Thursday, February 12, 2015

Costco Pizza and Sushi and also Earthquakes

This week was the busiest week of my entire life and I am just exhausted all the time but I love it!! Apparently, when you are a missionary in Niihama...sometimes there are weeks when we just don't really spend a whole lot of time in Niihama. Also, travel on Shikoku is expensive I am learning.

With Stevenson Shimai and Daniels Shimai
On Monday night we took a bus to Kobe for MLC (Mission Leader Conference) and I got to stay with the Kobe Sisters! Which meant that we had basically a giant sleepover with Daniels Shimai (see post here)and Stevenson Shimai who are two of my favorite people ever. It was SO GREAT to talk with Daniels Shimai. We talked for soooo long and it was neat to hear about her mission and everything that had happened and to get a quick lowdown of every transfer and hear about everything that we just don't have time to write in the emails home every week. I love her so much and she is such a good missionary and such a kind person and an amazing companion and also performs miracles because she has solid faith and charity. Also, I love hearing her speak Japanese because she sounds like a Japanese person.

MLC was mind blowing and even though I was a little bit sick it was such a spiritually uplifting meeting and I learned so much from President Welch...And also this couple that came to do some training on stress from Tokyo. We talked a lot about working with members and I received lots of new amazing ideas that Ichikawa Shimai and I are really excited to implement in Niihama. Also, they fed us Pizza from Costco which was amazing because Pizza from Costco is pure American pizza...which means it does not have corn or mayonnaise or potato or other strange things on it.  The bus rides from Kobe to Sannomiya to Niihama are really we didn't get home until about
Eating a long roll of sushi, a certain direction
10:30 on Tuesday night, but we enjoyed eating sushi on the bus because it was a Japanese holiday where you eat a long roll of sushi facing a certain was difficult to face the right direction because we were on a bus, but we did our best and figured we were probably facing the right direction at some point along the way. Ichikawa Shimai teaches me lots of amazing Japanese traditions and I love it. Also she teaches me funny Japanese words.

On Thursday we had this super powerful amazing lesson with one of our investigators...who has been progressing really slowly, but she set a baptismal date! It was a really neat lesson! We brought a powerful doseki (member) with us who used to be Shinto and they shared their conversion story, and then afterwards our investigator said that she wanted to get baptized in the spring. Also, her husband`s heart is softening a lot (he is also an investigator but has not really been progressing at all) but now his interest is spiking up. Thursday night we took the train to Takamatsu and it was SO FUN to be back in my old zone. I was super, super, super excited. Maybe like a small child on Christmas. We went on a koukan with the Takamatsu Shimai and helped to teach ZTM with the Takamatsu Zone Leaders. Even though I have only been gone for one transfer every single missionary transferred out - EXCEPT for all of the Tokushima missionaries. So, it was a lot of fun to see all of them. After the meeting, they updated me on everything and in two months there have been funerals, weddings and new babies born and some old investigators came back and they are working with tons of less actives and it was the most fun thing ever to hear about it! Also, next week I will get to koukan (train) in Tokushima and so I am super excited about that. During ZTM there was a small earthquake and so it was really funny to hear sirens start going off and then all of the missionaries drop under the table. The earthquake went by really quickly and then Chapman Shimai jumped up from under the table and did a little dance shouting "IT IS MY FIRST TIME!" She is hilarious and me and her companion just burst out laughing. Also, her Japanese has become amazing as well. She said the opening prayer, after which I was basically radiating joy and all of the Tokushima Elders laughed at me because they have all been able to see her growth since she first arrived in the mission until now, and so they really enjoyed my excitement.

My koukan in Takamatsu was sooo fun! I was with a 6th transfer missionary from Hawaii! She was super fun and we got a long really well, really quickly, so we were able to have a lot of fun conversations. I think that has been one of the best things about koukaning (training) is just learning lots about lots of different sisters and making lots of new friends. She is a really solid missionary and really loves the Japanese people and they are preforming miracles in Takamatsu. I was super impressed by her hard work and ability to do missionary work and find her way around Takamatsu even though she has only been there three weeks, because my direction skills are not up to par there.

Saturday and Sunday were also really fun in Niihama! We had some of my favorite lessons ever since coming here. We recently started teaching a family who has been coming to English Class and they are the cutest family. I think their brains about exploded when we told them that we believe that God has a body of flesh and bones and that He created us. The mom was like "WHAT? No WAY? Really?!?! I have NEVER heard ANYTHING like that before!!!" And so that was fun. Also they gave us chocolate. Then it snowed and we were really, really cold. 

Sorry, I feel like these emails are becoming long lists of things that I did during the week and I will try to make them better, but there are just so many things that I want to dump onto these papers to tell all of you about and there is just not enough time to make it creative....
but I love you and Niihama is wonderful and Ichikawa Shimai is the BEST! I want to write an entire email all about her, because she is the most humble and kind person ever I think.

Grundvig Shimai

Still myself!

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