So, contrary to everyone's predictions...including all of the members and missionaries in Japan (because if we are being honest, that is the people that mostly make predictions here) I am staying in Tokushima for my fourth transfer! Payne Shimai and I are staying together for her last transfer...and we get to stay in Tokushima, and basically this is wonderful. However, Brown Choro is leaving and THREE new Elders are coming in! They are opening another Choro companionship in Tokushima. So, that is really exciting. AND one of the Elders is Nihonjin, which means we will no longer be having our Jkaiwa (Japanese Class on Friday before District Meeting) taught by an American. ALSO our district is now six people instead of four! But, I am still in the smallest zone in the mission, hahaha.
I am having a really hard time remembering what happened this week at the moment because it is mostly all a blur...but, we had a great lesson with a less active sister in the ward. She has a lot of various reasons that she is Less Active, but we taught an amazing, powerful lesson on the Sacrament. We helped her see how through the Savior's Atonement, she can truly achieve everything that she wants in her life. By the end of the lesson, all three of us were in tears, it was so powerful. And Tokushima was also crying because there was another crazy thunder-storm, and the church flooded again...and biking home in that was the craziest thing of my life.
|Our Hike to Bizan, one more time!|
We had an amazing experience this week with listening. I think I would list listening as one of the skills that I have worked on a lot as a missionary- and something that I am still really working on. Listening is one of the most important skills to have when it comes to having a good companion relationship, teaching powerful lessons and learning Japanese. It is SO important to help your investigators trust you, etc. This week, we went and visited a member family and then knocked on their neighbors door. The neighbor answered and her husband talked to us a bit, and then noticed our name tags, and launched into a longgg thing about how we were self-righteous, and etc, etc...and I honestly didn't understand quite a lot of the craziness that was coming out of his mouth...but it suffices to say that it was just really not great stuff. Anyway, usually in these situations I politely tell them that we have zero time and we have to go. But, that day, Payne Shimai and I just listened. We both felt like we needed to listen to this man. He wouldn't really hear much of anything we said, so we just stayed quiet. At the end of...maybe 40 minutes of this...he went back inside, leaving us with his wife. She seemed really embarrassed and ended up talking to us for a lot longer...and it turned out, she had a TON of interest. She had seen the way we treated her husband, and how we had just tried to listen and bear quiet, simple testimony of the truths that we knew, and the spirit had worked on her heart. She ended up giving us tons of flowers and food from her garden, and invited us to come back and talk with her again because she wanted to learn more about why this is so important to us. I learned a lot about listening from it. Sometimes it is important to just stay quiet...even though that is often the hardest thing for me. Usually, when I do this, I find out that the other person's thought process at least makes sense, even if I don't necessarily agree with it. And, worst case scenario, they can feel my love, because they know that I at least heard them out, all of the way.
So...overall. I am somehow an 8th transfer. And I am staying in Tokushima. And I LOVEEEE This place. And the members. And the investigators. And the Less Actives. And the beautiful area itself :) This is the prettiest little island ever.
I love you all!
|Rice Field after Harvest!|