Sunday, October 27, 2013

To Er'body!

Hello, Everyone!
This week has been strange... very strange... all of our investigators cancelled every single appointment we had scheduled with them this week...that is, everyone except Casey! The lush from Florida!
Boy, oh boy... that was a strange lesson... It really made me realize why I am in Japan and not anywhere else...  and it also made me respect my daddy a whole lot more and admire the fact that he served his mission right in the middle of the Bible Belt in Missouri! Gosh... I can't imagine doing lessons like that 24/7. Casey is also baptist... and he showed up to our appointment once again not in the right mind... It was hallelujia and paraise the Lord all the way! He didn't remember me from last time... I think our next lesson will be the word of wisdom.
Also this week, I learned to do basket weaving! An old lady in the ward taught me! Cool, right? I made a basket in the shape of an owl! Wish I could send you pictures, but this dumb little computer won't let me! Basket weaving reminded me of when Sister Lane and I learned how to do tatting. Gosh. I miss her so much.
We also met a crazy lady who talkes to spirits. We were tracting and we went and knocked on her door and she opened it and said, "when you rang my doorbell, my heart leaped and when I opened the door there were so many beautiful light spirits around you!" Then she basically told us our futures. Aparently I am going to grow a lot on this mission and promptly get married when I get home... but who knows... that was just what the spirits said! We also met with another ward member his week who is a 97 year old who hears spirits! She said, "just tell the spirits thank you, and I love you and they will be nice to you!" Okinawans are very spiritual... literally.
But Okinawans are also very funny. Sometimes it's still hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that people actually laugh in meetings and my bishop says things to me like, "party on dude"...
All in all I would compare this week to an insane asylum... Spirits, drugs, basket weaving... but don't worry, I'm not going crazy yet! The Lord is helping all the way!
Oh, and by the way, everyone... my mom's birthday is this week on the 29th =) Make sure you give her some extra love for me =)
Anyway! That's it for now! The church is still true!

Love you all! Keep praying!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Another crazy week in Okinawa!

Another crazy week in Okinawa!
It's still gorgeous and showing no signs of moving into fall! I love everything about Okinawa. All the tropical flowers, the constant sea breeze, the friendly people. I never want to leave!
But... but, but, but... we are having a bit of a rough time trying to keep investigators... There's something here that we like to call "Okinawa time"...  Meaning- whenever we have appointments, either no one shows up, or they cancel 15 minutes after they are spposed to show up. Also, no one ever calls us back unless it's to cancel an appointment that they most likely are already late to... it's interesting =) But not completely unworkable!
Right now we have an amazing investigator names Oshiro who we committed to baptism a few days ago! She's really excited. The problem is that she's so busy, we might not actually be able to get her in the water until March... But we're still really excited!
All of our investigators are really awesome, but the real struggle is just pinning them down for appointments. They're all a bit flakey. But I love them! I still haven't het half of them yet, but they're all great and have really good desires!
One of our investigators, Casey in an African American from Florida. He's not all that promising, but he sure does love us!
The other night we met him on the street and he was SO SO SO drunk! He wolf whistled at us and got out attention! Then we had a little discussion about all his x-wives. He also started ranting and raving about black people and the priesthood, garments, tithing, baptism, and all sorts of other stuff... Man. He was really drunk. Then at the very end he started telling us how cute he thinks we are. All the sudden he turned to me and said, "Hey... are you Jewish or something?" And I said, "Nooo..." So he was like "Well what are you?" So I told him I was Italian... Then he started going off about how beautiful Italians are and about how his very first girlfriend in 1st grade was Italian... Then we left. Yeah, well that's Casey for you... When he's not drunk he's actually pretty great, but when he is drunk, man... he is out of it!
So that's the up down of what's up in Urasoe!
Japanese is still a struggle, but it's getting better every day! People down here actually speak a different dialect, so sometimes that can be confusing, but when people just speak plain Japanese, everyithing is fine!
And that'S pretty much all I've got for this week!
Hope everything is well back home!
Love you all!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

I'm in OKINAWA!!!

Well, hey hey hey!
I'm in OKINAWA!!! What else can I say?
Just in case you haven't heard, Okinawa is paradise.
On the flight over I just kept looking out the window at all the water... as we got closer to Okinawa island I saw the water starting to turn turquoise... That means one thing- tropical!
So basically I am living on a tropical island.
It's called the Hawaii of Japan- because it literally is like Hawaii. There's actually a Hawaiian elder down here and he says it's just like home.
It's kind of funny- on my way down here I was wearing several layers and my coat and a scarf, but when I stepped off the plane I was in mid summer heat! Totaly unexpected. I just got done with summer up on the main land and now I just came back to it!
Okinawa is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Everywhere is beautiful flowers and palm trees. My area, Urasoe, is right on the coast, so we get the ocean air every day. We're also right next to the military base.
One thing that is very different about Okinawa is the relaxed attitude. 
Up in the big city everyone is so serious and stone-faced. Even among missionaries... But down here it's a party all the time! When we had our first missionary get together with the zone I was so surprised. Everyone was laughing and talking. I kind of stood off to the side for a while like an awkward loser because I just didn't know how to act! But I'm getting used to the island vibe and now I'm actually starting to enjoy the laid back feel among the members and missionaries. BUT- just because it's relaxed doesn't mean we're lazy. I've worked harder this transfer that ever before. The area is probably less than a tenth of the size of my last area, so it's a lot easier to get places. We get a lot more done in one day.
I feel like God has blessed me by sending me away for the winter. Everything down here is warm and happy and sunny. Plus, they actually have root beer down here, so that's a good thing.Oh have I mentioned that? Japanese people hate root beer, so it was impossibly to find anywhere up on the mainland. We're going grocery shopping today =) I'm excited to see what other American treats they have here =)
We've got great investigators and the members are amazing. Okinawans are so different that all the other Japanese people. They're happier and more friendly and less busy!
Everyone down here is Japanese too, so I'm done teaching in 4 different languages! I just realized how bad my english is getting though. Sometimes the things I say don't even make sense. I had to read this letter like 3 times before I sent it just to make sure you could understand my severely deteriorating grammar...
Everything else is fabulous though! I can't think of any place I would rather be! I love the island, I love the people, I love Japan, and that's all there really is to it!
Love you all! I'm happy as a clam!

Robatsu Shimai!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hey, Everyone!

So this week was full of lots of good times, but there is just one little story I want to share =)
 I had a little miracle this week! 
So, we were in a rush out the door because we were absolutely sure we were going to be late to our appointment with a less active member... So we biked as fast as we could and got there 5 minutes early. As I was unloading my bike, I realized that I had forgotten to wear socks. In Japanese culture it is REALLY rude to not wear socks into someones home. So I started freaking out because I did not want to offend this lady. So I started praying really hard in my head. I asked Heavenly Father to please provide some socks for me. I knew it was a really small thing, but it was so important to me to not offend this lady. I asked Heavenly Father, "If there is any way that you could make some socks appear in my backpack, I would be so grateful..." So I started unzipping my backpack. When the zipper was halfway undone I realized that I had no faith that God could make a pair of socks appear in my backpack. I thought, "this is ridiculous. I should have prepared better. God isn't going to help me"... So I just stood there for a few seconds and doubted that there were any socks in my backpack. Then another thought popped in my head. I have been studying the miracles that the Savior performed on earth and I had been noticing that all of them were wrought by faith. It is by great faith that great miracles are worked. So I decided to have great faith. I decided that there WAS a pair of socks in my backpack because I knew that God could do that! I had asked in the name of Jesus Christ, therefore since Jesus could heal lepers, give sight to the blind, and forgive sins, he could certainly put a pair of socks in my backpack.
So I unzipped the rest of my backpack, having perfectly renewed faith, knowing that if Christ could heal a woman who had enough faith to just touch the hem of his clothes, I could muster the faith to make a pair of socks appear in my backpack!
So... I looked down in there and right on the top of my backpack there were 2 socks =) Mismatching, but perfect! One made of lace and one of fleece, but I didn't care! I was so grateful! Tears filled my eves and I felt humbled and grateful as I put them on my feet.
To this moment I don't know how the socks got in my bag, but I do know that God can do all things.
That's about it for this week though! I just found out that I'm transferring to Okinawa! I'm so excited- that's exactly where I wanted to go! I will be in Sister Andaca's first area- Urasoe (oo-da-sow-ay). I'm so excited! So so so so excited!!!!!!!!! I'll also be with Sister Lane's MTC companion, sister Coles. 
Ok, well, gotta go pack the suitcase!
Love you all!
Keep me in your prayers! I'm working hard to make you all proud!

Roberts Shimai!

miracle socks

cool clouds