Once upon a time there were these missionaries that thought it would be a good idea to brave the storm and bike to the church so that they could email their families and friends. It was just raining, so they suited up, and headed out on their trek to the church. By the time they made it, they were soaked from head to toe despite their efforts to keep out the rain. (Don't worry, there is a video to follow.) They made it safely though, and were able to email in their dry clothes (that they were smart enough to pack) in the nice, warm, dry church building.
Haha. Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. We really needed to email, because McLaughlin Shimai is leaving in a week, and she needed to find out what the plans are for her next week. So we braved the rain.
I don't know where to even start this week. It has been an amazing week. I have seen so many wonderful things happen, and I have felt so much peace. This week we had a kokon (exchange) with the sister training leaders. When Colter Shimai asked what kind of goals I had for our Kokan, I thought about the how I wanted to have more confidence, and to know how to better manage stress. Recently I have really been worried about a lot of things, most of which are out of my control. As the week went on, McLaughlin Shimai and I weren't sure how we were going to be able to make the kokan work, since she spent the majority ofin bed. We called the STLs and told them our situation. They told us that they would call us back and let us know what we were going to do. When they called us back they had already planned how we were going to make it work. They had talked with the Elders in our area, and were going to meet them at the train station, borrow their bikes (mountain bikes... there is a reason we use Mamachatis as sister missionaries... Mountain Bikes are really hard to bike on with skirts), and bike to our apartment where they would drop off Donnely Shimai. Then Colter Shimai and I would bike back to the train station, and head to Okayama. I was so grateful for their dedication to make it work. I was able to learn so much, and I was so grateful to be able to get out and teach. Colter Shimai and I were able to talk about all of the things that have been worrying me lately, and as I wrote them down, she had me go through and cross out anything that was out of my control. That, and a couple of other questions really helped me to be able to write it all out, and stop worrying about it. One of the last questions that she asked me was what the reality of my mission is right now. I started out with things like, I have been learning Japanese for 4 months, and I have been in Japan for 2 months. As I continued to write out the reality of my mission right now, the things I was writing started to change. I started to write the miracles that I have been seeing back home with my family, and the changes that I have seen in them since I have been on my mission. I started to write about how much closer my relationship with my Father in Heaven has become. As I finished, I could feel this load lifted. As soon as I started to really focus on the positive things, the worries went away. I was grateful for that simple lesson. While on our kokan, we were able to teach 3 lessons. It was wonderful. I absolutely love teaching the gospel.
This week we were also able to watch General Conference. That was amazing. Never before have I loved conference so much. I was able to learn something from every talk, and when it was over, I couldn't help but want more. It's like Elder Ringwood was telling us, as a missionary you all of the sudden love conference so much, and never want it to end. Something that I have been thinking about recently is my vision of who I want to become, and aligning that with what Heavenly Father knows I can become. I thought about that a lot during conference, and the more and more I listened the more and more I realized another reason that I am on a mission right now. I want to prepare myself now to become the best mother I can be. I was reminded of the little things like saying family prayers, studying the scriptures together as a family, and the importance of Family Home Evening. It's amazing to me just how much I have begun to really love these things since I have been on my mission. I love praying, and not just praying, but sincerely praying to my father in Heaven. I love studying the scriptures, and learning something new every time I read. Being on a mission has really helped me to realize the importance of these things now so that one day I can do these things with my own family. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve a mission. I am so very blessed.
For General Conference, we were able to stay in Tsuyama and watch conference in English on a member's computer. It was so nice to be at home in my "darling precious Tsuyama."we had lunch with the branch in between sessions. It was so much fun. I really love this branch, and I love when they are happy. Being a missionary is the absolute greatest. :)
Well, I wish I could write more, but I should probably finish, so that we can make it home safely.
Remember that you are loved. Remember the importance of the little things. I love you, and I am so grateful for your love and support, and all of you kind words.
Well, I was going to send a video... but the file is too large. Sorry.