So Christmas in Japan was anticlimactic; but they LOVE New Year's so I thought it would be super sweet. And then it turns out the way they celebrate is by hermiting in their house and refusing to talk to the missionaries; this included members, less-actives, and investigators. As far as numbers go this week was less than ideal.
SO what did we do on shogatsu New Year's?? We went to Hachiman shrine with K shimai sister and 2 of her friends that we are trying to introduce the gospel lessons to. And one of them brought HER to friends from the Misawa base (that were gaijin foreign) that came with us. And it was...awkward. But the shrine was culturally, and we got a great opportunity to talk to one of our new friends S chan. She turned to me and asked, "So what IS the true meaning of life?" Well, lemme tell ya sister. But talking to (the five million) people at the shrine was great natural dendo street contacting!
I'm so glad shogatsu New Year's is over! We're ready to get to work and power through the winter. I'm so lucky to have B shimai as my companion! She's super great to work with and we CRACK each other up. I am learning the importance of using every second of time effectively. This week was disappointing as far as numbers; it was difficult to contact a single investigator, less active, or member. But things are looking up and the Lord is blessing us! A couple of members walked up to us at church and asked if they could mogi teach with us. How lucky we are to be in an area with such strong members.
The best part of this week was Saturday. We took the bus to the H's who live in Nagamachi ward boundaries. It was a long bus ride and I was able to talk to the girl next to me the whole time. She said after her college entrance exam she'll come to Eikaiwa English class. And then at dinner we were blessed to have a great discussion with H san (H shimai's husband who is not a member) and the Spirit was super strong! We talked so long that we didn't have time to share the whole spiritual message we had prepared, but he asked me to bear my testimony. I shared Alma 32:27 (one of my FAVORITE scriptures) and shared how I realized that I was enough for the Lord when I felt like I didn't have faith, because I DID desire it was true and I DID have real intent. He has trouble with tobacco so I also shared my testimony of the Word of Wisdom and how although giving up those things is hard, it has infinite worth. And then I bore my testimony to him of the Savior and the infinite and individual sacrifice he would have made if it were only for him or for me or for anyone.
His face changed a little. His eyes lit up and he sat a little straighter. He thanked me sincerely and asked us to come over again soon because he'd like to talk to us about the gospel some more. He is an amazing, spiritually sensitive man who is SO prepared. I feel so much love for the H family and know that his heart is being softened as a result of his own daughter serving a mission right now!
Yesterday we were also able to come into contact with an old investigator, E san. T shimai and I tried many times to reach her but had been thus unsuccessful, but when we visited her yesterday, she expressed a desire to meet with us again next month and come to church with us soon if her leg permits.
The Lord is requiring patience to be learned for us, but the blessings are worth it! I know He's preparing His children!