Monday, July 29, 2013

July 28, 2013

Dear family!!!

So even though there hasnt been a whole bunch of progress with our investigators, this has been such a crazy busy week! We are working so hard and striving each day to bring people closer to Christ. Just a heads up, the mail takes about 10 days to get here... So be aware!
Last week, we went to Nagano City to street dendo. So while we were there... We talked to about 30 people, but it was so funny because I would go up to people and say something to them and they would literally JUMP out of alarm... And then we:d get past the whole awkward -you just jumped because of me- and just talk. But the point of this is: how sad is that?!?!? People seriously don:t expect me to be able to say anything. So as we were walking down the street, we saw this girl who lookoed like she spoke English. So we both got knid of stoked. so we created a plan: we would go into this starbucks, buy a cinnamon roll and then sit next to her and speak in englihs and of course she would talk to us right..? haaha so we did and we:re just having a grand old time for about 10 minutes and then she LEAVES. We both look at each other and say NOOOOOOOOO. So whatevs. We leave. So we stopped by this Olympic thing in Nagano City and asked this lady to take a picture for us. We then started talking to her about Eikaiwa and about the Mormon church and she was SO INTERESTED. Mind you- that never happens. So we gave her a card and she is hopefully coming tomorrow night. We:re dying of excitement because she was so sweet and young and would be an awesome investigator. So as we:re walking down this cool street. (I have a picture of it with all the decorations and everything) We see the girl who looks like she speaks English. Me and Smith Shimai just about jumped out of our pants we were so excited. So I went up to her and asked her where she was from and she was from the UK. So we ended up talking to her for about 10 minutes. She was so cool and was part of some program. She said there is this cool festival in Nagano City soon and we could totally go together. So we:re stoked because we:re trying to really get to know her and then we could maybe introduce her to our purpose as missionaries.

We teach personal eikaiwa to this lady every week. She works for some business and this Chinese guy speaks and so she can:t understand it so we translate ti. So it was so awesome because I guess usually she grudgingly endures the message at the end of eikaiwa, but this last meeting was SO GREAT. She was asking so many questions about our church, and our purpose as missionaries. She had thought we were like the buddhist priests, so we needed to clear up THAT IMMEDIATELY. Hahaha. At the end we talked about eternal families and the spirit was so strong. so this week we are inviting her to take the lessons... Cross your fingers! I hope her heart will be softened.

We had a member FHE last week, and all four of us sisters were able to go. I have literally never seen so much food in my life. they cooked everything possible for a human to eat. So I am thinking *oh crap... we have to eat all of that* and then as we sit down and are having a good old time, she CONTINUES to bring out more and more food. Grant Shimai doesn:t really like Japanese food, so her face was hilarious. Fortunately, my tongue has been culturally educated, but that doesn:t change the absurd amount of food they fed us. I honestly never thought it was going to end. Hahaha it was so yummy, but man that was a LOT of food. The Japanese people drink this tea that honestly tastes like cigarette buds put in water, and they drink it at every meal. My comp always says she loves it, and I:m trying to love ti but that is one rough beverage.

We got to meet with President Yamashita last week! He is so great. But it came with some terrifying news. I am going to be a TRAINER after my 12 weeks of being a bean!!! IS taht not so scary? I feel like it is. SO anyway, he told Sister Smith that I have the attitude necessary and my main issue will be the language... So great, I can have a good attitude, but the problem is that I DO NOT SPEAK JAPANESE!!!! Hahahaha. Everything is in kanji everywhere and I don:t understand it. I am always lost and somehow i am going to be a trainer after 12 weeks? I:m working so hard so my bean doesn:t have to suffer. Anyway... Absolutely crazy. Trying not to think about it to prevent a heart attack.

Yesterday we received a referral from one of the members (YAY) She has been working on this lady for a while now and she is her hair stylist. So she said: sisters, don:t you need a hair cut? we said :you know what, I think i do! Haha. SO anyway, we are going to go talk to her today. I might cut off a bunch of my hair because it is so blasted hot here in Japan. I sweat so much and it:s disgusting. DOn:t get freaked out it will still be longish. We:re thinking the more we cut the more sacrifice, the more time we have to talk to her... THe things we do to help people come unto CHrist.

So sister smith is from an hour away from Tokyo. She:s so great! She studied at BYU/BYUHI/BYUID. She got here in April and has been in Nagano since she got here. We have fun together, but we work hard too! Her dad was American and her mom Japanese.

I:ll be honest, the language is SO HARD. It:s really hard not to get discouraged, but there:s not really anything i can do about it. So I just work harder. I just wish I could be fluent already Read D&C 78:17-20. I:m learning a lot of patience. I totally have a headache by about 2:00, you are so right. I am trying so hard to understand what people say. Fortunately Smith shimai can translate sometimes to help me out. I miss American food! Japanese food is really yummy, but I just miss my limitless supply of fruit chicken and broccoli. It:s so expensive here. I have been trying to be adventurous with the things I eat.... It hasn:t bitten me in the butt until yesterday. So we had some ward potluck after church and there were these things that looked really yummy (LOOKED) so I harmlessly grabbed one. This lady told me that they were super Japanesey and I probably wouldn:t like them, but I was like *oh it:s cool! I love Japanese food! I:m trying new things!* BIG MISTAKE. So i just take a little tiny bite and I swear to you I saw my death. It was so disgusting and I just immediately swallowed it and was gagging for like 2 minutes after that. Basically, my body hated it. So Katsuta Shimai wanted it and I gave it to ehr... It was seriously so so so gross. Grant Shimai just laughed at me and said that:s how she feels after everything. Man, that was rough.

This week we have the chance to get in contact with more of our investigators! They:ve all been really busy, so we:re hoping that we can get them progressing again. We also have several potential investigators that might go in that direction! So I have an exciting week ahead. We:re trying to find some new people to teach as well! We only have our 3 investigators...

Every day is exhausting. It is so hot, we ride our bike everywhere and up these absurd mountains, I don:t understand what is going on (ALWAYS), I have a constant headache, my butt is sore from riding a bike, I miss American food, almost everyone we talk to rejects us, but I:m okay with it! It:s hard, but I am ultimately doing what I was called to do: preach the gospel! I am testifying of what I KNOW without a doubt to be true, and THAT is what makes me happy!!!! People may not realize it, but they are coming closer to Christ. I love this gospel, it is so true. Every day I receive strength from Christ. I LOVE  being an instrument in His hands. It never ceases to be incredible! I love you so much, you:re in my prayers!!!

Sister Crofts

 ALSO--- people are so respectful here. I absolutely love it. I always bow my head whenever I make eye contact with someone and THEY ALWAYS DO IT BACK. They are always so kind. I love the Japanese people, coolest culture ever! 

Gelato with Ezaki Kyoudai after visiting less active members   

Seriously is it not the most beautiful place in the world??
Natsu Matsuri! (Summer festival) 
Lesson at Sister Asai's house. Hanyu Kyouko chan. 

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