Hello everyone! How was everyone's week? I hope that it was just as fun and adventurous as mine was! Holy cow this week was BUSY BUSY BUSY. And it continues to get even busier this next week. But us missionaries really like when things are busy because you know that things are going good if you are busy :) So for that I am grateful.
That reminds me: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all had a great day and remembered to be extra grateful! :) I hope you enjoyed the turkey. Us missionaries in Japan dont get turkey for either 18 months or 2 years! So enjoy it for me, okay? :)
This week was crazy but crazy fun as well. I went on kokans, or exchanges, with Sister Colter in Okayama. It was fun to be in a new area with new people and teaching lessons with a different companion. I missed Scheffler Shimai though and that was for only a day! I do not know what I am going to do when she goes home this Friday.
Speaking of companions.... I am getting a new one (obviously) this Friday. I am also being transferred to Shikoku, an island that is super warm. That will be nice this winter. The church is really small there and I am excited to see another part of Japan. I am really nervous though, and really sad because I have to say goodbye to my investigators. They have been doing so great and I wanted to see them get baptized really badly. But that is okay. I trust that the Lord knows more than I do and that I am supposed to be in my new area: Matsuyama. I will let you know how everything goes about that next week!
On tuesday this week we had the Trainer Trainee Training Meeting (that is a mouthful, isn't it?) where I got to see ALL of my friends!!!!! Sister Bean was wonderful and so was Sister Chapman. I love those two ladies! They are doing so great. Sister Chapman's english has gotten amazing and she looked happier than ever. I am so happy for her. At TTTM I learned so many new things.... I love President Welch. He is so amazing. All of us newbies got to just sit in a room and talk with him, and he asked me how I was doing in front of the whole group and I said, "SO GREAT!" and he goes, "I knew you would say that Kasteler Shimai." Haha it was funny. He is so awesome. I love my mission president and his wife. What wonderful people :)
This week we finally had a lesson with one of our investigators who hasnt been able to meet. But our lesson with her was super great and she is doing so awesome. We think she is starting to progress! Finally! It was amazing because Scheffler Shimai and I planned a lesson for her on God being our loving Heavenly Father (key word: loving) and why sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sure enough, as soon as we started talking, she brings us how she doesn't think that God is very loving because he lets bad things happen to good people. Amazing how that works, right? Being a missionary is the best! Our lesson was super great with her and we were able to just to her. Oh, did I mention that she speaks fluent english? What a blessing to me because I can actually feel like a participant and I can share with her the things I want to share. She is wonderful and I look forward to hearing about her progress with the missionaries.
Yesterday our less active AND the Brazilian family came to church!!!!!! Amazing! What a miracle! It was such a great experience. The sister missionaries sang in church on sunday... It was scary haha but it sounded good I think. It was cool to have our investigators there. It was like we were just singing straight to them honestly :) The Brazilian family had to leave after Sacrament meeting because they had an appointment, but our less active stayed ALL THREE HOURS! And during the third hour, I kind of tricked her into showing me how much she knows the Plan of Salvation by having her teach me how to say it in japanese. It was awesome! She knows everything there is to know! I was so impressed and couldn't help but think, "Why did you ever stop going to church?!?!?!" She is amazing and needs the strength and peace that comes from going to church so badly. I hope she continues to come. She is such a joy. She was my first friend in Japan and I will be forever grateful for her.
After church we went to the Brazilian family's house for a goodbye party for Scheffler Shimai. They even had Costco pizza! You could say we freaked out a little bit :) It was a fun way to say goodbye and to show them the He Is The Gift video that the church just came out with for christmas. What a great tool for us missionaries! I just love the church. This church is honestly amazing. If you havent seen that video, please go watch it! It is very well made and really shows the true meaning of Christmas.
On Saturday and Sunday night, the missionaries got to have dinner at members houses. It was SO much fun! Both of the families that we visited had a ton of little kids and I just played with them for all of dinner. Missionaries arent allowed to hold babies because of legal things but we can definitely play catch with kids and draw with them. It was so much fun. It really felt like the holidays and like I was home with all of my many cousins and family members :) What a wonderful treat.
This week I had sushi for the first time..... real. sushi. Scary, right? Especially when you are like me and do not really like fish. Haha. But holy cow! It was delicious! and so inexpensive! Haha sushi in Japan is amazing! I was so impressed. The food here is way better than I expected.
So these next few days are the last days of my first transfer as a missionary. Time went by SO FAST. I am very sad to leave Akashi but look forward to working on Shikoku. Here is a quick list of some things that I learned this transfer:
1. The Book of Mormon is TRUE and really is our biggest resource and our best guide. Revolving our lessons around the Book of Mormon has helped our investigators a ton and really allows the Spirit to work through us and to testify to them that this is the true church on the earth today. It is so amazing how it all works like that.
2. Studying and learning are SO important. If they are done the right way, you can get SO much out of studying and learning.
3. I have learned the importance of taking notes and writing things down. Keep a journal. And not just a daily journal, keep a study journal. Keep multiple journals about different things in life. Just WRITE STUFF DOWN.
4. Preach My Gospel is the most amazing thing ever haha it has helped me so much.
5. Prayer is the thing that keeps us going.
6. Sometimes it is important to just laugh :)
7. There are opportunities to serve EVERYWHERE.
8. Sometimes just opening your mouth can change someone's life. Say hi to people. SMILE at people :)
9. Miracles come from small acts of faith.
10. The Holy Ghost is the teacher. We as missionaries are the messengers. All we do is invite others, but the Spirit is the teacher.
11. Dont eat nato. Ever.
12. Sushi in japan is way better than sushi in America.
13. Japanese is really, really, really difficult haha.
14. This transfer I definitely learned how to laugh at myself and my mistakes. Because trust me, I made a lot.
15. This truly is the Lord's work. And I feel so blessed to be apart of it.
16. Developing and praying for Christ like attributes are critical to becoming who we are supposed to be.
That is all that I have time for today, but trust me when I say that I have learned so much my first transfer. More than I can express in words. I love you all and I love this work. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I love the Book of Mormon, and I LOVE being a missionary.
Have a great week, be safe, and SMILE! :)