August 4, 2014
This weekend was the natsu matsuri (summer festival) in Yokkaichi so it has been really fun!
It cooled off towards the end of the week, but the first part of the week was seriously deathly hot. We go running in the morning and always shower... but I am starting to ask myself why I even take time to shower? I feel clean for the hour of personal study and companionship study and am just drenched the rest of the day.
This member made me and Moore Shimai dinner and she is the sweetest person ever. She is loves missionary work so much. So she made this massive meal for the two of us that she didn’t even eat. Most of it was good and I was able to eat. However, there were these little fish (the whole bodies) covered in lemon. The taste would have been absolutely great, but just the crunch as I chewed the bones and eyes and stuff made me want to cry a little bit. Moore Shimai looked like she was going to die. Hahaha. I feel fearless, after being in Japan so long I think i can at least get anything to go down. Truly one of the many miracles of being a missionary. We were a little bit sick after though. We visited this lady who is in her in her late 80s who was one of the first members in Yokkaichi. She is pretty much hilarious. She just talks about how she is so ready to die. She said President Monson is still pushing through, so that is her only motivation right now.
We went to Nagoya for leadership training and were there all day! Chikano Shimai from Kariya came and it was SO AWESOME to see her. I love her so much. She was an awesome missionary so she gave us some training. We are really trying to focus as a mission on the conversion of the people we teach. Helping them to really know Jesus Christ and truly repent. I am so excited for this new focus.
Our ward had a natsu matsuri on Saturday morning. It was up at the Itakura couples house. They live in komono chou and it is BEAUTIFUL. He built his home and it is along this absolutely incredible river and it is seriously magical I think. I may want to live there. So we had barbeque and somen. (which is like a cold Japanese noodle). Also I thought it was hilarious because only in Japan would you bring a rice cooker to a barbeque, there were like 3. Tomi san, the man we met on the street who we tried to get to follow the word of wisdom came. He brought a million cookies, which was super nice. He doesn’t understand the whole word of wisdom thing yet so 1/3 of them were coffee flavored, but he had an awesome time. He was asking almost everyone if they drink alcohol. Hahaha. Chizu san also came and it was fun to have her there with us! She is reading the Book of Mormon and really trying, I think. One of our friends also came with her husband and she could be one of my favorite people too. It was an awesome time to get to know the members and some of our friends and people we are teaching!
There was this huge festival down by the eki (train station) and we tried talking to people there. We didn’t have a lot of time, but we talked to 60 people while we were there and gave out lots of mormon.org cards and eikaiwa flyers. Nobody would really listen. After our time streeting and talking to people we rode a train to kuwana shi. While we were on the train there were these 2 girls that we talked to who were 16 years old. They were both so pure and fun to talk to. We testified to them about Jesus Christ, His sacrifice for our mistakes and sins, and the way we can always find comfort because He died for us. As we were teaching them, their faces honestly changed. When we stopped they were both silent and just said -wow, “ii kangaekatta”. As we were testifying to them, I just felt the Spirit so strongly. They were Heathers age!! I thought of them as my little sister and how much they need the gospel. They had to run off the train for their stop, but we gave them a pamphlet and our number. As we rode away they waved until they couldn’t see us anymore.. ahhh. Even if they aren’t ready now, I know that in those two girls’ hearts we planted seeds.
We met Hasegawa san to go to the kuwana matsuri with her. It was so fun because there is so much history that she taught us and I loved being able to learn more about the Japanese culture. There were these float type things that they would pound drums and bells and walk along the streets. It wasn’t just a several hour thing, it goes nonstop for 3 days!!! INSANE! All the people who pound the drums and bells gather together before and just drink as much alcohol as possible. And then there is always a designated person to take a can of beer around to each person in the group to make sure everyone is drinking. The road that it is on is SO OLD and people used to walk on it to travel all the way to Tokyo. The 3 guys that are in the picture with us? Yeah one of them totally grabbed my butt. that was a dose of alarm and a half, they were so drunk. As I was watching the festival, I was just so happy. I realized so many things about life and Japan and myself watching it. It was so fun to watch it with Hasegawa san. She took us to her family’s house for dinner and introduced us to everyone. They all couldn’t believe that we give up 1 year and a half of our life to do this.
Remember the guy who we ran into housing a while back whose family member had passed away? We visited him yesterday to follow up on him and it was way great. He says he is Buddhist, but he took the Book of Mormon and was pretty stoked to read it.
The sad news... so we have tried visiting and calling Yamamoto San. We finally ran into her on the street by the eki. She started ranting about having to write her parents’ names on the record and we said that it is OK, you don’t need that!!! It is up to YOU to do the temple work for them. Your choice! I think she understood better about that, but then she started going off about other stuff that is going on with her husband. I guess he is asking her where she is going lately (which should be normal) so she isn’t leaving the house. As she we were talking, we tried so hard to express how much God loves her and we love her, but she wouldn’t budge at all. I just, uh felt so much love for her, but just so much sadness. I almost started crying several times during our conversation because there was nothing we could do. She was choosing for herself and regardless of what we said; her heart is so closed off right now. She said that she can’t meet this month and maybe in September she’ll meet us again. She said -you go home in October, so that is still plenty of time.- nooooo whyyyyy? I still have hope for her. I know that she is a miracle and that she will be ready.
I just read Kristy’s email and it is actually kind of hilarious because we almost have the same experience. But, we visited this less active that wasn’t on the records or anything but we heard about her from a member in another area. So we visited her and she has 4 children. When we shared a message with her she picked up the Book of Mormon and just said -wow, long time... but she has good feelings towards the church and her husband isn’t a member either. So we are way stoked to work with this family! Her children LOVED church when they went before.
I am so grateful for our Savior and for what He did for me. I am learning so much every day! As I pray to God that He will give me strength, that I will be able to feel His Spirit I know that He answers my prayers. I love being a missionary.
|Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival)|
|Drunk guys at the festival. Watch the hands boys!|
|Hasgawa San with Sister Moore & Crofts|
|Tomi San at ward party|
|No stress being a missionary|
|Proof I can eat about anything by now. Sister Moore thought she was going to die|