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

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mon. Oct. 31, 2016 Happy Halloween

Last Monday went to the monkey park! Adorable, came back and finished all our p-day stuff then in the evening printed off a couple hundred flyers for our Halloween party and gave to everyone around the church- lots of fun! Also I think this was about the time we realized it's getting cold here and pulled out tights and sweaters. 

Tuesday went to interview with Welch Kaicho in Shimogamo. Always the best- plus they brought some very needed items for our apartment like new pillows and a heater!! Left feeling a lot more clear about our plan for seeing a baptism before the end of the year. Plus Joyo is one of Welch Kaicho old areas so we know he really cares. Came back and had a lesson with a recent convert grandma and she loves to go off and tell stories but this time she would get to a really good gospel principle at the end! She really amazes me because she is a typical Kansai grandma but truly is converted. Other lessons, then a member took us out to dinner in the evening and had a great time taking with her- she served a mission a few years ago and had lots of good dendo stories, advice and is working hard now as a member as well! One cool thing- she put up some Conference quote posts and had a friend in Tokyo who really liked one of them and ended up searching about the church on her own and went out and found the church closest to her!! For everyone home that can use that stuff-DO IT. You really can make a difference! 

Wednesday is our busy recent convert day and then in the morning one of our really busy investigators said she should meet so we were trying to arrange our schedule because we really wanted to meet her, but not necessarily cancel already arranged appointments and scheduling was crazy by then investigator ended up cancelling because we seemed too busy...:( BUT still got to teach all of the recent converts scheduled that day and had some great lessons with them. Evening was Eikaiwa and had a curry party beforehand but then the investigator we planned for stood us up but there were members there and turned into just a fun curry party for us! So grateful for members who are so reliable. 

Thursday was such a great day- finished planning and met Fujii Shimai, recent convert with the adorable mom. At the end of our lesson she showed us some calligraphy at her mom did years ago and it was beautiful! Later went to a member's house for dinner and message. They are incredible- converted as a family (very rare in Japan) when they were young, know Welch Kaicho really closely and they have served 3 missions, plus now go to the temple monthly for 2 weeks at a time to serve. Also taking about where I'd been so far and when they heard Kawachinagano found out they knew a lot of people there because their daughter lived there, but died of cancer about 2 years ago. Realized I had heard about their daughter and how wonderful she was. They are just faithfully continuing to serve- the dad is really good at origami and showed us how to make some stuff and gave us some he had already made! But more than that, we felt the Spirit so strongly together. This gospel means everything to them and it was a special night. 

Friday District Meeting in Fushimi and Stoneman Shimai made crepes for everyone! Yummm. Came back and did some quick visits first and one grandma- potential investigator invited us right in when we came and sat us down and tried to feed us a ton and coffee and tea and finally settled with some fancy water from Hawaii and cake! The sisters had given her a BOM a while ago and we asked about it and she said, "oh that book? "Yeah I read it it was pretty good." ...asked some more and she just wanted to talk about the war and her family and other nice things and we ended with family history and showed her a scripture that shows how we believe family is important too and she liked that but not much interest but still gave us some fancy treats. Then dropped off Spanish BOM for an investigator- she's from Peru but speaks fluent Japanese too and plus printed off a letter/testimony Dad wrote- thank you! 
In the evening met with an investigator we haven't seen in a while- she has a baptismal date but not really putting in the effort or time so that'll probably be delayed but had a nice Plan of Salvation lesson and she recognizes that we receive direction from God, which brings peace. We were a little bummed after this lesson but went out with an hour left of dendo time and did some housing and met really nice people- one grandma definitely felt the Spirit and talked with us for a while, we can come back, then at the end she gave us a bag of treats- more like made us take it! 

Saturday cool people on trains then Halloween Party at night! At the last minute we were put in charge of games- good thing we had already been thinking about it and threw together a relay. Also all of our kubari (giving away fliers...like 500 or so) was worth it because a bunch of neighborhood kids came! Costumes were fun, I think everyone had a good time- plus members brought friends, always happy about that!
(Kiyotani Bishop! Plus all the kids that participated in our game!)

Sunday we got a new bishop! Our old bishop was amazing- he'd been bishop for 8 years (priesthood holders are very few in Joyo, like 5) and hes an お疲れ様. New bishop is really young and his vision is dendo and youth! We have lots of less active youth (there's 1 active girl, thats it) and he was a less active youth, so he wants to focus on getting them back. Getting a less active back isn't a baptism but essential because in order to baptize young people, there need to be young people at church to welcome them! Very excited for how things move forward! After church Tai San called us (Peruvian) and said she couldn't meet in the afternoon, so we did some other finding, then decided to drop by her later in the early evening and we rode up right at she was walking home! She said on the train she read Dad's letter and she didn't have very much time to talk with us then but promised she was going to read the verses he suggested and then she set up a chanto appointment for this coming week!! Then tried to pass a new guy we found off the to the elders and we had a great Restoration lesson together and he had even read in the BOM where I suggested last time but didn't understand and listened to us completely but not interested to keep learning, but really nice guy...someday! Another miracle encounter with one of our new Cambodian friends- she came home right as we got there and communicating with her is HARD and she's busy now but wants to learn in Cambodia so we gave her contact info of one of our recent converts that moved back to Cambodia. Truly this work is worldwide with help coming from all over, most importantly from above. 

Today we went to Heian (Peace) Shrine in Kyoto- beautiful...

Not really sure what message to share, I've learned a lot this week, constantly learning and experiencing and I want to share everything but more than that I want each of you to have your own learning experiences! Mom has a fun adventure coming! God has an individual plan in store for each of us that includes his guidance...1 Ne 3:7! 

Love you all so much! Wagstaff Shimai 

Anything else? Can't think ... I love it here. Funniest things happen, we meet some strange people like a guy in his underwear that swung his door open, then saw us and closed it to a crack and kept talking to us through the crack for a bit and seems to have some interest so passing him to the elders. 
But on a better note, another thing I learned this week was how it is a choice to be happy and I caught myself thinking I had to just push through an afternoon because it had lots of finding but then thought why would I do that and not enjoy myself! It's a choice to be fun, have fun! Yeah lame things happened but also great things and better to be happy- also listened to come what may and love it! Love you guys!


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