Sent at 5:15 PM Monday June 10, 2013 Japanese time.
Well let's see what's new... oh yeah...
I'M IN JAPAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My first area is Fukuoka City, Fukuoka! Yes, I'm in the biiiiiiig city... and let me tell you something- Satan is ALIVE here! I know because he tried to kill me as soon as I got here!
So let me tell you a story.
So, as you know- In Japan they drive on the wrong side of the road... And also- they go as fast as they want. ALSO- everyone rides bikes. So... The minute I got to my new apartment (which is the smallest apartment I have ever been in- maybe 480 square feet), the first thing my new companion (who is Sister Andaca, from the Philippines) said to me was- "Hey, so we've got to go teach a lesson! Let's go!" That's not what almost killed me. Here's what is- we had to go to the mission home to borrow a bike, because our area covers the ENTIRE city and our teaching appointment was 45 minutes away by bike... so when we got to the mission home, we were informed that all the brakes on the bikes were broken... except one... the District Leader's bike... Our zone leader is really tall... So... I took the bike anyway! As soon as I rode away, I realized what a huge mistake this was. The bike was HUGE! I couldn't maneuver it! The seat wouldn't go any lower! When the old ladies would see me riding towards them, they would yell "Danger, danger!" Haha... I fell over a LOT. I almost got hit by a bus too... It missed me by less than an inch. Half way through the ride, I realized what a mistake this was. I was totally miserable. I was scraped up so bad on my shins. The bike was so tall it was digging into my sitsbones. I began crying because I could feel my poor little derriere starting to bruise. It was gnarly. I felt like giving up and weeping, but my companion was riding so fast, that I couldn't stop. She was darting across the street and in-between cars... and I just had to keep going. When I stopped crying, I remembered how discouraged I was earlier in the morning when I had to go out and contact. I couldn't even say the phrase, "I am a missionary from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" It's so hard in Japanese... So I decided- I know that all the forces are trying to stop me right now, but I have been blessed. I will ride this bike and I will get to my appointment! For the rest of the ride, all I said through tears the whole time was, "I am a missionary of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." "Watashi wa matsu jitsu seito iesu kirisuto kyokai no senkyoshi desu!" I said to everyone I rode by! I said it to Satan, and he left me alone!
The second time he tried to kill me was the next day! I found out that I would be speaking in church in 2 days! So... He made me lose my voice. I got very sick... I couldn't speak at all. I had a fever and couldn't breathe... It was really funny because I've been so healthy lately! It came out of no where! But I got better...
The third time he tried to kill me was when I had to return the District Leader's bike. My poor little bottom was so bruised, and I was so sick that I could hardly ride the bike! I was in so much pain by the time we got to the mission home. When I got there, I just prayed, "Heavenly Father, I just need a tender mercy right now!" Just then, out really cute A.P. came walking out- "Sister Roberts! You got a letter!" I did??? I opened it and it was from my mommy. It was so loving and encouraging, I burst into tears right there... in front of everyone. Needless to say, my conpanion made me go home and recover!
So to that end... Why am I telling you all this? To complain? No way. I'm leading up to the big stinger.
I found out why Satan wanted to kill me.
When I got to church on Sunday, I was shocked to see that there are only about 200 members in this entire city! Only 1 ward! When I saw that, I knew why...
I was sent to this city perhaps because I am the only one determined enough to want to save it! 200 members is simply not enough! I have been here for 4 days and we have already committed 2 to baptism. Satan knows what is going to happen to this city while I'm here. There hasn't been a baptism here in 2 years. I am the first 19 year old to ever serve here and I'm determined! I see that this place can become paradise! And it will. I am going to open my mouth and share the gospel and never stop until my work is done! Miracles are coming to Fukuoka! I know why I am here!!! There is a greater deed that needs to be done and I will be the one to do it!
After I realized that, Satan has left me alone. We found the perfect bike, we got baptisms, and I have been safe!
I love you all!
I'm off to work again! Good luck in all you do!
Oh, yeah... and the food is weird here =)
#Japan!!!!!!!!! I'm finally here!!!!!!!!!