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

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Monday June 27, 2016 Because He loves us...

Monday we did calligraphy with elders, RS president and her friend (former investigator) who is a calligraphy teacher! Traditionally it's only would your right-hand, but every other time I've done calligraphy here, they just let me use my left hand. This time she was pretty traditional and had me try with right...probs looked like a 5 year
old, but it was fun!

(This is the old kanji for Hikari...light)
Then at the end, Shino Shimai was like, wait, Wagstaff Shimai  sings, she can sing Le Mizerabure..tnsjrmdj (its really hard to say Les Miz in Japanese) ! so then I sang, we left- sadly her friend still isnt wuote ready to accept the  gospel, but it was a good opportunity! Then on the way to another appointment we ran into a less active by the Eki that we've been trying to get a hold of- she had some time and we were able to talk a little bit, good little miracle! Then next thing was finally getting a hold of the less active that actually turned out to be a former investigator...we were sort of freaking out because she hadn't been home when we checked a few days in a row and there was a bag of groceries with stuff like milk, but don't worry she's still alive, but in the hospital! 

Tuesday did visiting teaching with members then that finished early and we had time, so we did a little finding in the area and found a guy who believes in God, but doesn't really have much of an image and wanted to hear more! Then we visited a few members and our day was shorter because we went to the BYU Hawaii Choir Concert in downtown Osaka. Way cool! We drove with some members, then sat with a young woman and her friend, who has starting investigating the church a little! Saw tons of members and other missionaries there, plus the concert was great. Still weird sometimes to watch other people perform, especially since I knew most of the music. Really a super great dendo opp- I think the best part was having different members come up to us and introduce the friend they had brought, so proud! 

Wednesday the Wakayama sisters came for a koukan and I worked with Blomquist Shimai! We had a great time despite the rain, but just weren't seeing much success. That was a little hard and we tried to increase faith, figure out all we could do...then went to Ping Pong night at the church, then at the end- no kidding- following is a TRUE STORY: 4 high school girls walked into the church and one said she received a chirashi about a music activity here, so they came! So basically 4 new investigators came to us, but we don't do a music activity! It says we do on the chirashi (lesson learned- chirashi is written in kanji so I can't read it but should probably translate and figure out everything that's on there. Turns out our Ward Mission Leader had put other activities down as alternative to Ping Pong, but so far everyone just comes to play ping pong.) So Blomquist Shimai and me and the elders put together a music activity! So the only sheet music we have are hymns, so Blomquist Shimai was super smart and made it exciting- asked them if they knew Titanic? Yes they did and they liked it? Then she told them we were going to sing a song from Titanic...Nearer My God to Thee. It worked actually! We did parts and had fun dining together, then found out they like English, so we sang it in English too! Little crazy stressful, but we were able to share a quick message at the end and got their contact info and they said they would come next week! Miracle. 

Thursday we had a surprise party for a recent convert...she was 40 minutes late BUT she came, she was really happy and uplifted and that's what counts. Then we did our weekly kids English at a member's house for her neighbors and friends. She is not afraid to dendo and just does it in a nice, warm friendly way. Love her example! 

Friday we went to Sakai's district meeting which was fun! Learned with them really fast, then we had to hurry back to go visiting teaching with RS president. Miracle day- everyone was home and got to teach them each time! Plus saw some progress- one less-active trusts us more and now talks longer, then another wants to do family history, then the last one said she wants to go to the temple 2 more times before she dies! (She's 80 yrs old, super funny and stopped coming to church for health reasons and it's been about 10 yrs since she's been to the temple). 
In the evening met with investigator family, but everyone except the teenage daughter Aoi had somewhere to go, so it was just her, which was a blessing because there weren't as many distractions and we were able to get to know her a lot better and connect her desires, dreams more with the gospel. Testimony builder: ANYONE can change, the gospel is absolutely personally for each one of us. 

Saturday we had Clean Action at the lake in the morning, it didn't rain so we were able to go, but it was cloudy so there weren't a lot of people, so it wasn't great finding time (usually lots of high school and college students) but it was still a great service opp, plus met this scout leader who really admires the church because of their strong affiliation with scouts. I really don't know anything about scouts, but proud to say that my brother just finished his Eagle project! ❤️ Later in the afternoon we stopped by a former investigator we felt like we needed to see- we were able to talk in her genkon a little- she's still a little down and life is hard and not ready to progress BUT it was special to get that time to talk with her, and give her a message of hope. She's a person I've really really come to love and I know that it might not be now but she'll accept the gospel- she's close! She believes in God, trusts him, her desire is a firm foundation, but doesn't want to commit. 

In the evening we had FHE at the church! So the sad part was literally every investigator and the LA family we were doing this for cancelled earlier that day, BUT none of the members did, so we decided to just go on with the member families we had. They are so wonderful! We planned together how to better help the others come next time, and it felt so nice to have that support- were not alone in inviting and helping, they stepped up and will help out more! 

(Find the picture of the Liahona, how do we compare?? PS I'm a camel.)

Sunday we had a really effective Ward Council meeting- new bishop is super good! Still a work in progress, but doing great! Then after church some of our plans changed because we had the thought to visit some other less actives and those visits turned out really well and needed. One sister even commented that she believed God sent us to her and she was really grateful. There are so many sweet moments like that- recognition of God directing this work because He loves all of his children. 

Also I wanted to share something I read this morning, Alma 30:34 and something Alma said stuck out, "And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?" JOY- that's the reward. Not getting paid right now, I get to be a full-time missionary and I get to teach the truth and bring people joy. Why do you do what you do? How does it help you? God's reward in eternal life and He is so merciful to give us pieces of that joy now. So grateful!

Love you all!

Visiting teaching with Maekawa Shimai (left) and Soga Shimai (right) plus lunch after with Soga Shimai's daughter in the middle

BYU concert! Mom, they played Cindy with the crazy hard piano part- that was fun! Some of he girls came out and did a country-style tap dance during the break in the song! Really good. It was a show choir and they were good! Homeward Bound was beautiful. Though then they did "She's in Love" and some other pop/Broadway style and they weren't very good at that...too classical, BUT overall super great and the Polynesian stuff was probs the best! 

Exchange with Wakayama sisters- we made pizza toast!

Member birthday!

District Meeting in Sakai!

 Visiting Teaching, which means Shino Shimai (RS Pres on the left) brought her selfie stick! Member in the middle wants to return to the temple!

Clean Action - lake clean up project...we found a dead cat and a dead turtle this time...not cool. 
Also we're usually spoiled and the members bring a bento-sack lunch for us, so we planned in that and nobody brought us food...so sad.

Spilled my water on myself at an investigator's, so then Aoi
immediately jumped up and grabbed her blow dryer to help me- she's
really sweet!

Singing on Monday after calligraphy...helmets and sweat, never going to look great!

Me struggling with my right hand

Okay now I'm on a train and have some time to actually think and write
some more- we got rushed because found out Steere Shimai has to send
one of her suitcases home early...not prepared for that! So shopping
and packing!
I've been trying to make my emails better- less like a news report.
Sadly yes I just can't put everything in, I have no idea if funny
experiences come across as funny because LOTS of fun stuff happens!
Every Monday we email Welch Kaicho and sometimes he replies if needed,
but he's reading like 200 emails ina. Day so obviously not everyone
gets a reply, but this last week we had a lot of concerns with sisters
in the zone and got pretty clear direction for what to do (which is
rare!) Welch Kaicho is big on us receiving personal revelation. But
anyways we had brought ideas to him to move forward with. I love being
a part of this, I love being an STL! It's fun to be busy and actively
doing all we can to help someone, it's really rewarding. I think I've
been blessed with an ability to forget my life before and focus on the
work here- this is more important now! That's a big issue we're
working with- wanting to be here and being happy, therefore an
effective missionary. Really rewarding thing this week was seeing
progress: Welch Kaicho authorized a special exchange with struggling
sisters and another companionship, which we hoped would help and we
called afterwards to see how it went and sounded really successful!

Wednesday struggled with the fact that our finding wasn't going
well...no one was answering, not many people taught- little stressed
because I'm with another sister and trying to set an example for her
to follow, but maybe our planning was ineffective? Not following the
Spirit well enough? Need more faith? Better prepared?
And this was the night that 4 girls randomly...not so randomly walked
into the church. Hopefully that helps paint a picture of what a
miraculous experience this was. Yeah we struggle, but this is God's
work and he doesn't let us just struggle and fail for 18 months. Not
the plan!

Love you all, out of time!
But wait there's more, we went to Namba today (big shopping area in Osaka)

No comments:

Post a Comment