Thursday, August 3, 2017

Update from Japan - Temple Day

Hello to all of the most beautiful people in the world!!!! I'd even dare say the universe! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying Natsu. Or summer. Haha 

To be honest this week has been rough. I can't put my finger on an exact reason, but I don't really want to, because I am trying really hard to find the positive. Dear Satan. Get thee hence. It is crazy just how much good there is. Even for one of the harder weeks on my mission, I really have had the most fun experiences this week. Like miracles, and the temple! I love the temple.... so much!!!!! It is crazy how even as a missionary I was so spiritually thirsty for the temple. I didn't realize it until I was in the temple, but we all need to be there because it just quenches your spiritual thirst! Please go with a question. You will receive an answer. I went in thinking about happiness and joy, and I learned so much! 

I am also really grateful for emails. My friends missionary group emails, and emails from home were all FULL of exactly what I needed to hear! So thank you everyone for sharing experiences

So this week had some crazy miracles. I will just give you some excerpts from my journal because they would take too long to type in this one hour! Sorry for typos and things, but it is what it is! 

We found a lady who knew the missionaries like 40 years ago, and she said we could come back! 

We went and dendoed a summer festival, it was kind of boring, but that soon changed!!!!!   This old man in a vest saw us told us to sit down, so we sat. Then we watched this AWESOME! Performance of traditional Japanese dance. They had cool long sleeve costumes and stuff. Then the boys took off their sleeve and were showing a lot of back, which was kind of awkward, but then after that they put their clothes back on. So that was cool. Then they removed all their clothes except for their sumo loin cloths.... What!!! Ha it was so awkward!!! We didn't know where to look! And then they started running all around everywhere!

After their dance, We were sitting there watching the cheerleaders dance, and contemplating on how to dendo at matsuris because we don't want to step on any toes. Haha lol, but other people handed us tissues, and some brail stuff. So that was legitness. We were watching the cheerleaders, who happened to dance to a song I danced to, and this boy who we think ran past us in his loin cloth came and talked to us. It was so fun! His name is jump. That is his team name. They all get team names.  So cute!!! Haha He asked if we drank Sake.... n... no we don't drink alcohol.. ha He was so nice, and spoke some English. We talked for a really long time. And he became a really solid potential investigator. Also did I mention that they were dancing barefoot on the dirt, and running on rocks. Anyway. We left because we had an appointment, then came back after. We left, then came back,  then we  ran into this old man and he was talking to us, and then the man next to him starts speaking perfect English!! What a dude!!! He was awesome!! He also knew about our church. Like Jospeh smith and stuff. He had met the male missionaries before in America I think? The first old guy was like "follow me," but we didn't understand, so the English speaking guy helped and we followed them into the event building where all the staff and dancers were coming in and out of. WE were like what even is going on, and the elders were talking to some dudes far away, and they didn't get invited to the party really,,, so we went in, and it was awesome.

But we get in, and they are like who wants a Bento, aka food, there aren't very many, but who wants them, and this old lady was like. YOU WANT THEM I CAN SEE IT IN YOUR EYES!!! AND grabbed us two of the last bentos...Then we got offered like 7 drinks. They were like, "do you want tea?" and we said "no." And they were like, "how about beer?" And we said, "No." "What about sake?" "No thank you." Then, luckily, because the guy next to me speaking English knew our beliefs, he told everyone why we couldn't drink it even though we were twenty and could legally drink.God loves us!!! So then they were like OH no. They don't drink. Lets all go right now and get them drinks!!!!!!! So the English guy got us flavored waters and cc lemon, then the Mitsuya cider guy came over and my companion took one, then one of the men across the table told a dancer to give us a lemonade drink that you stab with a little plastic thing to made the ice cube thing fall down and open the drink. It was really fun, so then we got those.

Later they took our cc lemons and Mitsuya cider away, because nobody needs that much liquid. They took some eikaiwa flyers and said they would look them over and let us know if we could leave some in their building. God is so funny. We got into contact with a lot of those people. All because we did service. Service is real folks. If you need a pick me up. Serve. Also. I was able to communicate with this booth full of deaf people. THANK YOU MY OLD SHIMAI FOR TEACHING ME JAPANESE SIGN LANGUAGE IN MURORAN! The elders came right after I started signing, and they both know some Shiwa too, so we had a party! 
And this miracle. 
We were tempted to not follow our plan of visiting a less active woman because we wanted McDonald's, but we decided to go visit Kitao Shimai. She is sad because her dog died. We talked about Joseph Smith and the restoration a little bit mostly because of the BoM and the first vision. She went upstairs to try and find her Book of Mormon, but she came back with an unopened VHS of old Japanese Church videos. What in the world? She might have asked us to take it back, but we told her we didn't have a VHS player so lol. But she has THE cutest laugh.

Cut to Sunday.
Brother Masuda walks in and says, there is a woman downstairs looking for us. IT WAS KITAO SHIAI!!! I WAS SO HAPPY!!! I sat by her during relief society while my companion shimai went upstairs to translate. I had no idea what she was saying to me, but Hasebe Kyodai  sitting behind us was an angel and befriended her so well! Everyone befriended her during the pot luck after church. Dear everyone. Be a friend to those you don't know at church! It really makes a difference!! 

We saw a miracle while housing. We ran into the elder's investigator's family during the time fhe at the temple was going on. Remember yousukei kun from eikaiwa? Yeah. We also had a card for him that a member gave us that day. It was a lot of following the spirit, but we didn't know we were doing it at the time, but looking back, that is totally what happened! Because if you think about the timing, and just how many apartments are in the city in Japan, and how we just so happened to find the one family that we didn't have any contact info for..... yeah. The church is true... 

The funny of the week. Remember the Disney lady? She gave me some advice...
She told me lots of tips on how to get better for the job at Disney.
Lose weight
Curve my eyebrows.
Practice up dos
Learn Japanese culture
I need to become a Japanese princess, not an American. I will always wear a kimono
I need to move beautifully. And get a parade face.
So that was a good time. She gave me a calendar, and lip balm, and a fan. She is a little crazy because she talks nonstop, and sends us really difficult long messages, but it's all good fun! 

Here is a fun quote from conference in 2015. I have been really focused on Faith and Christ's Atonement. It really is the most precious gift. I love this gospel, and am grateful that I can repent daily...

None of us is perfect, but when we have sinned, President Packer reminded us: “The promise is: ‘Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more’ (D&C 58:42). …
“… The Atonement, which can reclaim each one of us, bears no scars. That means that no matter what we have done or where we have been or how something happened, if we truly repent, He has promised that He would atone. And when He atoned, that settled that. There are so many of us who are thrashing around … with feelings of guilt, not knowing quite how to escape. You escape by accepting the Atonement of Christ, and all that was heartache can turn to beauty and love and eternity."

Find the positives this week!!

福音は真実です! The gospel is true! 愛しています! I love you! 

Explanation of pictures:
Dear Everyone. These are HUGE in japan. If you are a Young mother. You're welcome.

This is a friend. She doesn't like to have her face in photos, but look at the fun stuff! She wore a mixed fashion American/Japanese kimono.. she is fun!
They all got free haircuts I didn't, but they let me jump in the photo anyway!
That stack of plates was full of raw meat that we boiled at the table. Shabushabu for lyfe.

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