Tuesday, December 16, 2014



Can you believe this is my last letter home as a missionary? I can't. People ask me sometimes if it "feels real yet" and the answer is always no. I don't think I will ever feel like I'm home until I see you all at the airport.

Although, I have slowly come to terms with the fact that I'm leaving. This week was filled with sooo many goodbyes - last lessons, last church talk, last Eikaiwa, going out to eat for the last time. Too much food. I never want to eat again. And the Japanese people really outdid themselves by proving their gift-giving reputation to be very true. I've been showered with presents all week, many of which were really surprising and touching. I swear you never know how much you mean to people until you leave.

I haven't really imagined what it will be like not to be a missionary anymore - waking up in the morning and not putting on my badge, not feeling a weird pressure to talk to every person I sit/stand next to, not biking for a hundred miles from place to place every day. I hope I will find a happy medium of accepting that my mission is over, and it's time to move on, yet still applying to my life everything that I learned out here and hopefully keeping up some of the good habits I've made. One thing I've been working on is living for the present, not the past or future. Missionaries who count the days until they go home are sad missionaries, and RMs who do nothing but think about those best two years in the past are also unhappy. This life is so short, and it's made shorter by wasting our time not being happy right where we are.

That doesn't mean I'm not excited to see you. But I want to enjoy my time left here too! Tomorrow I will go to Tokyo and become companions with Yamauchi Shimai again. We'll have all day Thursday to work together in Tokyo (hopefully meeting up with some Senzokuike friends!) and then go back to the mission home for a dinner/testimony meeting with all the returning missionaries.

Love you all so much!! This will be the best Christmas ever. I have only two requests for  when I come home: 1) no one comment on how chubby my face has gotten, and 2) it'd be nice if there was a new kitten waiting for me at home.

Love, love, love, Anna

Having fun a few weeks ago in Shibuya

Cutting open a dragonfruit

Reeder Shimai and Anna at a farewell meal

Anna, Reeder Shimai, and lots of friends at another farewell meal

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