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 29, 2016

Monday Feb. 29, 2016

Can't Think of Anything...But Happy Leap Year!

K looking back on this week, it was all over the place and really no complaints. Surprise rain, interesting kekko's (rejection), good music, and I really appreciate my bike. Monday a couple took us and the elders out to dinner- it was a fun Japanese restaurant less traditional and more probably what you'd find in the States. Good sushi!

And then they asked if I like ebi (shrimp), which I can now say YES to! But wait- they bring it out and ITS STILL ALIVE- they took it out of the water, killed it somehow but it's still moving and uncooked and they expect you to eat it. I was about to just bite it but then it moved, so I kind of freaked out and anyways eventually I ate it and it was the scariest thing ever but didn't taste too bad. 

Tuesday we had 2 member appointments in very different places and didn't know if we could make it but we made it! Took a train out and walked 20 minutes in a really pretty inaka (country) part! The visit went longer than we planned (a little typical with the members that are older...) but we hurried back like crazy and got to a classical concert a member invited us to. So we just saw a bunch of bikes, parked and walked in the closest door. Dumb me, it was at a theatre so I walked in the backstage entrance. Thankfully we're foreigners so people are super nice to you when you're lost because, well, we're kind of always lost and can't read :) So they showed us to the front entrance and it was a really pretty concert hall! Our Ward mission leader was there with one of the elder's investigators who he's good friends with, plus Higashino Shimai (member who invited us) and her less-active daughter and non-member husband. The concert was technically just an orchestra rehearsal with an audience. I sat next to the daughter- she was a music major in college (piano) and now her daughter's doing piano in college now, so we got to talk about music for a while and she asked us to come and visit her sometime! 

Wednesday was more music! There are some very musical people here and so they do this lunch group at different houses and invited us- they had a big lunch spread, a few LA's came as well. This Ward is very good and loving and fellow-shipping everyone! So one of the LA's that we regularly teach came and we went into another room and had a Plan of Salvation lesson with a doseki- VERY good doseki! She bore strong testimony, wasn't irrelevant and didn't take over the lesson, but commented appropriately- everything we could ask for! After we joined everyone and finished singing. Random, I've noticed this before but the Japanese love "Country Road" so we sang that then they asked me to sing, so I pulled out Les Miz from before. 

Then later in the afternoon, we decided to go visit a PI (potential investigator) we talked to a few weeks ago when she was out watering flowers. Last week we made her banana bread and she said we could come back anytime for a drink/chat. So we took that offer! Of course, Word of Wisdom came up immediately because everyone drinks tea. The weird thing is there are okay teas and not okay teas and I have no idea what the difference really is and so far none of the okay teas have been good- so really I'd just love to boycott them all, sorry there's the rant, but anyways miracle moment! We gave her a flyer before and she pulled it out and said she wanted to come to church last week but didn't understand the map. !! We very thoroughly explained it and invited her this week- she said she couldn't promise us but didn't think she would have other plans. Exciting! We've been doing a lot of finding all transfer and it'd be nice to see a progressing investigator. 

Thursday was SKK (weekly planning), basically all day, but we finished!! 

Friday really good district meeting, mostly discussing what we've been learning from our new Atonement BOM challenge. We talked a lot about the Refiner's Fire and I liked this section from Mosiah 14
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

The part that stuck out was the end, false assumption that trials mean God is punishing us and leaving us alone, but it's the OPPOSITE that's true! Still of course it's harder to truly apply than just intellectually understand, but I really like that. We are never alone when it's hard. Chapman Shimai says "When it's hard, it's good!" I need to get a video of that, because it just sounds better with her accent :)

After DM, we met TONS of people on the street! That was a little blessing, because lately there haven't been too many, but it was a good time, good place.

Saturday morning we went to a big community service project at this lake with some members- it's called Clean Action and lots of volunteers go and once a month take out the garbage. Met some really nice people- gave away lots of Eikaiwa/church chirashi and hopefully we can see some of them again! It was actually nice weather! Beautiful place and they said it has lots of Sakura which will be blooming in April- everyone talks about it, I'm pretty excited! Then in the afternoon we changed and went off to visit LA's and really fast it started raining! we were completely unprepared and then we got a lesson but total rejection of the commitment and just plain rejections and went back. We wonder if people would've been nicer if the sun was out...? Ended with dinner with a member and her mom! So that was a nice pick up from our afternoon. 

Sunday we waited and waited for our new investigator to come, we told Higashino S about her and she was very excited, so she waited with us, but sadly no show. BUT they had to set up more chairs in Sacrament, so somehow there were more people there this week! After church, more less active visits and most of them were far, so we decided to just take the train and walk. We probably walked for 4 hours straight...we missed our bikes. I really love my bike more now! Also 2 interesting reactions:
Us: konnichiwa! (Hello)
Her: Sayonara (goodbye)
...well alright then. Later:
Us: Konbanwa! (Good evening)
Her: buzzes her lips
...what is that supposed to mean? Haha

A fun all over the place week with ups and downs, so... normal! 
Love you all so much!

Wagstaff Shimai

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