Monday, July 3, 2017

Egg ood mother


First of all, to explain the title. We taught English to this old lady this week and she brought her friend along, and she was trying to show off her English skills a little bit by doing this elaborate self-introduction. Her English was really good, but then we got into the lesson and I said something like "Is your daughter a good mother?" (The original sentence was "is your father a math teacher?"). Well, this woman starts going on and on about the different pronunciations of "a" and how she couldn't understand what I was saying and all she could hear was "egg ood mother." It was pretty funny.
Pizza for transfer calls

Also, it reminded me of my amazing mother who had her birthday this week. My mom is egg ood mother and I love her very much!

Now, onto the Transfer Call announcements. The biggest news is that I WILL BE COMPANIONS WITH SISTER HONDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It finally happened!!!!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!! (For those of you who may be wondering why this is a big deal, we've been friends for a long long time, reconnected when we both got called to Japan and have been hoping to be companions since Day 1).

It's actually kind of funny, because the email with the rosters came and Sister Shim and I were so confused because we hadn't received our transfer calls. We just got a bunch of emails that made our phone buzz and made us all nervous as we waited for our call. Well the roster came and we still didn't have our call, so we actually had to call the Assistants. Haha, they felt really bad. But yeah. I called Sister Honda right after and we are so excited!!!

The second big news is that we are actually whitewash opening Ushiku Sisters!!!!!! This means that there is no Sister in the area that has worked there before, so we will be starting from scratch. There haven't been Sisters in Ushiku for a very very long time, so we will be opening the area! Haha, we actually are moving into a new apartment (again ^^) on Thursday so we will spend Wednesday in Matsudo still. It will definitely be a challenge though. We will be starting with no investigators and very little information about the area, and it is a Portuguese and Japanese area so I will need to get all my Portuguese back.

This announcement wasn't a big surprise to me, since at interviews President Nagano told me that they were opening Ushiku Sisters soon. Since I've worked in Ushiku a little bit in the past (with the Portuguese sacrament meeting) I had a feeling that I might be going. I'm so excited to see Ushiku grow though! They are seeing so many miracles and it will be so great to work with Sister Honda!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

As for this past week. There were 4 major things that happened.

1. We weren't able to set a lot of lessons this week, so we finally had time to find and visit all the Less Actives that the ward has been asking us to visit. Wow, it felt so weird but good to have time to do all of that. Usually we are so packed that we barely have time to eat, so this was a change. Our investigators are still doing really well though and we have plans to meet with them this week.
From Bulgaria

2. We found out that Shizuko San's family is pretty hantai (against the church) so she is feeling really stressed and she feels like she needs some time, so we have dropped her baptismal date for now. She has a desire to still know if it is true, so we will continue to pray for her.

3. Culture Night!!!!!!!! Over the past 2 weeks we have been planning this Cultural Celebration activity for Wednesday after Eikaiwa. We asked two members (one from Bulgaria and one from Austria) to come and give short presentations about their home countries in English for the students. It went so well! The ward really came together and it went perfectly! The presentations were perfect, fun, and the students loved it. After the presentations, we had some snacks and tons of members came and talked with the students. Almost every student was talking to a member and when it came time to end, no one wanted to leave. It was such a good opportunity for students and members to mingle. We hope to hold more activities like this. What really amazed me was how simple it was. The activity was so simple, and we planned it so quickly, but it worked so well. It was truly a miracle. The members were really impressed too.
Sister from Austria

One thing that really hit me though was at the end when one member came up to me and said "Thank you for asking me to do this. I feel like my family doesn't contribute much to the ward, so I'm glad you invited me." She doesn't speak much Japanese and requires English translation at all of our church meetings so I can understand why she felt like she didn't contribute much. The amazing thing though was that her name was the very first one that popped into our heads when we started planning this activity. I'm so glad that we were able to incorporate her and her family into the activity and help her feel more like a part of the Matsudo Ward Family.

My bike and its twin
4. Lastly, IT WAS SISTER SHIM'S 21ST BIRTHDAY!!!!! Yep! We celebrated both of our birthdays this transfer! Yay! It was so fun! We had church that day so tons of members came up and said happy birthday to her (there was even one little boy who came up to me and said happy birthday, so I quickly redirected him to SIster Shim, it was so cute!). Some of the primary kids made her a card too! AHHHHH! For dinner, we brought an investigator and her friend to a member's house for dinner and it was great! The member was Yukimoto Shimai who is Korean so she made all sorts of traditional Korean food including a special soup they eat on birthdays and it was so so special. I tried to make it special for Sister Shim too by surprising her with a cheesecake and decorating her desk. It was a great day and she said she really enjoyed it. I'm so glad! I love Sister Shim so much!!!!!

Shinto shrine
This has truly been a crazy transfer. It flew by so fast! We are already in July and that is insane to me. We did so much this transfer, we saw so many miracles. I will really miss Sister Shim! She was an amazing companion and I learned so so much from her. She is such a strong missionary. Hehe I'm excited to go on exchanges with her this transfer ^^ Yay for still being in the Matsudo Zone!!!!!!!

There is one last experience I would like to share with all of you.

Over the past 2 transfers I have really been struggling with myself. Just knowing that I have so many weaknesses and feeling powerless to overcome them and become not just a strong missionary, but a strong person. It has been some thing that I have really been studying and trying to work on and overcome these past two transfers.

On Sunday, a Primary teacher asked us to come and be a surprise guest for her class of 4 year olds and talk about being missionaries. Well we walked into the classroom (filled with the cutest little 4 year olds ever!!!!) and they were just so excited to see us and hear us. As we introduced ourselves, I just felt a simple joy. There was something about telling these children that I was here to share a happy message with everyone I met, that just made me so happy. It truly is the little things.

BYU student who also knows my brother
After our little visit, we went over to the Young Women and they were singing one of the Youth Songs for this year called "Ask of God." We can't listen to EFY music, but I've sung this song in Young Women's several times since being here in Matsudo and it has come to be a very special and powerful song for me. As we sang, I could see the light from these beautiful daughters of God and it gave me hope.

Joy and hope. Heavenly Father really knows how to help us. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. I am so grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father who cares for me.

I hope you all have an amazing week. Please remember that you have a Father in Heaven who loves you.

Love you all!

Black Shimai

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