04 Aug 2014 / Erin

Ahhhhh so much to say!!! It’s been a crazy past few days, and although
at times I have just wanted to beg someone to send me home, I am
loving it!! Okay I’ll start from the beginning…

TUESDAY&WEDNESDAY: we made it to the airport and mission home. Eyring
shimai and I sat next to each other on the plane and ended up giving
out a pass along card (but don’t get too excited because the
conversation was in English.) I then proceeded to spill water all over
eyring shimai on the first hour of our flight. Not one of my finest
moments. Anyways, we made it to the airport. I LOVE Pres. and sister
Wada, they’re the best. They took such good care of us. It was
surreal stepping out after the bus ride to the mission home, after a
loooooong trip, and being slammed with Japan. The humidity, people,
smells, etc.

THURSDAY: we got our iPads! They are soooooo helpful. Have
scriptures, dictionary, videos, hymns, and every single church
pamphlet we could ever need. Can’t imagine my life for the past few
days without it… That’s how much we use them! And then we got our
assignments and trainers! I’m in HACHIOJI!! I LOVE IT. A big
suburb/small city of Tokyo. And my trainer is sister Bickmore. She’s
from Utah and is 11 months out. She’s seriously there best. I don’t
know why I keep lucking out with great companions but I’m not
complaining! We live with sister brown (from New Zealand) and sister
funakura (from Fukuoka.) they’re both the best! We all love cooking
and cleaning and they take such good care if me. We live in a super
nice and new apartment. Seriously so lucky. I arrived at the
apartment and they had decorated it and funakura shimai made me am
AMAZING Japanese dinner.

FRIDAY: first full day of Dendo. IT’S HARD. We don’t have many (okay
any) investigators so we spent the day outside (by the way it’s SOOOOO
HOT AND HUMID I DIE EVERYDAY) streeting and trying to talk with
people. I was scared to death at first because I would go up to
someone and start a conversation and they would speak rapid fire
Japanese and I didn’t really understand everything. But I’ve gotten
really good at pulling the whole innocent, just got to japan, I’m a
blonde gaijin thing. I’ve learned that it’s really hard to steer the
conversation to church. When I just mention church or religion,
people just shut down. It’s hard because I look at them and picture
them at church and I can see how much they would love it. And I want
SO BADLY for them to learn about the gospel and feel its happiness. I
want them to be able to experience the relief from knowing that their
guilt can be taken away. I want them to feel the comfort that this
gospel brings. I can seriously just picture them doing amazing things
and having church callings and being friends with the members. That’s
the hardest thing… Just seeing them walk away or having to leave
them. We streeted at a huge, super crowded omatsuri (summer
festival). I came home at night sooooo tired. I was soaking wet from
walking in the rain trying to visit contacts. My feet felt like they
were going to fall off. I was so dirty from walking the the heat all
day. We didn’t get any new investigators or referrals that day. But I
was really happy. I can’t really describe it but I felt fulfilled
because I knew that i did my best. That’s the magic of a mission!

SATURDAY: for lunch we went to indo curry that’s really popular here.
Soooooo delicious!!! The members in our ward are amazing. Our ward
is huge… 150 active members. And instead of singing up to feed us,
they send around a calendar and people sign up to mogi (role play)
with us. It’s a new mission so because we don’t teach often, the
members let us teach them so we can get good at teaching and keep
practicing. We have a mogi appointment almost every day. They give
really good feedback so it’s really nice.

SUNDAY: soooo long. But like I said, the ward is amazing so it was
really great. I met so many people. It was fast Sunday so I went up
and bore my testimony. I was actually really nervous but it was good
because so many people came up to me after and I got to meet them. At
the beginning, I said that my mom served in Okayama (nods) my dad
served in Osaka (people make noises of surprise) and my sister is in
Fukuoka (everyone sits up and gets excited.) it was funny. After
church, we travelled a while to visit a less active member, sasaki
shimai. She served in Sapporo years ago but now really doesn’t want
anything to do with the church. It was so amazing because she really
opened up to us. We spoke with her for almost am hour (miracle!) and
she talked about her mission. We just got to know her and let her
know that we love her. I was soooo happy that it went well!
Afterwards we went to a dinner at a members house. SO much amazing
food and really great people.

So, I love it here!! But it’s been hard. So many times I’ve wondered
why I’m here and how I can actually do anything. Especially when I
spend all day on the streets and not find anyone. I worry about not
fulfilling my potential and every time I think about doing this for
the next 16 months, I get panic. Being a missionary is so hard! But
I know it’s where I’m supposed to be. I know that if I just keep
doing my best, it’ll all be fine. I’m so grateful for everything this
gospel has done for me, and that’s why I’m here! I’m so grateful for
the little things that happen that remind me that God knows exactly
what I’m doing and what I’m feeling right now, and that he loves me.

HAVE THE BEST WEEK!!!
Gazdik shimai #2

Ps my pictures aren’t working but I’ll try to send them later today!!! SORRY!

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