Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Normal Weeks Don't Exist in Japan

Ushiku Transfer 9 Week 4


This was definitely a one of a kind week.

This week we went with Sister Tobe to go be on a Radio Show. Every week, Sister Tobe has a 30 minute English show on the radio, so this week she invited Sister Honda and I to come and be on it. We recorded 2 shows, each 30 minutes, and they will air in September. For the first show, Sister Honda helped do some English teaching and then I did an interview. It was so scary! She asked a lot of questions in Japanese and then I would answer in English. We had a chance to talk about a lot of different things though, like how my parents have influenced me growing up and a little bit about missionary work too. It was a really good exper

For the second interview, we switched so I did the English help and Sister Honda did the interview. It was such an interesting experience, but it was really fun. Hopefully, we will get to do it again sometime soon :) Haha, I never ever thought that I would ever be on the Radio in Japan. ^^

Another fun thing that happened this week was that we went to visit the Kijimas. They are a couple who just moved into the ward (the same time we did). They built their own house in the Ushiku Ward and we were the first ones to visit. However, it was a little tough getting there because Kijima Kyoudai came by himself to come pick us up from the train station, but as part of missionary rules, we can't be in a car when there is only 1 man and no woman. So instead, he helped us find a bus and he picked us up from the bus stop with Kijima Shimai. The only scary part was that the bus stop that we got off at was in between these two huge fenced off areas with people in army uniforms guarding the entrances. I learned from Sister Shim that Japan doesn't have an army, but we were still nervous to be standing there anyways. After a few minutes the Kijimas showed up and all was fine. ^^

We went to their house for lunch and a mogi lesson and it was amazing. They were so nice and we were able to really bond with them and learn about their lives. The most amazing thing though, was that the moment we walked into the house, we felt the Spirit so strongly. It was so peaceful and quiet and still. It really felt like a temple. They left us for a little bit so that they could finish preparing the lunch, and all we could do was stare in awe. When we were in this home, we really felt like it was as the prophets commanded us, to have a "house of order" and to make our homes temples.

Saturday was by far the craziest day though. Why? BECAUSE AI-SAN GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I almost died on Monday when I found out that she was being baptized on Saturday. Ai-san is an investigator that I taught in Matsudo, who was just so prepared when I met her, and then after I left, she started progressing so fast. On Saturday morning, we woke up early to go to Matsudo for the baptism and it was just so amazing. We were able to sit with Mami-san (another investigator that I worked with and love so much) during the whole service and the Spirit was just amazing.

With Ai-san
When Ai-san bore her testimony after she was baptized, I could just see a light around her. She was so happy. Afterwards she told us that she couldn't describe how she felt, she just felt warm and happy. I am so so so happy for her! She is amazing and I love her so so so much!!!!

I truly feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has put me in the paths of these people. There are so many prepared people in the world, and I know that as I work hard and do my best every day, I can find those people who are prepared for the gospel. Ai-san was so prepared and she has truly changed as she has chosen to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I am just so so so happy for her! I almost cried! All the missionaries sang "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" for her baptismal service, and I just felt the Spirit testifying to all of us that this was true. This church is true.

After the baptismal service we had to rush back to Ushiku for a meeting and then we got ready for the Kappa Matsuri!!!

Little Turtles
Background: A Kappa is a mythical creature that is really famous in Ushiku because he supposedly lives in the swamp here in Ushiku. He has a turtle shell and a little plate on his head and there always needs to be water in the plate or else he will die. He also really likes cucumbers.

Every July there is a big festival (matsuri) in Ushiku called the Kappa Matsuri. There is tons of games and food and a huge parade that schools and clubs and workplaces can sign up to be in. There was a young woman who was going to be in the parade so we made plans to go with her family to watch her in the parade and then a potential investigator also wanted to go with us, so we ended up going to the festival for 4 hours and just building relationships with all these amazing people. It was so great. It was a really really good way to build relationships with both our PI (and her mom and son) and the member's family.

The young woman and her family are actually Japanese and Peruvian so they speak Japanese and Spanish and they help a lot with the Portuguese Sacrament Meeting. I have become really close with them since coming here to Ushiku, so I was excited to go with them to the festival.

Another fun thing about Japanese Festivals, is that a lot of people dress up in traditional Japanese attire. So, yes I got to wear a yukata!!!!!!!!! (A summer kimono). The member that we went with took us last week to buy our own yukatas and so Sister Honda and I were really excited to wear them. Luckily, Sister Honda knows how to put them on, so she was able to help me. We saw a lot of really beautiful yukatas that day. It was just an amazing experience to really live Japanese culture and bond with the youth.

By the end of Saturday though, we were exhausted. :) It was a crazy, but amazing day.

The last big event of this week was that on Sunday, Elder Tokuzawa of the 70 came and visited Ushiku. We had several investigators come and it got a little crazy. Sister Honda and I were running around the whole time. President and Sister Nagano, as well as many stake leaders were there too (which means that I saw a lot of Matsudo members ^^). At one point, Sister Honda and I were talking to President and Sister Nagano for a little bit and then we had to quickly go on splits. Sister Nagano started dragging Sister Honda away and we were like "But who will be Sister Black's companion?" Everyone else was in class, so President Nagano was like "I'll be your companion." And that is how I ended up being companions with the Mission President for 10 minutes. (The rest of the background is way to complicated to explain in an email, sorry ^^).

Elder Tokuzawa and the Stake Leaders also came to the Portuguese Sacrament Meeting which made things interesting, because we had to translate it all for them. Then on top of that, Larissa (an investigator) brought her 3 NIhonjin friends who also needed translation (there are only so many of us who can understand Portuguese and Japanese). In the end, Elder Price translated for Elder Tokuzawa's talk, another member was translating for the Stake Leaders, and I translated for the 3 Nihonjin girls. I was praying so so hard the whole time that everyone would have the gift of tongues. It all worked out though and the Spirit was really strong. For the 3 girls I was translating for, this was their first time in a Christian church, so I'm sure it was overwhelming for them, but they paid attention and seemed to enjoy it all. There was a special Spirit during that meeting and I'm glad that I was able to be a part of it.

So many things happened this week, it's crazy to think that it's only been 7 days. Ushiku is seeing miracles and I love being a part of it. I am so thankful for this area, this ward, and the love and support I feel from all of you.

Thank you so much!!! Have an amazing week!


Black Shimai

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