OCTOBER 21, 2013
This week has been so great and we have been working so hard. I love Kariya so much! I also received lots of mail from our family (Alicia, Melissa, Liz, Grandma) so that was the biggest surprise ever. Thank you so much for every letter and package- it was so good to hear from everyone. <3 xoxoxo
Last Monday... Me and Sister Silva spent our p-day cleaning the apartment of one of our recent converts....... Words cannot quite express the horror I witnessed. The sad thing is? None of you will even believe how terrible it was. So this woman and her daughter are so sweet, but their home has been infested by cockroaches and spiders. I cleaned the kitchen. What a TREAT. So every single dish, inch of their counter, had dead cockroaches and live ones crittering around them, and to top it all off- massive spiders with hundreds of little egg sacks in the cupboard full of babies. It was truly one of those "I did NOT sign up for this" moments. It topped it all off when I was moving a bowl and a cockroach that was 4 inches long ran out right under my hand. So it got to the point that there were so many cockroaches and spider babies, that we had to use their VACUUM to suck everything up. Silva Shimai would say "ready 1-2-3. KILL THEM." and then lift up some item of furniture. HUNDREDS of cockroaches would scatter all over the floor as I frantically tried to vacuum (i don`t remember how to spell this) them up and prevent them from climbing all over my body. That place could have an atomic bomb put in it and still have cockroaches everywhere. HOLY COW. It was honestly so so so bad. As I was cleaning, I had to suppress all feelings of complete and utter horror and mortification otherwise I would have thrown up. So I just numbly cleaned, cringing through every moment. Me and Silva Shimai could have been there for 2 weeks cleaning and still been nowhere close to done in the kitchen and living room, but we had to go. They were so grateful for our help, and I know it really made a difference because the mom has so many burdens on her back right now, but ahhhhh. We were both soooooo sick after we left. When we got home everywhere we looked we saw hundreds of cockroaches scattering all over our stuff. When I showered that night I just kind of sat down and rocked back and forth trying to feel again. That was one of those scarring moments of my life. This whole past week I just keep having flashbacks of cockroaches climbing all over my feet, legs, hands. SO NASTY. I will NEVER complain about cleaning anything ever again. There is nothing that can reach the level of that place.
We have 2 investigators right now. One is half Brazilian and One is Japanese. The Brazilian one speaks English, so we teach her in a little bit of Portuguese and English. She has lived in Japan her whole life. Her boyfriend is a member, but they aren`t married and live together. She wants to have a big beautiful wedding and they can`t afford it, so she doesn’t want to get married, which makes it hard for her to be baptized.... We`re trying to help her recognize why she needs the gospel. Thankfully we have a member present for our Japanese investigator to make up for how bad our Japanese is. She has 3 beautiful kids and they love us so much! Our investigators are doing so awesome and we have been able to meet with them both 2 times this last week. They both are keeping commitments and really progressing so we are excited to see the blessings that come to them through the gospel. I love them so much!!!
This week has been full of many miracles and tender mercies! I am so blessed. We found a Brazilian couple with a little boy who are interested in English, so I have started teaching them English! Danilla learned English from watching Friends. When we bumped into them after the first time we met, they invited us into their home and we talked for a while. They are the sweetest couple ever and we love them! When we met with them, they developed a curiosity in our church. So not only did they go and look up what we believe in, but they looked up BYU because that is where I went and where Silva Shimai wants to go. Danilla loved what we believe about eternal families and the sacredness of the body. Thiago thought that BYU was SO COOL, he couldn`t stop raving about it. We are hoping to invite them to hear more about the gospel soon! :)
It has been POURING rain this week, but we travel to the farthest distances by bike anyway! On average, we are biking for about 3 hours a day. I love the rain, but I absolutely hate biking in it. It is so freezing.
DAD I KNOW RIGHT?!?!?! WHY DID I EVER STOP TAKING SPANISH????!?!?! Stupidest decision of my LIFE. I understand some things, but I can`t remember how to respond to save my life. It`s rough... My mind can`t handle all of the switching! Japanese. Spanish. Portuguese. English. ? WHAT?! WHAT. It is way too much for me to handle. It's kind of overwhelming. Usually Silva Shimai will just translate for me... Which is awesome, I just feel very unuseful when we visit these people, and there are soooo many. God knows what He is doing, and I just have to have more faith in that. I could ask President Yamashita if I could study these languages, but I really feel like I need to focus on my Japanese. So I feel like that is what my focus should be. We make it work!
Yesterday we had a really cool experience! We have this neighbor who is from Nigeria. He is the nicest guy ever and we always love talking to him and his Japanese wife. Yesterday we were coming downstairs to head to stake conference and him and his friend were sitting there smoking. So we talked to them for a little bit. Shortly after, the friend, Tony, asked us what is up with Joseph Smith and why we worship him. He said that he used to go to our church and he brought his daughters, but he felt like we worship Joseph Smith, so he stopped coming. The interesting thing is, he is a less active in our records and nobody knows where he lives or anything so nobody has been able to find him, but we found him! So we ended up teaching him and our neighbor the first lesson in English. It was awesome because they both COMPLETELY understood. Tony wanted proof of the Book of Mormon, that it testified about Jesus Christ. SO we told him about Jesus Christ`s ministry in the Americas, gave him a Book of Mormon, and asked that he would read it. Tony is going to Africa for a week, but he said that he would read it with real intent and ask God if it is true. He is a good Christian man and ultimately just wants to follow God`s will for him. When our neighbor asked why we don`t drink coffee or alcohol, Tony was like "No no no- that`s easy. I will tell you about that later!" Our neighbor was reading the Book of Mormon and he was super interested. It was cool because we all just came to a mutual understanding. We are hoping that Tony will come back to church and receive his own personal witness that he needs to be there. We could even get to teach his daughters. We were SO LATE to stake conference, but I think that God will understand this one.
There is so much gratitude in my heart. God is our loving Heavenly Father and He knows us so personally. His love for us is infinite, and His grace and goodness touch my heart every single day. He has shown us the way to receive complete and perfect eternal happiness. How lucky are we! I love this gospel with all my heart. The church is true!
|Saying goodbye to Adelita! Her and her husband live in our area and she's moving back to Brazil.|
|Dressed up for a Halloween party|
|Riding the train for P-day.. This park is for children, but we loved it.|