Last Monday night Payne Shimai and I traveled to Takamatsu. We met some members at the Train Station before leaving and ate dinner with Kawano Shimai, and then said goodbye....and left for Takamatsu. It was sad. I teared up as we drove away...those three transfers were truly wonderful. On Monday night I met my companion for the week - Stevenson Shimai. Her dad is American, and her mom is Japanese, but she grew up in Japan and doesn't speak English! She speaks Korean though, which is awesome. BUT! We had SUCH A FUN WEEK! I love her to pieces and I am really excited to see her at Zone Training Meetings and stuff. We learned tons together and spent lots of time trading ideas for how to help both of our areas and she is super awesome and humble and we became great friends and I hope that one day we are able to be companions :) PLUS it was so fun to speak Japanese all week. It made me really, really hope that I have a Japanese companion one day soon.
On Thursday night Stevenson Shimai and I took a bus to Okayama, and then from Okayama we went to Akashi where I stayed the night. On Friday morning I woke up early and we took a train to Kobe...where I was reunited with Violette Shimai and Daniels Shimai! Which was wonderful! AND I met my new companion!
As a preface....I was nervous to be a trainer. I was actually nervous to just become a senior companion. And that was when I thought that I would be training someone who spoke English or Japanese. But...my life as a trainer is absolutely nothing like what I thought it would be. Or what I had prepared for!
My new companion is named Sister Chapman. She is the cutest girl, she has more faith than anyone I have ever met...and she is from Tahiti! And she doesn't really speak English or Japanese. When she entered the MTC she started learning BOTH English AND Japanese. HOW AMAZING IS SHE?? And I can definitely say that the gift of tongues is REAL! It is so real! She learned enough English and Japanese in 9 weeks to communicate enough with me....that we can do missionary work. And her language skills just keep getting better. But, it is definitely a huge adventure.....and I have recently started learning French. And I have to give a shout out to the most amazing District Leader and Zone Leaders in the world who are helping more than anything, and to a district leader who is going to learn French with me so that we can help her learn how to be a missionary. It is kind of a lot of pressure to know that I am helping someone to build the beginning of their mission when I don't speak their native language. But, I know that the Lord will provide a way for us to do ALL that He has asked!!
Miracles are real. We have seen so many miracles just in these past few days. I can't even explain it. I have suddenly developed an ability to remember more kanji and read all the ones that I really need to. And I can also understand a heck of a lot more Japanese than I should probably be understanding. And I can speak more fluently than I could four days ago. On top of that, everyone we see seems to be drawn to us. We have had TONS of good contacts. We were able to teach a surprising amount of lessons in two days....and this morning we got a call from a man and his wife who I met two weeks ago who want to meet with us today and learn about Christianity. Heavenly Father is pouring the blessings of Heaven upon us because this is the hardest thing that either I or Chapman Shimai have ever done.
I can't even express my love for Chapman Shimai enough. She just looks at me and says: "Sister, I want to speak Nihongo. I want to understand. I want God to smile down on my hard work!" And I say: "Sister! He IS smiling down at your hard work! You WILL learn Nihongo! AND English!" And then we laugh and ride off on our bikes into the sunset...but really though. She is so amazing. She has SO MUCH FAITH! To go to the MTC without speaking English OR Japanese! I can't imagine it. She has more desire than anyone to be a missionary! And another quote from her: "Shimai...I can't speak...but the important thing to me is that we wakachiatai!" (The important thing to me is that we want to share!" And I say: "Alright! Then lets talk to everyone!!" And then we do! And it is so good! And it is amazing how many people want to talk to us :)
Anyway...I am out of time....but....all I have to say is that the Lord lives. He WILL take care of you. He KNOWS the hard things that you go through. Anything. And He WILL help. I know that is true. Always, always, always be grateful for the blessings that you have received!