Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 13 -- Aomori, Japan

Hello hello!! First off- MOTHER I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU POSTED THE UNDIES INCIDENT. Now I’M going to be known as one of the pantsless wonders as well....fantastic. I’m sorry I’m emailing so late! (For you, at least) We went bowling!! Sending pictures your way! (Be sure to send back my card!)

You know what I realized? I’ve already been on my mission for 3 months, and I’ve already been here in Japan for a month. That’s CRAZY. I LOVE my district!! The chorotachi elders are like big brothers to us. They’re always watching out for us. I’m so sad- Yoneda choro has to go home this upcoming transfer in 2 weeks. He’s pretty torn up about it; he cried giving his testimony yesterday! He is the cutest and well miss him terribly. But Hunt choro will be training the new ZL and we’ll add a new choro to our ranks!! Every day is a party in Aomori! Although we are like never here....let me explain!

As an STLs doryo, we travel EVERY WEEK as far as Akita to go on splits with sisters. This last week because Akita is so far, we were gone for 3 days, we're back from Saturday to today, then we have to go to Sendai tomorrow (6 hour bus ride) for Y's training conference! I’ll get to do some dendo contacting in Nagamachi. Fun!! Speaking of splits, Akita was AMAZING. LOVED it. I so hope I get sent there on some later transfer!!! (But chances are I’ll be here in Aomori through the entire winter...better believe I’ll get tough).
 So there’s this beautiful park in Akita, Senshuu Koen!! (Please include pictures padre!) So we went there to do more 'natural' dendo contacting so we don’t just freak people out. While we were walking up through the park (Oh, and it was Morgan, Nakaima who speaks NOOOO English and myself), we pass by what appears to be a house in the middle of the park. There was an old woman out front pulling weeds. Turns out she lives there and so we were chatting her up and out of the blue I asked, Can we help you pull weeds?? To which she embarrassedly replied that she was completely fine and no way and so on. Did that stop me? Hmmm NO WAY. I squatted down (in a lovely ladylike manner) and began plucking weeds. My doryos followed suit. She eventually gave up on trying to dissuade us and squatted down and joined us. We got to know her and had a great time. Then she randomly got up and just left. Ummm.....awkward. Then in a few minutes she came back with soap and a towel. How nice! We thought, and then she left again! What is with this awkward lady?? This time she didn’t come back. We kimazuini awkwardly wandered back to the front of the house, where we saw her doing something inside. She beckoned to us. We went inside and she had MADE US KAKIGORI!! It’s like a pile of snow with strawberry sweetened condensed milk at the bottom. It is SCRUMPTIOUS!! We were just trying to service and we got some delicious treat out of it!! It kind of reminded me of missionary work.
I went out ready to serve and work hard and bike A LOT, but there’s just these little spots of sunshine of delicious fun things along the way! Like finding a kyudosha investigator or someone just coming up and talking to me on the street. Yes; missions are hard, but they’re also incredible.
Another great thing from Akita!! So were always trying to do more natural finding, right? Well, in the Koen park, I invented a new (and incredibly effective!) way of finding: INU (DOG) FINDING!!!! YES. I didn’t know that loving animals could come as a skill on a mission, but it certainly can!! So here’s the thing: I see someone with a dog- I already want to talk to them because I want to pet their dog!!! I start petting the dog!! I like their dog; so THEY like me because I like their dog that THEY like! They’re animal lovers so they’re already nice people and they’re open to talk to you because you’ve broken the ice through means of their French bulldog!! And then the best part: they can’t get away until YOU’RE DONE TALKING TO THEM; because you’re petting their dog!!!! Muahaha it was seriously the best!! We found some great PIs that way! I am now in the process of locating ALL the parks in Aomori to continue my inu dendo!! Ah such the best.
Oh! and in Akita we found a great girl Ayu-chan who was really interested in meeting with us!! You know what else she was interested in?? MY HAIR. For the very first time in Japan, instead of doing the petting I, I was the one being petted. But at least she asked first!! Sometimes people in Akita think I’m pretty so they would just stop and talk to me!! Gaijin powaaaaa! Foreigner power

So my favorite miracle of the week: Abe-san. Our new kyudosha investigator. This wonderful 30ish woman with two ADORABLE kids (3 and 2!) who is just so amazing. She has such a good heart and wants to be a good person. So, SO excited to work with her!! I sincerely thank everyone at home for their prayers; they work miracles for us missionaries. You know what else causes miracles? Perfect obedience and humility. The Lord can only work with us if we're willing to be worked with. He will never force us to be something that we don’t want to become. It is because of this, I think, that we are judged at the last day according to our works in this life AND the desires of our hearts. Growing our faith is a choice, as well as letting it dwindle and die. I think it’s actually such a thing of mercy that we are judged according to the desires of our hearts; because at least for me I make mistakes and mess up just so much; but I’m always trying hard to be more like how our Savior would be! We are so flawed; but through His perfection we too may become perfect. That gives me hope and patience for my own follies. It doesn’t matter where we are with our faith or our righteousness, said Jeffrey Holland. If we have so much as a desire to believe and we will act on that desire, that will develop into an unshakable faith and abiding trust in the Lord if we but nurture it by small and simple acts. As we act on our faith we are blessed. I have seen it in my life so much here especially. When I follow the promptings of the Spirit to share something in a lesson or talk to someone on the street, Heavenly Father shows me his love even more abundantly.

I love you all and thank you for your prayers. I love the mission field, I love the people, and I love the gospel!

Orgill Shimai

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