Ochiai Shimai! She is from Okinawa, which is the Hawaii of Japan. The fact that we are companions was actually a big surprise, because in missionary life we are both very young. We were actually together in the MTC! She was in the first group of Nhonjin that came, so she is on her 4th transfer here and I am on my 3rd. But I will actually go home a transfer before her, since I entered the MTC first. It`s kind of funny. We will both reach our 6 month mark this transfer (can you believe it has already been practically 6 months?). Since we are young we don`t know everything that is going on yet, but we have lots of energy and enthusiasm to make up for it. I`m excited to see what happens!
It is kind of weird not having Masuda Shimai around all of the time though. She actually got transfered to Kotoni, where she will be working with Northrop Shimai. Northrop Shimai stole my trainer, haha. And Kito Shimai went back to Odori, after being in Odori for two weeks (with the same companion she is returning to), then Atsubetsu for four weeks this past transfer. Crazy! I wouldn`t particularly want to do that much packing...
Since I have more time today I will finally share my miracle story! Sorry for leaving you hanging so long... you know that I love you all, right? Right. Ok, it goes like this. Masuda Shimai, Kito Shimai and I were in Kita Hiroshima just doing normal contacting along the street while on our way to a potential investigator`s house. I started to contact a lady on the street, but hadn`t made it past konnichiwa when she started a friendly conversation of `where did you come from` which somehow turned into `are you busy right now? I think I want you to meet my daughter!` Mind you, at this point she still didn`t even know we were missionaries. But she totally took us to meet her daughter, who is 24, and her less than one year old son!
They are such a cute family. We talked a little bit about why we had come to Hokkaido and the importance of families, and when we asked if we could stop by the daughter`s apartment when we were in Kita Hiroshima again she said yes! So we did, and when we talked about church and her family and beliefs and little bit more there was such a good feeling -- you could definitely feel the spirit really strongly. So I am excited to see what happens next! Maybe this story doesn`t seem like a miracle to everyone, but I really feel like the meeting was a miracle. I don`t think the mom really knew why she wanted us to meet her daughter -- at first we had thought that it was because her daughter really liked foreigners or something, but when we asked on the way to her apartment the mom said she didn`t have any special interest in foreign countries of anything like that. I really feel like she was put in our path for a reason -- I don`t think we would have found her on our own.
Let`s see, what else... Yesterday we got to see the place where they are going to build the Sapporo temple!! At least I am like 90% sure it is the right place. I may have been going off of the description I read in a newspaper article before I left for my mission. But the description was pretty clear -- across from the university, next to a river and a famous rainbow bridge. There was only one big construction site that met those requirements! They haven`t really started building it yet, but I am so excited for the people here to be able to have such a wonderful place that they can get to easily (right now all of the members have to go to Tokyo if they want to go to the temple). And it was fun to do missionary work close by! It is definitely a special area. I will attach pictures!
Oooh I have been meaning to start this for weeks but never ended up having time. From now on, every week I will share one random Japanese word I learned during the week and a favorite scripture! Yay! I know you are all excited. Yep.
Random fun Japanese word of the day:
yuukan = brave, courageous
Fine, maybe this week I will share two random words.
hato = pigeon (an important word)
Scripture of the week:
Ether 12:4 (Book of Mormon)
Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.
(Fun side note: One of my MTC teachers said that during his mission he would love to have his Book of Mormon open to this page on the bus or train and then lean over to the person next to him and say `Isn`t this interesting? Wouldn`t you like a better world?` I`m not quite up to that level yet, but I feel like that would be fun!)
Ok, I think that is it! I`m done making you read a lots of words. To reward you for your good work, here are some pictures! There are actually a ton this week, since it was the end of the transfer.
You are all fabulous people. Keep up the good work.
Kishi Shimai went home last week. It was sad! Also last Masdau Shimai and I picture. Well, until we see each other again. Which will probably be soon. But still, it won`t be quite the same.
Kito Shimai and I had a really bad relationship. We always were fighting.
A really nice member made us an especially delicious gratin that... was inside a pumpkin! (You would have loved it, Annie)
We played with giant leaves, Totoro style.