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, September 25, 2016

Sept. 19, 2016 Keep Moving Forward!

Hey guys! Had a cool week- lots of rain and miracles and sad stuff too but overall super duper.

Monday Spent the end of our P-day looking around at shops by Tennoji, then went off to meet an investigator and when we were stopped at a light, this lady comes up and says wow, missionaries can use iPads now?? She lives in our area but wouldn't give her name because she's LA and husband is super hantai :( But got to talk to her a little bit and invite her to an upcoming lunch at church. Then investigator had to go to the doctor and couldn't visit, so went to back up plan, got a little lost and went through a sketchy neighborhood (okay I say sketchy but still in Japan so probably really not that bad) but then met a super nice mom walking her dog who helped us with directions.

Tuesday we went out to contact a referral (they own a Chinese restaurant) from a LA. We had about an hour over in that area and there was a college nearby so went over and it was raining so there weren't as many people to talk to as usual but we decided to try and talk to EVERYONE. Yeah there are plenty of people with no time, no interest but also people that listened! So we got about 10 lessons in an hour- not going for the numbers but it was eye-opening to me to see the possibilities when you push yourself a little further because I'll be honest, there were a few people I thought probably don't have interest/I don't really want to talk to them and I would have passed right by, but thankfully we have companions and Zhou Shimai would stop every single one of those people! Then rewarded ourselves with this really good yogurt cake we found. Plus Eikaiwa that night and a new investigator referred from Kyoto came and we were able to do a church toru after with her and a member and she showed a lot of potential, we were especially impressed when we said that when she makes a promise, she keeps it. !!! If everyone was like that... :)

Wednesday Happy Birthday Dad! We had Osaka Zone Conference over in Yamatokoriyama (haha long names, good luck on saying this one!). It was a really great training- based on the recent broadcast "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts". We got to discuss various struggles, how to overcome, etc. There was a focus on being obedient to the morning schedule- the why behind it and really studying for our investigators. In the afternoon we gave training about exact obedience and also received great training from ZLs, APs and Welch Shimai as

- Also lesson on prayer this day: so in the evening we had planned this BOM Blitz with our ward mission leader, some members at this giant park, but it had been raining all day and we kept praying that the rain would stop that evening and it did a little bit and drizzled and that's where it hit me a little that the rain wasn't the point of our prayer- we wanted to continue this activity. The Yamatokoriyama Shimaitachi came on a koukan, so we split and then a relatively recent convert- few years ago, came and worked with the members. We ran into some miracle people, out and about despite the rain! One cool girl is an amazing pianist and at first it was a little mah-mah, good
connection but not with the gospel so much, it kept pushing even though it seemed potentially awkward and Cannon Shimai just whipped out the BOM, we bore testimony and gave her a part to read and she said wow I feel really good. Honestly I don't hear that very often- culturally people don't tell you what they feel but she did! And we've been able to continue contacting her. Our prayer wasn't about the rain!

-Thursday still on a koukan with Cannon Shimai! She's been out almost as long as me and so much fun to work with! We are able to teach about Jesus Christ a lot to just various people we met on trains, streets. Then we dropped by to visit a LA in a nursing home- it was "exercise time" so we wiggled our fingers and stretched with them and got to talk to her a little bit about family. Her daughter is an active member who asked us to visit because she's busy and can't go all the time. Next was off to Beatrice...got there and found out she had to cancel because she was going to another hospital for different medicine, plus wasn't recovering right so she has to get another
surgery and so baptism Sunday got cancelled. Way bummer, she's sad too, but it'll happen! Not now but for sure she'll be baptized. Then in the evening visited a LA with our RS Pres (she's amazing) and prepared to teach First Vision, got there and ended up talking about music. Spirit was there- had to be to help us out! Then there was some old traditional play/festival thing going on close by at this ginormous shrine because it was Autumn Equinox. Saw a little bit of that, that was cool, but too far away and dark for good pictures sorry.

- Friday we had District Meeting in Abeno plus ZLs came and brought cookies! After lunch came back for a little planning, I took a quick nap because I've been getting sick- just normal sore throat, cold stuff. Nap helped, then off to more appointments. One guy- WAY COOL! He runs a fruit stand and we teach him English and gospel and we
finish English and get to gospel and ask about his BOM reading- last time gave him 2 Ne 31 to read and he read it 5 TIMES TO UNDERSTAND, PLUS TOOK NOTES. We were pretty happy about that- he understood pretty well, taught Gospel of Jesus Christ and he likes it, seems like the main thing in the way is that he can't come to church Sunday, shop is open. But we're taking it step at a time with him. Then at the end, his wife (always quietly there) brought over a rolled paper and it was Imabari Mikan posters like they had in their shop- she remembered that
I commented on that and said I used to live there! Then at the end they usually give us fruit too, so she gave peaches and said "your grandparents make peaches right?" I felt so loved! It really means a lot to remember things about people.

- Saturday slept in because still wasn't feeling good, then got up and we went to the church for coordination meeting with Nagano Kyoudai (Ward Mission Leader- funny guy who does karate and our meetings are never dull). Today I was really grateful for cold medicine- kept me good for the day! Plus finally found a recent convert's apartment. She hasn't really come to church since her baptism, doesn't answer mail either lately, so the Ward has asked us to help out and she lives super far away and didn't answer/wasn't home but found it, left her a note- from the records and what members have said she seemed really great as an investigator, so we're not sure what happened.

- Sunday Ward Council ended shorter than planned!! Then had a meeting with Ngano Kyoudai again, planning another BOM Blitz since the 1st one went well and this time we'll have a lot more members coming! It's so much fun to work together. Then we rode out to a YSA member's place and talked about the BOM with her and got to know her better! Ended with more planning and went to bed early - sleep is the best thing ever.

Then today back to P-day, raining again and we went to Seishi Shimai's cooking class. She's been a Ward missionary for like 30/40 years? Anyways she is still going strong and has been doing this cooking class forever- lots of her friends have been baptized through it. This one was for Shuu- investigator from Taiwan, very active and really wants to know if this is true. We cooked, then took a break and taught Plan of Salvation and Seishi Shimai used a story board she put together years ago and was really simple to understand and Shuu San
really liked it, had a billion questions and we just had to stop her and say read the BOM and pray, ask God! Then finished lesson and ate lunch together, very fun! Shuu looooved Seishi Shimai and invited her over to her next lesson! We just got another doseki lesson we didn't even have to arrange :):)

The work is moving forward- each of us get to play a small part in God's eternal plan. Seishi Shimai is doing amazing things! Truly it's a joy to be around her and everyone knows that. Last week I asked What else can you give up to be more dedicated to Him? Did anybody try it? Any experiences?? Please tell!

I love you so much!

Wagstaff Shimai

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