Hello hello! Well now I understand why people can't fully explain WHY missions are so difficult; yet so rewarding. Sometimes it is just SO DIFFICULT. There are a lot of heartbreaks with investigators and hills on a bike (and really, REALLY cold weather) and overall, for me just sometimes feeling so inadequate to be in such a marvelous work. But the Lord only has imperfect people to work with, which must be terribly frustrating to Him! But He deals with it; and so should we. So I want to tell you about the biggest miracle of the week.
N-shimai met the missionaries when she was 19 and got baptized about a month later. She then went immediately inactive, and no one had visited her since 2007. So OF COURSE J Shimai and I went. She came to the door. She's now 28, has been married for a year, and has a little baby. We asked her if she believed in God. She said no. We asked her if she would pray every night. No. If she would pray just that night. No. And then we bore our testimonies to her, and asked her to pray at the end. She reluctantly said yes. As she prayed, she thanked Heavenly Father for giving her her child and that we came to see her. When the prayer ended, she was crying. I said quietly, "I know that God lives." And she said "Yes, He does." She's way great, and we've been able to go back and teach her again. The Spirit is so strong when we teach her. Those are the times when I just walk away thinking, "and THIS is why I'm on a mission."
I'm mentally steeling myself for the prospect of training so early in my mission (next week we'll get our transfer calls and find out) and so I lead EVERYTHING for this last week of my training. I plan, schedule, find people's houses, take every phone call and text, etc. But I'm finally getting good at the Japanese map systems!! Thank goodness. Learning the kanji helps out a TON! So it's getting COLD. Like WAY COLD. Like hurts your lungs cold. And I'm sick right now. But still genki well!! Mom and Dad, perhaps sending my purple snow coat would be good (mom has the black version I took to Spain) in my winter package. Just a thought! So far so good, though.
All of our investigators were too busy for us this week, so we continue to pray for and try with them. But I had kind of a funny experience housing. This woman answered the door and I was introducing who we were when her eyes got really big and she just started smiling super wide. Kind of alarmed at that reaction, I asked her, "Are you alright?!" She said, "Oh no I'm fine it's just that...you're really pretty." Haha well THAT'S not a usual Nihonjin reaction when they answer the door! But I thought it was funny.
This week has just been another steady week of endurance. Sometimes it was difficult. It's difficult being with the same person 24/7, no matter who the person is, and especially if they're just opposite. But we work well together! This is not our work; it's His. And thank goodness for that.
Love you all, thank you for your prayers.
気を付けて！！ Take care,