It has been quite the week in Niihama. We are busy ALL THE TIME here. And so it is a lot of fun, but time goes by really quickly. Plus, because it is really, really Inaka (country) and everything is far apart we are also spending lots of time biking which also sucks up time way quicker than I think it will.
|The Niihama ward members Heart Attacked us!|
I was able to meet most of the investigators in Niihama this week. They are all really interesting people, and understanding most of their Japanese is really difficult and so every day I am learning lots and lots and lotsssss of new vocabulary words because a many of the things our investigators talk about does not fit into my current vocabulary range. Luckily, Ichikawa Shimai understands Japanese and so she can answer some of the questions we have been hearing. I am also learning a lot about loving people with not my own love, but with the Lord's love because this area is just really difficult to explain in words, but these people are not like anyone that I have met before! They are all really loving and kind people, and the members here are amazing and probably some of the most accepting people I have ever met. Which I think has some very strong correlation to why the branch in Niihama has been growing so much in the past year.
|Cute Mikan Cake|
We spend a decent amount of our time teaching recent converts because there are a lot in this ward. It has been really fun to get to know them and hear their testimonies and their conversion stories. One of them makes us little cakes every time we visit her and it is the sweetest thing ever. This week the cake looked like the Mikan Character because Mikans are yume in Ehime Ken. It was super cute.
I also went on my first koukan (worked with another sister missionary for the day) this week! I was a little bit nervous, but it ended up being a lot of fun! The sister I koukan-ed with is from Canada and she speaks both French and English. She was actually in the same stake as the elder from my MTC district who is from Canada. It was really fun to be with a first transfer for a day because it was like training again! It also made me realize that I am kind of an old missionary because she had lots of really good questions about what it was like to be an 11th transfer. It was all very interesting because I feel like my heart is still a first transfer.
Our koukan started by me getting us dreadfully lost for about an hour just trying to find our apartment from the eki. I was kind of embarrassed. But we talked to a lot of people along the way, and we found two people who might meet with us later this week. They also helped us locate our apartment complex. It started getting dark outside while we were looking for the apartment, and eventually we said a prayer that we could find it. After praying I looked up and realized that the apartment was right across a rice field right in front of us and that I had basically been leading us in circles for an hour. So that was good. After coming home we went out housing for about an hour and we found three people who invited us to go back. It was a really fun experience and the faith of first transfers always brings miracles :) Also, we ate pizza together which is always a lot of fun.
|Ichikawa Shimai and Grundvig Shimai in Niihama|
Yesterday we had a super miraculous day. We didn't have any time to eat food, but we were able to meet with a TON of people. Also, we met with a girl who is a recent convert but has gone less active and didn't really seem to want to talk with missionaries. But, we talked with her and then built a relationship with her and she ended up letting us into her house and we had a really powerful lesson and she opened up to us a lot and I think she will start coming back to church. It is so fun teaching with Ichikawa Shimai because she is an AMAZING teacher and listener and really understands the hearts of the people that we are teaching. She seriously was guided throughout the entire lesson and it was just a lot of fun. Also, yesterday we had a terrifying experience where a crazy man came up to us on the street and kept grabbing our arms, and he wasn't really speaking he was just sort of...frothing. And we were both really terrified. But then - in Niihama where there is never anyone on the streets - out of nowhere this huge group of boys all showed up and noticed that something interesting was happening and so they all stopped to see if we needed help, and then at the same time a member drove by and stopped because they also noticed that we might need help. So, the Lord really does protect his missionaries.
I hope that you all had a great week!
I wish that I could more accurately describe the events of every day and missionary life and everything that we do....but here is just a tiny snippet of everything.
I LOVE YOU!