Monday, September 22, 2014

"You're so lovely, your forehead is HUGE!!"

Dear wonderful, beautiful, beloved family member or friend of mine reading this letter-

I don't talk like that in real life. I promise.

And that quote was said to my companion whilst housing. We met quite a character; a Protestant woman who we talked to for almost an hour, only to get flat out rejected. Well, such is dendo sometimes. But it gets made up for by all the MIRACLES!

At a family's house for dinner!

   We had an AWESOME week! O shimai and I were talking about how even though we're following all of the rules and working hard, we still come home at night with kind of a lame, disappointed-in-self feeling. We realized we weren't committing our hearts and giving our all to the Lord, so we felt discontent. We committed from that day to throw ourselves into the work with our whole hearts, withholding nothing from the Lord. And that's when the miracles started flowing. We left the house once we had finished companionship inventory, biking our hardest up through the hills to an A's house, stopping and talking to everyone we saw. We were able to gt to our appointment in much less time than we thought possible, then we had a great, spiritual lesson with Fu shimai about showing gratitude in our prayers, and how it brings us closer to God. Although she's old and it's hard for her to understand doctrine, the Spirit helped us to teach simply to her needs so that she really understood it, and began applying it in her prayers!

Ninja Warriors?

Hey! I realized a great Japanese Word of the Week!! And it's easy to remember! It is: KY! Yep, they just say "KY" in English. It actually stands for "kuuki ga yomenai", which directly translates to to "can't read the air", but really means just can't read the atmosphere of situations (says things at really bad times, don't realize when people are annoyed/uncomfortable, etc.). A VERY convenient word!

Out to ramen with the District!

   After her lesson, we went down the hills into another part of Shiogama to ask people if they would hang our ECC (English Communication Class) poster in their shops. As we were descending the hills, I saw in my head a cute little shoe shop with a cute Corgi dog that always sits at the entrance of the store. I told my companion I wanted to go and talk to the owner, and so we went to her shop, and she gladly agreed to hang our poster and just talked with us for a little while. O shimai and I have started putting "explore dendo" time into our schedule; so that we don't feel restricted to just one dendo type at a certain time; just because we planned it. So we went to the 5 floors above the shoe shop, only to discover a wonderful secret library, packed with kokosei (high school students)! They took our English poster, and we were able to talk naturally to a girl outside the building as we left because she was just waiting for her mom, like all the other students! I think we just found one of the greatest streeting areas in all of Tagajo!
After biking up a huge Izumi hill, still looking good!

   We also were able to meet two Nigerian men who are also strong Christians, and said they want to come to church sometime and check it out! We exchanged contact information and left. Lots of miracles kept coming forth as we gave our heart  and avoided wasting a single minute of the Lord's time. I'm so lucky to be with O shimai, she loves the Lord and is ready to improve and give her best at all times! 

  We spent a day in Izumi visiting all of our members that live there (about half the ward, actually) and we borrowed the STLs' bikes because they were out of town on splits. Let me just say, you think Tagajo is bad for hills; then you've never been to Izumi. DEATH. I think I got my workout for like the rest of my mission. Holy smokes I admire those Izumi missionaries.

    Other highlights of this week were that I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Japanese!! Yay! It's as true in Japanese as it is in English!

9th floor of an investigator's apartment complex, with a great view!

    We as missionaries have been singing in church a lot recently, and it's really invited the Spirit to meetings. Through that combined with our attempts to reach out to the members through lessons, they are really coming to trust and love us! The feeling of love and Spirit that was at church on Sunday was overwhelming. And they've begun to invite us over for dinners! We take this as a sign that they're seeing us try hard and they're beginning to really trust us! Soon we hope they'll trust us with their friends! We've really improved on the way we ask for referrals; just having the members THINK about their friends, and their needs, and how they can share their beliefs in a non-threatening way.

The District!
   One more miracle from this week: we felt that we should go visit a single member, Fun shimai this week. We were going to totsuzen (surprise) visit her, but the day we were planning to go, we felt that it would be better to call her first. She didn't pick up, but later in the day, we felt prompted to just call her one more time. She picked up, telling us that she had just gotten back from the hospital; her mother had been taken in an ambulance that morning (her mother dislikes the church strongly.) and the doctor's didn't know what as wrong with her. We offered a prayer on the phone, to comfort her and protect her mother. She thanked us and we hung up. The next day, she called us, thanking us for our prayer, telling us they were able to find out what was wrong with her mother and gave her medicine, and that she was discharged from the hospital the next day. She said she knew it was because of our prayer for her mother that she was able to recover. She told us that she had actually related this experience to her mother! We hope this will soften her heart to the missionaries and the faith her daughter has! It was truly a miracle.

Have a great week!
Love you MUCHO!!

Orgill Shimai

This Elder has tiny feet, shoe swap!

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