Monday, August 25, 2014


Made it through transfer week - they're always crazy, with all the packing and goodbyes and preparation that needs to be done. This time was surprisingly low-stress, but still incredibly busy. One nice thing about when a missionary leaves their area is that all your investigators magically have time to meet with you and say goodbye even though they had said before that "this month is impossible" or whatever. Nihonjin are world-class excuse makers. I even find myself subconsciously switching to Japanese when I complain because it just flows so well in that language.

Iza finally came home from vacation, and we got to teach her. I enjoy our lessons so much -  she's smart, interesting, and shows such enthusiasm. She loves praying, and reading the Book of Mormon, and meeting us - but unfortunately thinks that maybe that's enough. She's a little scared of upsetting her family by being baptized, so is willing to settle for only some happiness. I just can't understand why people do that to themselves! It's like choosing to look at some fresh-baked cookies, smell them, rub them on your face, and carry them around with you all day without ever taking a bite. Maddening.

Su is doing well, and we figured out part of her hesitance to believe in God - He's a man. We explained about Heavenly Mother and all that but she still didn't seem quite satisfied. I've done it - I've found the one feminist in Japan. Luckily that's nothing new for me so I know how to answer her difficult questions. Sometimes. We took a picture with her and her daughter before Sister Sticht left.

I was sad to see Sister Sticht go but things are going well with Sister Jones! Besides getting lost more often than usual. No matter how hard I try, I can never seem to overcome that particular trial.
Although I have more tools than I did before - iPad, phone GPS, a compass that I bought for my bike. So no huge disasters yet. Although we did get pretty lost jogging one morning, which was dumb because it was right near our own apartment. Did I mention we go jogging every morning now? As a lazy pile by nature I wasn't too excited about it at first but I'm enjoying it more and more now. Hopefully I'll get back in better shape before I go home and not have to start from scratch.

Hmm, what else... Ping pong night has been booming lately. Our friend Ami Shimai came again, and also to Eikaiwa and music night. She also told us that she started reading the Book of Mormon again! I was way happy, and then had to hold in my exasperation as a man in the ward kept rambling about all these random study patterns she should do (ex, read a certain number of pages per day instead of chapters, and other things that don't matter) and telling her to read in Moses and Abraham and countless other places.

Word to church members everywhere trying to encourage someone else who's learning about the gospel: keep it simple. Don't blast them with tons of irrelevant and unhelpful information. I love the members here but sometimes I get stressed over worrying if they're going to say something weird during a lesson. If we're teaching the Atonement, please don't bring up obscure church history references or tithing or anything like that. Okay, rant over.

I hope that being a missionary prepares me to be a helpful member in the future and that the missionaries serving where I live don't have to worry about me scaring their investigators.

Cool scripture of the week: "You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves." (D&C
123:16)  I feel very, very small sometimes. There is just so much I can't do by myself. But every bit counts, and I want to be sure that I'm giving 100% of what I have so that Heavenly Father can find some use for me.

Love you all!

Sister sticht, Su & daughter, and Anna in Chosei

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