Monday, September 10, 2012

6 Months in Japan!

Craziness -- this week, on my sister Amber's birthday, actually, will mark six months since I left America for Japan. I can't believe that it has been so long! Especially when I compare it to like study abroad in London, which was around 4 months but seemed longer somehow (maybe because it was filled with so many magical memories). Time is cruising pretty quick. At the end of the month I will be halfway done with the mission.

Things in Ebetsu are going really well! This week was actually especially filled with good people and fun activities. I'll share a couple of highlights. If I can focus, which I am not guaranteeing at this point.

The first you can see in the pictures. We met a super nice grandpa while we were housing, and surprised to find that his genkan (like the door entryway area of the house) filled with all sorts of awesome wood carvings of people and squirrels and such. When we asked about it it turned out that he started it as a hobby after he retired, and then since we were from far away he brought us two handcarved Hokkaido bears to take home with us! They are so cool, and super professional. He told us to give them names, so mine is Kuma Tarou, and Imanishi Shimai's is Kuma Kichi (Kuma means bear). We went back a second time during the week and had a lot of fun talking to him and his daughter too.

We also had a fun surprise this week when we got a text message from an old investigator out of the blue on Saturday night saying that he wanted to come to church the next day. He came for all three hours and it was a lot of fun to talk to him. He is a college student right now and really cool. Hopefully he will come back next week!

A lot of the good things from this week are kind of hard to formulate in an email, because they are just small little things that maybe to the outside viewer wouldn't seem to be all that big, but that we have really been able to see God's love and help in. Like on Saturday after praying with a member we were able to make two appointments (during the whole week we had only been able to make one other one). On Friday when we met with a longtime investigator, her friend, who is a member, came and joined us and shared a powerful testimony of church attendance and how the investigator will be able to meet again her beloved father who passed away. We were able to meet someone who had met the missionaries earlier in life and then lost contact.  It's really in the small things of mission life, and in regular life too, that add up to something beautiful I think. This past week we have been making a list at night of all those positive things and I highly recommend it.

Thank you so incredibly much for all of your support!!! I really appreciate it. So much. I'm sorry I haven't been able to write much lately, in emails or letters! Hopefully I will be able to step it back up again soon.

Scripture of the Week:
Matthew 11:28 (Bible, New Testament)
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Japanese Word of the Week:
(ok, this one is actually a phrase)

Kuchi ga Sabishii = literally, my mouth is lonely. But you can use it for those times when you aren't hungry, but want to eat something anyways!

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