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, August 29, 2016

Monday Aug. 29, 2016

Okay so first of all Im not in Kawachinagano anymore...I guess I couldnt stay for 6 transfers. But now I:m in...

Abeno! (Downtown Osaka)

Secretly Ive wanted to come here my whole mission, I:ve heard really good things about this area! Very very tokai (city), and Im staying on my international streak with a Chinese companion, Zhou Shimai! So excited to work with her, also still an STL. Ive talked to her a lot at MLC, so its fun to now be comps! 

K so back to last week from Monday, stopped by and had a crepe at the cute shop by our apartment and the owner is a PI, but still busy and not super interested, but loves talking! This time I had a chocolate and mikan crepe- osusume for anyone who goes there! Then in the evening lots of not home people but at the end of the night, stopped a girl going home, in her 20s and had a really good conversation about God and prayer- she liked it all but then thought you had to come to church to pray or pay money or something, but once she understood the whole anytime, anywhere 100% free part, she was way on board and committed herself to pray night and morning! 

Tuesday we went visiting teaching with Maekawa Shimai and Soga Shimai- they are absolutely wonderful. Seriously just felt so much love. Plus then as we were eating lunch, I got the call to go to Abeno! Then had lesson with Tsuruta Shimai at the Yoshikawas, so so so good. She didnt feel good and say she thought about cancelling, but then remembered it was probably her last time seeing me adn prayed and was a little better and came! So grateful to see her progress from not interested, to interested, to going to the temple for baptisms and now prepping for Endowments. Truly a miracle. Then dinner was Kurazushi with Kosugi Shimai! Shes crazy busy and they have a big PR calling in the church which means they have to go all over, but still is as supportive of dendo here as she can, I love that. Everyone has their own best. PLus last Eikaiwa, appartenlty it was posted on the ward:s LINE that it was Pagel Choro and my last Eikaiwa because we:re transferring so they sent out a request for everyone to come to Eikaiwa (which ps weve been trying so hard lately to get more members there to then fellowship adn invite students to church, activities, etc) and quite a few came! THat was so nice to see- this ward is a really really supportive family. 

Wednesday started with Erisa chan whos 19, went to FSY had a great time and is prepping for a mission and we just got to talk, then mogi the Restoration and she wrote a list of some friends she really wants to dendo- so much fun to be a part of this process because its so rewarding. NExt dropped by another on eof my favorite mebers who has grown so much, she recently went through the temple and today when we stopped by, she had a referral ready to give and ended up talking and planning on how to help them and how to help another investigator- she has so much dendo fire! She basically has her friends baptism all planned out and its a pretty realistic plan! I felt so much love- got to see lots of people Wednesday night because we attended Mutual, plus other actvities were going on.

Thursday safely transferred 30 minutes to my next area! We waited at Tennoji for a few hours until everyones companions arrived from different places, then headed back to our apartment to plan. In the evening went to do a 30 30 English with this cute older couple who own a fruit stand (and gave us the most delicious watermelon in the world, like seriously I think even Mom and Dad would like it). This grandpa is so cute! They are the happiest couple, and he records the English portion to study during the week and also is reading the BOM and as we read through Alma 34;18-27ish together, he would explain what he read and prayed and it was really good. Reaaaaalllly good first impression of Abeno! 

Friday did a bit more weekly planning- theres a lot of people to plan for! Then met a new convert, Chin Shimai who:s originally from Taiwan and I promise I:ll tell you her story later because shes a miracle and shes so strong! Also felt like a new missionary because Zhou Shimai did most of the lesson in Chinese to help Chin Shimai understand, then we did a little Japanese that I could contribute! In the evening we were asked to attend a Sapporo Mission Reunion to translate for the old mission president and his family- lots of fun! PLus there was a member from Kawachinagano there! Then MEMBER OF THE YEAR- so earlier in the week we couldnt get my bike apart to put into the box and called Kyotani Kyoudai because hes good with bikes and he said it was too much of a pain to take apart and put back together, so instead he would just drive it to Abeno! So my bike and suitcases came safely to Abeno without having to deal with the hassle of the moving companies- defintely dont deserve all the kindness received from these wonderful people. 

Saturday stopped by a LA first and had a good time reading BOM together, then at the end just on a whim asked for a referral and got one! Seriously ask and you receive. THen later biked out to another appointment with a partmember family, they cancelled last minute and we were out aways, so looked at out map and tried to stop by some members, others we found for introudctions, etc. Cool experience- ran into a lady whos from Thailand, first not interested and was biking away not listening to us (kind of ignoring us) but then we said we:re lost and looking for a place to eat, ps not a lie we were super hungry and suddenly she turned around and was nice and directed us to a super market because its the cheapest choice with a good selection :) Then she found out we were the same ages as her daughters and seems like she defintely has English interest and asked for our number! THe girls are away on a trip right now, but she took our number, we were really afraid she would never text us (thats kind of normal) but then that night got back to the apartment and she mailed us!! 

Sunday- way scared for this ward, they are pretty big. Started out in the morning going out to an ivestigators house to take her and her daughter (recently baptized) to church, but found out she fell down the stairs last night and naturally wasnt feeling too well, so we went back to church alone :( BUT then another investigator came! She seems really cool- from Vietnam, college student whos working really hard and also has a baptismal date coming up next month! Also a girl from Kawachinagano ward was visiting because shes getting married soon and her husband is from Abeno, which is where theyll live when theyre married! Tender mercy. Sooo many people, not very many came up and talked to me- definitely have to be the first one to approach people, but that will be a good thing. Plus we and the elders got invited over to dinner and had a great time with the Ueda family- parents, married son, wife and younger sister. Turns out they have lots of dendo fire and ended up giving us 2 referrals! Plus they were super hilarious and we just laughed the whole time. 

So thats the report! New transfer with lots of hope, nice fresh start. Isnt it great that with the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can always have a fresh start- it feels so good. Have you ever thought lately about what a blessing that is? You can start over! You can be forgiven. You are infitely loved by your Father in Heaven. Remember that! Love you all so much!

Sister Wagstaff

Visiting teaching and got a snow cone! So good

Tsuruta Shimai, Yoshikawa Shimai, so much fun

After ping pong- some of the people who came!

Abeno Ward is a big famous/infamous in Kobe Mission- its one of the biggest oldest wards and right in the heart of Osaka and they see a lot of baptisms here. We have 2 shigansha (investigator with baptism date)- Beatrice from Brazil and Xuan (Swan) from Vietnam! This is really different dendo for me, I've never worked with shiganshas, recent converts, or so many people with so much interest! 

Work between members and missionaries isn't perfect- but they are all wonderful people and I know a lot of the missionaries here before and they have been trying sooo hard to please the bishop and work together. 

Sadly out of the 6ish people baptized within the last few months, only half are still coming. Some others practically fell off the face of the earth, and kind of seems like missionaries are getting the blame? But the sisters were doing their best, I've heard about all the work and lots of tears, and people have their agency. 

Anyways so with the background I had heard from this area, we are working super hard to build a good relationship with the bishop. The elders are also well on board and I think we'll see a lot of progress here. 

THeres between 150-200ish active members (Kawachinagano was 80). Very big, hard to know everyone so trying to find the members who really want to do missionary work, help out and obviously everyone is great but naturally some are super busy, scared to dendo and some are very ready and we NEED their help! 

Also cool apartment- it's 2 stories. We have the 2nd and 3rd floor. Kitchen, study and bathroom on the 2nd, bedroom and extra room (closet, storage,etc) on the 3rd. 

Zhou (Joe) Shimai is from China and not enough time to tell all about her today, but she was baptized at BYU and then shortly after, her parents converted in China. Super interesting hearing how the church works in China because yes they can hold church and there are a few members, just no dendo. Super interesting! She's wonderful, she'll go home in November. 

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