Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekly update

Hello again!

Since the last time I wrote was Tuesday, not Monday, it seems like time went by so fast. This week was pretty busy (just like every week, I guess) and full of good things. Some highlights:

  • Teaching kids' Eikaiwa and wondering how my elementary school French teachers ever did it. It's really difficult to keep everyone engaged and having fun when the levels of skill and maturity are so different. There's Ko, a six-year-old angel who's both super cute and super good at English, and then there's the Chi brothers who spend all of class hitting each other and learning nothing.
  • Going on splits in Togane with Sister Sticht! It was so fun and so natural to work with her again. We visited a member in the evening who I instantly loved - Ta Shimai. She's been wanting to go to church for a while but feels guilty because her friends keep pressuring her to go out and drink with them, wearing wort of risqué dresses, and she gives in. I realized that our high school problems never really leave us - I used to think it would be so much easier to be "good" after I graduated and was rid of the temptation to change my behavior to fit in more, but we can never really run away from our problems. I'm glad I learned in high school how to be comfortable with myself and not worry about what others did, or else it would just get harder and harder as I got older.
  • Sitting inside our apartment studying, when I saw a blonde woman pushing a stroller. There are like no foreigners here at all, so we got really excited and ran outside to meet our new friend Olga from Russia.
  • Also an old lady on the train gave us a ton of candy - I know you're not supposed to take treats from strangers but the rules are different in Japan.
  • Seeing a miracle when knocking on doors. A man answered, and when we said which church we belonged to he started laughing and said "Mormons are dangerous." Turns out he used to go to a different Christian church in high school, and probably heard some weird rumors. He said it'd been a while since he thought about church, and he wondered why there were so many. We said that we actually taught about that very thing, and then, it happened - HE INVITED US IN. I think my jaw dropped. That has never happened to me on my whole mission. We taught a very simple version of the Restoration, gave a Book of Mormon to him and his mother, and had our jaws drop again as he asked where the church was and said he'd come next week. Honestly I don't think it would have mattered what we'd said - he was being prepared to hear about the Gospel, and he recognized truth when it came to him. Also he gave us kiwi juice so already following the church members' tradition of force feeding us every time we're in sight.

We celebrated today at a local bakery - the bread is in the shape of AnPanMan, the Japanese Spongebob but maybe more famous. He's a big deal. Also us going out for sushi on Pday with our friend Mari.

Love you all!
Sushi with Anna, Mari and Jones Shimai


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