Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 20: Transfers week has come!


I can't believe I am already at the end of my second transfer here in Japan. I have been so worried about transfers, and what will happen with Tsuyama. Well, after a couple of weeks of freaking out, we finally know! I am staying here in Tsuyama! And I honestly couldn't be happier. As I was getting ready for bed last night, I felt so much peace and I knew that no matter what, everything would work out. My new companion is Sister Howden. I'll meet her on Friday.

Miku (Mc Laughlin) Shimai and I
Tomorrow we head to Okayama where Sister McLaughlin will drop me off to spend the next few days with the Sister Training Leaders, and then Sister McLaughlin will head to Kobe on her own. It will be so weird not being with her all the time. It's been so wonderful having her as my companion (and trainer), and I have learned so much.

 I'm so excited to be staying here in Tsuyama! And to serve with Howden Shimai.

This week has been crazy. We had a typhoon on Monday, and as we walked out the door to go home, the wind was whipping, and it was pouring... We decided it wasn't the best idea to bike home in the storm, so we called K Shimai, who came and saved us. :) So, even though there was a big storm, we were safe. Tuesday we had to go back to the church to get our bikes (since we had to be driven home the night before). We woke up, got ready, and walked to the Elder's apartment to get headphones. Then we walked to the bus stop, rode on the bus for about 5 minutes, and then walked 30 more minutes to the church for church study. We also had to take the Language Assesment (a test where you have to record yourself talking about different situations). We have to take it once every couple of months (I think). We took it twice in the MTC, and I remember not being able to say that much. This time though, I was at least able to answer all of the questions, so that was an improvement. There is definitely still room for improvement. Mostly I am just glad I don't have to worry about it for another three months!

On Wednesday we were able to meet with a recent convert who we haven't seen the whole time that I have been here in Tsuyama. She and her husband were baptized by the Elders a couple of months ago, but over time they stopped coming to church. Since McLaughlin Shimai is leaving, we thought that maybe they would like to see her. So, we called and I Shimai said that would be great. We were able to go with K Kyoudai and the Elders (since they haven't really met the I Family). I Kyoudai wasn't there, but we were able to see I Shimai and share a little message with her about Jesus Christ. We hope that the Elders will be able to meet with them again, and that they will be able to come back. 

Because of Interviews on Friday, we had District Meeting on Thursday, so Thursday morning we headed to Okayama for a couple of hours. We talked about the importance of Sacrament Meeting, and about teaching first lessons. I was able to really think about what the Sacrament means to me, and why I go to church. I go to church for the sacrament. By taking the sacrament, I renew the covenants that I have made with Heavenly Father. I also have the opportunity to be cleansed from my sins, and my short comings. Through the sacrament, I feel peace and comfort, and I am able to truly use the atonement of Jesus Christ in my life. I remember there were times growing up that I liked going to church because that was where I could see my friends. But, it wasn't until I got older, and especially since I have been on my mission, that I really began to understand the importance of taking the sacrament every week. After we got back on Thursday, we were able to go visit some less active members with the H Family. H Kyoudai called us while we were in Okayama, and asked if we were wanted to go visit people with he and his wife. When they came and picked us up, we found out that it was H Shimai's birthday! They wanted to spend the day with the Sister Missionaries on her birthday! What amazing people. I hope I can be like them someday. They are so selfless, and love helping the missionaries. We were so grateful for their kindness. We were even able to go visit some of the people we haven't been able to visit because they live too far away. We are so grateful for people like them that go out of their way to help serve us. On Friday we headed back to Okayama for our interviews with President Welch. We were also able to sit and talk with Sister Welch. I love the Welch's, and I am so grateful that I get to serve with them. 

After we got back from Okayama on Friday afternoon, we had sports night with the youth. 

Then we went to the young women's activity. We made homemade apple pie. 

It reminded me of Thanksgiving at home. :) I love the youth, and I was so glad that we were able to spend so much time with them. 

On Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference in Nimi (a beautiful city in the middle of nowhere). We were able to go with the K Family. I love the K Family! They are so sweet. I was also given the opportunity to speak LOTS of Japanese. I would try and say something, and more often than not it was in broken Japanese. Then one of the triplets would daitai wakaru (mostly understand), say it back to me in proper Japanese, and translate it for the other two. It was really funny. :) I was grateful that I was able to say more, and that I was able to communicate with them. Heavenly Father has definitely been blessing me. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary, and to serve here in Japan. When people ask me my favorite part, it is always the people. The people here make all of the hard times so much more worth it.
 Stake Conference in Nimi with some of my favorite girls. (R, S, M, me, Miku Shimai, M, and M's friend)

I love you all so much, and I hope that you have an amazing week!

Robertson Shimai

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