This week went by super fast as well. Last Monday we got a chance to go to some really cool Chinese gardens near our apartment, so Mom can rest assured that I AM getting some cultural experiences here. Even if it wasn't a Japanese one. We also found an import store at the train station, and I was a very happy camper when I found Kraft macaroni and cheese, plus guacamole seasoning. Yay!
We got a chance to finally use our iPads up to their potential this week while teaching Ku. We made a picture slide show of the Joseph Smith story and showed it to her and her daughter, and they really liked it. The things we teach are so new and foreign to lots of people here, so having visual aids really helps. I can't imagine growing up barely knowing anything besides a vague image of God, then having two weird giant foreigners show up and try to teach me about Jesus Christ and prophets and the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost and praying and on and on... It truly is a miracle anyone wants to meet with us.
Whenever we talk to members who converted, their story is always the same: I didn't understand a word the missionaries taught me, I just felt good and knew it was right. We really can't do anything without the Spirit.
We had really cool experiences teaching this week, especially on Sunday. Oseki Shimai brought one of her friend's 9-year-old daughter, Teri, and we were teaching her about Jesus Christ and why we take the sacrament in church. Teri has been studying English from birth so she's completely fluent and sounds like a native speaker - it's awesome! We actually met her on Christmas Eve before. Anyway, we taught her completely in English - I think that's why her mom let her go to church. Language study. But it was so great. She unexpectedly started crying while we taught about Jesus' life - she just couldn't believe people would kill Him, and was sad that we couldn't see Him or Heavenly Father. We quickly told her that she could talk to God any time she wanted through prayer, and she wanted to pray herself. So she did right then, in Japanese, and it was probably the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. She is so, so sweet!
We also invited our friend Mia to the potluck after church - we hadn't really gotten a chance to talk about church things yet, and were planning on introducing it then, but she got lost trying to find the church and didn't end up arriving until it was over. But we saved her some food and got to introduce her to a member there, who I guess thought that she was already taking lessons, so we ended up having a full discussion about prayer, and God's guidance, and conversion, and all of that. I think she was a little surprised but it turned out to be really good and she was listening intently and asking questions the whole time. Yay! I should really get better at setting up better expectations when I meet people to avoid situations like this, but it's awkward sometimes. When people actually want to talk to us and be our friend we get so excited sometimes that we forget to explain to them we're not just here to hang out.
But miracles happen here every day. The other sisters met a man while knocking on doors this week who actually invited them in to teach! Hasn't happened to me yet. They couldn't go inside because there weren't any women home, so they gave him a Book of Mormon and said they'd come aback the next day with the Elders. When the Elders came he'd already read 109 pages! Kind of a funny guy. After their lesson he was kinda like "ok that was cool, goodbye, see ya never" but the man read 109 PAGES so they're not giving up that easy.
I'll send pictures of our garden day! Love you.
|Anna & Sisters Amituanai & Crane Reading in the Chinese Garden|
|Chinese Garden Silliness|
|Chinese Garden in Niigata|