I'm gonna start with the best thing that happened this week - our friend Tomi came to church this week with her daughters, and then we went to her house afterwards. She is so sweet, and loving, and ready for the gospel - she's gone through really hard things lately with her husband, and it's not fair for her or her kids, but she's trying to be positive. She told us that right about the time she met us she'd started to try to look to the future and figure out how to be happy. She was searching for what to do in various self-help books. Then she came to church and saw all the happy members, and got to talk to one woman in particular whose story was very similar to Tomi's. She hardly knows anything about church but she feels the Spirit and wants to know more and know how to find the happiness she sees. I love her so much and am so grateful that we were able to meet her just at the right time.
Other miracles this week include Ami Shimai, the less-active member who recently started rereading the Book of Mormon and coming to activities. At first it seemed impossible for her to come to church, because she's a member of an acting troupe that practices every Sunday, but she told as that next week she has a break so she's coming! She also said she's planning on being done with acting this year - it's time for her to move on, and focus on other things like getting married and starting a family. Is it a coincidence that she decided this after we introduced her to one of the single men in the ward and they hit it off? I don't know. But they showed up to ping-pong night TOGETHER this week and I was on cloud nine. It's too bad I don't live in whatever century Fiddler on the Roof takes place because being Yenta the matchmaker would literally be the best job I can think of.
It's funny how things that seem impossible have a way of magically becoming reality once people begin to be converted. Remember Kay, the Eikaiwa student from Senzokuike? He told us he had work every Sunday - coming to church was "impossible." But then one week, he decided he wanted to come, and he did. Then again. Now he has a baptismal date. There really is something to the saying "anything is possible, if you just believe." So many "impossibles" are man-made things, created by people who either don't want or don't dare to try for something that seems too hard. But once they have that genuine desire, things change and miracles happen.
Homu san, our favorite sweet older lady who's come to church the last 3 weeks in a row now, told us that she liked church but that she could never get baptized because her husband wouldn't allow it. Hearing that maybe a year ago would have sent me into a panic, thinking all hope was lost, but now all I think is "hmm, what is she missing? What would help her strengthen her faith?" Because once she has a strong testimony of the gospel, miracles will happen and possibilities will arise.
Anyway, I think I'm getting a little tired. We had a fun day today, where our whole zone gathered at a park in Togane and played capture the flag and kickball - way nostalgic for elementary school days. I'm relatively quick for a female but still useless when it comes to fielding so not much has changed there either. I remember thinking near the start of my mission that I was changing so much and everyone at home was staying the same, but now it's the opposite. Will everyone just slow down a little bit! Thank you.
Although if I've changed at all I guess I'm just more of a dorky missionary. Sister Jones and I have gotten into the habit of having weird, mystery-of-the-kingdom type conversations during lunch or evening downtime. Last week we were trying to figure out what kind of place Heaven is like, or its higher organization, or how we'll continue to progress after we die - stuff that no human actually knows so really we're just spinning garbage. But it's fun. I think I also quoted a general conference talk in a joke at some point today... Let's hope I can break these strange habits soon.
No picture this week... Sorry. I just post all the ones I take on Facebook anyway. Feel free to like everything I post - that way more people will see it and the gospel will spread to all the earth. It's one of your missionary duties.
Love you all and I'll see ya next week!