Also, I only spent about 2 1/2 days in my area...but THIS WEEK we are not going on any companion exchanges because we have finished all of our koukans and so we only have to leave Niihama once. And so maybe I am super selfish, but I am really, really, really excited for a week of normal missionary work.
So, some highlights of the week.
1. I KOUKANED IN TOKUSHIMA WITH HIATT SHIMAI!!! Hiatt Shimai is an amazing sister and she came with me to Japan. We actually sat next to each other on the plane. Also, because she did half of Mills Shimai's training and half of Chapman Shimai's training and I did the other halfs of their training it was so much fun to talk with her. She and Chapman Shimai are working miracles in Tokushima. It was really neat to see the growth in Chapman Shimai's English and Japanese, and I think part of that is due to Hiatt Shimai's amazing humility. I learned a lot from her example of just quietly relying on the Lord.
Also, the koukan was a little bit crazy. I was able to teach some of my old investigators and it just filled my heart with joy. I loved biking those streets and seeing the beautiful Tokushima rivers. I love those rivers with all of my whole heart.
Our path was also super directed by the Lord and we just happened to run into tons of people on the streets that I had met during my time in Tokushima. One of them was a 16 year old girl and her twin sister that Payne Shimai and I had met and written notes to. This girl saw me and got really excited, she pulled out a note that she had written to me and told me that she had been carrying it around in case she ever ran into me again. And, she may become an investigator soon!
At the end of the koukan we had a miraculous experience with public transportation that I wish I had more time to write about...but we may or may not have ended up at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere with no idea how to get to the train station at 9:30 at night....and then miraculously we met a kind lady who drove us to a train station. And we arrived in time to catch the very last train that we possibly could have caught. The story is a lot more elaborate than that, but, in the Lady's car we explained what we do as missionaries and gave a brief lesson and delivered a pamphlet :) And now I am praying for that kind lady.
It basically suffices to say that I am not super great at figuring out transportation for these
koukans...but it all worked out OK in the end.
2. On Valentines day we went to a baptism in Tokushima! It made me SOO happy to see all of those people that I love. Also, the baptismal service was amazing and we sang "Midaso My Friend" which is a song that I love. The spirit was beautiful and it was really wonderful to hear Makiko's testimony of the gospel and see how happy she is. I think one of the best things was teaching her...and then leaving..and then coming back to see her baptism because I could very clearly see how much she had grown.
Also, I was able to see Nathalie and Nakamura Kyoudai who have also grown since their baptisms and they are doing SO WELL. I am so proud of them.
The same day there was a wedding in Tokushima and the Branch President was really excited to tell me about it. I love that family.
3. We received a call from one of the young single adults in the ward on Monday saying that his girlfriend wants to be baptized and would we please teach her?
Yes. We can do that.
So we started teaching her this week.
4. We are working really hard to strengthen our relationship with the ward and my love for Niihama is growing and I love these people so much. And great things are happening...but I don't have time to write about it, but one day I will show you all my pictures and explain the stories and it will be a wonderful time.
5. Elder Aoyogi from the Presidency of the 70, in the Japan Area, came and gave a mission tour. Also, I was super lucky and I was able to have an interview with him!!! It was in Japanese and so I was really nervous, but he also speaks fluent English and so when my Japanese got all confused I could speak English :) I learned a lot from his incredible inspired words. Particularly about following the spirit - and relying on the Lord. I think sometimes I rely on my own power too much, and so I was reminded that I need to be humble because it is really only the spirit that can teach and invite, but not me.
So...among these five tiny things, lots of other fun, hard, crazy, learning experiences happened this week and I wish that I could just dump my brain onto this page...but these emails don't work like that.
Slash fun Japanese culture tip - in Japan on Valentines Day only the girls give the boys chocolate and so people kept asking "did you give anyone chocolate?" and I just thought it was really funny......because of culture differences.