about that then said "Okay, now teach me." So we mogi'd with him about prayer and baptism- little scary since we didn't prepare, but turned out pretty well and then he took time to correct and teach us both about Japanese and gospel-teaching. Then he asked us what time we wake up- told him 6:25, he then asked if we would be able to wake up at 6? He pulled out his phone and calculated how much extra productive time we would have if we got up at 6 and had an extra 1/2 hr to study- wow! So we took that challenge! About an hour 1/2 later, he left and said he would send the bishop in.
Then we met with Bishop Yoshikawa about Kawachinagano's vision/ Ward mission plan. Then have a solid plan! They want a new church in a better location (this one is far from eki) and need to increase numbers, so they're focusing on LA's and youth. Solid plan and now we're more in line with the local leaders- I feel like we can do so much more now.
Also just a little extra miracle: in the evening we wanted to visit a less-active family that live in this ginormous apartment building by the church. We didn't have their apt number, but there was a directory at the bottom by the elevator, in kanji...so we were able to find what we thought was the kanji and search through the names and eventually found it! Visited, talked to a dad and daughter in the genkon about prayer- she's in high school and it's test season- then we asked the dad if the rest of the family was okay. Japanese people will usually never tell you there's a problem or they need help, but he hesitated and said actually daijoubu janai (not okay) - 2 younger daughters have the flu really bad- so we were able to pray together for them, get their names and promise to continue praying. Just a simple thing to show how much God loves us all individually!
Happy Valentine's Day, sorry this was kind of long, but so many good things happened! Good things always happen when we look for them! This week Chapman Shimai and I watched the Mormon message about the mom who tries to do everything and doesn't finish her list, do you know which one I'm talking about? Anyways, she doesn't realize all the good that she does. I don't think any of us actually know all the good we do. So thank you for all the good you've done for me, for others. Love you!
And then look what I found at a recycle shop...couldn't believe it, pretty funny! In case you're wondering, it was from Ohio, I think? It had a couple patches. I'd love to see somebody buy and walk around wearing it in Japan...
Random note- they do have scouting in the church here. A leader had a meeting and wore his to church last week- I talked to him a little bit because I recognized his neckerchief and tie thing because they were from... Wood badge! Thank you, I recognized and remembered :) Told him how my dad loves scouting and went there too and how my brother's working on his Eagle project.
So far haven't really seen that kind of fog here. Rain? Lots of rain- it's just a waterfall from the sky, now a full believer that it never rains in Utah, must be just a couple of drops sometimes.
We had fun with our kappa's! Also very bad day to wear glasses!
How much responsibility do you have as a STL? Like, what do you do? Is chapman shimai anything?- We take care of sisters in the zone. Right now there aren't as many sisters) sisters fluctuate every year, based heavily on the school schedule) so Spring is the least, then lots come in summer and fall. Anyways, only 4 other sisters in the zone. We call each of them every week at night for follow-ups (see how they are doing- personal, dendo, investigators, etc) then also koukon (exchange) at least once a transfer. Then we go to MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) once a month in Kobe. We especially help with sisters having problems- do a lot of coordinating with the Zone leaders about missionaries, zone goals, zone meetings, etc. But mostly were just normal missionaries who are supposed to use our area as a model/example for everyone else.
Chapman Shimai is Tahitian! Was that the questions?
So how are things going with your companion? How long does she have left?
- Really good, really fun. She's very Christ-like and loving. Likes to have fun and talk to everyone. Learning to teach in unity was a little struggle, just because we're different and both like to talk, but that's going really well too- working on listening to people more than talk (struggle for both of us!)
This is her last transfer, which ends, week after Sam
Sorry, right Japanese!
I feel like I can communicate decently, teaching lessons and gospel is obviously he easiest. Still obviously far from perfect...for example in RS last week they asked us one thing they liked about spring. I wanted to say baby animals- ducks, bunnies, etc. I don't know, only thing I could think of, didn't really know he words so tried and ended up quacking and usi charades a little. Took them a while to figure out what I was trying to say...maybe now they think I'm crazy? Ah well, it was fun. I think my Japanese is pretty good for where I'm at- everyone's surprised when I say I've been here 6 months.
In the other email a little but talked to the Stake President, told him how I want to be really good at Japanese and he said if I really put in the effort I'll end up Nihonjin! Not sure how much he was joking/how much he was serious, but it was really nice, motivating!
Also as far as understanding people- new people are a little harder because I have to get used to someone else's Japanese, but I think my listening and understanding is a lot better than my speaking