Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 15 -- Aomori, Japan

This week is transfers. I thought I wouldn’t be affected. I was WRONG. Aomori will now have 4 sisters, us 3 and my new trainer the 6'2 Johnson shimai who has been out exactly ONE TRANSFER ahead of me-- Reaadyyy...set....PRAY FOR US.  I’m pretty terrified. This is my 2nd transfer and her 3rd- so we have no native Japanese speaking ability between us.

I thought the monsoon was bad last time? INCORRECT. Today the streets are SO FLOODED you can’t even walk, let alone bike anywhere!!! And I have to go at 3 today to catch a ride to the store so this is gonna be short!! Sorry!!

So I don’t know why I keep being surprised at the humbling experiences the Lord gives me; it’s not like I can ask for the ones I think I can handle and He'll act accordingly...This next transfer is going to be really difficult. And incredibly humbling for both of us, I think. Also this week, the culture clash has really humbled me. There are very proud people who take pride in the Japanese way of things, and I received a public lecture on how if we American missionaries want to become good missionaries, it is through acting Japanese. There have been several occurrences with this same member. But what I’ve learned is just submit to their criticism meekly and do my best to improve. And that has truly diffused the tension between the member and us. Things are still difficult when they do things that for missionaries is completely dame inappropriate, but I’m working hard to respect her pride while respecting the conduct we must maintain. Sorry that all sounds so vague, but I really just don’t have time to explain today. Just know that accidentally insulting people without knowing it has left me quite humbled.

This computer hates me. To end on a light note- THE GRASSHOPPER INCIDENT.
This past week we were doing dendo and then we were at the koen (park) and I had to tinkle. So I walked into the bathroom. Floor-squatty toilets only. Joy. So I’m doing my whole skillful toilet thing and then I reach for paper and I tell you, had I not peed already I would have peed my pants!!! This ENORMOUS GRASSHOPPER emerges, jumping MIGHTILY CLOSE to where I would prefer him NOT to be. My scream just about scared him as bad as he had scared me!! Oh, the panic!! Morgan Shimai didn’t believe it was me, because she’s never EVER heard me scream. And to be honest- I have NEVER screamed like that (and hopefully will never have the same sort of occurrence where that kind of sound will emit again!!) My goodness I’m so proud of the skill that while squatting and screaming that I didn’t just completely fail. SPEAKING of fails and biffing it- Morgan Shimai’s had some hardcore fails on her bike this week (bruises to prove it!) Just ask her family about them! Pretty great.
But life is great, I love being a missionary, and the Lord is blessing me more than I have room to receive!
Love you all mucho, keep it real, keep it classy, and watch out when there are grasshoppers about.
Peace, love, and a bug-free world.

Orgill Shimai

Thanks to Facebook, Sister Morgan's mother has posted some of her daughter's letter home.  She is Natalie's companion, so what one does, the other does also.  Here is her excerpt:
"Today is a started yesterday and from the rain then I was like: `Oh this isn`t so bad...we can work in this` and now it is pouring so hard and the wind blows the rain every direction so you aren`t safe no matter where you are. There has been so much rain that the streets are literally rivers you could swim in, the water is up to the houses in some places. But because of the wonderful souls of the members here in 青森(Aomori) they drove us to the eki (train station) to do our emailing. And another volunteered to drive us to do our shopping so she will pick us up from the eki and take us to the super.
The people here are so strong and I am incredibly grateful for the faith and willingness of the members.

Zone Conference was really good! Most of the conference was done in English but for the parts in Japanese we had translators so we could understand everything. We learned a lot about planning ahead so we can have an idea of when we are going to teach what to an investigator and when we are going to challenge them to come to church and baptism. We also have received a challenge from Rasmussen Kaicho and that is, have something that we don`t need as a missionary and give it up for the last quarter of the year and also (this is the more important one) find one new investigator a week. It will be tough, we don`t find investigators very fast but we are working on our faith and will work hard to accomplish the goal."

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