Monday, October 21, 2013


Well, as predicted in my last letter, I'm already regretting my wish for colder weather. I got that and more this week as I experienced my second typhoon in Japan. It wasn't too bad, just a lot of wind and rain, but it was so loud outside that I could barely sleep at all. Also all of our plans got cancelled - typhoons always seem to happen when we're busy! I've gotten lots of use out of my super shareta (stylish) rain suit. I keep meaning to take a picture... someday!

I got asked the same question by three different people this week, after seeing how tall I am: "what did you eat as a kid?" It's like I'm a walking advertisement for the milk industry.

This week was pretty good, besides the typhoon. Last Monday we went to a member's house in the evening for a birthday party, and got to meet some returned missionaries who left Oyama just before Sister Kubota got here, and had come back to visit. The ward loved them, so I'd heard a lot about them. Hopefully the wards I serve in will remember me like that! It was funny because one of them was wearing a white shirt and tie, and kept asking us about all of our investigators. Still in missionary mode I guess.

We tried out something new this week by having "music corner" after Eikaiwa where everyone who stayed later could sing and listen to one of the Elders play guitar. It turned out really well, and most people stayed! We sang "Book of Mormon stories" and explained what the song meant and talked a little about the Book of Mormon.

On Thursday we had a really good lesson with H., who we found kind of on accident. His wife got baptized when she was in high school but hasn't been to church in years, so we went to visit her a few weeks ago and he answered the door instead. He didn't know anything about the church, but agreed to meet with us again to learn more, and now we've gotten to teach three lessons to him and his wife together! He's like the perfect investigator - listens carefully and understand things well, asks questions, shows interest, is honest about his opinions. It would be so amazing to get to watch them be sealed in the temple as a couple, and I hope I'll have the opportunity before I go home.

Friday we spent all morning at zone training, which is always fun. I love getting to see everyone and getting to hear pep talks in English! Saturday was really fun, because our ward had a barbecue. Lots of people came, and almost a third weren't members! So we got to meet new people, and watch our investigators form friendships with the ward members. It was awesome. We played group games (Japanese adults seem to get into games a lot more than American ones , it's awesome) and ate and ate and ate. In some ways it was really similar to a barbecue at home, except the food was way different. Yakisoba, fried pumpkin and garlic, some mystery meat that looked suspiciously like spam, and a bunch of other stuff.

Oh, I almost forgot the funniest part. There were two (possibly feral?) cats hanging around, but instead of telling their children to stay away, like Americans probably would, everyone kept trying to catch them and pet them. Even the bishop at one point crouched down and try to lure one over with a piece of meat held between chopsticks! These are my people.

Another random fact about Oyama: the sacrament bread here is way better. Usually at home it's just a scrap of whatever the cheapest bread at the grocery store happened to be, but here I swear it's like fresh from the bakery challah loaves every week. Awesome.

Miracle of the week: One of the women in our ward has been having a lot of really hard family problems lately. Her home has been described as a "war zone" - everyone fighting, lots of chaos. She's the only one in her family who's a church member and she wants so badly to have the perfect, loving, church-going family of her dreams, and had just about given up and was planning on moving out when suddenly her dad announced he'd start going to church with her every week. Both of her parents came yesterday, and really enjoyed it. The best part was seeing how happy they all were together, and how they're working together to strengthen their family.

I just want everyone in the world to know about the incredible blessings this gospel can bring! There's so much work to do!

Love, Anna

Oyama Ward BBQ Picnic

Feral Oyama cat observing the picnic

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