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, February 22, 2016

Monday Feb. 22, 2016

Today I'm a little late because we went to Koya San! Really cool Buddhist place at the top of a mountain that actually turned out to be a little touristy but really fun! We went with Sennan elders Wakayama sisters and their investigator who used to live here. REALLY cold but super Japanese-y so we probably took about a billion photos!

We're trying to spell Koya San...what do you think? :)

Some special Buddhist guy...?

BEAUTIFUL area and TONS of shrines- this was kind of the big main one I think? I don't know, there's not a whole lot of organization as far as rank as far as I know. But really how much do I know about Buddhism? Not much!

Last week I told you about our meeting with the Stake President and his 6 am suggestion- we started waking up at 6 this week! Now working on actually being awake in the morning, working on not falling asleep when we pray...kaizen shimasu. But really it has been nice just to have that extra 1/2 hr- we used it this week to prepare for zone conference. Also Monday we finally fixed my bike officially...its been 2 transfers. But now all good with basket, normal light and everything! (Quick explanation: to transfer we send our bike in a box and have to take it apart- mine ever not put together very well, just a quick job that the elders did-which I was grateful for!) Monday night tried to visit less-actives. Not home or busy, zannen (like dang it).

Tuesday we had lunch at the RS president's house, then tried to go visit a bunch of less-actives together. First, big hills to her house! Also there was this crazy giant building that we could see most of the time- at first Chapman Shimai thought it was like a horror movie and I thought it looked like Rapunzel's tower, I'll let you decide...

Okay I'll tell you: it's a church. Some weird religion, I dunno. Only 2 people were home that we tried to visit, but it went pretty well. 

This is Shino Shimai- RS Pres who loves pictures!

In the evening we koukoned (switched) with the Sakai sisters and taught Eikaiwa.  Then Wednesday finished our koukon- Losee Shimai and I got lost for a while trying to find a member, but met lots of helpful people! Turns out we had been super close to her apartment the whole time, but we were told it was pink, but it got recently repainted! Good visit, then appointment with a less active who has set a temple goal!

Then I got back together with Chapman Shimai and we mogi'd our zone conference training with an RM who recently got married and moved here. She was so helpful and fun to be with, especially since we were a little worried about our training.

Thursday was the big day- Zone Conference in Sakai! A member drove us- with our big emphasis on working with members, members, particularly leaders. We were really excited to see lots of Kawachinagano members, also a lot from Sakai (my last area)! SO GOOD. Welch Kaicho and Welch Shimai focused a lot on the Atonement. In PMG there's a line that says as your understanding of the Atonement grows, your desire to share the gospel will also increase. So with our challenge from Choi Choro for 1 baptism/week, we're doing a new BOM challenge, focusing on the Atonement. In the afternoon we trained on companion relationship and the ZLs and APs also trained. Really good meeting! After we went to dinner at the member's house who drove us- really nice couple, and had some other people over.

Also Zone Conference!

Friday we were excited to have a doseki lesson (member come) for one of our investigators (kind of eternal). We talked about Joseph Smith mostly, watched Restoration movie and the Spirit was strong, but she still declined and says she doesn't understand the Spirit. Ouch. We did our part, but sadly she has her agency. Someday!

Saturday was heavy rain, but still found people to teach. Also in the morning some converts from Chapman Shimai's first area came to visit and we went out to lunch. Seeing baptisms are good, but seeing them still active and strong a year later might even be better!

Also met a less-active, who wasn't actually very less-active, just health issues. She gave us about 3 names to go teach! Little miracle moment- we had banana bread that we were going to give to some other people, but got there and remembered seeing her sons name on our birthday list, so we gave it to them and he was so happy we remembered- God works in mysterious ways and he loves us all!

Sunday no investigators at church...that's never fun. But still a really good Sacrament Meeting- lately there's been a lot of dendo (missionary work) talks! On the evening we ended up having 2 member visits scheduled too close to do both- prayed and felt like 1 was more important. Visited this sister and thank goodness! She just recently moved here from Matsuyama- that's Shikoku and I knew her a little before!, anyways she's feeling a little lonely and we just had a really good time- talked about studying and then living the gospel. 

So today was Koya San! Saw more foreigners/tourists than anywhere else I've been- one elder speaks Spanish and talked to some people from Spain and another family from Mexico. Then Chapman Shimai found some French people! Fonua Shimai didn't find any Tongans but we also found Canadians (from Calgary! Shoutout to Sam!) and Italians. Super fun! But so cold- you take cable car up and there's a little snow at the top- Chapman Shimai went crazy- first time seeing real snow on the ground- only little flurries a few times in the past month. 

I guess Shino Shimai (RS) took a pic of us teaching an LA

All in all a good week- I've started the Atonement BOM challenge with a new copy and I've honestly been able to read with new eyes, it's exciting. I really want to understand our Savior's ultimate act, because of which we are infinitely and endlessly blessed and helped. Starting to focus on studying the Atonement, I've realized how little I know, but at the same time I'm learning and feeling so much more than before. It's true. Please take a little extra time to ponder this week because it makes a big difference!

Love you all a lot!

I would send all my zone conference notes if I could but notes aren't fun to read and just take my word it was good, focus was on the Atonement and I felt like my eyes were opened more- Spirit was very strong and I was so happy to see the members coming and supporting, about 8-10 from Kawachinagano and about the same from Sakai I think. Great people! Struggle a little with work harder and feeling better but not seeing that outside success like more investigators, referrals, baptisms, etc. But I guess that's where faith and patience come in...still easier to say than do!

Also here's another picture from zone conference- really good day!

Love you a lot, finishing really fast right now

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