04 Aug 2014 / Anna

Ahhhhh aboslutely no time to write and too many things to say.

I’ll start with the most important news…. I’m in Saijo! That’s in Honshu, right next to Hiroshima. It’s a little more rural but still has a decent city. My companion is Sister Burgon from South Jordan, Utah. She’s been here 16 months and will finish training me and then go home! Her Dad served here and her parents are coming to pick her up and do a 2 week tour of Japan. Amazing, right?? Anyway she is awesome and a super good teacher and super excited about missionary work and Japan and everything so I am really lucky.

Ok I want to backtrack a bit and get everything down… Our last week in the MTC was so, so, so sad! Saying goodbye to our teachers was the worst. We gave them gifts and everything. On our last night our whole district sat together for like 2 hours and all bore our testimonies and stuff and it was awesome.

Ok so after a loooooooong journey (2 planes 2 buses and 3 trains) to Fukuoka we were finally greeted by all the Mission President and all the AP’s. Ok mission home is under the Temple and is SO COOL. It was way fun to just be with all 10 girls too. Pres G and his wife are so awesome. We spent 2 days in orientation, and then went out to dendo on the streets a bit. The dendo was so much fun! I totally felt in my element and it was fun to just go up to random people and talk to them. That night we all gathered in the office and sang “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go” and then The Ap’s uncovered this huge map, with picutres of all 260 missionaries in our mission and where they are serving. All us girls were FREAKING OUT and screaming and trying to find our face. So I found mine and was basically like “Saijo! Sweet! Where is that??” I was totally shocked to find out I was going up to Hiroshima, I had thought Okinawa or Kagoshima for sure. But a blessing in disguise because the weather here is not too bad.

The next morning I took a 5 hour bus ride to Hiroshima with a bunch of missionaries I didn’t know. At Hiroshima I met Sister Burgon, and we had lunch at this famous Okanamiyaki (sp) shop with the ZL and other missionaries. We then went to our apartment… it’s called “Groovy Mansion” and we live on the 8th floor. Not even lying. We live with Sister Tseung (from Taiwan baptized 2 years ago) and Sister Flake (from Arizona).

So here’s the deal with Saijo… about 1.5 years ago there were a total of 2 members in Saijo who would travel 40 min on train to Hikari every week to go to church. Well Pres G felt that this area was really going to start growing, so he sent a senior couple, 4 sisters and another set of elders to Saijo. There are 10 of us here! Well, the area did grow. Right now we have a “group” not even a branch yet, with about 10 members, 5 of whom are solid. Amazing thing is they were all baptized within the past year. We rent out 2 rooms in an office building as our church building, and the group leader is Elder Lamb, the senior missionary. This past Sunday there were 8 members at church, 5 investigators and 10 missionaries. It was super weirde but there is a lot of work to do I guess. Saijo is home to Hiroshima University, so there are A TON of internationals. Sister Tseung teaches in Chinese all the time. We also have a mongolian couple, philipino and malaysian peole in our group.

So before I cam Sister Burgon was companions with Sister Tseung, and all their investigators excpet for 1 were Chinese. So basically I came and we are starting from scratch, just knocking on doors all day and talking to every single person we meet in the street. It’s really hard sometimes but we have already found some people to meet with.

I had my first lesson yesterday with our one progressing investigator. She is 70 years old. She won’t let us into her house, so we stand in the ganken for an hour and teach her which was a major struggle for my feet. This lady is so, so, so awesome. She is reading the BOM and learning so much. The only thing is she can’t come to church because she doesn’t want to leave her birds. We have been praying that her sick birds will get better every night so that she can come to church. Anyway, I only talked for about 5% f the lesson and probably only understood 70%, but I was so, so, so happy. The happiest I have been yet. Then, right after our lesson, we found someone to teach. And then we housed way out in the inaka and the cute little obachan was so shocked to see gaijin out her house.. she gave us watermelon and cucumbers.

I ordered my bike! It should get here next week. In the meantime I just use an extra. It’s been raining everyday… must be the typhoon. Going to buy my wet gear today. The girls I live with make Japanese everyday… curry, gyoza, yakisoba, etc. for lunch and dinner. For exercise we stretch or run or meet up with the elders and play volleyball.

On Saturday we got to teach kid’s English Class. It was so much fun to just play games the whole time.

Ok, I have like 1 minute left. Tonight we will do FHE with all our ward members. I am going to have Burgon Shimai take me to a 2nd hand store today.

Love you all!

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