Dear Family and friends,
THanks for the letters! I got them last Tuesday-like you said. When you send the letters directly to my apartment they get here three days sooners, so it:s super awesome. Unfortunately I forgot my card reader at the apartment, so you cannot see and will have to wait, but I BUTCHERED off my hair. Hahahaha like it is seriously so short. THis is probalby the shortest my hair has been since, what, junior high? Holy cow. So we went to follow up on this referral we received. So it was this 1000 yen haircut place, so to say sketchy is an understatement. The referal lady was there and she was really sweet. Sister Smith went first! So while this lady is cutting her hair.. SHE CUTS HER FINGER OPEN. Hahahaha so I am sitting there thinking, *good crap Sister Crofts what are you getting yourself into. Her conversion is not worth the sacrifice...* I am seriously FREAKING OUT. but it was somehow still so funny. You know that I never let people cut my hair in America, let alone at this sketchy haircut place in Japan. So then I go.... I went big! I cut off a solid 6 or so inches! As she was cutting, I felt like Fantine in Les Miserables, completely helpless. Knowing that this might be the only way this woman can be happy. So she finishes and I look in the mirror and honestly want to DIE. It took everything in me not to laugh and cry and everything in between. So we hand her an eikaiwa flyer (because we had talked about it and she said she wanted to learn english) and she:s like... wait, i have received one of these before! So she said she wants to come it just always slips her mind. She didn:t come. HOWEVER, we are going to follow up this week and mayb3e invite her to something else. Dad, you especially are going to die when you see my hair. I honestly don:t know what possessed me to do it. Totally on the whim, but it is growing on me because it is so nice and cool.
On tuesday, we had companionship switches becasue katsuta shimai is the STL. We went dendoing and it was SO FUN. But as always, so depressing. When we were housing I swear a million people rejected us saying *I:m buddhist, or I don:t want religion, or quit coming to our house (because they think we are the jehovas witnesses missionaries.* The Japanese poeple have these dang video/microphone things, so they don:t come to the door and just reject us through them. So it:s hard for me to keep a positive attitude about housing. So we decide to pray. The FIRST house we knock on after our prayer, the lady ACTUALLY LISTENED for like 4 minutes. It was a miracle. She said she would listen again, but then somehow she didn:t want to anymore. She said she:d at least read the pamphlet... All I said to her, was *I know that GOd loves you.* And we thanked her for her time and walked away. One day... I know it probably is so different from what you imagine, but any opportunity we get in our area to even mention the gospel is a miracle in itself.
AFter housing, we had to climb this mountain in the scolding heat to get to this potential investigator:s house. So we couldnt ride our bikes up it because it was so steep, so we pushed. My butt was sticking straight out because I was just trying to survive up this dang thing. Hahaha. So I get up this first hill, thinking *OKAY, we:re almost there?* THen I come to find out we have like 7 MORE!!!!!!! I wanted to die. It was so hot and my legs were burning and it was just rough. So we FINALLY get to this house, and I am DRIPPING sweat (thank you father). Japanese women NEVER SWEAT. So Katsuta shimai is just dying laughing at me, the PI was so sweet- but she was like* are you okay?* Hahahaha. I was totally fine I just sweat so bad here. It:s honestly so embarassing. I kept saying how embarassed I was and they just laughed and laughed. Mercy... WHY. We gave her a really good lesson and it was cool how she was really open to the concept of religion. She said *I see that this makes you ahppy, and I want to be happy.* So we are going to keep following up on her. That mountain was miserable, but I would climb it any day for that woman. She was amazing!
WE HAVE A NEW INVESTIGATOR!!!!!!!!!!!! My very first one! We teach this woman personal eikaiwa every single week. And I told you that recently she:s been asking about our purpose as missionaries more. So they had taught ehr several little messages before, but we decided she needed to understand that the atonement is personal to her. SO we talked about it (in english. I love english) and read some scriptures about the atonement. THe Spirit was so strong! I just knew we needed to invite her to do lessons the whole time, but I didn:t know how to say it. So Sister Smith was about to conclude, and then I said *T-san, I know that you have asked a lot of questions about our church and our purpose as missionaries lately. Would you want to learn more about our church in lessons? I know how much this church has blessed my life and I know how happy it would make you. Etc. Etc.* So she was SO EXCITED and said YES! So She is on the road. She loves and trusts us, and I thiink that is how we have been able to make so much progress with her.
I don:t know how this is humanly possible... And it may not look like it in pictures. But i have lost 13 pound since I have been in Japan. I didn:t lose or gain in the MTC. SO isn:t that crazy? I don:t know how- I eat so much.
Last Saturday night was this CRAZY massive festival. Man, do these Japanese people sure know how to party! I have never felt more like a freak in my life though. As I walked through this crowd, people honestly would just stop and stare with mouth wide open as I walked past. EVERYONE STARED AT ME. Usually its whatevs, but there were so many people and it was just honestly the craziest thing. Sister Smith was dying laughing at me. I am such a giant! Sister Smith is 88 POUNDS. Man....... wHY must these people be so tiny? So as we were at this festival trying to find poeple to dendo, we bumped into this man who looked like he was white. So he asked me where I was from and then he said that he was from BRAZIL!!!!! He said- I have seen people like you before in brazil, missionaries are everywhere there. I then said my *tudu beng* and that my dad served there. He said that this is the first time he has seen missionaries that are girls. I swear he was hitting on us. I could smell alcohol in his breath and he kept getting closer and closer to my face. There were several moments where I thought *heavenly father if this man kisses me it is NOT MY FAULT.* I was so blasted scared. Hahahaha so anyway, he kept saying how beautiful we are and what not. But we talked to him about our church and he said that he wanted to coｍe to eikaiwa. So it was just really cool taht he RECOGNIZED US. Sister Smith freaked to me after and was like *Sister CROFTS I WAS SO SCARED- I WAS POSITIVE HE WAS GOING TO KISS YOU!!!!* HahahahaPart of the biggest efforts as missionaries (I feel) is just to show epople that we aren:t a bunch of freaks gracing people with thoughts about Jesus. We are REAL PEOPLE. I have an hour to e-mail every week! Anyway- I love you! I:ll send pictures next week! Thanks for all teh updates. I am SO EXCITED to know that Trent served in Nagano. Like, WHOA. That is cool! I love Nagano, it:s so much cooler than all of the other places in our mission for the summer time- but it is still smoking hot. I love how kind the poeple are here. I am one lucky missionary.
愛, Sister Crofts
|The winter olympics in Nagano.|
|My first kaitenzushi. Conveyor belt sushi!!!|
|THIS is shimai dendou.|
|Missionary lessons after church!|
|Sister Ezaki drew each of the new missionaries faces and I'm on the far left.|