Monday, January 13, 2014

 も 一回 お願い します

(I hope that is the right kanji. Japanese keyboards will automatically change what you are writing in hiragana into kanji characters)

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing subarashii!
I am doing great here! It hit on....Wednesday, I think, as I was walking along an older part of Fujisawa, "Hey, I am a missionary in Japan!" 
I love being a missionary SO much! A lot of people who are not members of the 末日 生徒 イエス キリスト の きょかい(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) may think a missionary's job is to shove religion down other people's throats. But for our church that is never the case. Our job is to "Invite". We do a lot of inviting everyday. Sometimes people want to ear it. Sometimes people don't.

The reason I bring this up was because I had an interesting situation on the train yesterday. I sat down next to this older woman and we started a conversation. She was very interested in talking until she saw I was a missionary. Then her whole demeanor changed. She automatically shut off and looked very upset (a thing with most Japanese people- they are very good at poker faces. So when someone looks upset it means they are REALLY upset) I hadn't even said anything about the Gospel yet! But she was so angry...and we still had 15 minutes of riding to go. So we just sat there awkwardly. Then I saw a piece of trash on the floor. Without even thinking, I picked up the piece of trash and put it in my pocket (the Japanese pride themselves in a clean society) The woman looked absolutely shocked. She even looked less angry. When she left and I said goodbye, she actually said it back.

So, after that encounter, I realized some people might have a wrong impression bout missionaries. 

So, here are some fun facts about being here:

-Missionaries teach free, quality English classes every week. I am finding my speech classes as a child are helping out a lot now; I can tell people how to move their mouths to enunciate certain sounds. Eikaiwa is so much fun! And people speak English, so it is a little less stress than Japanese. 

-There is this store called Daiso. Oh.My.Gosh. Daiso. It is what the 99cent store wants to be when it grows up. It has everything you'd ever want and everything you never knew you needed within aisles and aisles of katakana bliss. And it's all 100 yen. I am in deep trouble and am trying to control myself. I think it helps that all apartments here are super tiny, so you don't have room for 200 notebooks with English on them (Example: "Let's play with me" and "I was happy because it looked very nice" with no explanation- just a cute puppy) The Celestial Kingdom has Daiso. 

-My mission in a few weeks is expected to get "Special Mobile devices". I don't know why i am going to be trusted with an Ipad, but I ill pray very hard and try not to break it. 

-All I do is eat here. Seriously. Their food. Is. Amazing.

-My companion is Tsuchida Shimai and she is absolutley wonderful. She (like most other Japanese students) were required to take 6 years of English in middle school and high school. So she understands quite a bit of my English when I cannot speak in Nihongo. An interesting thing is people will always want to try out their English on you if you are a gaijin. Because they are taught British English in school, their accents are adorable!!!! I love hearing them speak!

-The ward in Fujisawa has about 150 members right now (Which is quite large)The members here are so nice to us! They are very focused on their callings in church- even if they are very young. Their faith inspires me everyday, and they are focused on missionary work and helping us out. I cannot wait until I am able to talk to them more to find out about their stories!

-In the ward... okay.... so in the ward there is the absolutely cutest baby in the world. All Japanese children are flat out adorable (they will run up and hug you out of nowhere) But this one baby is so cute it has to be dangerous and/or unhealthy. She has the fattest and reddest cheeks, black eyes, and hair that stands up in a mohawk. And her parents carry her around in a straw basket. She. Kills. Me. And then you make eye contact and..whoa, she is adorable.

We have an investigator who I am in love with! I will call her (since Japanese respect privacy) Allison. She is so so sweet and wants to learn absolutely everything she possibly can. She speaks very quickly, but that is okay. I get the main meaning of what she gets across.

Being a missionary is not easy. The schedule is not easy, and watching people you love say no to the most important thing in the world. Losing pride and being willing to make language mistakes is not easy. But this so rewarding. When you do find people who are ready and when you do make friends, when you feel the Lord's strengthening hand push you onward and see how He helps other people- it is so so wonderful. I think everyone should be a missionary. In a world of sleeping on the floor, toilets with built in sinks, bowing to people on the street, and roads that run backwards, that is one thing that has remained the same. This Gospel is true and God lives. And everywhere should be a missionary anywhere. It is so rewarding!!!!

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