Hello wonderful world! I am experiencing my first transfer! And it is a very strange experience and I am a little bit terrified. But, I still have four days in Higashi Osaka and I am determined that I will bear powerful testimony and do as much as I can do to further the work here in those four days. I am heartbroken to leave these people...and to leave Higashi Osaka because I love this area and these people and just EVERYTHING about this place SO MUCH. But I know that the Lord has work for me to do with Palmer Shimai (my new companion) in Tokushima!! Another exciting thing is that Shikoku is where the less active work began, and so I think that I will be jumping right into it! (All the Sister Misisonaries in Ariana's mission are now responsible for finding and teaching the less active members, those no longer attending)
Tokushima is SUPER Inaka. And I am going from one of the smallest areas of the mission to one of the biggest ones on Shikoku island. My current area is probably 2 hours or so from one end of the area to the other on bike....and I am guessing that my new area is like.... I don't really know but probably approximately 50 Higashi, Osaka's could fit into Tokushima. And that is really not an exaggeration at all.
SO LAST WEEK! It was a week of MIRACLES in Higashi Osaka. We began working with the Less Active members on Tuesday. And it was the most amazing thing. This is changing my mission. This is changing my LIFE. The people I met this week....I AM SO HEARTBROKEN TO LEAVE. I will probably cry in every single lesson this week. But they are all so amazing! They want to return to church, and some of them have amazing faith...but just need a little help and that is where we come in! Anyway, it started on Tuesday. We biked to the church in torrential downpour and it was so cold...and we had morning study! And then we biked home...in torrential downpour...and we got a phone call from Imanishi Kyodai asking us to meet him at the church so that he could give us the Less Active records. So we faced the downpour and met him at the church. He gave us 17 records, and we were able to visit 8 this week. Of those 8 we taught 4, and we are teaching another lady this week! They are the sweetest people on the planet!
And then to add to that, a ton of people started calling us back and we were able to set up other appointments and find new investigators from previous people that we had met on the streets when we were out dendo-ing in the past six weeks.
But, probably my favorite lesson of the week was the first one that we had on Tuesday. We arrived at the first apartment complex...to discover that the home number was not written on the record. So we knocked on all of the first floor rooms...and no one answered any of them...
And we weren't sure how to figure out where this lady lived. So we said a prayer. In the middle of our prayer I heard a door open. We didn't even finish our prayer before it was answered. The lady who opened the door directed us to the Land Lord (I think...something like that..) who told us where the lady we were looking for lived. We knocked on her door, and the cutest old lady I have ever met opened the door. She struggles to walk, but she was SO excited to see us. She let us in, so excited to see Shimai Senkyoshi. It was a very different greeting than I usually get when I knock on doors. She sat down with us and we taught her a totsuzen lesson that mainly focused on what she had felt before when she came to church. She told us that she can't come because she can't really walk...but that she believes as she continues practicing walking, she will be healed so that she can come back to church. I basically was just holding back tears the entire lesson as she recounted her conversion story and showed us the first Book of Mormon that she had read and pictures of herself with the missionaries...and it was the sweetest experience ever. The spirit was SO strong! We talked to her about having the sacrament brought to her home until she can walk, which hasn't been done for a while, and I am so excited that she has people thinking about her more now. Her home teachers were changed to the newly returned missionary and a guy who just moved into the ward, they are both really young and so when they showed up on her doorstep, she thought that they were the chorotachi (The Elders). She was really confused about why they weren't the elders when we came back to visit her later. The ward is being so incredibly supportive and helpful and amazing with our new responsibility and I just love them so much!!
I also had my first experience with all you can eat yakiniku on Saturday night and it was delicious and I ate cow tongue. Who knew that cow tongue would be delicious? I have become much more adventorous in the food that I eat since I came to Japan...I am pretty sure that I have zero fear of eating anything after eating a strange assortment of different parts of chicken and cows and roots and fish eggs and honestly sometimes I don't even know what I am eating...
I hope that you all have a great week! And next time I email I will be on the Island of SHIKOKU!!
Some favorite Pictures from the week!