Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 50 - My year is UP!

And now suddenly I'm an old missionary. How did that happen. 

A great week! We had a Zone Training Meeting in Aomori which was so great! The STLs urged us to remember the excitement we felt when we opened our mission calls and to continue to feel that excitement and vigor towards missionary work.

I realized there is a GREAT Odate-special I need to share. So, this is the Word of the Week; but it is exclusive to Odate! (and other middle-of-nowhere areas of Japan, I'd reckon). It is: Nda!  No, that is not a typing error. Nda. Or, if being formally said, it's more like, "Nnda". It is the equivalent of "Oh yeah. I gotcha. Forreal! Oh definitely." along those lines!  WAY useful in conversation, Nnda!
Another documentation by Kodama...#trainthuglyfe #notquiteBARTstatus

Funny moment: 
You remember the awkward ward clerk that paraded me with his suitcoat one of my first weeks in Japan, in an attempted to hide the fact that I had unknowingly tucked my skirt into my britches? Well, I was grateful that when I got transferred from Aomori at least I wouldn't have to run into him anymore and have him say, "Sorry." and then awkwardly run away. But ah, what was yesterday, you ask? Odate Branch conference. And who came? Awkward ward clerk man. (and all my Aomori homies, it was a blast!)
   Also, a very flavorful man who comes to Eikaiwa English class named "Jamie" decided to show off his hula moves this last Wednesday. Remind me to show you THAT video after the mission.

Creative dendo contacting! This is what Odate is ALL ABOUTright now. The most recent new investigators in the district have been found by playing basketball, teaching English, and sketchily jumping over someone's fence (that one was ALLLLL the elders.) Although we try to keep it legally in-bounds these days, were going to Akashiya Matsuri up North and Ishida Rose Gardens and doing natural dendo contacting! It is the most fun and easily the most effective dendo here! Ko shimai and I have been going to Old Folk's Homes and talking with people and singing for them! My new friend To is 99, and still way genki! And no one can forget my new friend, 90-year-old Mika san who hits on me every time (he has a really hard-to-understand Odate accent so I can't understand him anyway, now worries:) 
My planners!!

Spiritual thought: I finished all of the D&C this morning! A scripture I really loved was D&C132:49. I think it reflects the deep love our Father in Heaven has for each of us individually! He will be with us ETERNALLY.

The Lord continues to bless Odate. I wake up every morning so full of thanks to get to serve here. Our new Family Japanese Program friend, Bis and us had a great lesson with the Elders at the church last Monday evening. He wants to hear our message, and for some reason he says, recently he's felt like he should start studying the Bible even though he has no Christian history. He became and investigator and is meeting the Elders again tonight. 

We also taught our first lesson to Mi san as a full lesson, and not as a part of Family English Program! President Do was an excellent joint, and we had a great lesson where we talked about why Jesus Christ did the Atonement, how it affects us, and how we can access it through faith and repentance. It was a great lesson, she had such incredibly well-thought out questions! She's really progressing in her desires to come closer to God and become a better person. She's a different, brighter, more smiley Mi san than who we first met 7 weeks ago!  She's going to start practicing the hymns during the week and play at least one of the sacrament meeting hymns every week from here on out. We're so grateful to the members for helping her feel loved and needed at church. More than anything, her attendance at church is helping her progress more than anything. She's coming to District conference as well, even though it is far; not because we asked her to, but because she WANTS to. We're so lucky to get to work with her!

We're continuing to do great volunteer dendo and just get ourselves out there and known to the community! I strongly believe that there will be great long-lasting effects of the foundation we are laying now. 

Love you! I pray for you and think of you often. Thank you for your supposrt and prayers, they mean the world to me!
Orgill Shimai

P.S.- The pictures are the rose garden by the church and a lovely area by Rosai Hospital to the South, where we go to visit the former branch president in the hospital! He's doing way well and is super sassy, by the way.

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